Youtube singers provide something out of the ordinary

May 27, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran

“Because if I look into your eyes, then I’ll have to say goodbye and that’ll break my heart. So I won’t even start. I won’t even start.”

These lyrics from YouTube singer David Choi’s original song, “I Won’t Even Start,” have been heard by over 1 million people from across the nation. Choi, a singer, songwriter and producer from Los Angeles, started on YouTube several years ago. Since then, his popularity has risen dramatically.

YouTube singers are generally unsigned musicians whose covers of hit singles and original songs have attracted many viewers. These stars sing a variety of music genres, from rap to pop.

Sophomore Chris Vu, an avid follower of YouTube singers, said their success mainly results from a novelty factor.

“YouTube singers attract so many fans and viewers because of their originality and they offer something different from all the similar mainstream music,” said Vu. “[The music] is all different and all good in their own way.”

Traphik

TimothyDeLaGhetto2, better known as Traphik, is a comedian and a rapper. Traphik’s channel includes crazy skits, random offers of advice and remixes of popular songs. Traphik rewrites song lyrics, replacing them with clever versions of his own that always impress the YouTube community.
Boasting more than 300,000 subscribers and achieving a rank of the 52nd Most Subscribed (All Time) on YouTube, Traphik has made videos such as “First Asian Boy,” a parody of American Boy by Estelle and a cover of “Baby” by Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris with Legaci, an R&B singing group, and Cathy Nguyen, another popular YouTube singer.
“I thought the cover of ‘Baby’ that he did wih Legaci and Cathy Nguyen was a lot better than the original song,” said freshman Tiffany Yung. “Traphik did a really good job of rewriting the lyrics for the rap part. I thought they were a lot more meaningful and [easy to listen to] than Ludacris’ lyrics.”
Traphik also has released an album, called “Rush Hour,” which is now available on iTunes. With his creative and somtimes comical lyrics, Traphik offers a breath of fresh air from the stereotypical rapper.
Gabe Bondoc
Gabe Bondoc is a popular acoustic singer, songwriter and guitarist who rose to fame with his “one take sessions” of covers of famous songs. He is also known for his original songs such as “Gentlemen Don’t” and “Summertime.”
He is ranked 44th Most Subscribed (All Time) Musicians and has over 100,000 subscribers. Bondoc has a smooth voice and amazing musical talent along with a charming personality in his videos.

AJ Rafael

Another YouTube star and favorite of many is singer and songwriter AJ Rafael, a talented musician at the piano, ukulele, guitar and drums. His catchy beats and original lyrics make his songs easy and fun to listen to, establishing him as a huge hit. AJ Raphael recently collaborated with WongFu Productions, an independent production company, to create a music video of his original song, “When We Say (Juicebox).” This music video was a huge success, attracting over 800,000 views in less than a month. He currently ranks 28th Most Subscribed (All Time) Musicians with over 150,000 subscribers.

Rafael has toured around the country, recently performing at the Save the Beat Benefit Concert, a Key Club gig on March 7, along with Summer Breeze, Jenny Suk, Rollie Beats, Adrian Per and the Ritards. The Ritards, a Bay Area a cappella group that includes junior Jason Shiuan, performed AJ Rafael’s song “When We Say (Juicebox)” and got to meet the YouTube star afterward.

“We were really nervous about talking to him at first. We kept putting it off because he was really tired and we didn’t want to bother him,” said Shiuan, a member of the Ritards. “He’s really nice and humble about what he does. He’s just trying to to get his name out there like us and was really happy we were doing his music.”

Rafael also performed at the Hope for Haiti Concert at Monta Vista High School on Feb. 13 with Jenny Suk.
“It was fantastic because I actually got to hear [AJ Rafael] sing in person,” said sophomore Kellie Chiou. “He and Jenny Suk were really good.”

Although these YouTube singers are not signed artists, their talents show that they are well on their way to becoming celebrities.

“[The concert] reminded me why I like YouTube singers so much: They are pure talent,” said Chiou.

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