You know those moments when a band you’ve liked FOREVER finally gets popular? And you just want to say, “Ugh, I’ve been listening to them for years, where have you guys been?” This usually happens to me because I am a huge YouTube cover artist fanatic. I love listening to different variations of my favorite songs, stripped of all the studio embellishments: just an artist, their guitar and their voice. Getting discovered on YouTube has become a huge trend in the last 10 years, creating some of the biggest artists out there today (cough Justin Bieber). I stay up with the YouTube cover artist game to try and spot the next up and coming recording artists!
With over 27,000 subscribers on YouTube, Alice Kristiansen has been capturing hearts of listeners worldwide since she began posting her covers on YouTube in 2011. With a voice that I can’t even seem to compare to anyone (really folks, and I tried really hard) she’s bound to have an album in the making. Her voice is so light and effortless. My favorite cover she has done so far would have to be “Flaws” by Bastille. Check her out!
Perhaps one of the biggest success stories, Jayme Dee released her first EP in August 2013 and landed a song on The Hunger Games soundtrack. Where did her career begin? YouTube covers! Even after her success, she didn’t stop taking to YouTube to cover her favorite songs. Her most recent, a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” has racked up almost 200,000 views. With a very folky style of voice, similar to a cover artist favorite Birdie, she has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to hear more of her music!
After making it to the Top 24 female contestants in the 2013 season of American Idol, Holly Miller gained quite a following on her YouTube page – nearly doubling in the views on some of her covers. This spike is well deserved, as this girl has some seriously powerful, country-style pipes. As she’s still only in high school and determined to continue singing, I can imagine the world hasn’t seen the last of her. Check out my personal favorite, Ron Pope’s “A Drop in the Ocean,” and see for yourself!
Eli Lieb is all about self-production. In the bio on his website, it reads, “In a pop musical climate dominated by performers that are auditioned, packaged and produced for the public’s easy consumption, Eli Lieb has self-produced his debut album, titled simply Eli Lieb.” This guy is an amazing performer, using YouTube as the platform to get his name out there. He does covers from all genres. I love the way he turns almost everything into something very soulful. My favorite cover is probably Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors!” This guy has a lot in store for him in his self-made career.
Ceej is perhaps my favorite YouTube cover artist, as she thinks entirely out of the box in a lot of her covers. Instead of simply doing another version, she often does mashups of two songs, like this mashup of One Direction’s “Story of My Life” and Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally,” or even incorporating beat boxing. Yep, you heard me right: beat boxing. This girl has some serious talent, and has recently made her first EP of all original songs. Can’t wait to see how this budding star’s career unfolds!
Get ahead of the game and check out some cover artists on YouTube, friends. You never know when the people just singing in front of a webcam are going to be the next big thing. Just take a look at these five artists and how far they’ve come through YouTube!