From College to Arenas: Meet Tony Ann, The Guy Whose YouTube Covers Landed Him on The Chainsmokers' Tour
publish date: 2017-06-09
Like most millennial musicians, 23-year-old Tony Ann sought Internet fame by posting covers on YouTube. As a contemporary writing and production student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, he would often book practice rooms to arrange piano covers of his favorite pop songs. Little did he know that one YouTube cover would change his life.
In March 2016, he recorded and posted a mash-up cover of two of The Chainsmokers’ biggest hits: “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down.” He avidly shared the video on social media -- going so far as to tag The Chainsmokers’ accounts, as well as Drew Taggart and Alex Pall’s personal accounts -- and though the response from his friends was overwhelmingly positive, the video only garnered a few thousand views.
His world was turned upside down, however, when Taggart commented, “This so fire!!!” on Ann’s Instagram video. From there, his wildest dreams became reality.
Saw the @thechainsmokers at @ultra and what can I say, they're #amazing ! I had to do a cover of two of my favorite songs from them , here is #dontletmedown ft @theofficialdaya and #roses ft @rozessounds ! Full video is in my bio, hope you like it ! @drewtaggart @alexpall you two are amazing ! #lovethissong #acousticversion #acoustic #coversong #electronic #house #edm #dance #fun #ableton #logic #keyboard #good #music #awesome #shit #chainsmokers #piano #pianist #pianocover
A post shared by tony ann (@tonyann_) on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:18pm PDT
“They.had this idea of [me] touring [with them] and mentioned it to me [in November]," Ann recalls to . "I was stoked about it, obviously. Nothing was confirmed yet though, so in my head, I was like, ‘These things usually fall through.’ I didn't want to get too pumped up about it in case it didn't happen, but near the end of the year, they confirmed with me.”
Ann was officially invited to join Taggart and Pall's live band, alongside another keyboardist and a drummer. “It was all just from a YouTube video, really," Ann marvels. "It’s pretty nuts. I got very lucky.”
As the Memories… Do Not Open Tour comes to a close with two final hometown shows in New York City (June 9 and 10 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens), had a chance to get to know Ann better and see how touring has treated him. In his words: “I’m loving every single moment of it. It’s really the best time ever, and I’m sad it’s ending, to be honest.”