HEADLINERS

out perform // outlast // out work

Rocketman

NathanLeach

I used to have this dream that one day I would make something that really caught on- some video or article, something that everyone wanted to show to all their friends. It wasn’t that I wanted celebrity status, I just wanted to know that people were into something I’d made. Flash back in time to two years ago. A couple of new guys, brothers, start training as waiters at the restaurant I was working at. Funny guys, down-to-earth, the kind of guys you’d want to have over for dinner. I worked with them for probably a month or so before I found out that they were musicians. One of the brothers had started his own music channel on YouTube, featuring himself, his siblings, sometimes even a mob of cousins, aunts, his mom, etc. One afternoon I had the chance to go listen to the brothers practicing their music in person. I was shocked. Nathan Leach was so comfortable and confident in his voice, and his brother, Ben, was a great compliment. I knew then that I had witnessed true musical talent, free of computer effects and editing, just pure, clean voice. The Leach brothers and I eventually left that restaurant, but we remained distant friends (though spread out all across South Carolina for school). Nathan continued to record his videos by himself or with Ben or Eva, their younger sister for a couple of years. Then came January 25, 2015.

I was absentmindedly perusing Facebook when I stumbled upon an article by The San Francisco Globe entitled “Talented Siblings Sing ‘Hero’ in a beautiful duet. My jaw dropped. There on my screen were the faces of my friend Nathan and his sister Eva staring back at me. I clicked back to YouTube to discover that the views on this video had already climbed by several hundred thousand. The next day one of Nathan’s friends posted “Help [Nathan] get 1 million views on YouTube by the end of the night!” None of us could have guessed what was in store. Over the next week, dozens of websites began to pick up the story using attention-grabbing titles like “Mom Starts Filming Her 2 Shy Kids. Seconds later? I Gasped.” and “Shy Siblings Have Incredible Harmony”. Celebrities started to watch and share the video as well, including YouTube sensations Walk Off the Earth, “Little People Big World”‘s Matt Rolloff, and Glenn Beck. In real time we watched the video spread across the world, surpassing 11,000,000 views (that’s 11 million) in a few short weeks. News stations and late night shows started contacting Nathan, and for a while every eye seemed to be on him. Amidst all the people grabbing at him, I had the opportunity to talk with Nathan about these experiences.

 

INTERVIEW

[I began by opening the floor to Nathan to talk a little bit about himself and his channel]

Nathan: Originally, I started the channel to get myself playing guitar again. It was freshman year of college, and I had stopped taking lessons my junior year of high school. I felt like I was straying away from my musical roots, and I felt like I needed to pursue music myself in order to explore what I could do with it. The channel forces me to not only constantly discover new music and broaden my musical tastes, but to also challenge myself to constantly improve. The channel has given me an avenue to have good times with friends through the collaborative process, some friends I never would have known to be musically talented! Some highlights of the channel have been reconnecting with friends from elementary school who see the post on their Facebook feed, having our video posted on the Walk Off the Earth page, and getting some free stuff from Jimmy Kimmel!

1. For our guests who don’t know you yet, would you mind introducing yourself?
My name’s Nathan Leach, an aspiring musician hailing from South Carolina and current student at USC Columbia.
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2. On January 25th, the San Francisco Globe shared one of your YouTube videos, causing it’s popularity to skyrocket. What was that like?
It was really bizarre. I was playing a game of beach volleyball with some friends when a friend of mine posted the link to the Globe article on my Facebook timeline. I checked the video views and it had jumped about 100,000 views in the past hour. I looked to my friends and said something like “I think my cover of Hero is going viral!” After some celebratory praise, we just continued to play volleyball. I called my sister that night, and she told me to call her back because she didn’t want to miss Downton Abbey!
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3. What’s next for you?
I’m going to continue writing original material and hopefully one day my sister and I can produce an album together. I also am trying to play more gigs around Charleston and Columbia to get better at performing.
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4. Your family is prominent in so many of your videos. How did they react when they found out how popular your channel had become?
They were very excited about it, my dad especially. He literally reads every single comment on all of our videos; there was a span of time for about a week when he would get 4-5 hours of sleep a night because he would just be scrolling through the comments.
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5. Is there anything you would like to say to everyone who has been watching your videos?

I just want to thank everyone for your continued support for our music, it means the world to me!! I had no idea that we would ever have this much attention, so it’s all very humbling to hear so much love for our videos. I also want to thank the San Francisco Globe, Glen Beck, and Walk Off the Earth for sharing our video. Through them, our video reached a much larger audience than I could have ever deemed possible! Thanks so much guys!

6. What inspired you to pursue music?
Growing up in a musical household made it hard to not have a love for music right off the bat, so I would say that my main inspiration for my musical passion is my family who fostered my musical growth.
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7. Can you give us any trivia about yourself?
Despite popular assumption, me and Eva were not homeschooled. Many people say that we sound like the Carpenters, but I had never even heard of them before Hero went viral. My mom is horrified that we filmed the Hero video in a dirty kitchen; some people have called her out for it, let me just dispel those rumors: she is normally one of the most OCD people alive when it comes to cleaning.
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FINAL THOUGHTS

Nathan’s journey (and his family’s) is a great reminder to me of why I write these interviews. I find people that are so humble and kind in spite of their obvious talent, and I can’t help but want to tell the world about them. Nathan’s success does not depend on gaining more fame or money. Success is making the world a better place, and in that regard, he’s definitely found it.

Proud to know and proud to share this remarkable story, I’m Chancy Johnson, here to bring them~

Out of the Woodwork.

 

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2015 by .
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