The significance of Esmee Denters

June 5, 2007

Today, I have to confess I’m very happy, all because of this Esmee Denters record deal with Justin Timberlake.  Like so many others in the YouTube community, I’ve been watching this 18-year-old girl on YouTube blossom into a singer and future star, while waiting for the day when some major label would sign her to a recording contract.  The question back then was not if, but when.  The when is today.  

I first saw one of Esmee’s videos back in the fall of 2006.  She had enough talent in her karaoke videos that I started following her videos regularly on YouTube.  I still remember precisely the moment when I realized how good this young girl from the Netherlands really was.  It’s the day she posted her cover of Mary J Blige’s “No More Pain.”  I had seen the great Mary J in concert, so I didn’t think Esmee could handle this big vocal song.  Thirty seconds, though—that’s all it took for Esmee to prove me wrong.  I was blown away.  And that’s when I started writing about Esmee on this blog because, as I said back then, Esmee could be “the most talented, undiscovered singer on YouTube.”

Well, now that she’s been discovered by the music industry and signed by Justin Timberlake, what are we to make of the Esmee Denters phenomenon? 

I don’t want to make more of the story than it deserves, but I do feel that what is transpiring with Esmee has some very important significance for YouTube.  Terra Naomi was the first to show that undiscovered musicians can be discovered through YouTube.  (Terra signed with Island Records and her first single “Say It’s Possible” comes out June 11!)  I think Esmee Denters proves that YouTube is no fluke (or one-artist wonder), and that YouTube is fast becoming a major force in the music industry.  Some critics might laugh at the idea.  But name one other platform that has the ability discover an 18-year-old girl in a small Dutch town, who’s never had singing lessons or any performances in her life, and make her the most sought after young singer in the music industry?

Congratulations, Esmee and YouTube!

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It’s official: Esmee Denters signs with Justin Timberlake’s new label, Tennman Records

June 5, 2007

News: Esmee Denters signed with Justin Timberlake’s new label, Tennman Records, and will perform as his opening act. So I predicted this last week, but it was pretty obvious from what happened. For more on Esmee, visit here. Below is the press release (I’m not sure why it goes out of the way to say it was “completely unpredicted news” because it really wasn’t—or am I just missing the irony, wink, wink):

Los Angeles, CA … Internet phenomenon and singer/songwriter Esmee Denters is the first signing to Tennman Records. “In completely unpredicted news to all YouTubers and bloggers, we are proud to announce Esmee Denters has signed to Tennman Records and she will be joining me on tour this summer. Esmee is the real deal and I cannot wait for the world to hear her, but all of her fans on YouTube should not worry…we will keep you in the loop every step of the way,” announced today by Justin Timberlake, Chairman/CEO of the label.

“Words can’t describe how amazing it is. I am so excited! It is something I have always dreamed of doing. I have to thank YouTube and its viewers for giving me the opportunity to show the world my voice. I also have to thank Justin, one of the biggest artists in the world, for believing in me and making my dreams come true,” says Esmee Denters.

Ken Komisar, President of Tennman Records, adds “Esmee is a remarkable talent with a story that anyone with a dream can relate to – it is no wonder she has such an enthusiastic following already. We will keep providing fans with a personal look into Esmee’s world throughout the entire creative process, as she continues to write songs for her debut album.”

Esmee Denters first began to gain awareness by posting cover performances of Beyonce, Alanis Morrisette and Alicia Keys on her YouTube page. 18 year-old Esmee Denters hails from Oosterbeek, Holland, where she has had 21 million views on her YouTube site since she posted her first performance less than 9 months ago. In addition, to being on tour (see tour dates below) this summer, she is currently writing/recording on her debut album which is slated for release later this year.

Esmee Denters Opening For Justin Timberlake – Tour Dates:

DATE / VENUE / CITY
June 16 / Arena / Amsterdam, Holland
June 19 / Gloave / Stockholm, Sweden
June 21 / Valhalle / Oslo, Norway
June 23 / Parken / Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 / Scandanavian / Gothenberg, Sweden
June 27 / Sports Palais / Antwerp, Belgium
For the latest on Esmee Denters please visit www.esmeeworld.com or www.youtube.com/esmeedenters.

For more information on Tennman Records please visit www.tennmanrecords.com.

For further information on Esmee Denters please contact Hillary Siskind @ Hillary.Siskind@umusic.com and Neil Jacobson (International Press Only) Neil.Jacobson@umusic.com.


Microsoft Soapbox back up again

June 5, 2007

News: Microsoft has relaunched the beta version of Soapbox, a wannabe competitor to YouTube. Microsoft had taken it down due to copyright infringement concerns.  Now, Microsoft is using Audible Magic’s filtering program to catch copyrighted music in video files. (More)

Analysis: The user-interface is much improved compared to the first version. It still looks a little cluttered, though. And, of course, Microsoft is already well behind the game — YouTube has billions of video files already!


Esmee Denters video goes over 2 million views on YouTube

June 5, 2007

News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake just went well over 2 million views, amazingly in just 1 week. That’s pretty quick. For more about Esmee, visit here.

Esmee on YouTube

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