YouTube pioneers prep to wow Surrey crowd with their creativity

Prior to Fusion Festival, Canadian band releases new cover of Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You’

Walk Off The Earth epitomizes 21st-century music marketing.

Think about it: How popular would some of your favourite bands of the 1970s, ’80s or ’90s have been, had Youtube been around back then?

Just as “video killed the radio star,” Youtube is offering musicians an entirely different platform with which to expose their product to the masses.

There’s arguably no band in the world that does it better than Walk Off The Earth, which takes to the stage at Surrey Fusion Festival later this month.

The free-admission, 11th-annual festival takes place July 21-22 at Holland Park in North Surrey, just west of King George Boulevard at 100th Avenue. Event details are posted at surreyfusionfestival.ca. Walk Off the Earth will perform on the Saturday night of the two-day festival, starting at 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesday (July 10), the band released a new video for a cover of Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You.” Check it out below.

Band member Ryan Marshall credits the evolution of social media for the band’s broad appeal.

“I guess YouTube has a lot to do with it,” he said. “Our videos are very visual … a lot of stuff going on. We find that young parents can plop their kids in front of our videos and we babysit for them for a few hours. There are so many colours, and we use a lot of kids’ toys, and there’s a lot to see. And whether it’s our original music, or one of our covers, it’s catchy, it’s hooky, and it’s something that all ages can really gravitate to.”

Walk Off The Earth were pioneers in YouTube music marketing. The band has grown alongside the platform.

“It’s funny. We got involved with YouTube when it was pretty new; YouTube wasn’t really even a thing yet. So it was harder back then, only because YouTube wasn’t recognized as a legitimate source of music, like radio, or anything like that. So it wasn’t because we weren’t big, or people didn’t like our music that made it harder; it’s because they didn’t know how to collect money off it.”

Marshall said there have been challenges with certain songs, not the least of which was their breakout video, a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which amassed more than 175 million hits in the first four months. In fact, WOTE could arguably be credited with making the song an international hit for Gotye.

“They took that down on us three times, because Gotye hadn’t released that song on North American radio yet,” he explained. “So we kind of blew the song up before they were ready, marketing-wise. So they shut us down… it wasn’t because they didn’t want us to (post it); they just wanted to make sure everyone knew it was a Gotye song first.”

Marshall said the YouTube success of WOTE has spawned a whole different marketing tool for the band, as other artists are approaching them to help get their songs heard.

“It’s the same way as to how bands used to go to the radio, now they are going to YouTube artists, saying ‘can you do a cover of our new song that’s coming out …’ So it has definitely evolved into a new marketing tool… a new way of marketing, and getting music out to the masses.”

Sheer musical talent aside, Walk Off The Earth’s creativity is a big hook for the band. Marshall, a multi-instrumentalist who plays everything from the guitar to the kazoo, said that’s a total “team” effort.

“We’ve got five really special people. We all get along and we all have different influences and when we find the right mix … you put it all together and it creates this really cool sound.

“We always had a really organic style but once we started getting involved in the YouTube stuff, we really kind of found our sound. Whether it took doing a couple of cover songs, or whatever it was, it all clicked.”

Just Posted

A Surrey Mountie’s tale of reconciling her family’s history with the LGBTQ+ ‘purge’

PART TWO: Cpl. Sturko is spokeswoman of Surrey RCMP after her great uncle was ‘purged’ from the RCMP

Pollinator conservation area aims to save bees directly, and through education

Bees’ survival is challenged around the world, but action is being taken to help them in Langley

Delta mosque holds silent prayer vigil for Christchurch victims

Event emphasized the importance of acceptance, solidarity in the wake of the attack on Muslim worshippers

18 months conditional term for indecent caller

Incidents reported in Surrey, White Rock and Langley

White Rock water plant operational by month’s end

Utilities manager’s talk to Peace Arch Rotary also covers global water issues

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

BREAKING: BC Ferry crashes onto terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock in Langdale, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay

5 to start your day

Fatal crash in Coquitlam, stranger climbs onto balcony and lights fire, and more

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Video of ‘shocking, chilling execution’ opens B.C. murder hearing

Sentencing underway for Brandon Woody after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Nanaimo

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Most Read