News & Insights 19 July 2012

Life as a musician – we’ve never had it better…

WeFoundLoveThere was a time when it was basically impossible to launch a band without a record label. Then there was a time when everybody knew the labels were buggered, and we all felt we should probably leave them twitching in the gutter, but it wasn’t yet clear how on earth you could get anywhere without one. Then came the time when the power to kickstart and sustain a successful music career was – genuinely – handed back to the musician.
And that time is now.
Which also makes this just about the most exciting time in history to be a musician…
A band who exemplify what it’s possible to achieve in this new era is Boyce Avenue. There’s a very good chance you haven’t heard of this Script-esque Florida-based three-piece, but they’re a global phenomenon, and a shining example of how you can use the internet to home-grow a brand that people across the world will love.
In a nutshell, a few years back Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian starting posting cover versions of hit songs on YouTube. This was at a stage when not many bands were doing it, and getting in there early gave them a strong advantage over their competitors. They kept the awesome content coming, gradually expanded their fanbase over time and by 2011 had built up a big enough profile to sustain a sold-out world tour that took them across five continents. Only _____ years in did they sign a record deal, presumably as the weight of daily tasks started to become detrimental.
It’s an inspiring story because, at the end of the day, while The Lightyears may have been lucky enough in our career so far to perform all over the world at all kinds of amazing venues, festivals and stadiums (and it’s been an awesome journey so far), when it comes to growing our fanbase we, just like anyone else, need to do it from the ground up (this is what Project LYs is all about – check it out here if you haven’t had a chance yet. There’s free stuff).
I think there are probably quite a few similarities between us and the Boyce boys. I mean the boys Boyce. I mean the b-… never mind. They’ve got nice hair, we’ve got nice hair. They’re from Florida, we’re from Berkshire (the Florida of the Home Counties).
Also, we’ve covered some of the same songs. Take the Rihanna track We Found Love, for example – here’s the Boyce version, and here’s the LYs version. Almost a Mexican stand-off. In fact, I propose we use this opportunity to open up the field for a kind of balladic equivalent of Eminem’s 8 Mile rap battles. We wouldn’t be rapping, for obvious reasons, but instead we could battle it out through the medium of heart-trembling acoustic balladry. So, like, George would have to sing a melancholy-but-at-the-same-time-uplifting line at Alejandro, and then he’d have to sing back something equally if not more poignant to stay in the game. Then if you lose you’re forced to sit in a padded cell for two weeks listening to Tinchy Stryder interviews. Or something.
Anyway, I guess my point is – check them out. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be sharing a stage.

'We really ought to invite these Boyce fellas round for tea sometime, you know.''There was a time when it was basically impossible to launch a band without a record label. Then there was a time when everybody knew the labels were buggered, and we all felt we should probably leave them twitching in the gutter, but it wasn’t yet clear how on earth you could get anywhere without one. Then came the time when the power to kickstart and sustain a successful music career was – genuinely – handed back to the musician.

And that time is now.

Which also makes this just about the most exciting time in history to be a musician…

A band who exemplify what it’s possible to achieve in this new era is Boyce Avenue. There’s a very good chance you haven’t heard of this Script-esque Florida-based three-piece, but they’re a global phenomenon, and a shining example of how you can use the internet to home-grow a brand that people across the world will love.

In a nutshell, a few years back brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian starting posting cover versions of hit songs on YouTube. This was at a stage when not many bands were doing it, and getting in there early gave them a major advantage over their competitors. They kept the awesome content coming, gradually expanded their fanbase over time and by 2011 had built up a big enough profile to sustain a sold-out world tour that took them across five continents. Only six years in did they sign a record deal (with Universal Republic), which they recently left in order to start their own label.

It’s an inspiring story because, at the end of the day, while The Lightyears may have been lucky enough in our careers to perform all over the world at all kinds of amazing venues, festivals and stadiums (and it’s been an awesome journey so far), when it comes to growing our fanbase we, just like anyone else, need to do it from the ground up (this is what Project LYs is all about – check it out here if you haven’t had a chance yet. There’s free stuff).

I think there are probably quite a few similarities between us and the Boyce boys. They’ve got nice hair, we’ve got nice hair. They’re from Florida, we’re from Berkshire (the Florida of the Home Counties).

Also, we’ve covered some of the same songs. Take the Rihanna track We Found Love, for example – here’s the Boyce version, and here’s the LYs version. Almost a Mexican stand-off. In fact, I propose we use this opportunity to open up the field for a kind of balladic equivalent of Eminem’s 8 Mile rap battles. We wouldn’t be rapping, for obvious reasons, but we could instead battle it out through the medium of heart-trembling acoustic balladry. So, I dunno, George would have to sing a melancholy-but-at-the-same-time-uplifting line at Alejandro, and then Alejandro would have to sing back something equally if not more poignant to stay in the game. Then, if you lose, you’re forced to sit in a padded cell for two weeks listening to Tinchy Stryder interviews. Or something.

Anyway, I guess my point is – check them out. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be sharing a stage.

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