Get to know the music artists: Twenty One Pilots


Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Jacey Sola

Twenty One Pilots is an American musical duo composed of the singer Tyler Joseph and the drummer Josh Dun. Their music falls under the category of alternative pop and rock, but they are known for blurring the lines between hip-hop, electronic music, and pop in their music. They are best known for the songs, “Stressed Out,” “Chlorine,” “Heathens,” and “House of Gold.”

Tyler Joseph, the original founder of the group, was born on Dec. 1, 1998, in Columbus, Ohio. Joseph attended a school in his hometown and was originally interested in playing baseball. According to the 21 Pilots Tour, he competed in an interstate competition, and his team was able to secure second place. He also received a baseball scholarship, which he rejected because of his inclination to music.

Joseph was introduced to music by his friend who was a songwriter. He started to sing the songs written by his friend and eventually started to learn how to play the piano on the abandoned keyboard he received from his mother as a previous birthday gift.

Joseph started to mimic the symphonies playing on the radio, and eventually, he became encapsulated in music. This led to Joseph first getting the idea that he could make a living off of music.

Joseph brought his idea to life and founded “Twenty One Pilots” in 2009 with his school friends, Nick Thomas and Chris Salih. The name of the band was derived from the play “All My Sons” by Arthur Miller, which was a story of 21 US pilots who lost their lives in World War 2.

The band was able to get a huge following across Ohio and the Midwest through constant touring, social media, and connecting with fans. According to All Music, the trio self-released their debut album of rap-infused, high-tech pop in Dec. 2009 before Thomas and Salih left the band in 2011.

Before he left, Salih introduced Joseph to a talented drummer named Josh Dun. Joseph and Dun continued the “Twenty One Pilots,” as a duo. In 2012, Joseph and Dun released their first album together and their second album of the band named, “Regional at Best.” It included the songs, “Holding on to You,” “Car Radio,” and, “Guns for Hands.” This expanded their audience and even garnered attention from major labels.

In 2012, they signed to Atlantic subsidiary Fueled by Ramen. Working with Adele producer Greg Wells, they released their debut album of the label, “Vessel,” including platinum singles, “House of Gold,” “Migraine,” and “Ode to Sleep.”

For their third album, the duo worked with various producers on an almost song-by-song basis, which was a process at studios throughout Los Angeles and London. They released the album named, “Blurryface,” in 2015, which topped the Billboard 200 charts. It included the grammy-winning song “Stressed Out” which reached 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Ride,” which reached number 5.

They also released “Heathens,” the grammy-nominated contribution to the soundtrack for the movie “Suicide Squad.”

After three years of silence from the duo, they released the “Trench,” in 2018, including singles, “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners.” Trench rose to the top of Billboard’s alternative rock album charts.

In 2020, the single, “Level of Concern,” released and topped the rock and alternative singles charts. Their recent LP “Scaled and Icy,” released this year included, “Christmas Saves the Day,” and, “Shy Away,” which also earned them another number one.

Twenty One Pilots have shown time and time again their great dedication to music. They have a great love for their fans, which inspires them to create the best music possible. They are living proof that hard work pays off and people can do anything you set your mind to.

“For me, music’s always been that. I’ve found that you can make music something even bigger than yourself in trying to interact with other people and trying to escape what reality you may be in that might not be the best headspace,” Joseph said.