Music, comedy, dance and everything in between – YouTube, over the last few years, has been the best possible way to get noticed. Talent, if you have it, can be viewed by millions of people. And hence, with great pleasure, I present my list of the top 5 YouTube music cover artists.
A lot is made out of being original. You have to do your own thing, they say. You have to stand out from the rest, and make sure that people recognize you for you. But what if you can gain fame and fortune from taking other people’s stuff, and making it your own? And somewhere along the way, what if you manage to make it better than the original? That’s exactly what the people in this list have done. They’ve recognized talent, both in themselves and in others, and they’ve figured out a way to evolve something that someone else has already done.
First off, I have to make some honourable mentions (with links to my favourite videos in brackets) – Pentatonix (Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore feat. Ryan Lewis), Dylan Taylor (Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye [Dubstep Remix]) and Walk Off The Earth (Someone Like You – Adele).
Having got that out of the way, here’s the list!
5. Casey Cooper
Known on YouTube as COOP3RDRUMM3R, Casey Cooper is a drum extraordinaire. In a fairly short span of time, this man has recorded, produced and put out nearly 500 videos. The thing I like the most about him is his versatility – he does drum covers of artists as varied as Miley Cyrus and 30 Seconds To Mars. He even has a Hillsong cover! Tall, gangly and awkward-looking, all of that disappears once he gets behind his kit. And his ability to perform is unparalleled among cover drummers. I discovered Casey recently, when he put out a cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. And what a kickass cover it is!
4. Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider
They’re technically two different artists with two different channels, but I’ve clubbed them together due to the sheer volume of collaborations that they’ve done. In simpler terms, Sam and KHS, as he’s known, have developed an artistic bromance that has put out some legendary covers. The unique thing about them is their ability to seamlessly mash together several tracks, while putting their own spin on the covers. If you want an example of this, look no further than their cover of Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, Dynamite by Taio Cruz and Love The Way You Lie by Eminem.
3. Boyce Avenue
Probably the best-known of all the artists on this list of YouTube music cover artists, Boyce Avenue is made up of the Manzano brothers – Alejandro, Fabian and Daniel. They shot to fame with their covers on YouTube, even growing so famous that they ended their recording deal with Universal Records and started their own recording company named 3PeaceRecords. I’m a big sucker for teams and groups that are formed by families, but that isn’t to say that the trio isn’t insanely talented. Alejandro is unofficially the leader of the group, playing guitar and taking care of the vocals. You can check out my personal favourite BA cover, that of We Found Love by Rihanna, below. And to put it in perspective, this video has been viewed more than 29 MILLION times.
Coming in second on the list is Cobus, a South African drummer with some of the strongest convictions I’ve ever seen. Whether in his vlogs, his video descriptions or his clothing, Cobus is a humble yet brilliant musician. A self-taught drummer who’s now based in Los Angeles, Cobus was one of the first musicians to earn a name on YouTube by doing drum covers. One of the reasons I love his videos so much is that we share the same favourite band – 30 Seconds To Mars. I actually stumbled upon Cobus in a YouTube mix for 30 Seconds To Mars, with him completely blowing the Vox Populi track out of the water. Just watch the video below, and you’ll see why I love his performances so much.
And coming in at the top of the list of my favourite YouTube music cover artists on YouTube are The Piano Guys. Beginning with Paul Anderson, John Schmidt and Tel Stewart, the Piano Guys became famous for their professionally shot, slick-looking covers of famous tracks. They later added Steven Sharp Nelson and Al van der Beek to the group, and things really took off. The first Piano Guys track I heard was a cover of Coldplay’s Paradise. The track had Alex Boye added his African flavour, and was named Peponi. And, needless to say, I was hooked.
And there you have it. My favourite YouTube music cover artists. Do you have any? Feel free to add your lists and recommendations in the comments!