We had the pleasure of meeting Ian Axel and Chad King, who are the incredible band A Great Big World. We each got to talk to them in Madison Square Park in Manhattan. Ian and Chad have been friends for 11 years and, according to them, it all started when their music teacher grouped them together while taking a class at NYU. They immediately clicked.
They were extremely personable, and passionate about their craft. It was amazing to see their faces light up as they talked about their journey as artists. For example, they talked about how overwhelmed they were the first time they played a show and realized that the crowd knew the lyrics to their song, “Say Something,” and sang along with them. Ian almost forgot the words because he was so overjoyed and overwhelmed by the fans.
We asked them: Out of your two albums, which do you prefer more, and which was more fun doing? Ian said, “I think they’re both very different and they’re different snapshots of where we are in our lives. . . . The second album we wrote in a very short amount of time. A six-month period.”
“However,” Chad added, “If I would give an introduction to us, I would say the first album. The first album captures the whole time that we’ve known each other. ... Every song is like one or two years, like a snapshot of those one and two years.”
We asked them how they came up with the idea behind the song “Say Something.” Ian said, “We were both going through something, like some pretty intense heartbreak, and feelings of unrequited love, where you don’t get the love from the person that you’re ready to give that love to. So ... I had a melody for the chorus, he had a melody for the verse and we came together. The song was like our therapy. We needed it — to write it and get through it.”
They are currently writing a musical and just performed a new song for the first time on “Live With Kelly” titled “Won’t Stop Running.” It’s a great song and we all love it. The duo was so kind to take pictures with all of us at the end of the interview. A Great Big World is a Grammy Award-winning band that has impacted the world, connecting with their fans and creating wonderful music. You should definitely check them out if you haven’t already.
They are playing Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Central Park SummerStage, near East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue; centralpark.com