A wise man once said, “Opportunities don’t knock twice.” Such was never the case for musicians. A musician would be up night and day – he would struggle and make a record to release it in time to a million different radio stations, scraping up the last bits of money that they had. And days/weeks later, they still wouldn’t have a response.
Well, in 2005, things changed. Three former PayPal employees created this simple website based on Flash and HTML, called YouTube. 6 years, and over 15 billion videos later, musicians FINALLY got a perfect platform to start off on.
Is that a good thing? Or is that a bad thing? Hint – Heard of Jessica Black?
You’ve already heard enough and more of Jessica Black for me to talk about her again. Instead, I’m going to show you a few who you may or may not have heard of!
Cobus Potgeiter – Drummer Extraordinaire
YouTube ID: deedlebag
An engineer (well, used to be one at least) from South Africa, Cobus uploaded his first video of him doing a drum solo. Considering the number of views he got (oh, just around 5,00,000), he started taking requests and putting up more videos. The first hit video he did was a drum cover of Nysnc’s “Pop” being played 1.5 times faster. One thing Cobus makes sure in his videos is that even though they’re CALLED “covers”, they’re not really a cover, but just the way that he would’ve played the song and his main aim is to have fun while playing it! His most famous video is a cover of Avenged Sevenfold’s (R.I.P James Sullivan) “Afterlife” which has grossed over 3.5 million views in 2 years.
One more video to look out for is his collaboration with Tyler Ward, another famous musician, doing a cover of Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me”. Believe me, this guy is fun to watch, and if you’re a drummer, you WILL be inspired.
Cobus currently endorses Udrum, DW Pedals, TRX Cymbals, SMG Africa and Music Connection Africa. His main drumming influences are Tony Royster Jr (Jay-Z’s drummer), Derico Watson, Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band), Travis Barker(Blink 182), Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater, A7X) and Thomas Lang.
Igor Presnyakov – Classical Guitar Maestro
YouTube ID : Iggypres
Russians, man. What a bunch. Although, this guy has really got it going. A name that will take you a while to pronounce, and the most killer mustache ever. Oh, and he’s also an arranger, composer, guitarist, and singer. The man’s been playing the guitar for about 35 years now and his style of playing gives a nice fusion of jazz and pop along with the classical style guitaring. Definitely not something you see everyday. He’s got over 165 videos on his YouTube page, and his most popular video was a tribute to Michael Jackson. Wearing the typical MJ hat, Igor strums along to “Beat It”, and in 2 years, the video has 40,00,000 views. Igor covers popular bands like Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC DC, and a lot more. On a personal side note, do check out his classical fingerstyle version of The Godfather Theme.
Sungha Jung – I have nothing to say about this one
We all know that whatever we’re doing in life, there’s always some Asian doing it better. Since we ARE Asian, that becomes Northeast Asia for us! This kid really takes the cake for doing that. He doesn’t need an introduction, and if you haven’t checked him out, you are definitely doing something wrong with your life. Born in 1996, this guitar prodigy has over 359 videos; 3,87,724 subscribers, and over 1 BILLION views. Playing a classical fingerstyle guitar, this kid covers practically any genre of music on his guitar, and supposedly takes only 2 days to learn a song. His most popular video is the Theme from the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise, and it’s got over 16,617,618 views in just 2 years! Thanks to YouTube, he got to tour with the infamous supergroup, Mr. Big and a new album is underway. He’s composed over 18 original compositions, and has won over 20 awards from YouTube including six #1 Viewed video awards. And he’s done ALL this being 15 years old. If that doesn’t leave your jaw on the floor, I don’t know what will.
YouTube certainly has put out a lot of music, and it certainly is a pleasure to watch and be inspired by such amazing musicians whom you would’ve never even heard of if it wasn’t for YouTube.
Until next time!
p.s. – Metallica’s hitting Delhi on the 28th of October, and Bangalore on the 30th of October. It’s true!