How social media catapulted Cimorelli to stardom


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For decades aspiring musicians had to tirelessly play gig after gig and go door to door of record companies with demo tapes in tow to get their name out there. But in a digitally defined world, social media is an incredible tool to help young artists find an audience that resonates with their sound. It's a secret weapon many musical acts have employed in order to make a name of themselves. Cimorelli, the viral pop meets country six-piece hailing from Sacramento knows just how crucial it is to have a social media presence these days. They can thank their burgeoning musical career to YouTube alone.

Back in 2009 the sisters uploaded their a cappella rendition of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" and it quickly became a viral hit. Since then, the musical group has amassed a staggering 913 million video views and over 3 million fans on just YouTube. Because of their social media success, Cimorelli was able to work on projects close to their heart like their multiple fan-favorite EPs and a go90 series titled "Life of Cimorelli." But more importantly, the internet gave them the capability to put the music they love out there -- regardless of what music executives and record labels thought. They're proof that if you're innovative, passionate, and stand up for yourself and your music, nothing can get in your way.

We recently sat down with the incredible group in our New York City offices to talk about how social media played a role into their success, what goes into their original songs from start to finish, and the biggest lesson they've learned since joining the music industry.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more exclusives on Cimorelli, click here.

Can you talk a little bit about social media has played into your success.
Lisa: Social media is the only way we interact with people besides being on tour. We're always on there interacting with our fans. We got our start on Youtube and I love replying to comments on Instagram or Tweeting or fans. We're on there all the time.

Dani: We wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for social media and all of our fans are always on Twitter.

Amy: We grew up in a small town and we had not one connection with anyone in the music industry, so we had no way to have a music career and get connected with people in the industry were it not for social media.

Christina: That's the cool thing about social media is that we are definitely more unconventional. There's not that many sister groups made up of six people that you see who are writing everything on their own and arranging all their stuff. That's just not a common thing. And the cool thing about social media is that unconventional artists have a chance to be discovered where in the past they may have never had a chance. So people like us get the opportunity to have a career which is an awesome thing. And we have social media to thank for that.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Christina: It's interesting with our writing because the inspiration is our reaction to being in the industry and seeing some of the most fake sides to it. We got to really be in the middle of some extremely contrived writing sessions where it was people forcing things on us that we didn't want forced on us. I kept saying, "Why can't we just write about stuff that's really happened to us?" and I was shot down all the time. Everyone kept telling us they had better ideas than our ideas, both musically and content-based. After being stuck, there was such a huge reaction from us. I thought, "I don't even care if this song doesn't go anywhere, I just want to write something that I like and that I can relate to." So we all just writing songs for ourselves. The lyrics were just inspired by our real-life experiences.

It became this really cool phenomenon where we could individually write songs that our sisters could relate to it. We would write stuff down about we're feeling. And if when we're writing, everything just gets sent to my email. So in that moment when we decide we're going to write a sad song, I just pull up my email and think "That's a good line here and that will be a good line there." You think this wouldn't work out, but it does. I just pull out something that Lisa or Lauren wrote and they fit together perfectly from one line to the next and creates one seamless song.

What advice do you have for young aspiring musicians?
Lisa: I feel like one of our biggest challenges was figuring out who we are, so if you can do your best to figure out exactly who you are, what you like, and what you don't like as early on as possible you'll have a much easier time figuring out who you are as an artist. And don't feel like you have to do what's popular. Just do what you like and what you want to do and stick with it.

Christina: On the business side, you need to realize that when you go into meetings that people are going to tell you that your ideas are horrible or they will just say no to you. And you have to accept that fact and that just because someone says your idea is horrible does not mean that your idea is horrible. Even if that person is an expert in that field, it doesn't necessarily mean that your idea is horrible because everyone is human and even if you're an expert, you could be wrong. You need to ask yourself if you believe in that idea and if you are, pick yourself back up and go to someone else.

Katherine: This is not an easy career but if you take time to study the lives of the greatest artists alive, you'll find that every person who was successful was rejected and has failed many times. But what set them apart is that they kept going and that they have determination. If you give up really easily, it's not a great idea to be an artist. But if you're willing to keep pushing yourself no matter what challenges come up, then you're going to make it.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more exclusives on Cimorelli, click here.

For past YouShouldKnow stars, scroll through the gallery below:

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