Former student Rhett Price rocks the violin

Brooke Self

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Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

Local News Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

Since he was four years old, Rhett Price knew he would be a violinist. Instead of putting him in piano lessons, like his sister, they bought him a violin so he and his sister wouldn’t argue over who got to use the piano.

Now, Price is experiencing a rise to fame via Youtube as he and his friend Josh Knowles play a cover of Taylor Swift’s hit song “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which has racked up more than 699,853 views.

“My YouTube videos really started to gain more views when I began working harder, posting more often and not letting months pass between video releases,” Price said.
Price, who now lives in Boston, attended WTAMU for three semesters. He said he doesn’t consider himself famous, yet.

“I was on the Boston radio station WGBH last week and one of the radio DJs used that word; I just laughed,” Price said. “When I’m on the cover of GQ or Rolling Stone, then you can call me famous. Until then, I’m just a dude with a violin.”

Whether he considers himself famous or not, Price’s talent is sure to continue to get recognized. Most of his videos feature Price with fellow violinist, Knowles, covering popular songs. P!NK’s “Raise Your Glass”, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” are among the many songs Price and Knowles cover.

“I really, really like to play Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon,” Price said. “I used to blast it over and over while I showered, dreaming of having a band and playing it for a crowd one day. Now I have a free recording of it available.”

When it comes to dreaming, Price is not afraid to dream big. He said the reason he decided to follow his dream was watching the choices his father made. His father, who still lives in Texas and has worked for an oil company for more than 40 years was an artist who studied in New York and Chicago alongside some of the world’s best impressionists and got accepted to his dream art school in Los Angeles.

“After a couple bumps, [he] gave up and stayed in Texas and began working for an oil company,” Price said. “He loves his family and he loves Texas and I know that now, he wouldn’t trade it for anything. But I’m young and I do have that choice. I don’t want to be stuck doing something that I don’t enjoy, that I don’t love, something that I don’t feel that I was born to do and that’s how I feel about music.”

Price said although he has been broke and even slept on park benches and stolen granola bars and Red Bull to keep from starving, he will not give up and refuses to take “no” for an answer.

“At the end of the day, it’s the dream of selling out Madison Square Garden, the dream of standing on the stage at the Grammys, the dream of meeting thousands of wonderful fans at shows, that’s what keeps me going through everything,” Price said. “I have a dream. I have a vision. I have a future and the knowledge that my father could’ve lived out his dreams but didn’t, keeps me going.”

Price usually stays motivated, however, the events in Boston three weeks ago did have an effect on his music, but only for that one week.

“I live 5 to10 minuntes from Watertown, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured,” Price said. “For nearly 24 hours I didn’t leave my apartment. I stayed in my room hoping that they would find him and that he wouldn’t show up outside my apartment door. There were police and military everywhere in Boston, so that made me feel better, but I honestly didn’t feel very compelled to write or play music. It would be really hard to play a song like Sex On Fire very well when all I was thinking about was being able to walk to get a donut and not be shot at.”

Price said things are slowly getting back to normal in Boston, sort of. However, he said that it would probably be a little while before he stops suspecting every stranger of crazy things.

After all the drama though, Price was ready to start making videos again and is steadily releasing impressive covers of some of the biggest hit songs and even though his rise to fame may not have completely sunk in, the proof of his steady rise is clear. He said he realized the “I Knew You Were Trouble” video was going to be big on the fourth day of its YouTube life.

“I was on the phone with the NY Post, Huffington Post, Boston Magazine and Boston Globe that day,” Price said. “I woke up the next morning and it was on the Seventeen Magazine front page, Bar Stool Sports, the Reddit homepage and The Chive.”

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Former student Rhett Price rocks the violin