Pop music duo Ian Axel and Chad King, (better known as A Great Big World or AGBW,) will head out on their “Kaleidoscope” 2016 North American headline tour in support of the album “When The Morning Comes” and the band is making Toronto their first stop.
“Our Canadian shows have actually been some of our best shows,” Axel revealed by phone to The Gracie Note. “Our fans there are really enthusiastic and they come out to see us and we love plaything there. Toronto is one of our favourite cities and it’s always good vibes when we come to Canada.”
“It’s very welcoming,” King added by phone to The Gracie Note.
After the release of AGBW’s song “Say Something” in 2013, which earned them international exposure, a version with pop diva Christina Aguilera and a Grammy Award, the group entered a new area of the entertainment industry that they had to navigate through.
“I think that growing up and even until last year, the Grammys were this thing that was untouchable and something that we didn’t think we’d be part of,” the band admitted. “Then all of a sudden, we were. This year was the first time that we ever got to watch it with that perspective … We had this deeper understanding.”
They also said, “After ‘Say Something,’ there were all of these pressures and all of this outside stuff and it was effecting the voice in our heads. It was effecting our faith and we were questioning ourselves … This album, ‘When The Morning Comes’ is like our first album in many ways and we feel like a new and evolved band. We want to keep pushing forward and not try to recreate something that we’ve done but just write the music that we need to write from our hearts.”
From their new album, AGBW has released uplifting songs like “Hold Each Other” and the band’s latest tune “Oasis.”
AGBW recently took “Oasis” on the road to the children’s collective the PS22 Chorus and this trip was even better than their first visit where the band performed their tune “Rockstar” with the kids.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” Axel said. “Hearing the harmonies totally lifts the song and when I think about ‘Oasis’ now, I hear them singing it in my head. Chad and I are always striving to keep our inner child alive in all of our songs. When we see these kids connecting with our music, it makes us feel younger and lighter.”
Playing music as AGBW isn’t the only project that King and Axel are currently working on. The duo has been writing a musical for the past three and a half years and each year they promise each other that “this will be the year it goes up.”
“When I originally met Chad, I wasn’t singing and I wanted to write a musical,” Axel shared. “When Chad heard me play and hum he asked me why I wasn’t singing. Then we started writing together and he started managing me as a solo artist. Then, we started A Great Big World and we kind of lost sight of that musical thing. Then out of no where, a bunch of producers reached out to us.”
“The whole thing was we didn’t really know what we were doing and the producers wanted that,” King said. “I think that we’re doing it as well as Ian and I could.”
On April 26, AGBW will have a special showcase of their musical work “Strokes of Genius” in New York at The Public Theater.