Andrew Huang is a Canadian musician, YouTube personality, and new media artist. He is best known for his Song Challenge video series which invites viewers to dare him in feats of musicianship, as well as viral hits such as "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows," "99 Red Balloons – played with red balloons," and "Alphabetical 26-genre song." Huang has released over 40 albums of original music, either through DFTBA Records or independently, and has released numerous albums under the pseudonyms Girl, Spokesman, Your Heart, The Cloud, Ghostface Kilobyte, and VS. His YouTube channel currently has over 1.3 million subscribers and 180 million video views as of July, 2018.
Huang was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at York University studying music and since then has been self-employed as a musician and YouTube personality. He currently resides in Toronto, Ontario with his wife.
Early Career – Songs To Wear Pants To
After little success finding a part-time job during his university studies, Huang began auctioning off his songwriting skills to the highest bidder on eBay. The winning bidders received a custom song in any genre, written and recorded to their specifications.
In response to the success of the eBay auctions, in April 2004, Huang launched the website Songs To Wear Pants To, where visitors to the site could commission Huang to create songs based on personal requests submitted online. The popularity of the site grew as Huang also began to take on commissions for free, providing the song idea interested him. The free songs often took on a comedic angle, either by poking fun at the person who requested the song, or simply because Huang would chose the most outrageous of submitted ideas to write about. What resulted was an eclectic archive of hiphop, classical, doo-wop, electronic, folk, rock and heavy metal tunes performed entirely by Huang.
In October of 2006, Andrew started a channel on YouTube and began uploading music videos for the songs he created through his Songs To Wear Pants To website. Andrew gained popularity on YouTube with the release of “Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows” which gained early viral success, due in part to its popularity in the Brony community. The song, inspired by a YouTube comment on the subject, features Huang playing upbeat happy instrumentals while singing ”Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing On Rainbows”. The lyrics also go on to describe the texture of their magical fur. The song has since been covered by numerous creators on YouTube, garnering tens of millions of views cumulatively.
Huang’s channel is known for a wide variety of musical genres, influences and projects. His eclectic approach means that fans can enjoy songs about zombie ninjas one day and devastating heartbreak the next. While he is often known for more comedic music, Huang has a varied catalog of work. Some categories on his channel include Rock/Pop/Folk, Rap, Eighties, Covers, Dubstep and Food & Drink themed songs. He also draws heavily on popular culture for inspiration. Huang’s videos often feature the artist himself. He frequently uses digital effects to create multiples of himself within the same frame in order to showcase all the various elements of the song. He also uses costumes, animation, and effects to capture the imaginative and sometimes whimsical tone and subject of his work.
Huang is most widely known for his Song Challenge series, an extension of the idea behind his Songs To Wear Pants To website. Andrew takes on musical challenges, often submitted by viewers via social media platforms and performs them on YouTube. In 2013, he released a rap song titled Vass Tunga, written in 5 different languages; English, French, Spanish, Swedish and Mandarin. He called on multi-lingual friends for aid in translation and pronunciation, and designed the lyrics to shift between all five languages while still remaining coherent. The final product manages to simultaneously rhyme and make sense in each language individually.
Andrew also created a rap written entirely without the letter E. “I wasn’t sure I’d actually be able to do it because you have to come up with quite a bit of lyrical material. […] It was a really interesting challenge because E is the most common letter of the alphabet”. He followed this effort with another song featuring only words that have E as a vowel.
Huang earned some of his following for using ‘unusual instruments’ to cover songs. One of his early efforts was released a week before AMC’s Breaking Bad aired its series finale. Huang responded to the show’s hype by composing a cover of Breaking Bad’s unsettling title music, using only equipment you would find in a meth lab. The cover was featured on several sites and became the first of many song challenges to feature ‘typical’ objects.
Another example of his use of atypical sounds can be seen in his cover of 99 Red Balloons, a song he created with actual balloons. Huang considered recording the song with 99 balloons, but finished project only required four.
Following The Weekend’s radio hit “I Can’t Feel My Face”, Huang composed a cover that re-imagined the song using only dental equipment. Instruments included a rubber glove, drill and air brush. The video was shot in the office of ‘United Smiles of Kensington”, Huang’s actual dentist.
Huang collaborated with Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen fame) on two separate videos. “Show Me Where Your Noms At” and “The Nomming Song” featured both creators singing and rapping on the subject of food.
In 2013 Andrew teamed up with Dave of Boyinaband to create an Alphetbetical 26 Genre song. The video was so popular they went on to make a second one.
Andrew worked with Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers on their ‘Incongruent Album’. He co-wrote a song called ‘Hug Scream’ on guitar and drums and has toured across the USA with the band.
In 2008 Huang entered a contest run by American Express and won a chance to collaborate with Metric star Emily Haines, on an interactive audiovisual media installation. The piece was called “Ghost” and featured a series of videos that could be played in any combination to create music.
Rhett and Link
Huang produced a track on one of Rhett and Link's most viewed videos in their Epic Rap Battle series, Geeks vs. Nerds.
In 2012 Huang composed the anthem for World Wildlife Fund Canada's official Earth Hour. The song was created using lyrics from over 9000 user submitted suggestions, taking the title of ‘Canada’s first first official crowd sourced song’. “I wanted the song to be upbeat and not pull at the heartstrings”. Huang later performed the song live, accompanied by a choir, during Earth Day celebration.
Team Andrew and Dreamz
In 2010, Huang teamed up with musician and internet personality Gunnarolla to produce videos and music, including the popular series We Are What You Tweet and New State Plates. The pair have toured North America, Australia, and New Zealand together, and are commonly referred to as "Team Andrew".
In 2013, Huang and Gunnarolla created the electro-pop music duo called Dreamz. They entered CBC Music's Searchlight contest under this new name, and their debut single "Come On" was selected as CBC Here and Now's Song of the Week on March 11, 2013. They made it as far as the Top 16 of CBC Music's Searchlight contest, representing Toronto.