Of David Archuleta, Brands, and Five Amazing “Piano Guys”
Posted by bluesky4home on Sunday, December 30, 2012
When I see something wonderful that talented people are doing, I always get excited and I wonder, “How is this going to fit into what DA will need, or be doing, or have available, etc. when he comes home?”
Why? Because: I believe.
I believe that things that bless others will also bless him. I believe that because there are so many changes happening within the music industry and how “brands” are created, produced and marketed, that a new paradigm is emerging that will bless his life as well as the lives of others. I believe DA is young, savvy, focused and inspired. I do not say that it will all be roses, smooth sailing, or that everything will magically fall into place, but I do believe absolutely that new horizons of opportunity will be available to him. And when he is blessed, so are we.
My case in point for today: ThePianoGuys.
I had been hearing about Jon Schmidt, a creative composer/pianist, for a long time and have gone to two of his concerts. He is well known in our area and offers concerts each year. When I first saw him on You Tube, I saw this title above the vid: ThePianoGuys. I thought that was a little strange, since he was the only person in the videos. Later, I saw several vids where he was performing duets with Steven Sharp Nelson, a wonderful cellist. I loved the music but was still a bit confused by the title. Being that I am a bit slow, it was not until this last summer when I attended a concert close to home that I caught the full vision of what they, ThePianoGuys were all about.
From their Official Channel:
Five guys from different walks of life with different skill sets, from different places — each had built their own careers: a piano store owner/videographer (Paul Anderson), a music producer (Al van der Beek), a videographer/editor (Tel Stewart), a pianist (Jon Schmidt), and a cellist (Steven Sharp Nelson). But all with the same ambition: to inspire the world with the talents given them. Each met through seemingly-happenstance, but divinely-influenced circumstances. Combined, they had the tools, the passion, and the drive necessary to independently build one of the most successful music video production companies in the world. They are famous for taking their instruments (especially grand pianos) and video equipment to unbelievable places. But above all, ThePianoGuys love what they do — and it shows. At the end of the day, they are ordinary guys that love their families and that thank God for the opportunity they have to do what they love.
It was then that I finally realized that ThePianoGuys was a collaborative effort: when you go to their website, the three that seldom appear as performers on video are given top billing and space. All are equal to the importance of the creation of their “brand”. What is most exciting to me is that their very successful brand was chosen, produced and offered to the public on their own terms, not those of someone else. No record company told them what they could or could not be. No marketing body handed them a pre-fabricated identity, relegating them by color, size, or sound to fit neatly into one of the few molded shapes allowed in a modern music cafeteria tray. They became famous through YouTube, posting their first video in March of 2010. Two years and 39 videos later, many produced a week apart, they now have a total of 205,419,123 views and 1,178,305 subscribers to their channel.
In December 2011, they released their first album and their second album, released in 2012 reached number one on the Billboard New Age Albums chart.
So… without further ado, here is an example of what can be accomplished when people follow their passion and remain true to themselves.
One of my favs, sure to make you smile:
One of my passions, sure to inspire:
One of their newest, sure to make you believe in dreams:
The other day I caught this comment on YouTube under one of their videos:
“wow that was awesome ps you guys should make a David Archuleta song”
Now, from time to time they do record their arrangements/videos with a singer. And I have a pretty good idea who I think would sound best. You might want to save some time on your calendar for a certain returned missionary in 2014 Piano Guys. Can you say “Broken”?
Post script: “The Piano Guys” last concert in SLC was produced and recorded for PBS and they just recently got signed by a label: Sony Masterworks. On first hearing this I worried. But then I saw the company they were in…
Placido Domingo, Jascha Heifetz, Vittorio Grigolo, Wynton Marsallis, Yo-Yo Ma, etc. …and I guess I am willing to believe that it is a “good place”.
Conclusion: Talented people are leading fulfilling lives sharing their passion and abilities on their own terms. Can David Archuleta be successful doing this? Things beyond our knowing are aligning for him and others like him.
Without question: Yes. I believe.
The following is a synopsis from PR Newswire introducing all Five Guys in a rare performance together on video:
Ironically, The Piano Guys, who got their name from a piano store in St. George, Utah, are a quintet featuring only two musicians – only one being a pianist. Store owner Paul Anderson devised a Facebook promotional page and a YouTube channel featuring well-established, self-described “New Age Classical” pianist Jon Schmidt , who teamed up musically with Steven Sharp Nelson , an innovative cellist. Together, Schmidt and Nelson form the musical core of The Piano Guys, with Anderson – who has since closed the store – joining forces with genius co-videographer Tel Stewart in creating The Piano Guys’ videos. Al van der Beek , the fifth “Guy,” heads up the group’s studio operations, and also assists in co-writing and arranging, as well as percussion and vocal texturing. As seen in their One Direction video, in performance, all five of The Piano Guys frequently appear together.