YouTube stars stay indie

YouTube stars stay indie
American duo Kurt Hugo Schneider (left) and Sam Tsui are known for their wildly popular YouTube music videos, which average at least a few hundred thousand views each.

They are known for their wildly popular YouTube music videos, which average at least a few hundred thousand views each.

But unlike Canadian pop star Justin Bieber or Filipino singer Charice Pempengco, both of whom rose to fame through the video-sharing website and later signed on with music recording companies, American duo Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider are adamant about staying indie.

"The great thing about working with YouTube is that it democratises the way in which people get their content," said video editor and musician Schneider, 25, in a recent interview. "Artists who sign on with record labels don't have a choice about what music executives tell them to do, but with YouTube, you are able to pull out the exact content you want."

The pair, who have been collaborating on videos since high school when they lived just a street away from each other in Pennsylvania, will be performing here for the first time at the Kallang Theatre on Sept 12.

They are also performing in Hong Kong on Sept 15 as part of their Asia tour.

They first garnered media attention with a Michael Jackson medley video that Schneider arranged and produced and which Tsui performed in.

The four-minute video has drawn more than 30 million views since it was uploaded in 2009, when both were attending Yale University.

Since then, they have made appear- ances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2010, and have become popular for performing Bruno Mars medleys, Lady Gaga tributes and original songs.

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