From Your Computer Screens to Your Countries

Written by Tan Li Ying, Merissa


If you’re even just a little bit familiar with the YouTube music scene, you would have, at some point heard of the names Kurt Hugo Schneider and Sam Tsui. Apart from producing stellar music videos on YouTube, they have travelled the world performing in top venues to thousands of fans. Just a few weeks ago, they completed their second tour around Asia and Australia, and in this article, I will be introducing their amazing tour team to you!


Sam Tsui

Born in 1989 in Pennsylvania, the singer of Hong Kong descent is best known for his acoustic, slowed-down cover of pop anthems. He was childhood friends with Kurt Schneider and the two attended the same schools. Majoring in classical Greek, Sam attended Yale University where he was a member of an all-male acapella group, The Duke’s Men of Yale. Sam has since made appearances on multiple television shows such as ABC World News and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and hosted behind-the-scenes for the third season of NBC’s a capella competition show, The Sing-Off. As of 2016, he has released 2 studio albums, 3 EPs, and 23 singles (including 2 original songs) and has garnered over 2.5 million subscribers and 285 million views on his YouTube channel, TheSamTsui. Sam recently wedded fellow YouTube singer Casey Breves, whom he has collaborated with for a couple times on his channel. Cue a power couple!

Bonus Question: If you could describe the tour with a food, what would it be and why?

“Penang curry! Because all of the different experiences we had were like all the flavors in a Penang curry :)”


Kurt Hugo Schneider

With a total of more than 7.2 million subscribers and almost 2 billion views on YouTube, the 28-year-old producer is undoubtedly one of the largest artists in the scene, but most people won’t know that he is also the crème de la crème in academics. Apart from becoming a chess master at age 15, Kurt graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Mathematics from Yale. He now produces music videos in collaboration with musicians worldwide including Kevin Olusula of Pentatonix. One of his most famous videos is a cover of “Just a Dream” performed by Christina Grimmie and Sam Tsui, which now has over 100 million views. Kurt has also partnered with big companies, such as Coca-Cola (for multiple times) and has directed several filmography works such as College Musical : The Movie, and Yale’s 2010 promotional video “That’s Why I Chose Yale”. As a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, Kurt plays dozens of musical instruments including the harp, piano, guitar, and drums. Talk about a man of many talents!


Tiffany Alvord

Cited as one of YouTube’s first “Home-grown Celebrities”, 24-year-old Tiffany Alvord joined Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider on their Asia/Australia tour this year. With over 2.8 million subscribers, Tiffany’s channel is among the top 50 most subscribed channels on YouTube. At age 15, she published her first song on it; by the time she finished high school, her music career was taking off, with her mother acting as her manager. She has since released 6 records, featuring both original and cover songs. In 2012, Tiffany performed in Times Square on the Nivea stage with Carly Rae Jepsen, Train, PSY and Taylor Swift as part of the New Year’s Eve celebration. She has also headlined and co-headlined multiple international tours around the world, including in Europe and Southeast Asia. Always maintaining a close relationship with her fans, Tiffany is truly the sweetheart of the YouTube music industry.


Jason Pitts

Jason Pitts was a viral Internet sensation back in 2011, when he decided to ask fellow student Lianna to the prom at Santa Monica High School by performing a ballad he wrote in front of his class – complete with a few lads on backup vocals while he plays accompaniment on his guitar. (She said yes!) Jason then went on Good Morning America, performing his “Prom Song” on air to millions of television viewers. In 2012, he met Kurt through a singer he wrote music with, and the producer recorded him playing guitar for a song they wrote together. Shortly after, he recorded guitars for Sam’s Make It Up album, and the rest was history! Now aged 23 and passionate in fingerstyle guitar, Jason makes regular appearances in Sam and Kurt’s YouTube videos as their guitarist, records with them and joins them on their international tours.

Bonus Question: If you could describe the tour with a food, what would it be and why?

“If I could describe the tour with a food, it would be NASI GORENG. Because that’s my favorite dish in Southeast Asia and we’re a spicy group of people :)”


Joel Manduke

Graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in ethnomusicology jazz studies and minoring in music industry) from UCLA, Joel Manduke is no stranger to performing live in front of thousands of audiences. At a young age of 22, he has already been on multiple international tours and has opened for well-known artists such as Bon Jovi and Ariana Grande, playing in exclusive events and venues as a professional drummer. Joel was a friend of Jason’s from UCLA and was asked by the latter to be a part of the Make It Up music video in 2013. He then started playing music with the lads and since then has been featured in both Kurt and Sam’s music videos playing various musical instruments (though usually percussion), and also records and tours with them across the world.

Bonus Question: If you could describe the tour with a food, what would it be and why?

“Ramen. Ramen. Ramen. Does it really need a reason?!”

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