Singer-songwriter duo A Great Big World comprises of Chad Vaccarino and Ian Axel. They made serious waves when they ended up on Christina Aguilera’s radar (she e-mailed them after she heard their song) and went on to collaborate for, “Say Something“. Needless to say, it caught on immediately. But just in case you think they’re going to be “just another one hit wonder”, well, you’d be glad to know that ever since then, they’re still continuing to dominate the music industry by constantly impressing listeners and fans alike with their amazing compositions.

Which begs the question – where did it all begin, where did they come from? Because to many (like us), it seemed like they literally came out of nowhere albeit clearly prepared to surprise the world.


Here are some things you need to know about them and their journey to commercial success:

1. Not completely alien to this great big world.

While a majority of the world think that they came out of nowhere, Ian and Chad aren’t exactly “new”. Chad’s voice was frequently used on TV and radio commercials. He also had a small part on the Christmas episode of Nickelodeon’s “Kenan & Kel”. Ian, on the other hand, wrote his first piano piece at the tender age of 3.

2. They met as students in NYU.

In 2005, Chad and Ian found each other in the university’s practice rooms. About 7 years later, they formed A Great Big World. The name was pulled from their lyrics, “It’s a great big world, and there’s no need to cry” from the song “Cheer Up!”. They then put out a 6-song EP funded by Kickstarter. Their song, “This Is The New Year”, went viral, prompting American musical comedy-drama Glee t use it in a February 2013 episode.



3. Dating or not?

Because they’re a duo and so close, people always assume that they’re dating. While they’ve nothing against homosexuality, they’ve explained their “relationship status” a few times. In fact, Axel told Rolling Stone, “I remember this one time someone came up to me like..So Ian, I was just talking to your boyfriend. A lot of people assume we’re a couple. I have a girlfriend and she really keeps me grounded. Makes me normal.”

A Great Big World Ian Chad

And what about Chad, you ask? He said he’s “actually very single and looking” but it’s hard for him to find a relationship when he’s on the road.

4. Healthy drinkers for the win!

Ian and Chad are avid juicers. During their “30 Videos in 30 Days Challenge”, they made a video to demonstrate to their fans how to make their favourite juice with an Omega 8600 juicer. It’s like “drinking your veggies”, they say. Their go-to stop on the road is Whole Foods, an American foods supermarket chain specialising in natural and organic foods. Yum?

5. “Say Something” spoke for itself.

“Say Something” was based on both Ian’s and Chad’s unstable relationships that they were both in at the time. After Christina Aguilera reached out to them, the three of them performed “Say Something” on “The Voice” together. The immediate next day, it shot up to number one on iTunes. Following which, it got massive airplay across radio stations.

A Great Big World Christina Aguilera Say Something

When asked what it was like to hear their song on the radio for the first time, Axel said, “The minute that we plugged it in is when they played it and we both just shut up. We were so silent we went into our own worlds.”

Bonus: Come August, A Great Big World will sweep their Malaysian fans off their feet with an intimate KL Live show. Wanna go? Deets in this link.

A Great Big World Live in Malaysia 2014

For more updates, hit up The WonderLand+’s Facebook page or A Great Big World’s Facebook page.

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

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Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.