It’s a whole community inside itself: the population of YouTube cover artists contains the only people on the music scene who are able to able to sing with themselves, sing with each other (sometimes across the globe) and play multiple instruments all the meanwhile. A talented collective of international musicians display their renditions of popular songs on the Internet every day, and they put a great amount of effort into these videos. They span across every genre and form of diversity, providing the World Wide Web’s own soundtrack from the organically spawned Internet users. Musicians like Charice and Justin Bieber were discovered on YouTube and soon their talent reached past online consumers. This is the power of YouTube.
Instead of generating ticket sales, the performer’s wealth is measured in play counts and likes and maybe a little advertisement stipend from Google’s ads. If that’s not dedication, then we’re not sure what is. But what we’re sure of is that they’re in it for the love of music above all else. Here are some of YouTube’s best.
Sally Greenwood (sallygreenwood)
This girl’s got a sultry tone to her voice and a taste for covering some of the most interesting songs out there. Greenwood’s tone is warm and captivating, placing a cultured spin on contemporary classics. Her cover of Maroon 5‘s “Secret” is the bee’s knees. Watch it here!
Christina Grimmie (zeldaxlove64)
Grimmie is a petite young woman with dark black hair and a startlingly powerful voice you wouldn’t expect to hear. At first her medley of Miley Cyrus tracks caught our attention, but we later found that some of her more organic piano work was more exciting. Watch her sing Jessie J‘s “Price Tag” here.
Walk Off The Earth (walkofftheearth)
First popularized with their cover of Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (above), this group takes advantage of their individual talents while incorporating them as a whole in a wildly innovative a cappella group. Their semi-viral cover definitely deserved the attention it garnered, but don’t let it steal the thunder from their other show-stopping tunes. This group is ridiculously talented!
Jack & Joel (KingofSlugs)
A talented young musician who describes his work as “from Al Green to U2,” Joel Baker often brings his friends in front of the camera as an ever-interesting way of leaving fans never knowing what’ll come next. His baritone voice sounds great through our computer speakers. Watch him tackle a broken-down version of the golden hip-hop track in OutKast‘s “Hey Ya” here.
Tristan Clopet (SussexRecordings)
Clopet is dedicated and has a zest for perfecting his online craft, and he puts a lot of love into his recordings. It pays off, too, like when he took on Bon Iver & St. Vincent‘s “Roslyn” (above). Such raw emotion and daring execution called for a proper shout out.
Alain de Courtenay (anaker00)
Taking on The Postal Service‘s “Such Great Heights” was a big feat but it was done so honorably. Alain de Courtenay’s talent lies in the right proportion of vocal ability and proper musicianship. His mixes are fantastic, his instrumentation is brilliant and it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes! What’s not to love here?
Kiersten Holine (kierstenmh)
Seated only a few feet away from her camera, Holine delivers covers of indie and vintage songs full of emotion and delicacy. She only toys with the song gently, but what comes from her voice is full of impact. We especially enjoy her cover of “Airplanes” by Local Natives. Check it out.
David Choi (davidchoimusic)
Choi rose to YouTube fame because of his work with acoustic covers of top 40 songs. His cover of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz became popular online quickly after it was uploaded. Check out his rendition here.
Nick Pitera (goonieman86)
He does live duets… with himself. What?!
With a foreign voice that manages to hit so close to home, this girl’s YouTube notoriety earned hear a lot of buzz in the music biz. It even caught the attention of some producers (ahem, Justin Timberlake) to test her out in the studio. Don’t miss the stripped-down collabo with OneRepublic.
Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn (Pomplamoose)
Pomplamoose puts together the most DIY effort you’ll come across on the Internet. Their arrangements are out of this world, taking a song and completely reversing it. The ultimate effect is shockingly wonderful, though strange and unimaginably individualistic. Singer Dawn manages every vocal part on her own while Conte conquers all instrumentals for a really cool feel. Watch them process Lady Gaga and Beyoncé‘s “Telephone” above.
Mary Seno (maaaaryksjdhflshd)
Often rocking the uke with a fedora and nothing else, Seno dons arguably the sexiest voice on the web. It’s all she needs to provide the proper soundtrack for a day indoors or a celebration of some sort. Her style is organic yet tastefully urban. Watch her soulful voice take on Maroon 5‘s “Sunday Morning” here.
Fans of Outen on YouTube have had the pleasure of watching her grow up before their eyes, between show-stopping covers and even a hit single climbing its way up Disney’s radio charts. This girl’s power lies in her old-fashioned voice honoring glorified pop jams. She has a way of making each song feel timeless. She treated us to the heartbreaking “Crush” by David Archuleta (above), and you can also watch her carve into Rihanna and Coldplay‘s “Princess Of China” in her recent rooftop cover here.
This trio of brothers have really established themselves as artists from their impressive YouTube work. They play with emotion as their cuts with guitar, percussion and piano break down every song they put out. When Boyce Avenue put together their take on Bruno Mars‘ “Just The Way You Are,” it shook the floors. Check it out on YouTube here.
Sam Tsui (KurtHugoSchneider)
Under the work of producer Kurt Schneider, Tsui uses his clear and bright voice to channel fire and intensity as he steps in front of the microphone and in front of the camera with every upload. Each time he sings, he places magnificent riffs on the pop songs and makes them more meaningful. He even sings with himself through the power of good editing. Watch their unbeatable medley of Rihanna and Eminem‘s “Love The Way You Lie” with Taio Cruz‘s “Dynamite” and Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream” above.
PS22 Chorus (agreggofsociety)
As their talent proves in Phoenix‘s “Lisztomania” (above), you know you’ve made it when the Grammys invite you to perform on stage. This group of children, under the direction of Gregg Breinberg, hails from Staten Island, New York, taking on impressive feats of musical ambition continually. A selective group of fifth-grade students are divided into vocal parts and taught their harmonies, executing them with perfection week after week in their school’s auditorium. The work they make is inspiring and full of life.
Sungha Jung (jwcfree)
This guy works with his guitar only, taking care of both the melodies and harmonies all at once with his fascinating take on popular songs you might hear on the radio. His work at a very young age found him going viral nearly instantaneously, using the guitar to cover both the background and the melody of each song in an instrumental that will blow your mind. Jung takes on Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean” here.
So, YouTube fans, are there any talented musicians we missed? Let us know in the comments below!