Owl City sells a million copies of “Ocean Eyes”

Owl City
Owl City
Universal Republic Records’ artist Owl City continues to garner accolades at an unprecedented pace in 2010, with the RIAA awarding his smash album Ocean Eyes platinum certification this week for selling more than a million units of his Universal Republic debut.

Owl City aka Adam Young has fast become the self-starter role model of music’s digital age, passing the 3 million sales milestone for his hypnotic anthem “Fireflies” at the beginning of the year – the debut single from the platinum-plus Ocean Eyes. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart twice, still enjoying an incredible 7 month chart-run, achieving millions of downloads and non-stop radio play as it closes in on a combined 20 million total views on Vevo. Not bad for a song that was recorded on a laptop via a late night recording session in his parents’ basement. “Owl City/Adam Young’s platinum achievement for his wonderful album ‘Ocean Eyes’ represents what every new artist – and I suspect, every fan – dreams about when it comes to the power and immediacy of new music,” stated Avery Lipman, Co-President of Universal Republic Records. “We hear so much about the challenges of our industry, Owl City’s amazing, multi-platform success story is indicative of what’s great about the many ways our business is changing. We congratulate Adam, and we also applaud everyone at Universal Republic for their hard work in mining the resources that have helped Adam’s dream to become reality.”

Owl City continues to break boundaries with the record-breaking hit, and the release of his second single, the ethereal “Vanilla Twilight,” with the atmospheric video debuting last week to rave reviews and over 1 million views after one day. The clip was filmed in Pittsburgh, PA, and directed by Steven Hoover, who helmed the acclaimed “Fireflies” video and has a surprising cameo by basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal.

Owl City is also embarking on a sold-out U.S. tour, which kicked off on March 30th in Boise, ID, with Lights and Paper Route in tow as support acts. The much-buzzed about trek as become the hottest live ticket of the spring touring season, with an unprecedented second matinee show added for Owl City’s April 24th New York City appearance at Terminal 5. The tour winds up on May 5th in St. Louis, MO, with Owl City heading across the pond for a series of UK and France shows.

Adam Young is also lending his support to the family of slain San Diego teenager Chelsea King, dedicating his performance on April 8th at San Diego’s SOMA to the Chelsea Light Foundation, the charitable organization set up by Chelsea’s parents to help tighten laws relating to sex offenders. All merchandising proceeds from the show will go to the Chelsea Light Foundation.

Hailing from rural Owatonna, Minnesota, online fans and critics were the first to discover Owl City, passionately supporting his alluring digital rhythms and evocative melodies, making Young one of the most compelling artist development stories in recent memory.

A previous fan favorite from Owl City has also turned up on the new album Almost Alice, the companion music compilation to the mega-hit 3D movie Alice In Wonderland. The Owl City song “The Technicolor Phase,” from his 2008 debut album is featured on the eclectic collection of music inspired by the Tim Burton-directed film.

Signature Owl City songs featured on his platinum-plus Universal Republic debut, Ocean Eyes include “Hello Seattle,” “Umbrella Beach,” and “Dental Care,” among others.

Owl City – Adam Young – biography

Owl City
Owl City
In the state of Minnesota lies a small town called Owatonna with roughly twenty-two thousand inhabitants. Within that city is a quiet road with a modest house. In that house there’s an unkempt basement with no windows. Within those confines you’ll find Adam Young of Owl City hard at work on his electronic and melodically infectious music of simple and singular beauty. Inside this “cave,” as Adam likes to describe it, he has begun to quickly win over a large audience thirsty for something genuine, something sublime. The proof is in the music as Owl City’s first official CD – Ocean Eyes – was released July 21st, 2009 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard Top 200, #2 on Billboard’s Electronic Albums chart and #3 on the Digital Albums Chart.
Being an only child in a small town, and having no musicians in his immediate family, Adam is hard pressed to say how it all started. Explaining that he always had a “push” to be creative, Adam picked up his first guitar in junior high school. Growing up in a “sheltered bubble” and being one of the more shy kids around the neighborhood, Adam seemed compelled to lend his time and creative ideas to music. “I’ve always been the shy guy, I don’t see that changing, but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable than I anticipated. I can hide behind the music.”

While his music continues to win followers all over the world, Adam does indeed hide behind his music, not going by his real name (See: Badly Drawn Boy and Dashboard Confessional); but going by the moniker Owl City. Adam was searching more for a mood when coming up with a title for his sound, rather than something easily identifiable. He goes on to explain that most of the artists that catch his eye have something unique about their name, something that lingers.
So one has to ask: how did this Owl City phenomenon begin? How does a young artist writing songs underneath his garage, acoustic foam and books everywhere, reach an audience of millions? “I’m still trying to figure it out,” Adam laughs. “Back in June of 2007 it kind of started on a whim. My parents were away for the weekend, and wanting to be loud and make some noise and whatever, I began writing versions of what became my first, self released digital EP – Of June. I put it up on MySpace the following month and didn’t tell anyone.”

Word of mouth began to spread for Adam’s music, with demands coming from various parts of the country for an album. Maybe I’m Dreaming, released digitally in March of 2008, was Owl City’s full-length debut. The album was a clear representation of Owl City’s progression as an artist. Adam became a phenomenon on MySpace and in just over a year had more than 7 million profile views and 40 million plays; outstanding for such a short span of time. It was clear that Owl City was making a colossal impact on the music scene.

What might be swirling through his head after such a quick and sudden start at stardom? “The biggest thing I was concerned-slash-worried about was the live performance – never having played a show as ‘Owl City.’ There was a lot of apprehension.” Adam’s concern, about being a one-man wizard on the keyboard, “hunched over a computer,” was put to the test at his first gig in early 2009. Most, if not all, of his fears were quickly put to rest as Adam played to a sold out show in Minneapolis. “It was surreal,” Adam says “to have people buying your t-shirts, singing the words – louder than I was; it felt so good.” And Adam will be hearing a lot more people singing his words as he tours with his full band throughout North America, China and Japan with gigs lined up through this fall and beyond.
Ocean Eyes is capturing the hearts and ears of many. Loaded with amazing loops, catchy pick-ups, and lyrics that soothe the mind and touch the heart, Adam Young has once again created a lush listening experience. Owl City’s trademark desire to escape in dreams, oceans and sky abound on this, his first official CD, in songs such as “Cave In” and “Umbrella Beach.” Adam also continues to display a terrific wit uncommon in most electronic based music in such songs as the clap infused, bouncy “Dental Care” (a humorous metaphor on smiling) and “Fireflies.” Given the official compact disc treatment, previously released fan favorite “Hello Seattle” gives the great Northwest its’ due with an ode to highlands, parking lots, Puget Sound and albatross. With glorious vocal harmonies (“The Saltwater Room”) and touching odes to love lost (“Vanilla Twilight”) Adam has dug more deeply on Ocean Eyes lyrically and musically than ever before.

Owl City’s future is as exciting, expansive and mellifluous as its music. Adam’s main focus will be to continue playing out live and satisfying a fan base that is growing and always eagerly anticipating new material. “I’ve loved every minute of it so far, and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next.” So are we.