An unknown artist has experienced mega viral success through the meaningful music video for "Long Until Gone," a rock ballad about members of the U.S. military. It is the first song from the debut album of a young musician who is donating his music sales to charity in an unprecedented way for a new artist.
In a little over a week, the YouTube clip for "Long Until Gone" received over a million views and thousands of comments.
The heartfelt tune is by singer songwriter Anthony Tedesco, a New York native who released his debut album, "Exordium" on Oct. 25. The hit song's video shows powerful scenes that include sentimental close ups of soldiers arriving home after war and a nurse lovingly washing the brutal battle wounds of an anonymous solider.
Tedesco, a 20-year-old guitarist, told The Christian Post Monday that the inspiration for the song hits close to home.
The young musician came from a family where several past generations served in the military. In a press release, he said, "Much of my family has been in the service. My grandfather was in the Air Force during World War II and my uncle served in the Vietnam War. Both recently passed away. My uncle was exposed to Agent Orange during his tour of duty in Vietnam. It was long after his discharge that the dangers of Agent Orange became well known. He unknowingly brought home a souvenir from active duty that eventually shortened his life."
He told CP, "I was considering the losses my family took in World Wars. I decided to memorialize it in a song when I was writing about my debut album."
Tedesco posted "Long Until Gone" on the Internet the same day as his album's release. The video climbed to the top of YouTube's view count with 50,000 hits in less than three days. When CP asked the young musician what he thinks of the viral success, he said, "A lot of songs are abstract. I think I made the message as clear as possible and I think people realized it pretty quickly and were able to understand the importance of a solid country of people who are willing to risk our lives for us."
Tedesco hopes that "Long Until Gone" brings the issues military personnel face to the surface of human consciousness. He’s hoping the song connects listeners and invites people to discuss “how much we all owe those who serve."
It’s evident that the "Long Until Gone" singer has already done so.
One commenter on YouTube says, "I had a grandpa who was in the troops. He told me many times that he always missed my Dad and my aunt. I showed him this video and he was like, 'This is so moving.' Great music dude. ROCK ON!"
In deciding where to donate a portion of his album sales, Tedesco checked out several military charities online before settling on Treat Any Solider, a charitable organization that provides welcome care packages to active military personnel at home and abroad.
"While the solider are at war; they need reminding that we all support there. They need to know that people are still waiting for them, that they’re in our thoughts and prayers," the singer/songwriter earnestly said in an interview Monday morning.
Tedesco told CP, "I just really believe in helping people. The music is a method of helping."
CP asked the humble musician why he wants to help so many people.
He answered, "Why not?"
"It's just there. It's something that God put in me," explained Tedesco. The musician told CP that growing up in a family that placed great emphasis on helping others encouraged him to believe in the power of helping others at a young age, and the desire to continue charitable efforts is within him.
His family has been heavily involved with raising money for a school for children with autism on Long Island, N.Y., where Tedesco has participated in many fundraisers that resulted in earning over $500,000 in donations.
Tedesco also revealed his philanthropic heart in 2009 when he headlined a benefit concert that raised $30,000 for victims of the 2009 L'Aquila, Italy earthquake.
The New York musician expressed gratitude to his fans. "I want to say thank you," he said. "Hopefully the rest of my career goes as smoothly as this."
"Exordium" means the "beginning of something" and refers to the beginning of his music career as well as the conversation he hopes to establish with listeners through his music. The album is available via iTunes.