Just recently, the internet fell in love with Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale’s viral cover of Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s.” Not only did viewers get a mini-High School Musical reunion, but they also got to add an awesome, soothing cover to their relaxing Sunday playlists.
So why do music fans love covers so much?
Here are three reasons.
1. People like to hear acoustic versions of popular songs.
A lot of the hits today include upbeat songs. Whether it be “Closer” by the Chainsmokers or “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane, pop culture appreciates music that people can dance to.
YouTube musicians often post covers of popular dance music, and their covers simplify the original song by eliminating all the electronics, omitting the excess layered vocals, and performing only with vocals and an instrument. As much as people like pop jams, acoustic versions allow an easier listening to a good song.
Acoustic versions pay more attention to the main melody, and the audience can also better listen to the lyrics.
Here is a video of Calum Scott covering Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own.”
2. Covers give new perspectives to a song.
Many covers on YouTube are very drastically different from their original songs. A hardcore rap song can be converted into an alternative ballad; a jazz classic can be transformed into an electronic piece.
People like covers because they introduce a new form of interpretation to the original song. That new perspective then appeals to a new audience. Someone who doesn’t usually listen to rap may like a cover of a rap song.
Here is a video of Daughter covering Pharrell Williams’s “Get Lucky.”
3. Mashups combine several awesome songs into one.
A lot of YouTube musicians like to get creative with their covers. Along with classic cover videos, some musicians are creating mashups of two or more songs.
These combos are not only original, but they also attract a wide range of listeners. Listening to how multiple popular songs blend into one another is very entertaining!
Here is a video of Conor Maynard and Alex Aiono covering a series of hits in one song.
Cover videos are a great way for any musician to attract new viewers.
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Weng Cheong is a Psychology and International Relations double major in Syracuse University. She loves listen to music, take photographs, and travel in her spare time.