Do you love shows like "Pretty Little Liars" or "True Blood", or maybe you prefer songs by Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars or The Fugees hit remake of "Killing Me Softly"? College students Lyndsay and Angela, the talented singers and actresses of "TheUrbanDecay" have been covering hit songs and creating musical parodies since they were in high school. They've been featured on shows like "Ellen", have appeared on the ABC Family Facebook page (to name a few) and with well over 3,000 subscribers and nearly 300,000 views on YouTube it's easy to see why these college students are gaining such popularity and taking YouTube by storm. I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented young women of TheUrbanDecay recently to discuss how they got started, what it takes to create a musical parody and what we can expect from them next!
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about TheUrbanDecay and how you both got started?
Angela: "How TheUrbanDecay started out is we were two friends hanging out. I was a sophomore and Lyndsay was a junior, and we were actually walking down the street and we started rapping. We had a sleepover and we thought 'let's make a music video'. So in May of 2008 (or 2009) we just made this video. We stayed up really late, we posted it to YouTube- we were so excited- and that's basically how we started out, and from there we just kept making more videos."
Candace Rose: What inspired and motivated you to start the YouTube channel?
Lyndsay: "I think Angela and I, both have the fame bug where we love being in front of the camera. We both come from musical and artistic backgrounds. We did a play together, and we would sing and stuff. With our first video and having our friends say 'this is so cool', it really was so simple and having people receive it well, that's what kept us going because we're doing what we love and people like it. I think that we both like keeping people entertained, and we enjoy what we do. I think that's what inspired us and motivated us to keep going."
Angela: "Yes, also just having a forum to be able to express ourselves where we could just do whatever we want, and to have the audience be there was just really, really awesome."
Lyndsay: "As cool as it is to have everyone liking us, I think the most important thing in our minds is just the fact that we could do what we wanted and express how we are and what we like to do."
Candace Rose: You both have garnered so much attention all over the world, and have even been featured on the Ellen show. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience on the Ellen show and what that was like?
Angela: "It was so unreal. I remember Lyndsay calling me and saying 'The Ellen show's contacting us' and I didn't believe her. It was so quickly how they flew us out and it was an incredible experience. I'd never been to California before, and there we were on the plane together- two best friends, it was a dream! And to be in a car that Ellen sent for us, and to be in the 'green room' waiting to go on- it was unreal taping live in front of an audience, and meeting Ellen- she's just the coolest, the greatest. She was so sweet to us. It was just an unbelievable experience that I will never, ever forget."
Candace Rose: You recently created an original musical parody called "True Blood Teens" in honor of the season 5 premiere of "True Blood". Can you tell us about that?
Lyndsay: "As we said before, having people receive it is what kind of got us interested in, and as we kept going it was our passion and expression that motivated us to keep doing things, but with that we're going to grow. I think doing parodies with other peoples songs was really cool for a while, but we're getting older and we want to express our fully and I think that's being able to create an original song, which is totally new for us (it was really scary) but I think it just shows more ownership and is more original. It was a really interesting experience, and 'True Blood' is coming out and we love 'True Blood' and watch it all the time- it's so fun! We kind of just went with it and I'm really proud of it."
Angela: "I just came back from my first year of college (and Lyndsay was in for a year already) and I think going to college and learning just going outside your comfort zone can be a good thing and growing. We've both been writing music and playing guitar on our own, and just deciding to be 'okay we're going to try it out and go outside our comfort zones' and see what the world thinks about something we write is also something that prompted us to do this."
Candace Rose: What goes into creating a musical parody, and how do you find time with your busy schedules?
Angela: "With this one we both chose the material and we decided we wanted to do 'True Blood'. We sat down with the guitar, sang some melodies and writing some lyrics, researching and collaborating in that sense. We then talked about what we wanted the video to be like. We thought of exact themes, exact backgrounds we wanted and we just stared when we filmed we took it very professionally, we already have our schedule out and we do one scene after the other, after the other. Lyndsay has a trunk of magic tricks and all of her costumes that we drag around, and we're surprisingly overwhelmingly professional that when other people work with us we're like 'okay this is work for us'. We really treat it like a job, because ultimately that's what we hope it will be."
Lyndsay: "What's really cool is that when you make something that's really your own and you feel really proud of it, it doesn't matter if it gets picked up. We've talked about it, it doesn't have to go viral, I'm just really happy with what we've made. I'm very proud of it. Honestly, it was cool to look at every single part of that, we did together. Honestly, I think it was one of the easiest ones we've ever done too because it was just me and Angela, we sat down in a room and it came so naturally. We just started talking about the lyrics and we wrote the song in an hour- it was crazy!"
Their hit parody of "Pretty Little Liars"
Candace Rose: I loved your cover of the song 'Killing Me Softly'. What would you say you enjoy more- the singing or acting aspect of creating videos?
Angela: "I would have to say both. I feel so lucky that I'm able to do both. Of course singing is my first love, but acting is what I'm doing in college (and singing as well) and I think it's so awesome that we're able to incorporate both into the YouTube channel, and we've been talking about incorporating more acting into it as well because we want to expand and grow with that because we started out when we were in high school, and now we're older. We're both in art schools and we just want to put our tools that we've gathered from college to the test. We're excited to have this grow along with us."
Lyndsay: "I'm so lucky. Everyday I think about how lucky I am that we found each other because we're so different but we mesh so well. I go to school for TV production and I'm the girl who does the schedules and all production aspects, and Angela's so creative. We're both creative, but in different ways and it's really cool to see how effortlessly we kind of mesh and create stuff. It's incredible! We're just so lucky. If we hadn't gone to the same high school we probably never would have met. That was the most amazing experience I've ever had that never would have happened."
Candace Rose: That is. What can we expect from TheUrbanDecay next?
Angela: You can expect a lot more original things. This is kind of our testing the waters and we love it. You can also expect to see maybe some sketch comedy-ish things. We're trying out that part of that also, but definitely original music and a lot of fun. Always fun, always fresh.
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information that you'd like to share with viewers?
Angela: "We're best friends. Doing the videos is enough for ourselves, but we put them up for other people because we hope it makes some kind of impact. I started watching Youtube videos when Youtube first came out, and I thought 'that's so cool, I want to do this'. I guess that's all we can really ask for is that it impacts people in some way- whether they laugh or they're inspired to try out their own stuff as well."
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