As far as gigs go, it wasn’t going to get any stranger than this for Viv Peyrat, but he loved playing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the Bellator MMA fight event in Connecticut in 2015.
“It was wild,” he said of his performance of the National Anthem while surrounded by a host of professional prizefighters. “We were behind the screen before it shot up, and I remember thinking, ‘Don’t mess up, don’t mess up.’ (Laughs) It was awesome.”
It was also brilliant. In a music world where there are more artists than ever vying for a precious set of ears or eyes, opportunities like this can work wonders for an up and comer like Viv, whose band, Viv and the Revival, is taking advantage of thinking outside of the proverbial box.
“I think today, everyone has access to so many more bands that you want to try to be everywhere if you can, as long as it’s cool,” he said. “I wouldn’t say yes to something to corny, but if it’s remotely cool, I’ll definitely go because you get to play music for a living, and that’s a privilege to me.”
Born in Paris but reared in Philadelphia since the age of five, Peyrat’s philosophy has led him to several places his peers haven’t been, including a Verizon ad campaign that used his song, “I Want it,” a performance on Good Morning America, and the appearance of his single “Hurricane” in a FOX pre-game Super Bowl ad. It’s a new world, and Peyrat has embraced it.
“Around five years ago, I was talking with my manager,” he said. “We were setting up a bunch of shows and they were going great, but I said, ‘Let’s try to come in from left field and hit it differently, and maybe that will separate us from everyone.’ So we started trying to hit the sync / placement game and trying to get the songs on TV and movies and commercials, and that ended up being the best call because I got a huge Verizon sync that I was really lucky to get. And then all the labels started coming a couple weeks later because iTunes sales jumped. So sometimes you have to find a different way in and then you navigate the other stuff.”
All along though, Peyrat was thinking big, and that meant breaking out of the club scene at home.
“In Philly, everyone is very supportive of each other, but then there’s also the thing where you can get lost in that club circuit,” he said. “I see so many bands that literally just tour Philly and it’s easy to get lost. After a few years, you’re just doing the same thing, playing to the same people and it definitely makes you want to break out of it. I had that desire to break out.”
And he has. Currently working on a new album, Peyrat will be playing The Bowery Electric on June 22 to promote the video release of his latest single, “Faded,” and he’s looking forward to what’s next.
“We put out ‘Faded’ and we’re going to work that one and then put out another single,” he said of his future plans. “There’s about eight or nine songs in the can so far, so we just have to finish a couple more with my producers and then we’ll have a full record. We’ll see if we put it out on a label or stay independent. But I want to tour as much as humanly possible. I’m super proud of these new songs, so I want everyone to hear them.”
Viv and the Revival play The Bowery Electric in NYC on Thursday, June 22. For more information, click here.