Homeless Street Musician Goes Viral On YouTube, Gets A Record Deal, & Turns His Life Around
Remember that YouTube video that when viral awhile back of a homeless person singing Radiohead's "Creep" on the Opie & Anthony Show? That video went on to garner 1.7 million views. Many fans, after seeing it, remarked that this guy, known as Daniel "Homeless" Mustard, should get a record deal. A Hypebot reader wrote in to notify us that he got one.
Over a period of a few months, Story Records called in a few favors, recorded on a low budget, and gave Daniel a shot at becoming a professional musician.
“We saw so many people genuinely moved by Daniel’s music and his circumstances," James Bertuzzi, Daniel's Executive Producer, told Hypebot.
In the beginning, Daniel was a homeless alcoholic street musician. He came into the Opie & Anthony studios for their annual Homeless Shopping Spree. In passing, he said that he was a musician. The studio staff, being curious and having no idea what to expect, found him a guitar. Reportedly, he performed an original song that stunned the entire staff. Then they asked him to play a cover.
The rest is history. He played "Creep" and became a YouTube phenomenon.
Sometime later, Story Records caught up with Daniel, he went into a halfway house, and they pulled strings to record his record on a low budget. This story has all kinds of themes, ranging from using YouTube as an A&R vehicle to the importance of having an authentic, compelling narrative behind your artist.
"Daniel embodied a very raw energy people were connecting with, and hungry to hear more of, ” Bertuzzi noted further. “He had active fan-created communities scattered across the web, so we accessed them and they covered the release."
In addition, to ensure this project more immediately benefited Daniel, Bertuzzi said that they "focused on keeping overhead extremely low" throughout the recording project, "so he would see an upside as quickly as possible.” Watch: