New artist profile: Twenty One Pilots

Spring is all about rebirth and renewal, and this fresh, new band breathes life into “hip-rock,” changing our perspective and gaining the attention of influential media outlets.

Twenty One PilotsHow do I describe these musicians?

What if I tell you this band raps like Eminem with a bit of Gym Class Heroes flair, sings like Ryan Tedder from One Republic and has instrumentals like Owl City?!

Which artist names Ryan Tedder as an

You may be perplexed by how that would sound, but you’re interested now, aren’t you? Come a little closer and find out more.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, the high-flying band Twenty One Pilots has already managed to stack up some plaudits this year — with one coming from MTV, which selected them as the first band for its “Artists to Watch” campaign. Twenty One Pilots released an EP entitled Three Songs in 2012, thanks to record label Fueled By Ramen, and they debuted the album Vessel in January of this year.

Guess which other artists call Fueled By Ramen home >>

Another mega news source, Billboard, pegged them as one of “13 Artists to Watch in 2013” — and justifiably so. Acquiring a slot at SXSW 2013 is not an easy feat, and that attests to their burgeoning likability.

“Twenty One Pilots” may be an odd name, but according to the band’s website, it’s derived from the play “All My Sons,” which is about 21 pilots who lost their lives because someone chose not do the right thing. The band chose their name as a reminder to always do the right thing.

The talented pair consists of Tyler Joseph on vocals, piano and keyboards and Josh Dun on drums.

Rather than getting comfortable with the increasing likelihood of the fame they have dreamt of, the band confessed to MTV, “And now that we do have people’s attention a little more, that aspect hasn’t changed about us; we’re still going to make sure you remember us when you come see us play.”

The band fought feverishly to get out of Ohio and into the spotlight, and MTV said success happened partly due to the nature of their live shows. Their shows overflow with “energy, acrobatics, and theatrics” — how many alternative bands right now do you know that have all three? Hopeful up-and-comers, take note: These may be the ingredients that set apart the good from the great.

New year, new resolution

MTV also claimed that the band’s mission for the year is “global domination,” quoting the band as saying, “Well, one of our goals for this year is to be a headliner, a ‘hard ticket’ as they say… And our dream? We want to be the biggest band in the world.”

So let’s sum it up: MTV, Billboard and I are all overjoyed about the discovery of this band.

While you admire their ambition, also admire their latest release, “Holding On to You,” below!

Photo courtesy of Alberto Reyes/


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