Last year we ran a program called Smule Presents for a year – where we highlighted our talented users through music videos to showcase our users in their creative light alongside working with the Smule Studio production team led by Alyce. You can find those videos here. During one of the last videos we presented, we flew him on alongside with 3 others around the globe to sing a mashup of two songs. You can find the video here (it’s pretty amazing.) This was a mash-up of “One Call Away” and “Love Yourself.” Over the new couple months, we will post all of the four individual videos we made while they were here (so maybe, more mini- Smule Presents)!
First up: Dan Loeillot! He has been on the app for almost 3 years and he resides in Paris where he performs. He generally sings a combination of R&B, rap, pop and deep soulful music. His music video was made on the song, “Apologize” by One Republic as a dedication to his friend.
1) Why did you pick the song you sang?
I decided to sing this song because when I was young, my best friend Eric used to play it on the piano and I would be singing singing. Now he lives in Australia, and I miss him a lot, this video is dedicated to him.
2) What challenges do you see as an upcoming artist?
The artist lifestyle is a challenge itself. The best challenge for me as an upcoming artist is to create music, be on stage and make my family proud of me.
3) What is your favorite kind of style to sing?
I am a huge fan of 90’s R’n’B ballads, like Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men kind of style.
4) Who is your inspiration?
Tori Kelly is such an inspiration for me. I always watched her videos since the beginning.
Diego has been on Smule for years and is a huge part of the community. He is recognized for his original music, creative album covers, unique voice, and we can’t forget about those harmonies. We were excited to finally meet him in St. Paul, Minnesota, and film him for this month’s Smule Presents video. We were not disappointed. Diego’s dark, edgy, and modern style inspired us to explore a whole new filming style from what Smule Studio had done previously.
So what do you get when you have two rooms, a projector, and one very talented singer? THIS.
Making of the Video
We asked Diego what kind of aesthetic he likes. Among other things, he mentioned minimalist graphics, black and white, and brick walls. When we tried to combine all three, the idea struck us: Projected graphics! Before the shoot, artist Nick Hess designed a bunch of minimalist motion graphics with us and Diego. On the day of the shoot, we rented a very powerful 7000 Lumens projector, hooked it up to a laptop, and projected the graphics onto a white studio wall as well as a brick wall. You can see both setups in the video — One that is crisp and modern inspired by the stress of adulthood, and another that is softer and more nostalgic, inspired by childhood.
Smule Interviews Diego
How was your overall experience?
My overall experience during this whole thing has been amazing. Everyone has been so helpful, and it was SO much fun. Being able to create music, and see it come to life is such a cool experience. It didn’t seem like we were working at all.
Did you experience any challenges?
I wouldn’t say there were any huge challenges. If I had any concerns about anything the crew was literally right there to fix any problems or reassure me on things.
What was your favorite part?
The actual shooting was my favorite part, but everything was so much fun. Shopping with Mikal (the shoot stylist) at the Mall Of America, debates about cornbread (which I HATE, lol) with Alyce (the director), or her reminders of “Diego, we need you to put your shoes on now.” And uber adventures with Mark after the shoot (director of photography). I can’t really pick one thing.
And most memorable?
The most memorable part of the week was actually shooting the video. It was A LOT of work, but so much fun. Being able to just perform for hours is my favorite thing. It’s really hard to pick the “favorite” or “most memorable” because the entire experience was amazing.
Share a fun fact?
I think the funniest thing about this shoot was the constant debates about the fact that I don’t like cornbread. Everything was really light hearted and fun.
Sing “Stressed Out” with Diego
Last month we introduced “Smule Stories,” a project created to highlight the many unique and amazing individuals on Smule. We know that behind every Smule musician is a life rich with stories that have shaped who they are today. We are incredibly honored when we can be a part of those stories. The first in our Smule Stories collection features Smule community member, Kallie Star Lind!
Kallie shared the news of her devastating car accident on a Smule Sing! video. In the video, she recounted what had happened as well as the difficult aftermath. Her positive attitude and passion for singing touched us all, and her story had us all appreciating life more. You can watch her story in the video above, and learn more about her experience making the video below!
1) How was your overall experience being a part of Smule Stories?
It was amazing. Being noticed by Smule and having them send a crew to show how Smule has helped me through my struggles was truly touching. It seriously shows how much Smule cares for their users!
2) Did you experience any challenges?
I didn’t really experience any challenges. At first I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m pretty good at connecting with people and so was the crew!
3) What was your favorite part?
My favorite part was actually meeting and talking to the people behind the scenes at Smule and learning more about the company itself.
4) What was the most memorable?
The most memorable part was Smule sending Cece to Jacksonville to spend the weekend with me. It’s amazing how close I am to that girl, especially after meeting her on an app!
5) Share a fun/random fact?
One fun fact is that I gave everyone on the crew nicknames: Alyce (Director) aka Asian persuasion, Mikal (Make-up Artist) aka Magic Mike, and Mark (Cinematographer) aka Dark Temptation. Also, you can find dark temptation and I rapping on my page to “No Type.”
There are very few things at Smule that we are more proud of than this special community that has grown from our mutual love of music. We stumble upon the most amazing stories within our community, from how Smule has touched the lives of users to how different community members have connected through Smule.
Last week, we uncovered a special new program for the Smule community called Smule Presents, which allows us to highlight Smule users through music videos. Today, in a similar but more personal vein, we are introducing Smule Stories, another program that highlights you but focuses on telling your unique story through a mini documentary.
The video above is a small introduction to Smule Stories! For this intro, we wanted to speak with users all over the world so we interviewed them via Skype. For ongoing Smule Stories videos, we will be sending out the Smule Studio crew to interview you in person and record a professional 5-minute documentary.
Do you have a Smule story? Please let us know! Here are some questions that may inspire you to share your story: How has music and Smule changed your life? Did you meet someone special on Smule? Has music and Smule helped you overcome challenges or hardships?
Please send a short summary of your story and the best way to contact you via email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing your own special Smule story!
Stay tuned for Kallie’s story (@kalliestarmusic) coming out in January!