A lot can change in a year, and tween metal band, Unlocking the Truth, is proof. The Brooklyn-based trio of young performers –– Jarad Dawkins, 12, Alec Atkins, 13, and Malcolm Brickhouse –– landed a $1.8 million record deal after going viral online.
"I'm so excited! We've made it!" Dawkins, the group's drummer told the New York Post.
Last April, a video of the boys performing in Times Squares snatched up more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. "After that we started getting calls and performing more and as we performed we got bigger and bigger," Dawkins recalled.
Their five-album deal includes 16 to 17 percent in royalties, and a $60,000 advance provided that the group sells more than 250,000 copies of their debut. Reaching that benchmark may be hard to do in a climate where established artists like Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez suffered lower-than-expected sales this year.
The group's manager, Alan Sacks, is betting that the group will change the face of heavy metal, but translating Internet fandom to digital downloads isn't as easy as it seems. Although Justin Bieber made it big from YouTube, other Internet stars haven't been so lucky.
Three years ago Bay Area rapper Kreayshawn signed a $1 million deal with Sony after her song "Gucci Gucci" blew up online. The single went gold, yet her debut, Somethin' 'Bout Kreay' only sold 3,900 copies.
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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)