Vine sensation Us The Duo shared their remarkable talent, fairy tale romance, and Vine stardom with fans at the Kallang Theater in Singapore on Dec. 10.
Us the Duo performs their breathtaking love song, ‘Take Me Home,’ on the Kallang Theater stage on Dec. 10. Photo by Pamela Chan
According to the couple, their story began like this. Once upon a time, there were two musicians who lived on opposite sides of the United States – the man in North Carolina and the woman in California. They both shared a profound passion for music and were both exceptionally talented in singing. Each was trying to launch a career of their own, but neither was succeeding.
One day, the man, who had taken a trip to California, decided to take part in a music video as an extra. Little did he know that the woman had been invited to that very same shoot. As soon as he had stepped into the house, the man looked around and immediately was drawn to the sight of the woman.
“Among the crowded room, she absolutely lit up. She was beautiful,” he recalled during the Singapore concert. They began talking and everything between them instantly clicked. For the next three hours, they didn’t leave each other’s side.
“After the shoot, I went outside to my car, where my friend was waiting to drive me home,” the man recalls. “I got in, I turned to him, and I said, ‘I’m going to marry that woman. I know it.’”
In late 2013, the world was introduced to the folk-pop-singing, utterly-in-love music couple, Michael and Carissa Alvarado – together known as Us the Duo, or Us.
After gaining 28+ million of views on their YouTube videos, Us was encouraged to write their own music. Their first album, “No Matter Where You Are,” was released in December 2013. But even after promoting the album on YouTube with their millions of views and subscribers, “that wasn’t enough to make [their] presence known,” Michael shared with Billboard magazine. “We knew we had to find another avenue.”
An original song by Us called “Missin’ You Like Crazy,” which was featured on their original album – “No Matter Where You Are.”
Luckily, in November 2013, the pair had started experimenting with the newly-released smartphone app, Vine. Vine is an application that allows you to share short, 6-second clips of essentially whatever you want. Us decided to use this unique feature to share their talent with a wider audience.
They recorded covers of popular songs, ranging from John Legend to Lenka to Florence and the Machine, and posted them with the hashtag “#6SecondCovers.” At the time, they had roughly 4,000 followers.
At their concert in Singapore, Carissa shared with the audience, “We didn’t have many people who watched our Vines at all. But one week, we decided to post more and more, and by the end of that week, we had over 1 million followers. We had no idea how it happened.”
Us continued pursuing their passion. They posted more Vines and more YouTube videos. Soon their hard work paid off. In March 2014, they signed a record deal with Republic Records, a major record label that is signed with many well-known artists, such as Ariana Grande, Nickelback, and Nicki Minaj. Later that month, they re-released their album “No Matter Where You Are,” with an addition of elegant, new love tracks.
Today, Us the Duo is soaring higher than they ever have before – tours, concerts, and more video and song releases. Last week, they flew to Singapore, and two days ago, they held a concert for the very first time in Asia.
“We’re so glad to be experiencing this moment with you all,” Michael shared with the audience. “Our very first performance in Asia? This is amazing. We’re never going to forget this.”
Us the Duo’s six-second cover Vine of a hit pop song, “All About That Bass.”
Us structured their performance into the story of how they met and fell in love. They sang a number of their original songs, including “Take Me Home,” “Never Gonna Leave You,” “Final Bow,” and “The Banana Song.” The stage was filled only with instruments, microphones, and a stool. Everything was raw, genuine, and completely focused on the music.
The interaction they had with the audience and each other contributed to the down-to-earth, sincere aura they both radiated. Likewise, their palpable love and rare talent made for a truly heart-warming night.
It’s common knowledge that YouTube can have a profound impact on aspiring artists’ lives. A video of one singing, dancing, or showcasing her talent could be seen by anyone in the world. One lucky view by the right person – Ellen DeGeneres or a manager of a record label – could instantly launch a career.
But recently, more websites and applications have become just as important to musicians. Vine is just one example. The combination of the “follower-following” and “repost” system has the ability to create a high status for those aspiring to make it big with their passion.
Us the Duo’s journey has proven that a six-second video on Vine can turn hopeful musicians’ lives into fairy tales.