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Kiwi rock musician does not go gentle into Billboard charts - Maia

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kiwi rock musician does not go gentle into Billboard charts Cross-national rock duo ‘The Gentle Men’ made New Zealand history in the Billboard charts this week with their debut album The Evolution of Tears.

The album, a remote collaboration by Kiwi musician Troy McKubre and American YouTuber Charlie White (penguinz0), is the highest ever charting release in the three separate Billboard charts from a NZ hard rock/metal artist.

Their success comes in spite of McKubre and White never having met and producing the entire album themselves over Discord. The pair have had no record label, radio play, or promotion outside of YouTube and Instagram.

McKubre says the project began as a laugh in 2019, and quickly escalated into something fans across the US could resonate with.

"When we began, Charlie had never sung before in his life. We had to do a lot of coaching and editing, but because it was a bit of fun it didn’t really matter. We got such a good response from the songs that we started taking it more seriously."

The Evolution of Tears is currently placed at #4 on Billboard’s Emerging Artist Charts, #7 in Heatseeker Albums, #22 in Top 100 Current Albums, #37 in Top 100 Albums, and #16 in Top 50 Vinyl Albums. The Gentle Men have 32 million YouTube music video views and 31 million audio streams to date.

White says he and McKubre put their heart and souls into the album.

"I’m extremely pleased to see this album speak to so many listeners, and hope it’ll continue to climb the charts to make it not only the #1 album of 2022 but the #1 album of all time." 

The unlikely pair met online when White took interest in songs from McKubre’s previous musical project, Solstate. White, with nearly 10 million YouTube subscribers, added some of McKubre’s songs to a YouTube playlist.

"I was getting messages from Charlie’s fans, so I reached out to him to thank him for the support. Charlie sent an email back saying, ‘would you like to make a well produced joke?’," says McKubre.

The pair created The Evolution of Tears, with McKubre on production, instruments and vocals, and White on vocals and lyrics. McKubre says that because of the distance, a song that should’ve taken a day to nail the vocals would take a week.

McKubre’s partner, Boh Runga from rock band stellar-, also features as a backing vocalist on the album.

"Boh now calls me the ‘highest charting bogan in NZ Billboard history’," says McKubre. McKubre and White have plans to meet later this year to work together on their next album. 

The Evolution of Tears is available now on all streaming platforms.

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