The electrifying trio of Glen McDaniel, Nick Villalobos, and Zack Clark, together known as Simply Three, has been charming audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Acclaimed as “having what it takes” (Boston Philharmonic) and “highly imaginative and well played” (Maine Today), Simply Three continues to receive praise for their ability to impress listeners with a plurality of genres that span from artists and composers such as Adele, Gershwin, Coldplay, Twenty-One Pilots, Ed Sheeran, and Michael Jackson. By reshaping convention through this style of genre hopping, the trio continues to seek the true heart of classical crossover with original works as well as innovative arrangements that showcase their technical virtuosity and heartfelt musicality.
Simply Three has an old school style with a new school sound. Their quest to look beyond the scope of possibility has led them to join forces with some of the world’s most creative musicians, including Kellindo Parker (Janelle Monáe), Alyson Stoner, and Jeff Smith (M-Pact), in hopes of creating a new, fresh genesis for string playing. With this, the trio is able to merge shows into a singular synergy of thrilling performances and tone-rich sounds not soon to be forgotten.
The group has already caught the eyes of some the media’s most coveted outlets such as The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and RyanSeacrest.com, as well as praised by artists OneRepublic, and Janelle Monáe for their cover work on the singles “Cold War,” “Tightrope,” and “Counting Stars” respectfully.
had the opportunity to catch up with Simply Three member Glen McDaniel recently to talk about their upcoming fall tour and debut album (scheduled to be released in late Summer and early Fall).
What genre do you consider your music to be?
Classical Crossover! So, essentially what that means is that we play classical instruments, but the genre is not specific to classical music. We play a lot of Jazz, R&B, Pop.
Out of all the covers, you have done so far, which one was your favorite?
I would have to say the cover to Hozier’s Take Me To Church has been my favorite. It was a fun arrangement and this was the first arrangement I did with the trio. This was kind of cool being able to see your idea or take on the music come to life. The making of the video was a very fun experience.
What can we expect from Simple Three in 2017?
We are half way done with our debut album that should be released at the end of summer and early fall. The group is very excited about this project and it will consist of more fun and reimagine covers and videos. We will also be participating in some collaborations. There will be a big fall tour that we will be doing this year as well.
When can we except the group in the Dallas metroplex this year?
Can you describe your fans when attending your concerts?
Our shows are very unexcepted because of the nature of the instruments that we play. A lot of people see a violin, cello, bass and they are excepting something conservative in the presentation. Our shows are very casual and we like to engage with our audience as much as possible through our custom visuals which include highlighting music videos that we have made. Concerts are ruddier than most people might think considering that there is a violinist, cello, and a bass player.
You went to Allen High School; can you tell us how many hours you spent in the Orchestra lab practicing?
It’s kind of funny you mentioned that because the city of Allen did not have an Orchestra program until my 6th-grade year. We were the inaugural class and to see where it started to the present is amazing.
I was involved in a lot of private lessons prior to me the 6th-grade year because there wasn’t a program at the time. So, I was already practicing a lot before I joined the Orchestra program at Allen High School and I had more motivation as it was an extracurricular compared to a class for school. I would practice anywhere from two hours to six hours a day. If you are truly interested in pursuing a career with an instrument that is typically the range most musicians will say.
Your cover of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii has over 17 million views on Youtube. What were your original intentions for the video?
This is a funny Haha! We normally plan our videos thoroughly and scout locations, storyboard from beginning to end, and we get a basis of the Choreography we want. This was the same formula we used for Wake Me Up. We had no idea that 17 million views later would be the outcome. We wanted to shoot a video for Wake Me Up by Avicii and it is now are most popular video.
What is your position on collaborating with other genres on music?
We would be interested in collaborating with other musicians from different genres if we are able to be a part of the creation process of the music content. That’s the biggest thing we don’t want told what to create because that hinders the creation process. But to answer your question we are totally up to collaborate with other genres.
Have You guys thought about working with a musician like a Kenny G or Stevie Wonder?
Oh man! We would love to work with talent from that realm of musicians. Being able to work with either one of those musicians would be a dream come true.
What the best advice you can give to inspiring artists out there?
The best thing you can do is be confident in what you want to do and understand that probably no else wants to do the exact same things as you. You are already unique in your own right and might sound like some else, but your creativity sets you apart. With that notion, be said continue working on your craft and do not underestimate your abilities.
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