Saturday, May 9, 2009

Colorado Music: Obscure to Mainstream

It’s odd no one ever really thought of Colorado as being a big market for popular music. A state filled with huge cities including the capital Denver, and Colorado Springs, you’d expect to find tons of blossoming talent. But recently, all that has changed.

Acts have been coming out of Colorado and becoming mainstream artists, since The Fray in 2005. Most recently the Electronic Hip Hop duo, 3OH!3 has become the latest act to hit it big. Their debut single, “Don’t Trust Me,” was available digitally since mid 2008 along with their album Want, and since the course of its release it has become the band’s breakout hit. Thanks to being added to radio in early 2009 and increased sales on iTunes, “Don’t Trust Me,” has managed to currently reach number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and become a platinum certified single. The Boulder, Colorado band’s style introduces infectious electronic beats mixed with captivating yet at times frivolous lyrics. Uniquely, the spelling and name 3OH!3 actually comes from their hometown’s area code, 303, which covers the Denver and Boulder area.

Flotbots, became a part of mainstream music in 2008 along with 3OH!3. The Denver formed Alternative Hip Hop group’s debut single “Handlebars,” became a Top 40 hit reaching, number 37 on the Hot 100 and number 3 on Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Flobots released their major label debut album Fight With Tools in Ocotber of 2007. Second single “Rise” peaked at number 33 on Hot Modern Rock Tracks in 2008 as well.

Introduced to the world by producer Timbaland, OneRepublic has quite possibly become one of the biggest acts to come out of Colorado. Started in Colorado Springs by lead singer Ryan Tedder and guitarist Zach Filkins, OneRepublic has went on to have their platinum selling debut single “Apologize,” nearly top the Hot 100, peaking at number 2. The band quickly came to fame primarily thanks to association with Timbaland and eventually released their now platinum selling debut album Dreaming Out Loud in November of 2007. “Stop And Stare,” became their second successful single, and peaked at number 12 on the Hot 100. Since OneRepublic became the well-known group it is today, Tedder has also found time to venture into producing and songwriting for other artists as well; Most commonly known for co-writing Leona Lewis’s number 1 “Bleeding Love,” and Beyonce’s Top 10, “Halo.”

The band, who initially brought Colorado music to mainstream, was undoubtedly The Fray in 2005. The Fray found success by creating commercially friendly Pop Rock tunes, heavily driven by piano. After releasing “Over My Head (Cable Car),” as their first single they became a well respected mainstream band. With their follow-up “How To Save A Life,” they even became more successful with promotion from various television shows including ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; catapulting their album to double platinum status in return. Returning in late 2008 with their self titled album’s lead single “You Found Me,” they earned an impressive third platinum selling Hot 100 Top 10 hit.

Clearly unthought-of markets are becoming the place to find breakout artists and bands. After seeing such bands earn respect and achieve success from Colorado, it will indeed be interesting to see what will be next to come out of the Rocky Mountain state. Who knows maybe the next biggest act could come out of a little town/city near you!

1 comment:

  1. "Never trust a hoe..." lol! I love that song! Colorado is coming up!!! :)