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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.


When Marilyn posted her first YouTube cover back in 2011, she never thought that two years later, she would have 2,000 subscribers and 80,000+ views. Marilyn Estoque is currently a junior animal science student at the University of Maryland and when she’s not working with animals, she loves to pick up her guitar and play music. Besides from playing songs for her YouTube channel: yoitsmarilyn, Marilyn is also a part of the Maryland Christian Fellowship’s band. She is extremely involved with the organization and considers music as her way to praise the Lord and show him her love.

I caught up with Marilyn and asked her a bit about her music. Check out our interview below!!

How and why did you begin posting covers on YouTube?

I posted my first cover on my very old account that I deleted after I made a new one. I was just doing it for fun and the feedback was positive so I was like hmmm… maybe I’ll just make one for the heck of it. So I deleted my old account and made a new one. The response was positive and people liked it. I still currently just post covers for fun.

Do you plan to pursue a music career?

I don’t really plan on going anywhere with it.

How did you gain so many views and subscribers?

I gained views and subscribers by just sharing my videos and making YouTube friends that also shared my videos.

How do you decide what to cover?

I choose the songs I cover by whatever I’m in the mood for. I miss the old YouTube because there was a suggestion box that had fans comment and vote on what songs they wanted me to cover next. I did choose some songs that were voted the most and covered them like price tag – I didn’t really like that song but people wanted me to cover it so I did. Now that YouTube has changed, I lean towards just songs that I want to do. People still send me some suggestions on what they want me to cover but I usually just stick to my preferences.

What has been some of the most requested songs?

The most requested songs were mainstream songs like Price Tag and always Adele as well as Pumped Up Kicks. I make them my own by doing mash-ups: combining songs into a remix. People really enjoy that because I feel as though I put my own creativity and originality into the cover.

How long does it take to make a cover?

Making the cover itself that contains me singing and playing guitar doesn’t take long. But the editing and video making takes forever! If I really wanted to make it a really good video, I would have to set aside the whole day or at least 6 hours. I’m a perfectionist; a hard critic for myself so it does take me a really long time. If I were just to sing in front of the camera and post it without editing, it takes about an hour. I do have some videos up that are like that to not just prove to people but myself that I am real – I don’t need auto tune or anything like that.

Can you walk us through the process of creating a cover?

The process of making a cover… Well. I choose a song. I learn it. It takes about 30 min to learn a song and then throughout the week I constantly play and sing. No video or anything. Just on my free time I play and sing. Then when I feel like I mastered it down, that’s when the camera comes out. I record myself live on garage band and iMovie at the same time (MacBook Pro). I usually click live performance for the sound effect on garage band to enhance the quality of sound. I don’t change how my voice sounds – some people have thought that. and to clarify, people sing in the bathroom because it has good acoustics – they aren’t changing the sound of their voice. Just the quality of how the overall sound is to please the ear. Because you don’t want that screeching loud feedback sometimes.

What’s been your favorite part of being a “YouTube Artist”?

 I don’t really consider myself one but I’m able to touch people through my voice. I want to glorify God with this gift so if people are touched, I’m motivated to use my talent.

What have you learned from being a YouTube Artist?

Well, I learned that not all record labels are bad. There are some music companies that don’t “water down” YouTube artists. I know that’s true for most but record labels aren’t all that bad. I just hope that when artists do get signed, they don’t forget where they came from.

What inspires your music?

My number one music inspiration is God of course, and I love Tori Kelly, that’s all I can think of right now.

What do you hope for your music?

Not to be shy about it, but to share my gift to glorify God. I don’t want it to go to waste.

Do you see yourself possibly pursuing a career in music?

Music is really just a hobby for me. I don’t want it to be too serious for it to be a career. lol too much pressure for me.

What would you tell those who want to maybe post a YouTube cover or be more involved with music?

Just to keep at it if you’re determined. That’s all. 


Jaclyn is so excited to be a campus correspondent with Her Campus! She is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, double majoring in Journalism and American Studies. Jaclyn hopes to work as an editor at a magazine in the future. She loves following fashion, attending concerts, traveling, and photographing the world around her.