Since its release in 2005, YouTube has opened the doors for a seemingly endless number of performers, allowing them to debut for millions of people around the world. All it takes to put your video online is a camera and an internet connection – something that has become increasingly common in today’s world. While videos of all kinds are accepted, the music industry has seen the greatest explosion of new talent. This week’s Lorian Leven features eleven cover artists who have shared their talents with the world – and they all started on YouTube.
1. Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider – Since their debut in 2007, this dynamic duo has set the standard for cover artists everywhere. With Sam’s vocals and Kurt’s backup and producing abilities, the two have created a number of music videos, including David Guetta’s “Titanium,” Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away,” and Sam’s original, “Start Over.”
2. Tyler Ward – A former athlete turned musician, Tyler has been working with both original and covered works since 2008. His cover of Michael Jackson’s “We Are The World” garnered 1.5 million views within its first week, and set the stage for his future performances. He has been the opening act for The Jonas Brothers and The Fray, and his first major release in 2012 put him in the #1 position on 15 worldwide iTunes charts. Some of his more popular works include OneRepublic’s “Good Life” and Iyaz’s “Replay.”
3. Lindsey Stirling – Twenty-one years of violin practice have not been wasted on Lindsey, whose hip hop playing combined with energetic dancing earned her a faithful YouTube following and landed her a place as a quarter-finalist on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent. While she composes, choreographs, and performs a number of original pieces, Lindsey also produces cover songs, including Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” in a duet with Tyler Ward.
4. Megan Nicole – With her debut in 2009, Megan unleashed her energetic vocals singing upon the world. While the road ahead leaves plenty of room for improvement, her early works have proven that she has the potential to rock the music world. Her abilities have helped her collaborate with a number of bigger names in the cover scene, including Lindsey Stirling for Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” and with Tyler Ward for Mumford and Sons’ “The Cave.”
5. Eppic – The rapper and songwriter from Colorado made his debut in 2009 with upbeat music with deep beats. His background in rap finds its way into his performances, turning his music into a fruitful blend of different genres sure to please the ear. This twist can be heard in songs such as Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” and Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling.”
6. Alex Goot – With one of the largest collections of covers, Alex has risen to fame in the music industry with his smooth voice and excellent collection of songs. Along with Sam Tsui, he has been largely responsible for paving the way for YouTube cover artists, even to the point of making a living out of it. He has also done a number of collaborations with other cover artists. Alex regularly updates his portfolio with new modern performances and frequently tours the United States and United Kingdom. Fan favorites include Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Oasis’s “Wonderwall.”
7. The Piano Guys – This small group of musicians, the heart of which is pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, made their YouTube debut only a couple years ago in 2011. Known for their instrumental covers of various songs, their small collection of songs puts each song in a different light, and is an indication of excellent things to come. Popular hits include Coldplay’s “Paradise” and Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”
8. Alex G – Not to be confused with the more masculine Alex Goot, Alex G is a newer name on the YouTube scene. Despite her relatively recent debut in 2010, she has built a hefty portfolio with songs like Justin Beiber’s “Boyfriend” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” In addition, she has a small collection of original performances, including songs such as “Breathe” and “4 A.M.”
9. Michael Henry and Justin Robinett – This talented duo began in 2009 at Texas Tech University School of Law when the two decided to record a song and upload it to YouTube on a whim. Both men are extremely capable of simultaneously playing the piano and singing, covering songs such as The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” and Paramore’s “Brick by Boring Brick.”
10. Max Schneider – Starting in 2009, the smooth-talking Max has been hard at work using his musical talents. While not related to Kurt Schneider (despite their similar appearances), the pair collaborate on a number of projects. Max has been performing since the age of three, and has a passion for acting, dancing, and singing in all their forms. His selection includes songs such as Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” and The Script’s “Breakeven.”
11. Christina Grimmie – The Christian, Zelda-loving, energetic Christina has been around YouTube since early 2009 and has performed a number of powerful covers in her relatively short time in the spotlight. Her singing is impactful and driving, full of emotion and radiating with energy. Her best-known video is a duet with Sam Tsui of Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” but has has done a number of solo performances, including Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” and Fun’s “Some Nights.”