~~April 21, 2014~~
They gained popularity through YouTube, where they posted piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music. Schmidt and Nelson’s music is accompanied by professional-quality videos shot and edited by Paul Anderson.
Paul Anderson owned a piano shop in St. George, Utah. He met musician Jon Schmidt as the latter walked in to ask if he could practice there for an upcoming concert. Months later, Paul Anderson and Tel Stewart (then just for fun) started making videos together with Jon Schmidt. It was not too long after that they did their first collaboration with Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, and Al Van Der Beek as the studio and music technician. After the five of them started collaborating the group really started to take off, producing a music video each week and posting it to YouTube.
Several of the group’s YouTube videos have over 20 million views, while all of them have over 750,000. As of February 2014, The Piano Guys’ YouTube channel has over 345 million total video views and about 2,500,000 subscribers.
The Piano Guys is the second studio album, and first on a major record label, by American musical group The Piano Guys. It was released on October 2, 2012 through Sony Masterworks. The album is composed primarily of covers and mashups of classical and popular music.
Today we are featuring “What Makes You Beautiful” from their first CD with a major record label.
“OUR VISION IS TO CREATE MUSIC AND VIDEOS THAT INSPIRE & UPLIFT.
WHATEVER WE DO, WE PUT OUR HEART AND SOULS INTO EVERY NOTE AND FRAME.”
~~One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful (5 Piano Guys, 1 piano)~~
~~Published on Jul 18, 2012~~
**ALL THE SOUNDS YOU HEAR WERE CREATED BY THE PIANO AND ONE CELLO BOW**
(WITH SOME VOCALS AT THE END)
~~STORY BEHIND THE SONG~~
The idea: A couple months ago the 5 of us were gathered round a piano prepping for a video shoot scheduled for that day. We were brainstorming ideas when one of us (can’t remember who!) got off task and starting flicking a piano string.
Since all of us are poster children for ADHD, it wasn’t long before ALL of us had joined in — banging out a beat, plucking a string, or hitting keys. The brainstorming meeting had been sabotaged beyond repair but another music video idea was born!
The song: We went through several song possibilities before landing on “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. We like this song because its catchy and the music, lyrics and video passed our “sesame street” test (meaning family friendly). We thought about the ramifications of taking on a teenybopper boy band tune as five middle-aged married guys who are desperately holding on to their hairlines.
One of us even has a son older than the guys in One Direction (we won’t say who) BUT you know us — we love a good challenge! This one was so fun to write that the “challenge” part of it never was felt. We just acted like kids playing a piano and it totally worked! After we figured out the main “techniques” of playing the piano unconventionally we loved experimenting with swapping out chords and throwing the structure of the song around until it clicked.
The location: Where to film? Fitting in video shoots between touring, writing, recording, editing, and spending time with family has always been a challenge. Let’s be honest, even getting all 5 of us in the same place at the same time has been a challenge! We had a big sold-out show at the Sandy, Utah Amphitheater. We all determined to be at the show and film the video right on stage sometime between sound check and the performance. Sounds like a good idea right? Well … because of a lot of factors, including weather (we had a huge storm sweep in and knock everything down on stage during sound check) the only time we had to film was between the hours of 2AM – 7AM the morning of the concert.
In the video at 2:30 you can see the morning light start breaking — we literally played into the sunrise!
We ALL are connected through MUSIC!!
We ALL are ONE!!