YouTube and music go hand in hand. YouTube offers a free platform to share music, and it is a great way for a new musician to get a solid fan base. In order to take full advantage of the platform, musicians can make a few songs that grab the attention of the majority of viewers. On YouTube in particular, there is a huge audience for video games.
Here are a few examples of musicians who made successful video game soundtrack covers.
1. Yama Yama makes each cover sound original.
Yama Yama is a jazz quattro from Eugene, Oregon, that specializes in covers. Their flair comes from the unique composition, making every cover seem like an entirely original piece aside from the hook. Their most popular video on YouTube is a cover of the catchy soundtrack to Castlevania.
Since finding success with this cover, they have moved towards primarily covers of soundtracks, and their overall view count has jumped up.
2. RichaadEB emulates the original.
RichaadEB is a metal cover band that does their best to emulate the exact sound of the original score. They limit themselves by using just their normal instruments (sometimes throwing a keyboard into the mix). This actually makes the videos way more entertaining, like a challenge for them to overcome.
They found such massive success with their cover of an Undertale score that they covered the game’s entire soundtrack.
3. Lindsey Stirling mixes it up with original music.
Lindsey Stirling is already one of YouTube’s largest and most celebrated musicians. Her channel has over 9.5 million subscribers, and her videos average at around a million views each. When she does a video game cover, though, it usually hits at least 30 million views.
Her cover of the Skyrim soundtrack has 66 million hits. For a channel as successful as Stirling’s, the difference between original music and video game covers is that much more obvious. Her original music is phenomenal, but the gap makes YouTube’s preference clear.
YouTube’s audience is obsessed with all things video games, and for a musician on YouTube, it’s easy to take advantage of that. Whether trying to grow a channel or just get a ton of views on one video, making covers of your favorite game is certainly worth trying.
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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s getting into shenanigans with his other writer friends.