MANILA, Philippines – They were as low-key as could be in person, though they are bona fide music stars with a sizable following online.
Alex Goot and the band Against the Current, including Chrissy Costanza, Will Ferri, and Dan Gow, made their way to the Philippines for the Manila leg of their tour lineup.
Speaking to members of the press, the musicians shed light on the process of self-discovery – given that they operate as artists in the age of social media and rose to fame not by being discovered by a large studio, but by putting out their music to fans.
Asked what they would be doing if music careers didn't work out for them, here's what they said:
"I would probably be doing something with cameras, honestly, like photography and video work," said Alex. "...but if there's nothing creative at all, then I reeeeeally don't know. I've only ever really been good at music."
Dan and Will echoed this sentiment, but Chrissy surprisingly gave a different answer, saying: "I would be doing either personal finance or some kind of entrepreurship management."
The business of YouTube
With all their success, it's still all about the music for the members of Against the Current – but that they do still check their numbers and pageviews once the video's up.
Things are a little more intense for Alex. "I go through phases where I'll look at every number...and think, 'All right, what's working, what's not?' It's almost like I'm switching off my creative side and I'm thinking more analytically about what should I do," he said.
One thing he's learned, though: "I think it's important to remember that the entire rest of the real business world doesn't work that way, and keep a respect for how it does work," he said.
"We've all learned how to really run every part of the business," says Chrissy. "Because as much as people don't realize it, it's a business...there's finances, there's marketing...we all know how to do all of that ourselves."
For Will, networking is key. "If we didn't do that first collab with Alex, we wouldn't have had the jumpstart that we had...everyone knows everyone even in this category of business," he said.
For example, Will says that he and Dan, who have been playing together since there 11 years old, were Alex's fans before they all worked together, and now they have the same manager. The pair met Chrissy in 2011 through a mutual friend – and the rest is history.
Watch out for the concert!
"[Fans on] Social media, Manila, Philippines in general, have always been huge supporters, so we're hoping that will translate to the show," said the band, hoping (and joking) that they hope fans will "go crazy" versus staying seated or tweeting the whole time.
"Philippines [fans] have definitely always been very very excited since Day 1, so we're really really stoked," said Chrissy.
The musicians say that fans should expect a very energetic show with a couple of surprises. "We'll be playing our entire new album Infinity, Alex will be doing some new stuff from his new EP, so new music definitely," they said.
Asked what song they'd dedicate to Filipino fans, the band said they'd dedicate "Comeback Kid" for anyone dreaming big.
Alex says that "Right Where I Belong," is what he'd dedicate to audiences. "It's a ballad about being happy about where you are in life, surrendering to the desire to keep changing," he said.
The concert is set for Saturday, August 30, at the CCP main theater.
Monique Lualhati will be the front act for the show.
The stops for the muscians' tour include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Though Alex is well known for his covers, particularly his cover of The Fray's "How to Save a Life" with Kurt Hugo Schneider, and Justin Bieber's "Beauty and a Beat," with Chrissy Costanza and Kurt Schneider, he's passionate about his own music too.
He told Confront Magazine back in 2012, "I definitely prefer originals. The whole point of me doing covers was to get fans and show them that I have my own music to share. And that’s worked really well too."
Known for being driven and for creating a career out of fame online in the age of YouTube music success, which makes it possible for artists to make their music available to fans without a middleman if they wish, Alex has thrown everything he's got into his music, living out what he told Confront in 2012: he hasn't got a Plan B.
Listen to "Lightning" by Alex here:
Petite in person but with vibrant energy and stage presence (plus those vocal chops), it's hard to believe that Chrissy is only 19.
A favorite online for her powerful voice as well as her signature beauty look, Chrissy's enjoyed plenty of success on YouTube both with her band Against the Current, and her own work, including collaborations with fellow YouTuber Kurt Schneider.
Against the Current and Alex's cover of Owl City's "Good Time" has over 16 million views on YouTube.
Her YouTube channel also has vlogs and Q&As with Chrissy, as well as makeup tutorials showing fans how to do their own makeup looks.
Listen to Against the Current's "Infinity," from their EP of the same name, here: