YouTube Spotlight Series: Part One

During finals season, procrastination is almost inevitable. YouTube almost begs you to come browse through the millions of videos they have. There are so many, it’s impossible to filter through them all. Sometimes you start out watching cat videos, but then three hours later, you find yourself in the weird part of YouTube—you know the one. However, the singer-songwriter realm of YouTube seems to be pretty reliable. Here are five singing videos sure to help you relax/re-energize yourself throughout this last week!

  1. doddlevloggle

Dodie Clark (stylized: dodie) is a British singer-songwriter with two released extended plays (EPs), Intertwined and You. These professionally produced EPs add variety and depth to her songs, especially when compared to the bare arrangements (usually of just piano/ukulele behind her soothing voice) on her channel. However, every now and again, she recruits her friends to join her in making a live cover. The result? Pure joy. The happiness in the “Would You Be So Kind” video is contagious and by the end, you’ll find yourself singing along.

2. RuthBVevo

“If This is Love” is from Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth B’s debut album, Safe Haven. When she posted clips of her original songs on Vine, she quickly amassed a large following. Although it was her song “Lost Boy” that shot her to fame, every song on her album matches the quality of this hit. This performance of “If This is Love” was actually her first live performance of the song, having written it only the day before. The genuine emotion of the video will keep you captivated and leave you running to look for her other hidden gems.

3. Renee Dominique

From her humble beginnings on YouTube to her recent sign-on with Star Records, Renee Dominique has shown incredible growth through her videos. Her channel repertoire is not like most: she doesn’t just cover the most popular songs; she covers everything from Spandau Ballet and Hank Williams, to Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. Despite the differences in music style, her videos are always beautifully shot and recorded. Her simple rendition of “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s captures the feeling of the movie so completely that you’ll have this song on repeat, guaranteed.

4. BirdyVevo

Jasmin van den Bogaerde, aka Birdy, has been in the spotlight since her cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” went viral in 2011. Since then, she’s released three albums: Birdy, Fire Within, and Beautiful Lies. Although her first album had no original songs, she established a very distinct style that is recognizable in her next two albums. She transforms songs in a way that is uniquely hers, almost giving it new meaning entirely. In this 2011 cover of Ed Sheeran’s “A Team,” a very young Birdy somehow manages to convey the heavy emotion of the song over her original piano accompaniment.

5. Alessia Cara

Although Alessia Cara is an international celebrity, she still posts her covers to her personal YouTube channel that jump started her career. In an interview with SPIN, she said that she will always want to post covers, even if she doesn’t necessarily watch them again herself. She explained, “I don’t want to all of a sudden have just one song and forget about all these things that got you there. It’s always good to be conscious of that stuff. Besides, covers allow listeners to really ‘hear your voice and like you just for your voice,’ not just the AudioShopped polish of fancy production studios.” Her covers keep her connected to her audience, and her latest cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Love is a Losing Game” is no exception.

As stressful as exams might get, be assured that they will all come to an end. YouTube will stick around a while longer, where you can enjoy videos like these and escape to the beautiful world of music.

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