News: Openly gay YouTuber Chris Crocker signed a TV deal with 44 Blue Productions. The show will follow his life as a gay male in a small town. Crocker recently made a name for himself by defending–in a passionate, teary-eyed rant–Britney Spears from her detractors for her MTV flop. Crocker’s video got over 8 million views. More.
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: OK, she’s only hosting a talk show about user-generated videos on the CW network (yes, exactly, where’s that?), but it’s still big news when YouTube users migrate over to the big media world. More here
Stevie’s got several different characters on YouTube — stevieryan, littleloca, The Real Paris, and Oolalaa.
Top Favorites (Today) in All
News: It’s easy to tell these days when someone on American Idol has given a spectacular, show-stopping performance. Multiple clips of the performance end up on YouTube and it becomes a “Top Favorite” among users. Yesterday, Blake Lewis gave a mind-blowing, beatbox rendition of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” (video) and now Blake Lewis owns 6 of the Top 12 Favorited videos on YouTube (in the past 24 hours), all for that one performance, which has generated hundreds of thousands of views, thousands of comments, and 4 or 5 stars.
Analysis: A lot of people have been complaining how boring American Idol has become this year. This one performance by Blake Lewis may have just saved the season from absolute boredom. The creativity of this guy is completely off the charts. That was the most original performance on Idol, ever.
And my guess is that the Idol format has been limiting Blake from showing off his full repertoire of musical talents. It would be scary to see what this guy could really do.
On a blog post on January 22, I predicted “it won’t be long before Esmee [Denters] signs her first recording contract.” Well, Esmee revealed today she’s coming to the U.S. to record music with people who have worked with some great artists. She credits her success to YouTube and her subscribers.
To start off the New Year, I thought it would be fitting to write about hope and possibility. Terra Naomi is a singer and songwriter whose success provides hope to all wannabe singers and musicians hoping to be discovered on YouTube. (Esmee Denters, are you listening?) Not too long ago, Terra, too, was undiscovered. But then Terra performed her original song, aptly titled “Say It’s Possible,” on YouTube on June 16, 2006. Later that month, YouTube stuck it on its homepage as its featured video. The video now has over 1 million views, and, the rest is, shall we say, history. Just this past month, Terra signed a recording contract with music label Island Records (who produce The Killers, Hoobastank, Melissa Etheridge, Bon Jovi, and others).
But what’s great about Terra Naomi — besides her amazing, angelic voice — is that she has shared her song with other YouTube users, allowing them to cover it and even teaching them how to play the chords in this video. And many, many people from all parts of the world have. Here’s one of the more endearing covers:
That’s not all. Even with her success, Terra makes videos and stays a part of the YouTube community. She made a video of her trip to YouTube’s offices, where she gave an “unplugged” performance of sorts. She also just made a new “official” video of “Say it’s possible,” which she put together from videos sent in to her by YouTubers who answered her question in 3 words or less, “What would you do/want if anything were possible?” Here’s the new video, just posted yesterday — Enjoy:
So Esmee Denters is starting to hit it big, at least on YouTube. Today, YouTube selected Esmee’s new video of her original song as its top-of-the-page featured video. Unfortunately, the video quality is pretty shoddy, and it appears to stop every few seconds at least on my computer. (The video didn’t run smoothly for me, so I have no opinion on her latest song.) Hopefully, the New Year will bring better technology for Esmee’s music career.
UPDATE: According to one user of YouTube (who posted a video), the huge number of hits and comments on Esmee’s video on the front page of YouTube today shortly after YouTube posted it caused YouTube’s servers to become overloaded (even causing the site to go down for 5 minutes). I haven’t verified this claim, but I did see the message posted by YouTube this afternoon that some functions were temporarily unavailable (which is unusual for a weekday afternoon — most maintenance takes place late at night). And the views on Esmee’s video did go from 50,000 plus when posted to 236,000 plus right now, so there certainly was a lot of traffic to the video. But the even bigger story may be that it appears that a number of YouTube users are making videos of Esmee and her videos. Now that’s buzz, if not a bit overboard.
Esmee Denters, the YouTube singing sensation from the Netherlands, posts videos of herself singing on her low tech webcam. The sound quality on the webcam leaves a lot to be desired, so you can never really tell just how good Esmee is.
Well, now — finally!!– there are two new videos of Esmee singing parts of her original song, “Figure it out,” on professional equipment. The sound quality is worlds better. Esmee’s never had singing lessons, so just imagine her potential.
News: YouTube announced the winners of the “Underground” contest sponsored by Cingular. Visit here to see the winners of Best Video, Most Creative, and Best Live Video. Below is the winner of the Best Song, “The Way It Is” by Greenland.
“The Way It Is,” by Greenland – Best Song
The “The Way It Is” is a fun, happy-go-lucky song, but I still prefer my early selection of “Inside Out” by New Orleans band The Hush.
Inside Out, by The Hush – my favorite
Dutch teen (online) singing sensation Esmee Denters has just posted part of an original song on YouTube here. I’ve included the video below as well. It’s no exaggeration to say that Esmee (“Ez-may”) has generated tremendous buzz on the Internet. I’m just waiting to hear that some record label has signed her up — which a lot of commenters seem to want.
I’ve already blogged once about Esmee Denters, the 18-year-old singer from the Netherlands with an amazing, soulful voice. Here’s an endearing video of Esmee explaining a little bit about herself. She seems very sweet — she wants to go into social work to help people and, though feeling awkward about talking about herself on video, made this video to respond to her fan emails. One thing I want to know: Do people really say “ya’ll” in the Netherlands?
For all of The Utube Blog’s articles about Esmee Denters, visit here
Imagine this: an 18-year-old girl in the Netherlands sitting in front of her karaoke machine and singing fearlessly into her low quality webcam. Within just two months, she’s posted 37 videos so far that have drawn over 1.5 million views on YouTube. Each video draws tens of thousands of views within the week it’s posted.
Her name is Esmee Denters (“Ez-May”), and she may well be the most talented, undiscovered singer on YouTube today. Her webcam is pretty shoddy, both in the visual and audio, but her voice is soulful and sweet. You can judge for yourself, Esmee’s latest video clip.
(All videos of Esmee Denters are here.)
News: YouTube and Cingular are sponsoring a contest to find unknown musical talent. It’s called “YouTube Underground.” You can vote through November 17.
Analysis: This is a great idea, but I’ve been underwhelmed by what’s transpired so far. First, I’ve found it very difficult even to find the music videos for the contest on YouTube. You can find them here. But once you get there, the 2,264 videos appear to be in no particular order and apparently are not searchable at all except by number. Basically, you have to scroll through and find a title or thumb nail photo that catches your eye.
Well, I did this for the better part of 40 minutes. But I had little luck in finding any music worth discussing here. I don’t want to sound like Simon Cowell, but let’s just say there’s a lot of bad music out there. (My condolences to the judges who have to sit through all 2,264 videos!)
I did find one video worth mentioning: Inside Out by the New Orleans band called The Hush.
News: NYT reports that United Talent Agency out in Hollywood has created an online unit whose task is to troll YouTube and other sites for unknown talent. Employees in the division will get paid, in other words, to watch YouTube videos all day. The article reports:
“United Talent’s online division, whose initial staff is three 26-year-old agents promoted from assistant, will operate independently from the main agency, said Jeremy Zimmer, a founder and director of the company. Defying industry conventions, agents will welcome unsolicited submissions (preferably as Web links), show existing clients’ output on a new agency Web site and be free to sign clients without the approval of the more-established departments.”
Analysis: I’m all in favor of discovering unknown talent through the Internet. But have you watched some of the videos on YouTube? Needle in a haystack.