A few months ago we celebrated a killer milestone: Independent band Boyce Avenue reached over 5 million digital downloads of their music.  We were lucky enough to meet the band of brothers and see their live show (it rocked), and can say that not only are they incredibly talented and driven artists, but they’re also really nice guys.

They’ve seen such great success in their career so far, that we wanted to ask a few questions: how’d they do it, how can other independent artists do it, and what’s coming up next?  So check out what they had to say…

How did you get started in music?

Growing up, music was always part of our family. We used to sing together all the time! Fabian and I (Alejandro) took guitar lessons for a few months in high school and I was part of the high school chorus.  In 2001, we really started taking music seriously, playing together in our parent’s garage and uploading our first video to YouTube.

You’ve had experience with a major label and you’re now releasing music independently through your label 3 Peace Records. Can you tell us a little about your experiences with each?

Being signed to a label was all part of our journey, bringing us to where we are today, but it just wasn’t the right move for a band like us at the time. Being independent gives us room to continue to grow organically and it really gives us a more hands-on approach to building our careers.  All of us are very involved in everything from the music and art to the business decisions, and I think that is something that makes our story unique and shows others that anything is possible!

What kind of team do you think an artist needs to be successful? Has your team evolved over the years?

We are all very involved in every stage of most decisions so it’s important to us that we have a team that we can trust and one that is in communication with all of us for decisions. To be successful it is important to have a team that you know always has your best interests at heart and genuinely cares about your music and message.

Where do you see independent artists in the current music industry model?

With outlets like YouTube and social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a lot easier to get your music out there. The hard part is being heard, so being unique and true to yourself is important!

Where do think the music industry is headed?

With all of the technology available as well as accessible, the music industry has a bright future and we’re excited to be part of it. The beauty is honestly that there is no way of knowing exactly where the industry is going, you just have to be open to change and evolve with the industry and your fans.

I’d like to switch gears a little and first thank you for being part of the TuneCore artist community since 2007!  We’re excited to celebrate a TuneCore milestone with you—5 million digital song downloads! An amazing accomplishment.  Can you talk about how TuneCore is part of your team?

TuneCore allows us to really share our music across multiple channels and reach new markets ALL over the world. It really changed the game of distribution and gave the power to the artist and the fans.

Do you actively manage your TuneCore account?  For example, do you use the daily iTunes, Spotify and Amazon trend reports to look at the results of marketing efforts?

Absolutely. I think it’s very important to stay on top of how your fans are consuming and engaging with your music. The industry is constantly evolving, and studying the reports has even specifically altered the way we title and annotate every single one of our videos.

You’ve been really successful at creating an international fan base. What advice would you give an independent artist struggling to generate international growth?

From day one it’s been about international growth for us. Touring has definitely influenced our international fan base. That’s one of the main pieces of advice I would give. Additionally, using TuneCore, we have been able to get our music out to the different markets. The Internet (specifically YouTube) is valuable for crossing different markets and is definitely a great way to reach international fans. Our fans are a huge part of spreading the word by sharing our videos and songs, which we never take for granted!

Over the summer you hit 1 billion views on your channel, something only 2 other artists have accomplished.  Congratulations! To what do you attribute this milestone?

Our fans! We have the greatest fans in the world and their support watching, sharing and telling their friends about our music has truly helped us reach and exceed that 1 billion mark.

You’ve released cover songs as well as original work.  At this point in your career have other artists asked you to cover their songs?

Funny cause not too long ago Michael Buble and his team actually approached us about covering his song “It’s A Beautiful Day” and he is such a legend that it was truly an honor to do so. We’ve also heard back from many artists that they enjoyed our take on their song like Rascal Flatts, Jordin Sparks, Justin Timberlake, Lifehouse, Christina Perri, The Calling, the Goo Goo Dolls, Vanessa Carlton and maybe others i’m forgetting. It’s beyond flattering to hear back from the original performer!

Your independent success has really become something for other indie artists to model their careers after. What are the top 3 tips you’d give an independent artist looking to grow his/her career?

1. Embrace the internet and all of its outlets.

2. Engage your fans in a way that is unique to you and who you are and who you want to be as an artist.

3. Surround yourself with a team you trust and love.

To wrap things up…what can we look forward to from Boyce Avenue next?

In 2014 we are releasing our 2nd full studio album with all our own original songs, most of which we’ve produced ourselves. We love playing covers, but our original music is really where our heart is. We will also be touring all over the world, so watch for us in a city near you!

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