MANILA, Philippines – Their YouTube videos feature complex arrangements, completely new takes on popular songs, and – in some cases – up to nine different clones of the same singer, singing together in the same frame.
But when Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider performed for members of the media on June 23, Kurt played only the acoustic guitar; Sam’s only instrument was his voice.
“This song is actually the first original song we ever put out,” Sam told the crowd, saying that “Don’t Want an Ending” is often performed at the end of their shows as the rest of the audience sings along.
It was a special moment shared with a smaller audience, and now Rappler is sharing it with you.
The song appears in Sam's 2013 album Make It Up, which also contains other hits accompanied by popular videos on Kurt's YouTube channel.
The one number is a reminder that past Sam Tsui’s many clones and the famous mash-ups stringing together a too-many-to-count number of pop hits, Sam’s vocal range and Kurt’s playing are at the heart of the story. (READ: Sam Tsui, Kurt Hugo Schneider: From schoolmates to superstars)
Friends since middle school, starring in musicals together in high school, as schoolmates at Yale University, and later, as partners crafting a music career via YouTube, Sam and Kurt first gained widespread attention when their Michael Jackson medley spread like wildfire on the video-sharing site.
The strange but not unpleasant sight of six Sams (and one beat-boxing Kurt) spread across the stage, performing Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, hit home with fans and propelled the duo to YouTube fame.
More viral videos, one Hong-Kong/Singapore tour, and an album full of original songs later, Kurt and Sam continue to make music for their sizeable fan base on and offline. And on June 25 and 26, Kurt and Sam will play for their Filipino fans at the SMX convention center. (In Photos: Sam Tsui, Kurt Hugo Schneider arrive in Manila)
What can we expect from the concert? Yes, Sam and Kurt will be playing some of their biggest hits, including the covers and mash-ups, as well as some new material, too.
There was a time when one thousand views on YouTube constituted a “mini-freak-out” moment for Sam and Kurt. But now, with their most viewed video (a cover of Nelly’s “Just a Dream” with Christina Grimmie) getting more than 81 million views and counting, it’s clear that everything’s falling into a place for the duo, even as they find new ways to share their music with the world. – Rappler.com