There are few platforms as effective for cutting through the noise of the music industry and reaching your audience than YouTube. With household names like Shawn Mendes, Five Seconds of Summer and even Justin Bieber each partly owing their success to the platform’s reach, Neil Dowd is here with his top five YouTubers to keep an eye on in 2019.
The music industry is one of the hardest industries to break and with millions upon millions of musicians aiming to make a name for themselves in an already overpopulated, highly competitive field, it can be argued that the road to success has never been harder. With ever-growing advancements in technology and a widespread engagement with social media, having a strong online presence has become paramount for achieving success. However, there seems to be a stigma when it comes YouTube musicians, with some people discrediting their musical ability and regarding their endeavours as nothing more than vanity projects. In order to oppose this idea, I have compiled a list of some of my personal favourite musical YouTubers, to shed some light onto the great work they do.
254 M VIEWS 1.7 M SUBSCRIBERS
Dorothy Miranda Clark is an English singer-songwriter and YouTuber better known by her stage name Dodie. Starting her main channel doddleoddle in 2011, Dodie began uploading both original songs and cover songs whilst using her side channel doddlevloggle for posting vlogs. She is instantly recognisable for her ukulele and piano playing, accompanied by her soothing yet impassioned vocal style and folkinspired harmonies. In addition to this, the multi-instrumentalist is also fluent on the guitar and frequently vlogs her experimentation with new instruments such as the double bass. Dodie has uploaded over 160 videos, received over 200 million views and earned over 1.7 million subscribers. Despite the fact that she is an unsigned artist, two of Dodie’s EPs, Intertwined and You, charted at 35 and 6 in the official UK Albums Chart respectively.
However, it is not only Clark’s musical abilities that make her worthy of remark. The artist also uses her secondary channel ‘doddlevloggle’ to portray herself in a consistently authentic light. Through the discussion of her own personal experiences, Clark has been able to start conversations regarding mental health, sexuality, feminism and body positivity amongst her audience, many of whom are at the formative years of adolescence. Her third EP Human was released on January the 18th, with the title track featuring Tom Walker. For any indie-pop fans with a love for mellifluous vocal harmonies and delicately crafted, hauntingly visceral lyrical content, Dodie is definitely worth a listen.
12 K VIEWS 1.3 M SUBSCRIBERS
When it comes to the music world, there’s not a lot that Arthur René Walwin doesn’t do. Along with posting both cover songs and original music to his YouTube channel under the artist name WALWIN, Arthur is also a established producer, session musician and songwriter and has recently began putting his camera skills to work, freelancing in photography and recording music videos.
Arthur first began uploading to YouTube just under ten years ago, with a series of acoustic guitar and vocal covers of various alternative rock songs recorded in his bedroom on a static camera. As the years went on he began releasing pop punk renditions of successfully charting pop songs with some reaching over 100,000 views. During this time, WALWIN was also uploading original songs such as This Feels Like Summer and even had his track All For You featured on BBC Radio 1’s Introducing show in 2014. Along with his successes as an artist and producer, Arthur has also worked as a session musician, briefly stepping in as session guitarist for As It Is in 2017 and Emma Blackery in 2016. This involved supporting Busted and playing renowned arenas across the country, including the O2 Arena which is certainly an impressive accomplishment.
Since then, WALWIN has developed stylistically as an artist. Whilst still remaining very active in the poppunk and alternative scene with his production work, WALWIN’s own music has drifted towards a more pop and R&B driven sound, working closely alongside fellow producer Kidneko. WALWIN made his return to performing live on the 25th of January at The Slaughtered Lamb and I cannot wait to see more from him.
3.CRAZY EIGHTY EIGHT
37 M VIEWS 221 K SUBSCRIBERS
My next choice is a musical project with origins unlike any other that I know. Crazy Eighty Eight are a three-piece post-hardcore band made up entirely of current and former YouTubers. On lead vocals we have Lauren Babic, whom is renowned for her cover song videos of post-hardcore/ progressive metal bands such as Issues and Periphery. Jarrod Alonge shows his more serious side taking on the duties of lead guitarist and backing vocalist, differing heavily from the comedy sketches and parody bands that can be found in the content on his channel. Finally, we have the former YouTuber and current frontman of As It Is, Patty Walters, on the bass guitar.
The band originally started off as a collaboration between Alonge and Babic. However, what makes this project so enticing is that the members of the band hadn’t even met during the earliest days of the collaboration and even released an EP without even meeting in person. As the project began to increase in popularity, the band set up a Kickstarter page in early 2018 in order to fund them meeting and recording their debut album. Burning Alive is the band’s debut album and was released in December 2018. With Walters living in the United Kingdom and both Alonge and Babic living in the United States, the future of this project is unclear. But I, along with many other fans, will be patiently anticipating this band’s future endeavours.
Find their videos on Jarrod Alonge’s page.
14 M VIEWS 302 K SUBSCRIBERS
Bethan Leadley has gone through some drastic stylistic changes to reach her current sound. Starting YouTube in 2011 under the username musicalbethan, Bethan began uploading videos of her performing her own original songs. During this time her music was centred around the acoustic singer-songwriter genre, with the main instrumentation for her songs being an acoustic guitar. She released her first album Unrequited Love on that same year.
It wasn’t until after her 2014 single Day Affair that Bethan’s sound began to drift towards a more pop-rock inspired sound with her EP New Kinda New in 2014 and Inside Her Head in 2015. Her 2015 single Fall For You was accompanied by a montage-styled music video wherein popular YouTubers such as Dodie Clark, Orla Gartland and The Midnight Beast each individually filmed themselves lip-synching to the song.
However, another drastic stylistic change later and Bethan has once again completely rebranded herself, adopting her surname Leadley as her artist name. She first showcased her alternative-pop sound with the leading single of her self-titled EP Like I Did. Both the track itself and the music video show a massive leap in quality for Bethan and her Spotify streaming statistics definitely reflect that. According to her Instagram updates, Leadley is constantly writing new music and I can’t help but hope that they will be hitting our speakers in 2019.
267 M VIEWS 1.5 M SUBSCRIBERS
My fifth and final choice is a YouTuber much different from my other choices. The multi-instrumentalist Rob Scallon began uploading YouTube videos 11 years ago, uploading his own original instrumental music. Scallon shows a great deal of innovation on his channel. In his most popular videos to date, he can be seen doing a range of musically based challenges. Whether it’s making banjo or ukulele based renditions of popular metal songs by the likes of Slipknot and Slayer or writing songs on the guitar only using one fret, Scallon can always be seen warping the idea of what being a musician on YouTube is.
Throughout the years, his original brand of content has allowed him to be able to build up a strong following of 1.5 million subscribers, with his most viewed videos gaining 10 million views. Whether metal is your cup of tea or not, Scallon’s channel is definitely worth checking out, just for the level of musicianship alone and it’ll be exciting to see what he brings to the YouTube community in 2019.