Aidin Vaziri | By reworking some of the biggest pop hits of the past few years as acoustic rock ballads, the three brothers who make up Boyce Avenue have garnered more than 250 million views on their YouTube channel. Now the members of the Florida group – Daniel, Alejandro and Fabian Manzano – are hoping that the people who turned their versions of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” into huge viral hits will give their original songs equal time. The trio plays Tuesday at the Great American Music Hall. Daniel, a Harvard Law graduate, tells us how it all happened.
Daniel Manzano of Boyce Avenue
Q: You have more than 250 million views on the YouTube channel. When did you realize that half the world was watching your home videos?
A: We got lucky. Our second video was a Rihanna “Umbrella” cover, and somehow that just took off for us. But the biggest eye-opener for us was when we went to play four shows in the Philippines. We knew there was something there because we were getting a lot of comments in Tagalog on our videos. But we didn’t know the scope of it. It was just insanity. That was the moment we realized it had gone international.
Q: You don’t get paid for all those clicks. How do you plan to make a living out of this?
A: You can monetize YouTube videos by running ads, but we’re about sharing our music and videos with people. It’s more rewarding for us to do it that way. So we sell music, we sell merchandise and we tour – just like a normal band.