Today if you type in the title of a popular song, say ‘Rolling in the Deep’ or ‘Blurred Lines’ into YouTube, there is a likely chance that the search menu will suggest covers of the song. There are hundreds if not thousands of covers of popular and niche songs made by regular people who want to showcase their vocal talent.
Some of them emerge from the pack and eventually are recognized for their talent, which can result in a record deal, recognition from a celebrity talk show host, or a large number of followers. Prime examples I can think of include Greyson Chance, Walk Off the Earth, and Christina Grimmie. Others end up lost unless the right audience digs down and finds your video.
Why do we attempt to cover songs made famous by the original bands? To give it a go because everyone else is trying? To show off a little? Maybe to prove that you can outdo the original singer? Personally I feel that it is a combination of these reasons – a really good cover tends to receive multiple comments of being better than the original or quite good and worth watching.
Then the question comes: why cover a song that exists and just post a video of your own original? Well some argue that it is incredibly risky to put your new songs out there since no one has heard of you, except for your friends and family. The song covers offers one an entry point into gaining your ideal audience who wants to hear you and what you’re about.
I’ll admit that I’ve done some song covers over the years but I tend to find myself choosing lesser known songs. Why? Well, I think its because I’ve become attached the charm that some of the lesser known songs have.