Youtube can be one of the most important resources for up and coming artists. Whether you are covering songs, or putting out your own music, it is essential you build your niche market and crowd. By putting your own spin on something new or old you can create a following and fanbase that will launch yourself into music success.
Below are five examples of different artists and how they did it. Please note: these artists were not made by YouTube alone, but heavily assisted by it:
Karmin, the “Swag-Pop” dance electronica group, formed by Amy Heidemann and Mick Noonan, found their beginnings by covering songs such as “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown and “6 foot 7” by Lil Wayne. After the videos garnered millions upon millions of views, industry heavyweights Diplo, Ryan Seacrest, and Questlove recognized the duo’s talent and rapping skills. Their name comes from “Carmen” which is the Latin word for “sing” and “karma”
How They Did It: After their debut album “Inside Out” did not receive much traction in 2010, the duo began covering strictly Top 40 artists on Youtube. By watching the charts every week, they chose a new song that would launch them into the public eye. Eventually, their videos began consecutively going viral, and pushing their name out for the world to see.
Jeffrey Williams aka Young Thug is a rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. His southern style is mainly influenced by a rough childhood among a neighborhood rampant with crime and drugs. Being a part of an 11 children family, filled with tough street realities, gave Thug a great appetite for success and something more in life. His song “Stoner” is probably the most well known single among his repertoire.
How He Did It: While at his original label, 1017 Brick Squad Records, Young Thug frequently collaborated with famous rappers, such as Rich Homie Quan, Birdman, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Scooter, Shy Glizzy, Migos, Travi$ Scott, T.I. and Gucci mane himself. His numerous collaborations and mix tapes helped him to gain recognition from the Urban music audience which then launched him into stardom. He is now signed to 300 Entertainment.
At the age of 18, Meghan Trainor had already made 3 albums. Originally from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, music has always been central to Megan’s existence. Eventually, her music led her to a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog Music. The company placed her songs with artists such as Rascal Flatts, Macy Kate, Common Kings and Sabrina Carpenter. However, it’s only when she signed her first deal with Epic Records and released “All About That Bass” that the Pop Princess made a big name for herself. Her Youtube video reached a big and fast success in and outside the US.
How She Did It: “All About That Bass” is a modern day empowerment anthem for women and girls everywhere. Mentioning that it was ok to love yourself and your body no matter your curves launched Trainor into the households of women and girls everywhere. Lyrics such as “no stick figure silicon Barbie doll,” or “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” really found their way up while being comic, almost cheesy but charming at the same time.
Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider:
Originally from Pennsylvania, Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider began collaborating in high school. They released video episodes on Youtube called College Musical as a parody of High School Musical which featured original songs composed by Schneider. The episodes began picking up steam and gathered millions of viewers all over the world. After that, Sam Tsui released an album produced by Schneider called Covers featuring songs from Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz, Journey, Beyoncé, and many others.
How They did it: By channeling nostalgia, Tsui and Schnieder created their future. The duo found a way to select the best songs, new and old, to cover with their own sense of musicality and original ideas. By doing this, they created opportunities for audiences to connect with old songs and classics with a new and fresh vibe.
Because of his mixed Flemish and Rwandan ethnicity, the Belgian artist first began rapping in French under the name OpsMaestro. Later, he changed the name to “Stromae” which is the inverted word for “Maestro.” Today, he is one of the largest and most popular artists in Central Europe. By combining his identity with his ingenious marketing and social media presence, he is truly one of a kind.
How He Did It: While he was working at NRJ Radio in Brussels, the Music manager Vincent Verbelen soon found massive potential in his song “Alors On Dance”. Later on, his song “Papaoutai” became a huge success in Europe because it dealt with and confronted the topic of child abandonment. Additionally, Stromae has an incredible skill in theatrical acting, music innovation and genre blending as well as visual/branding identity. His album “Racine Carée” is a blend of electro pop, EDM and Rwandan/African rhythms. Stromae is now exporting himself out of Europe to reach Africa and the United States. Already, he has sold out the Madison Square Garden in New York on October 2015 and made a surprise appearance at Coachella that same year.