I’m a big fan of YouTube. I think it’s an amazing place for musicians to share their music. The problem is finding the channels that make you go “wow!”Today I list nine artists (and nine songs) that fit that criteria. Some of these artists you might have seen before. Some I guarantee you haven’t. Their covers range on the scale of “fully-produced music video” to “sitting in my bedroom with a piano and bad-quality camera.”
- “Breakeven,” Tyler Ward. Musician/produced Ward brings a playful bounce to The Script’s downtrodden hit single. He navigates through the song’s trouble zone—the high notes of the chorus—without a problem.
- “Shark In The Water,” Christina Grimmie. Reading lyrics off your phone while recording? It’s been done by all the greats. But they didn’t have to play piano at the same time. Grimmie does both without losing her composure.
- “E.T.” Megan and Liz. It comes across a bit strained at times, but you have to give these twins props. Taking overproduced, auto-tuned electropop and giving it the acoustic treatment should be done more often.
- “The Climb,” Ahmir feat. David Sides. Yes, it’s a Miley Cyrus track. But YouTube’s number one R&B group gives it a certain soul that’s missing from the original. Add Sides’ amazing piano accompaniment and it becomes a possibility for any gospel choir to perform.
- “What Are Words,” Chris Medina. Medina’s story was broadcast to millions during American Idol season ten. This heartbreaking song, released the day after he was eliminated, describes his devotion to his fiancée, who had been seriously injured in a car accident.
- “So Sick,” Damien Lawson. Lawson’s version could pass for the original. His voice could pass for Usher or Ne-Yo, it’s that good. Look up his version of “Blessed Be Your Name” on iTunes. It blows the original out of the water.
- “Wouldn’t Change A Thing,” Avery. Something about seventeen-year-old Avery makes her star material. She sings her part of the Camp Rock 2 duet perfectly, adding little vocal runs missing from the original.
- “Your Song,” Janet Devlin. Before she attempted the British X Factor, Devlin was just a seventeen-year-old from Ireland who uploaded videos of herself singing. Despite being eliminated in the quarterfinals, her unique voice won her a recording deal.
- “For The First Time/The Man Who Can’t Be Moved,” Before You Exit. Mashing up two more of The Script’s hits equals genius: the two songs mesh so well. The singing is good and the arrangement is nice. The execution is a bit so-so, but it earned a spot based on it’s intertwining of the two singles.