News / USA

Sudden Internet Fame Helps Croatian Cellists Snag US Record Deal

YouTube video gets '2Cellos' invited on tour with Elton John

Multimedia

Audio

Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser achieved near instant fame soon after they uploaded an inexpensively-made video of themselves playing Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit “Smooth Criminal.”

After hitting it big on YouTube, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser signed a record deal and went on tour with Sir Elton John.
After hitting it big on YouTube, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser signed a record deal and went on tour with Sir Elton John.

The video went viral, garnering three million hits on YouTube in three days. Shortly afterward, the young Croatian cellists received a telephone call from Sir Elton John inviting them on his 2011 concert tour.

A record contract with Sony Masterworks soon followed.

Calling themselves “2Cellos,” their new CD of the same name features the duo's own arrangements of pop and rock standards by the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Nine Inch Nails and U2.

“It’s like the American Dream, really,” says Hauser, in his Croatian-inflected English.

He realizes that 2Cellos might never have achieved instant success even 15 years ago. Record companies might view their kind of music as too risky to produce and promote.

"But when they see the reaction on the Internet, they see how huge our fan base is and we are doing something new, they signed us," says Hauser.

The duo, 2Cellos, with Sir Elton John
The duo, 2Cellos, with Sir Elton John

The two had studied abroad, as many classically trained young musicians do, hoping for opportunities.

“But then it turned out,” says Sulic, “you don’t have to go anywhere."

"You can stay with a few sheep and cows in the village and make it big," adds Hauser with a laugh.

Besides making it big, the pair wants to push beyond the traditional boundaries of the cello.

"Because in classical music the cello is used in only one way,” says Hauser. “And the cello can rock. And we are young, crazy, passionate. We feel there is an animal inside of us that wants to explode.”

And explode they do, with songs like Guns N' Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle,” and Michal Jackson’s “Human Nature.”  Sulic and Hauser hope this sort of music will expose young people to the wilds of the cello, while introducing them to rock and pop classics of their parents’ generation.

"It really hurts us when we see the kind of music they listen to. It’s like fast food," says Hauser, "and I don’t like it."

Sulic thinks contemporary club music is to blame. “Melody is usually only two notes," he says. "Where is the beauty in that?"

It’s easy to perceive the beauty in 2Cellos’ rendition of “With You or Without You" by U2,  in “Misirlou,” the theme from the film "Pulp Fiction," and in Sting’s “Fragile.”

Because their rigorous classical training is evident even to a casual listener, some have called their album a “crossover” phenomenon. It's a label Sulic resists.  

"Some crossover artists, they take classical masterpiece like a Beethoven symphony and add a techno beat, and that’s called ‘crossover,’ he says. "We try to do it the opposite. We try to take really good rock and pop music and turn it into classical masterpiece by bringing to this music this other dimension.”

“We want to show that music is universal. It doesn’t matter what style it belongs to," adds Hauser. "It’s our mission to spread great music and attract as many young people as possible and make the world a better place."

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs