Friday, May 25, 2012

Broadway Stages and Other Musicals: An Interview with Antonius and Vijay Nazareth of AVbyte

Amidst interactive online musicals and full blown musical webseries, another writing duo is trying to break into the Youtube scene with musical theatre videos. Students and brothers Antonius and Vijay Nazareth are the creators of AVbyte, a Youtube channel that posts weekly videos of original songs ranging topics from dating to social media to comic book characters. Combining slick visuals with catchy tunes, each short offers a fun look at life, love, and pop culture. Antonius and Vijay were nice enough to answer some questions and share their plans for the future as they continue to expand AVbyte's offerings.

Me: Give us a little background about yourselves. How did you get into music, and who are some of your influences? How did you decide to collaborate together?

Antonius and Vijay Nazareth: We are actually brothers. Our parents are both classical musicians, our mother is a trained singer, and our father is a symphonic and operatic conductor. Both of us were born in Verona, Italy, but due to our father's profession, we moved all over Europe; Rome, Nice, Monte Carlo, Vienna, Amsterdam and Hamburg. Three years ago, we finally made the big move to New York to study. Here, Vijay studies film at City College New York, and I studied music composition at New York University.

Me: Where did the idea of AVbyte come from?

Antonius and Vijay: The idea for AVbyte came a long time ago. Both of us were raised watching the old Hollywood musicals 24/7... literally. If we weren't watching Singing in the Rain, we were singing along to An American in Paris, or Anchors Aweigh. Those musicals, the tap dancing, and the lighthearted, funny, charming musical style of those films are essentially engrained in our DNA. Then we were both fascinated by YouTube, and the possibilities it presented. Vijay had actually started his own YouTube channel, producing action/comedy shorts. It wasn't long before we put two and two together and came up with AVbyte. At first, we didn't think it was going to be possible for me to write a song a week, but somehow it has been working so far!

Me: What is the typical process for making each of these videos? How do you pick the subjects for each one?

Antonius and Vijay: The process is often very spontaneous. We try to think at least two weeks in advance but on several occasions we've had a shoot scheduled in the afternoon without a song in the morning! Then we just quickly come up with an idea that makes us both laugh and go with it. Once the idea is set, it can take as little as 20 minutes to write a song. Generally, we try to pick topics that are as relevant as possible. For example, with the slew of summer blockbuster superhero movies coming out now, our next couple of videos will feature a singing and tap dancing Batman as he auditions for Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark!

Me: Are there any plans to expand AVbyte outside of Youtube? Could you see any of your projects for the channel translating to the stage?

Antonius and Vijay: We'd both be thrilled to have a full cabaret of AVbyte shorts some time in the near future. We're already thinking about venues in New York, possibly for some time later this year.

Me: With so many web shows and online videos on the internet now, what do you think is most important in order to get your stuff noticed? What have been some of the biggest challenges you've overcome in promoting your show?

Antonius and Vijay: The most important thing we've found, is that one has to try to collaborate with other content creators as much as possible. Making great content is a great start to any creative venture, but if people aren't seeing the content, then there's little use to it. One has to get out there, and try to get as many people involved as possible.

Me: What is your hope for AVbyte in the future?

Antonius and Vijay: We just want to keep going, and keep expanding our audience. Ideally, our YouTube channel would be a place where people who wouldn't otherwise be exposed to musicals can get a taste of what we all love. We're also planning to produce feature length movie musicals in the future, so that should be something to look out for.

Follow AVbyte on Twitter or 'Like' them on Facebook for updates!

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