The days of having to put up flyers, playing countless weekends in the smallest and most pitiful venues, and struggling through the muck and mire of trying to get your music heard are, for the most part, over.
While he might not be everyone’s favorite musician, Justin Bieber paved the way for people to find mainstream music success through the venue of YouTube.
If you’re talented and have even a remotely decent ability to record your music, YouTube is a place where you can get a lot of exposure, and possibly even rise to a modest amount of popularity.
Since this has become a reality in the past few years, solo artists (and bands) of all different genres have sprung up with their own YouTube channels, some of whom are seeing a lot of success and are actually making a living with their music.
Here are a few of those musicians that are particularly talented, and still on the rise within their respective musical genres:
1. Cesar Huesca -- Huesca made his case as a competitor in Guitar Idol, and did so after he had seen a lot of success on his YouTube channel. He’s one of the best guitar players of his age, and his channel boasts a healthy dose of incredible cover material, along with some original songs sprinkled in.
2. Tiffany Alvord -- Now touring internationally, Tiffany Alvord got her start on YouTube and is considered a YouTube “homegrown celebrity”. She’s a singer-songwriter and has seen mainstream popularity that has spread well-outside her YouTube account.
3. Karl Golden -- Specializing in guitar, Karl Golden has gone from doing simple guitar covers to doing full scale collab videos with other musicians. His collab rendition of Paradise City by Gun n’ Roses leaves little to be desired.
While he isn’t seeing mainstream success on the scale of Alvord, he’s certainly making a name for himself in the YouTube musician’s community.
4. Cobus Potgieter -- Cobus Potgieter is a drummer with over 400,000 YouTube subscribers and six and seven-figure view counts on most of his videos. Like Golden, his performances are always clean, well-recorded and nearly spotless. He does mostly covers and has channeled his recognition into a teaching methodology that he’s continuing to market.
5. Christina Grimmie -- In the same vein as Alvord, Christina Grimmie has made her name as a pianist and songwriter with a tremendous amount of YouTube success that has been followed by mainstream exposure. She and Alvord are two of the most significant examples of being able to achieve recognition in the musical world by that method.
With eight-digit view counts on many of her cover videos, Grimmie has recently released a lot more original material lately to bolster her mainstream success.
6. Kim Yeo-Hee -- Known as “Applegirl” by all her fans, Kim Yeo-Hee is from South Korea. She began posting videos on YouTube with her iPhone. These covers gave her great success in South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom.
Her covers include songs from Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Ke$ha, and she eventually signed with a record label based in Seoul.
7. Alyssa Bernal -- Alyssa Bernal started out on YouTube with some acoustic covers, not really thinking much would come out of it. That all changed when she grabbed the attention of Pharrell Williams.
He signed her to Star Trak, making it possible for her to release an EP. Her channel currently has over 600,000 subscribers, and some of her most popular covers include I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Hey Soul Sister by Train.
8. Julia Nunes -- Also known as Jaaaaaaa by all her fans, Julie Nunes is another classic example of an opportunity to rise to fame just by gaining popularity on YouTube. Starting out with some covers and her ukelele, she quickly gained over 200,000 subscribers.
To further her career, she was given the opportunity to open for Ben Folds and has even made three independent albums.
9. Cody Simpson -- At just twelve years old when he began uploading videos onto YouTube, Cody Simpson was quickly coined the Australian Justin Bieber. His current resume reflects his popularity, working with Jay-Z and Missy Elliott, and even featuring a single with Flo-Rida on one of his albums.
10. Avery -- Her popularity began in 2010, when she began uploading covers and singles that drew crowds to her YouTube. She has more than 200,000 subscribers and some of her most popular videos include covers by Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry.
While it’s true that the internet has been flooded with wannabe’s and cheap imitations, it is but one of many ways that truly talented but lesser-known artists are given a chance to make a name for themselves, with low overhead and a decent chance of getting recognized.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and business owner. She is always finding something interesting to watch on YouTube, and it’s a great way to find new music for her three kids. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook today!