If the goody-goody high school version of Ben Schuller was told he would make a parody of the popular Korean song Gangnam Style in college, odds are he would have turned bright red. If someone told him it would involve a scene in boxers and a button down, he probably wouldn’t have believed it.
Flash forward to 2012. Within one week, the video received over 27 thousand views on Youtube. The day it was released, 50 people shared the link on their Facebook pages.
While Schuller was expecting the parody to be popular, he was shocked as to how much feedback he got. “I’ve never had anything like this before,” Schuller said. “It’s crazy and it’s definitely a change.”
Growing up, Schuller always wanted to be involved in music. He began singing and recording songs at a young age, and developed his talent over the years. “I started writing songs when I was six or seven years old and recorded them on my little Fischer Price microphone,” Schuller said. “My influence was the Backstreet Boys so they were all that style, and I was really young and had no business singing songs like that,” he continued with a laugh. “They were pretty bad.”
Over the years, Schuller replaced the toy microphone with a real one, playing in a band throughout middle school and into high school.
As his passion continued to grow, Schuller decided to transition into making music his career. “I really started to take it seriously a year before college. That was when I got into recording my own songs,” Schuller said.
Inspiration for his first small CD came from an ex-girlfriend. “All my songs are usually about a specific person,” Schuller said. “I start with a theme and write them based off that.”
During his college career, Schuller focused on developing himself as an artist and building a fan base at Central Michigan University. He began by finding gigs through word of mouth and took every opportunity he could to promote his music. For Schuller, no performance was ever too small. “Even if it was an unpaid, local charity event with ten people, I was always really excited to get a gig,” Schuller recalled.
His perseverance paid off, and now, in the midst of his final year, Schuller is widely known around campus, whether he will admit it or not.
Views of his latest video, College Style, increase every day. It would be easy for Schuller to let the spike of success go to his head, but he is remaining realistic. “I’m really scared. Right now I’m still in the safety zone of college. It’s scary that I could fail, which is a very large possibility,” Schuller said.
If his music doesn’t take off, Schuller plans to produce music for other artists. “Producing is another thing I have taken a huge passion to. My plan is to produce music for other artists if my music doesn’t work out.” However, Schuller isn’t letting the fear of failing stop him.
Check out Ben's video: