Do you recognize this guitarist? In this video she does a cover of i’m yours” by Jason Mraz. It’s a good cover for sure, and it has almost 6 million views. Six million.
Here’snother version of that song.
It has less views, just under 250,000. However this musician has lots of videos and they all have that much. She has a version of “Hey ya!” that has over 500,000 views. Do you know this musician? I have never heard of her, but lots of people have watched her perform.
Speaking of that song, here’s the incredibly good cover of Hey Ya by Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker.
It has over six million views as well. Almost as many as Outkast has themselves.
Now these people aren’t famous in the way Jason Mraz is or Outkast or the Beatles or whomever else they are covering. Yet they are able to attract large audiences with little more than a camera and an instrument. They don’t have promoters or producers or other talent helping with their songs. They are just simply singing for us, and getting alot of us to listen.
It likely helps that they are singing songs that are very popular. If they were singing an obscure song, it’s not as likely people would find them via YouTube as easily. I think one of the reasons they do get an audience is that people want to hear people singing songs they like. Stiill, I think that they would surface even without singing popular songs, either through tagging or other sharing mechanisms. YouTube is a platform that allows people to do that, much like radio was a way for bands to reach audiences that they could never reach simply by playing only in music halls. What people find interesting will rise to the top most of the time.
These artists might not get fortune this way. but it has never been easier in some ways to get a slice of fame. It reminds me of punk rock or the beginning of rock n roll, in that young people were just going out and performing and there was a willing audience to watch them. I think it is exciting and encouraging to anyone who wants to perform for an audience. You just need a camera, a good song, a good voice, and possibly one other instrument. The Hall, so to speak, is packed with millions of people, waiting for you to start.
BTW, I brought up the unstoppable force of social media on music because the music industry has been fighting for so many years to prevent people from taking over the music industry and making it their own. First there was file shariing, where you had listeners cutting out distribution of music. Now you have social music, where by the listeners cut out the promotion of music. There will still be that traditional way of making music of course, but that territory is going to shrink more and more as time goes by and the unstoppable force of social media on music keeps rolling on.