The Ultimate Guide: Be The Next YouTube Music Sensation

If we were to look back to 2014 in, say, 5 years time, we’d probably be known as the YouTube generation. Videos of cute cats, derpy dogs, the meaning of ‘derpy’, a middle-aged dancing South Korean superstar, Jenna Marbles. It’ll take a really long time to list down the best examples but you catch our drift. You can probably name more YouTube ‘celebrities’ than TV actresses. While there have been many instances of ordinary teenagers catapulted to stardom through the video streaming service, a viable way has been known by performing music.

It’s weird to think how one Internet service has been able to help launch careers, but like it or not it has provided an easier way for budding musicians to get music out there to people around the world. And it has worked. This year alone, we’ve seen a multitude of acts jumping out of their virtual YouTube channels and onto our stages here. 2cellos, Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider, Kawehi, Daniella Andrade, David Choi, Alex Goot & Against the Current. There was even an entire event hosting a variety of YouTube personalities. And don’t get us started on Pentatonix, who sold out three nights at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre. 

Even some of our Singaporean friends have done it. Look at Gentle Bones, who started out in his bedroom covering Top 40 pop hits among others and now he’s fresh off selling out TAB for launching his first EP. (He’s also playing on our road-trip bus to Urbanscapes, in case you didn’t know by now) It’s clear all these acts, and so many more, know exactly how to reach their audience through a single video streaming site. Using a faultless YouTube algorithm built in-house and our professional sense of sensing stuff, we present a guide on how YOU can also be the next big YouTube music sensation!

The first step to being as cool as other aspiring musicians on YouTube is to cover songs. Not just any songs. No, you need to step up your game and start listening to the radio. Listen to what’s cool, what’s hip, what’s a banger. You can’t just start out with a cover of a Vanessa Carlton song. You and your grandma music will burn in YouTube purgatory man, we swear. 

Now that you’re all set with the latest Jason Derulo single from the Billboard Charts, it’s time to make a cover. But making a cover that adds nothing to the original song? You might as well be Birdy. No, there are many possibilities. You could take an acoustic guitar and throw five people on it. You could dig out your old violin or cello that you were once forced to love as a depressed five-year-old. You could take a cue from Glee and do pop song mash-ups or medleys. Or if all else fails, you can go full-on acapella. Or you could not follow all these pre-existing ideas and create your own original ideas. But being original is stupid!!

Let’s face it, many YouTube artists that have gone to make it big look like they started off as Abercrombie & Fitch models. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch but yeah, they’re very good looking people. You gotta be good looking too. We’re all good looking on the inside, but this time only the outside counts. Sorry guys.

Sure, you can hit some high notes. The problem once you’re in the YouTube arena is that you’re pitted against many other singers with far better voices, so you’ll really need to step up your game. Take vocal lessons, listen to virtuoso singers for inspiration, keep practicing. If it still doesn’t work, you can find one singer and imitate how they sing. We call this the Scott Stapp effect. 

Lastly, don't forget to plug your latest tour at the end of your video, even if it's just two open mic shows at SCAPE. You HAVE to look professional. Mention your Twitter and Instagram handles because everyone loves selfies and retweetable inspirational quotes! You're all set. Now get out there and show people why that Iggy Azalea song sounds better on a ukulele!!!