The places from which you might recognize Peter Hollens are interesting in and of themselves -- from his time on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” to his highly successful YouTube channel where some vids have 40 million plus views. But no matter where you’ve seen him, it’s more important that you’ve heard him. His voice is second to none and it’s his vocal talent that’s taken him to such unique places and platforms.
Now Hollens is working on a brand new album with some amazing guests even as he keeps up with his various musical endeavors and YouTube vids. We recently took the time to ask him about his experience on TV, YouTube, and that crazy Skyrim video that it seems like everyone has seen.
How did you come to be on “The Sing-Off” in the first place?
I was invited to participate in “The Sing-Off” season two by the old college group I co-founded, “On the Rocks”, when they were chosen for the show. Basically I was reunited with the group just for the show, several years after graduating. I was asked by the On the Rocks group that was currently in college to come down and audition with them and we ended up getting on the show, and it was an absolute blast!
Can you tell us what that platform provided for you?
Being featured in a national TV spot exposed me to millions of home viewers and is what really prompted my YouTube career. I established a fan base from those who saw the show, and from there I decided to launch my YouTube channel. Although it was only a thousand people or so that expressed interest, it was enough of a kick in the pants to start recording my own music!
The Skyrim video you made with Lindsey Stirling was both amazing and hilarious. Just how long did that take? And were you surprised by the response? I mean, 40 million views seems overwhelming.
The audio took about two weeks to finish because I kept losing my voice trying to mimic the 200+ person choir of the original. However, video wise Lindsey and I took only about four hours to actually shoot the video in Provo, Utah. I was absolutely blown away by the response of the video, and the amazing feedback I got from Lindsey’s fan base. I am so thankful every time I get the chance to work with Lindsey.
Are you a big video game fan? If so, any favorites?
Heck yeah! I absolutely adore all sports games, “NCAA Football”, Basketball, “League of Legends”, I loved playing “World of Warcraft years ago”, and I enjoyed first-person shooters long ago as well!
You’re supporting Feed My Starving Children. What’s your connection there and why choose that?
It’s a phenomenal organization & I believe in doing whatever we can to help children who are in need. They also almost have a perfect score on the Charity Navigator.
What can you tell us about the new album? Where are you at with it and how are the songs coming along?
Well, the album is finally done! Many of songs on the album are actually tracks I have previously released, so part of the album is a partial “greatest hits”, I guess you could say. I chose the songs I felt best represented my brand; mainly my most popular tunes and some of my personal favorites.
In addition to those tracks I also have several folk songs, a new one I’ll be releasing today or tomorrow on YouTube and some really great collaborations that I’m thrilled to announce including a new track with Avi Kaplan from Pentatonix, Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, Jackie Evancho, my lovely wife, Evynne Hollens, Sabrina Carpenter and of course my good friend and one of the people I look up to most, Lindsey Stirling.
Any musical interests or even talents that might surprise your fans?
I actually think I have a talent for being a Dad, which even surprised me! It’s been the best thing that’s ever happened in my life. I’m a really good frisbee golf player -- nerd alert -- and I adore swimming and riding bikes.