Magic in the Making
Joanne C. Spencer
March 27, 2014
YouTube Magician Stuart Edge perfected the art of mixing magic and pranks which, in turn, earned him 1.7 Million followers. At this year’s Playlist Live event, held at the Caribe Royal Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, a new and unknown group, selected via YouTube videos, showed up and delivered a magic all their own. I expect they too, will reach an epic number of followers.
Taking charge of the Full Sail University stage and engaging an audience of attentive girls within moments of their appearance was the group, Far Young. This foursome had the girls screaming before Ohio born Eben spoke one word, and then, when he did… the crowd went nuts. This gave the boys the boost they needed to pull off their second live performance as a group. That’s right. It was only their second time together on stage. No one would have guessed. The set of four cover songs, which included the hits Classic, Say Something, Hold On, and my daughter’s favorite, Show Me, were obviously chosen to highlight each member’s unique voice and they did not disappoint. Before the end of the first song, the once small group had multiplied ten times over. As each note was belted out over the outdoor venue, the crowd grew larger. The atmosphere was electric and it was amazing to witness it all first hand. I still get goose bumps when I think about it.
The boys performed the selections like they had been together for far longer, thanks to their music producer Tim Coons and the choreographers at Rare Breed Society.
Many of you may recognize the name Tim Coons as the two-time Grammy nominated music producer of the Backstreet Boys. On March 20 th, he waved his magic wand again and signed the boys to a contract, making it official. From what I saw over the weekend, he is well on his way to creating more magic with Far Young. Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of talking with Tim about the boys and asked him a few questions:
Streamline Buzzer: I have to start out by asking the age old question, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in other words, were you looking to produce another boy band or did you happen to see one or more of the boys and say to yourself, “Hmmm, should I do it again?”
Tim: I was looking to produce another boy band but I wanted to take my time to find just the boys who, most importantly, were absolutely amazing singers first. I now have what I consider to be the youngest and strongest vocal group in music today. Absolutely amazing vocals. That is what I really enjoy and I feel the world will appreciate true singing talent.
Streamline Buzzer: Seeing them perform, onstage and together for the first time at the Winter Park Art Festival and only days after signing them, what was your initial feeling?
Tim: Total relief followed by absolute joy. To see a vision come true before your eyes is very satisfying.
Streamline Buzzer: The boys are literally from four different parts of the world. Was this intentional or a mere coincidence?
Tim: That is part of where the name comes from. The boys are from FAR away and they are veryYOUNG. I also like to say what Mike Fogle (father of Matt Fogle) says about the boys; that ‘they areyoung and want to go far.’ I did not want geography to hinder my search and this is why I searched farand wide.
Streamline Buzzer: Lastly, I know the boys have a big event coming up April 4th in Cincinnati, Ohio at the New Revolution Music Tour, after that, what plans do you have for them? Perhaps plans to get them into the studio to record some original music?
Tim: We will be in New Orleans with the New Revolution Music Tour on May 10th at the Joy Theater, followed by the Teen Hoot event in San Diego on June 18th. We are planning to record original music and some original covers in the coming months.
This writer found Mr. Coons to be as humble as the four boys. Upon meeting Far Young, I was first struck by the instant feeling of unity between the boys and the members of their team. There was this unseen electricity that seemed to pulse seamlessly among them and I found it refreshing and genuine.
Eben, who I mentioned earlier, is originally from Ohio. He is the oldest of the group, at 17, and I would describe him as emotionally energetic. When he performed “Say Something” I was in awe of the honest sensitivity he conveyed. A raw passion not usually seen in someone of his young age and his stage presence can only be described as daringly dynamic. Some of you may remember him from American Idol as one of the youngest performers to ever make the first twenty-four.
Fourteen-year-old Christian may be from Alabama, but his heart was at Playlist Live. His eyes are the first thing you notice but then he sings and bam, you hear his tone and it all comes together. He has this unique hip hop/soulful voice that literally changes right before your ears to accommodate the song he is singing so he owns it. Christian’s mom, Kay Wossilek, described how she felt the first time she saw the boys perform together, “The day before their first live performance, I had the opportunity to see them practice together for the first time and I was flooded with so many emotions but I was mostly just overwhelmed. I knew in that moment that their dreams were going to come true.”
Jackson, the international flavor of the ensemble, comes to the group all the way from New Zealand. I would describe his vocals as compelling and as smooth as his moves, which seem to come naturally to him. His shy smile has just a hint of humor behind it and I have a feeling he might be the prankster of the bunch. When it was his time to shine during the song “Hold On” he did just that and opened up his voice and his heart to the audience and held their attention until the moment the music ended.
Matt, the youngest of the group at 13 years old, has made a quite a name for himself in the YouTube world and is from Orlando, Florida. When he began belting out the lyrics to “Classic” I nearly got whiplash! A voice like that is show stopping; seriously, it was unexpected but welcomed by this lover of all genres of music. His vocals were crisp and clean. Then, you have his smile, which just sealed the deal for me; this kid has got what it takes, as is the case with all four of them.
Equally and without hesitation I say with the utmost confidence: this group has got all the makings of super stardom. You watch, you’ll see and you will agree that together, they are…magic in the making.
Be sure to check them out @ www.faryoung.com and also on facebook and twitter.
The next big thing. The next four, actually.