No doubt you’ve heard about the scandalous Robin Thicke’s “Blurred lines” video. While YouTube can be a chance to make an impression, I prefer to think of the opportunities it can present. YouTube is an amazing tool for up and comers and indie artists. It’s free, easy to share, widely used. Going viral can be the start of your official career. Just look below for some of YouTube’s biggest hits – each of these artists started out unsigned. Some are signed by big labels, some are independent, some are one hit wonders. Click on the link to watch the video!
1. Justin Bieber – Whether or not you like him, you’ve got to admit its pretty awesome that he got his start online. Originally doing covers of songs in his adorable pre-pubescent voice, Justin’s videos were discovered when he was only 13, helping him gain the traction to become the celebrity he is today.
2. Rebecca Black – Fridays will forever be a little exciting for me. In 2011, the song “Friday” was released by Ark Records as Rebecca Black’s first single. The song gained viral status, unfortunately as more of a farce than anything else. Further investigation shows that Rebecca Black can in fact carry a tune, but unfortunately her legacy is and always will be the incredibly auto-tuned weekend anthem, Friday.
3. Bo Burnham – True, he’s more of a comedian than an Indie Artist, but he sings so he makes the list. Bo Burnham has gained incredible traction and fame through YouTube performing his stand up to song. Songs such as “Words Words Words” and “Nerds” combine comedy with catchy tunes, which helped take him to fame through YouTube.
4. Michael Henry and Justin Robinett – If you haven’t heard these two, stop reading and click here. They met in law school and found a mutual love for music. The boys gained traction through wonderfully composed mash-ups of popular songs on piano with accompanying harmonies. Their talent has taken them leaps in bounds, including sales on YouTube and multiple CDs. PS – watch the background of most of their early videos to see something funny.
5. Austin Mahone- If you’ve listened to the radio recently, you’ve probably heard 17-year-old Austin Mahone’s “What About Love.” The music video hit YouTube a mere month ago with professional videography and impressive dancing, today reaching over 22,000,000 hits. It remains to be seen if Mahone is a one hit wonder or will turn out to be more, but my guess is he’ll be picked up by a label due to his Internet fame.
Bonus: Greyson Chance – This video of Greyson Chance’s phenomenal rendition of Gaga’s “Paparazzi” went viral in 2010. Even if you don’t like his performance (in which case you’re crazy), watch the blonde – you can clearly see her shock turn into admiration which turns to a crush throughout his performance, proving to be almost as entertaining as Greyson. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres even created her own label for the 12-year-old: “Greyson … inspired me to start a record label called eleveneleven. He is my first artist, and we are making a record together.”