Like many 12-year-old girls, this young lady is a big fan of the Jonas Brothers and listens to top-40 radio station KIIS-FM. Yet she's been occasionally open to new artists such as Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, even before they had hits. What I found striking about NeverShoutNever! is that he is an indie artist with no label, nor radio airplay. She heard about him the old fashioned way and perhaps the best way to build artist loyalty--through the word-of-mouth of a friend.
Funny thing is, I bet most people reading this had never heard of him before unless they happened to tune into MTV's Total Request Live one day in July 2008. That exposure may have gotten the ball rolling. In late December 2008 and January 2009, the track topped Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart for four non-consecutive weeks, besting titles by Lady GaGa, Madonna, and Britney Spears. In "Bigcitydreams," Ingle plays an acoustic guitar, but what initially made me think NeverShoutNever! was a unique act is the fact that he plays a ukulele on several of his songs like a young Don Ho for the emo set. Check out his latest single, "Happy" below.
Although I can't say that NeverShoutNever! is my cup of tea, I can see the appeal. Ingle is a handsome young lad with emo-boy hair, a sweet voice, and songs that hit the young ladies where it counts. As I played the video above for that 12-year-old girl, she literally held her hand to her heart and swooned. Then I asked the unthinkable, "Do you like him better than the Jonas Brothers?" Shockingly her reply was, "Yes," said with a little regret, as if she was betraying her beloved Nick.
Much of NeverShoutNever!'s initial following came from the act's presence on MySpace, but now Ingle is taking the show on the road. On Friday (April 3), he'll play as part of the Bamboozle Road Show at the House of Blues in Anaheim. This Saturday (April 4), he plays at Bamboozle Left at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, then he'll be featured on Bamboozle Road Show dates throughout the U.S. during April. In late July and early August, he's slated to appear on Vans Warped Tour dates in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City.
With this touring exposure and the word-of-mouth from swooning 12-year-old girls, I think NeverShoutNever! is destined for bigger things. How about you? While you ponder that question, have a listen to another NSN! track, "Smelyalata."