Amateur pen drummer Shane Bang has been making school supplies musical for eight years on his YouTube channel, and thanks to Sharpie, he’s now sharing his beats with the world as part of a new television ad campaign.
“I’d always wanted to be a drummer since I was a little kid, but my family couldn’t afford a drum set,” Bang told the Daily Dot. “Around middle school, I discovered while I was bored in class that I could make simple cadences by hitting my pens on my desk. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was pretty good, and I created a YouTube channel and uploaded my first video, just for the heck of it. I never thought it would blow up as much as it did. I have a lot of fun making my videos and creating new sounds I never thought I could make using just pens and other household objects. I like to think people enjoy the creativity, and that my videos help to stretch their imagination as well.”
Bang was flown to New York for the shoot and worked with a choreographer to create a routine suited for television. While he’s always told himself that pen drumming was just a hobby, the overall success of his YouTube and the outside opportunities he’s gotten even without being part of a multichannel network have left Bang optimistic about his video-making future.
“It seems like every year a new, crazy opportunity comes out of it,” he said. “For example, two years ago I did a small local commercial for Vans, the clothing company. I thought that was probably the peak of my ‘pen drumming career.’ Two years later, I get this call from Sharpie, and now I’m left wondering what else could come out of this.”
While he waits for the next big pen drumming moment, Bang is sharpening his skills on his Instagram with shorter-form beats and brainstorming other brands that might benefit from his tapping.
“I always thought Staples would be a great brand to make a video for,” he said. “I could imagine myself make a pretty cool beat with a bunch of school supplies.”