Under bright lights, plugged in and commanding the stage, 2CELLOS appear as any other band today, captivating their audience with an electric performance. At the same time, however, the duo of Luka Šulić and HAUSER don’t do anything like a normal band does. Instead, the pair of lifelong friends and world-renowned cellists from Croatia have blazed a path all their own, presenting a new paradigm rooted in musicianship and sustained by a dedication to each other, the instrument, and their signature style. Now with billions of audio streams, millions of fans and countless sold-out tour dates to their name, it’s this dedication that marks their tenth anniversary as they gear up for a new album and the next chapter.
“We’re celebrating a decade of dedication to our projects, our music, and our fans,” says Šulić. “Over the years, we grew up as 2CELLOS and individually as men. This has given us a new perspective on music and life. During this time, we experienced so many things most people never get to experience in terms of traveling and concerts. We’ve learned how the business works from the best of them. Now, the future comes so much easier because of everything we’ve been through together.”
“We’ve played thousands of concerts, traveled the world like crazy, and met all of these legends,” adds HAUSER. “This decade was crucial for our careers and our lives. We learned our craft more than ever. We’ve been so privileged and lucky. It’s been a crazy ride.”
That crazy ride began in 2011 when the duo first became an internet sensation with their rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” In the decade since and over the course of five studio albums, 2CELLOS have amassed a staggering 1 billion audio streams, 1.3 billion YouTube views, and 20 million followers across social media. Selling nearly 1 million tickets to their live concerts, 2CELLOS have filled legendary venues across multiple continents, including New York’s Radio City Music Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, The Olympia in Paris, Tokyo’s Budokan, and the Sydney Opera House. Embarking on their first-ever international tour as the opening act and backing band for Sir Elton John, 2CELLOS have come full circle in their touring career, since playing their own headlining dates at many of the same venues originally visited in support of the music superstar. Sir Elton John is the first in a lengthy list of star-studded collaborations for 2CELLOS, who have since shared the stage and collaborated with musical legends across every genre, from rock titans like Steven Tyler, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Queens of the Stone Age to pop royalty like George Michael, Skye Ferreira, and Naya Rivera, as well as prolific geniuses including opera tenor Andrea Bocelli, pianist Lang Lang, and guitarist Steve Vai. Along the way, the duo has continued to ignite television audiences with appearances on Good Morning America, TODAY Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show, The Bachelor Live Wedding Special, NFL Thursday Night Football, CCTV’s 2014 New Year’s Gala, and more. In 2018 ahead of their most recent album, Let There Be Cello, the prolific performers delivered a fiery performance to open the UEFA Champions League Final.
Around the same time, they also took a much-needed break.
“Breaks are good for reflection,” observes HAUSER. “You look back on all you’ve done so far and which direction you want to take for the future. We were traveling so much that we never had this kind of time for reflection. Everything is so much clearer. We haven’t been on stage for two years now, so we can’t wait to get back out!”
“We always planned to come back,” explains Šulić. “We came into this year with a fresh approach and energy. Inspiration happened by itself.”
It was in the middle of 2020 amidst the global pandemic that HAUSER and Šulić linked up again in the studio, preparing for their 10th anniversary and beginning work on their new album. The arrangement process relied on a combination of gut instinct and intense study, practice, and transposition as the duo recharged instantly recognizable songs by everyone from Bon Jovi to Imagine Dragons. Ultimately, their new album and chapter showcases every part of 2CELLOS’ artistry while setting the stage for the next decade and beyond.
“When you listen to us, we hope you realize the cello is a versatile and diverse instrument capable of playing the hardest rock, the softest ballad, and the most contemporary of music,” HAUSER leaves off. “It moves you in a way that’s equally powerful. It has a whole palette of emotions, ups, and downs. We’re trying to give you an experience you can’t get anywhere else.”