Vine is filled with plenty of musical parodies and questionable covers, but is it possible to actually express genuine musical ability in a six-second video? Yes, and it’s also possible to land a record deal.
The folk duo Us — husband and wife Michael and Carissa Rae Alvarado — are now the first musical act to land a record deal from Vine. On March 18, the couple signed with Republic Records, according to Billboard. They’d been releasing videos on YouTube to promote their album No Matter Where You Are, but were having a hard time finding the sweet spot, in terms of exposure.
Last fall, they started doing six-second covers of artists like Pharrell, Drake, and Selena Gomez on Vine, and created a unique way of filming just half their faces, which became their trademark. Eventually, their take on those popular artists and songs caught the attention of Vine megastars like Jerome Jarre. They now have more than 2 million followers, and were recently on Good Morning America.
Republic Records will be re-releasing No Matter Where You Are with a few new mixes of the album’s more radio-friendly tracks. This deal had an interesting exchange, however; Billboard reported that in their first meeting with Republic, the label asked the Alvarados questions about Vine and how to use it. The app’s demo now skews heavily toward teens, and using Vine as a promotional tool to reach that demo with new music is smart.
And part of this campaign extends to their fanbase, which helped them ascend in the first place: The duo recently asked fans to upload their own #NoMatterWhereYouAre videos to Vine. With this new model, if you want to get noticed, you’ve got to find a way to cut through the loops of noise and get to the point. Or at least find a melody people can engage with.
Image via UstheDuo/Vine