I can’t wait. This will be a big moment for YouTube and the community.
Both Esmee Denters and Natasha Bedingfield are on tour with Justin Timberlake.
She’s on tour with Justin Timberlake. It’s funny at the end when she says the band “A-ha” (who sang “Take on Me” in the 80s) would be music her father listens to.
News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake just went over the 5 million mark, in 21 days. That’s just amazing. I believe the most ever views for an amateur musician video on YouTube.
Entertainment Weekly interviewed Justin Timberlake about his new record label. Full interview here.
How did you decide to sign 18-year-old Netherlands resident Esmée Denters as your first artist?
Being in the business for 10 years now, you look around and some people got it and some people don’t. I saw her on YouTube, got wind of what was happening — ”Hey, there’s this girl in Holland who’s got a phenomenal voice.” And the word ”phenomenal” in front of ”voice” doesn’t come often. Usually you hear, ”She’s pretty good, but there’s this great song,” which is usually a bunch of bulls—. And so I turned on YouTube and I was literally blown away — not only by her voice, but also her ear. I love the opportunity of discovering a talent that’s so raw. And now I can just kind of sit back and help her mold herself into a superstar.
Two drama students in Singapore: Rebecca (“Bec,” her real name is Rebecca Louise Burch) and Rossalina (“Ross” for Rossalina Nasir). The best amateur duet I’ve heard so far on YouTube. They haven’t posted on YouTube in a while, but here are their videos. Their most popular song is this fantastic cover of Torn.
UPDATE: The more I listen to this duo, the more amazing I think they are. Great voices, but they are controlled and never over-sing. Some label should sign them! (Where’s Justin Timberlake?) Here’s a moving rendition of Linger, sung with some friends before graduation, and a soft, sweet duet of Leaving on a Jet Plane. If you live in Singapore, you can see The Bec and Ross show weekly on Wednesday at a bar called “Hideout” at 31b Circular Road and other places. If you don’t live in Singapore, they say that they’ll be back posting on YouTube soon.
News: Justin Timberlake just bought a huge banner ad on YouTube for Esmee Denters. I’ve never seen a YouTube celebrity get her own ad on YouTube, until now.
News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake singing “What Goes Around” just went over the 3 million mark in 9 days. You can see the video here. I wonder how long it can continue to generate more viewers at this torrid pace. You probably would guess not too much longer.
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!
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.
News: Four days. That’s all it took for Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake to go over 1 million views on YouTube. It got a big boost from being on the front page of YouTube, though. I would’ve liked to see how quick it would have made it on its own.
News: Well, it didn’t take long before YouTube noticed the Esmee Denters-Justin Timberlake video. Now, it’s one of the featured videos on YouTube’s front page. Afer a little over 3 days, Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake hit 593,433 views, with 5890 comments and 2885 favorites. I have no doubt the video will hit a million views now. It’s only a question of when. This is the second time one of Esmee’s videos hit the front page of YouTube.
UPDATE: After 3 1/2 days, the video hit 782,968 views, 9425 comments, 4034 favorites.
For more about Esmee, visit here.
News: OK, first, Esmee Denters posts a video this week, with a surprise cameo appearance from Justin Timberlake, who plays piano and performs background for her. Then, today, Justin announces that he’s starting a new record label. “We are all excited about the talent we have to offer already on our roster, and I cannot wait to introduce the world to my new discoveries,” Timberlake said in a statement issued Monday.
Analysis: Hmmm. Is this pure coincidence? Or did Esmee sign with Justin’s new label? On Dutch TV, Esmee did admit she has already signed a U.S. recording contract — a real “shocker.” My guess is that it has to be with Justin Timberlake.
At 8:30 p.m. (a little over 48 hours since 1st posting), Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake hit 442,445 views. (YouTube’s system of counting has a lag time, so the number is probably more.) But when will it hit a million?
News: After 24 hours, the Esmee Denters-Justin Timberlake video on YouTube has hit the following marks (at around 2 pm):
1st Top Favorited video (today)
3rd Most viewed (recently) – 102,685 views in 24 hours
2nd Most Top Rated (today) – 1,550 ratings near 4 1/2 stars
2nd Most Discussed (today) – 1537 comments
UPDATE 2 (at 8 p.m.)
1st Top Favorited video (today)
3rd Most viewed (recently) – 221,557 views in a little over 1 day
3nd Most Top Rated (today) – 2,176 ratings near 4 1/2 stars
1st Most Discussed (today) – 2227 comments
2nd Most Linked (today) – 68,409 links
Unbelievable. I hate to ruin the feeling of shock and amazement I had when first watching this video, but Justin Timberlake is playing piano and singing background for Esmee Denters. She really gets revved up with one minute left in the video. Justin says at the end, “She sings my own song better than me.” I agree. That was so unbelievably, mind-blowingly cool. I love it! Let’s see how long it takes for this video to get a million views.