Vulnerable and full of emotion, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino give everything in the music video next to Christina Aguilera. “Say Something” is a pop ballad that has been viewed more than 145 million times on YouTube, and has sold 6 million downloads around the world. The song is sweet and sad – but very honest and therefore touching. What it’s like to be picked up by one of the biggest female singers of our time due to your raw talent and inspiration – and how to find your voice afterwards. An interview with A Great Big World.
A bit shy and then again like an old married couple Ian Axel, the one with the curly hair, and Chad Vaccarino sit down and talk business. Which is personal, if you are a band that is successful around the world and has sold out concert halls from Tokyo to Berlin – especially if you have known each other since college.
“It was never our intention to be pop stars. I mean, not that we are pop stars,” Chad says. “‘Say Something’ got into the pop world and found success there.” "As an unknown band, “imagine getting a call from Christina Aguilera,” Chad says. “It was mind-blowing.” She contacted them out of the blue, after the song was part of the American TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and recorded their version of the song together. She told them just to press “record” and see what happens.
“After that moment our lives changed drastically,” Ian says. What followed was an eye-opening year, with challenges and a bittersweet process of growing into a global brand, while still preserving what made them Ian and Chad, the duo, in the first place. “Something we wrote has connected with millions and millions of people, and it’s so hard to even process that,” Ian says.