Classical Music

After Millions of Views of 'Despacito,' DSQ Electric Covers Maroon 5 and Cardi B

After Millions of Views of 'Despacito,' DSQ Electric Covers Maroon 5 and Cardi B
screenshot of YouTube video

Dallas String Quartet Electric's a cover of "Despacito," posted last summer on YouTube, has more than 2.2 million views. Inspired by that success, the group released a new video with a cover of "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B. Members of DSQ Electric posed with exotic cars and shot scenes on rooftop bars around Dallas.

“Since we are the Dallas String Quartet, it was important for us to incorporate iconic Dallas shots in this video," DSQ founder Ion Zanca says. "Shooting at dusk into the night really put the cherry on top and gave the video a magical feel.”

Zanca's mission when he formed DSQ Electric was "to disturb and innovate an industry and a style of music that has been done the same way for centuries," he says. A string quartet is defined as a musical ensemble of four string players — two violin players, a viola player and a cellist, and DSQ Electric meets that definition.

But the group won't be playing background music at a wedding or at a grandma’s tea party. It's more likely to be playing at an NFL game at AT&T Stadium or at a concert venue like House of Blues. DSQ Electric has played with Chicago, Kenny G and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and its website describes the music as “the nexus between classical and modern pop where Beethoven and Bono collide.”

Zanca was born in Romania to musician parents. He attended Southern Methodist University, where he majored in music, and during college, he performed as a violinist and composer with the Irving and Plano symphony orchestras and subbed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Zanca formed Dallas String Quartet about 10 years ago. Today, its other members are violinists Melissa Priller and Eleanor Dunbar and bassist Young Heo, all classically trained musicians.

The quartet's first nontraditional, nonclassical piece was "Bittersweet Symphony."  Priller and Dunbar plugged in their violins, and the group broke out of the stereotypical string quartet repertoire and began to cover more rock and pop hits. In concerts, the quartet began performing songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” Adele’s “Hello” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Since then, DSQ Electric has made four albums.

In the fall, DSQ Electric will release its newest album, a collaboration with the Irving Symphony.

“As a classically trained musician, you grow up wanting to solo with symphonies, and it has been amazing to watch that dream come true," Priller says of the experience.
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