In the winter, when it’s too cold to work on outside projects, I spend some of my free time bouncing here and there on the internet. Much of that is blog surfing, of course, but I also like to stop by sites like Youtube and Vimeo to pass time enjoying the video creations that folks offer to share. People today, especially young people, have an amazing opportunity to showcase their talents in ways that simply didn’t exist just a few short years ago.
A little over a year ago, I was writing late one night after Linda had gone to bed. I hit one of my creative blocks and felt the need to clear my mind for a few minutes so I started to troll YouTube in search of some Christmas music. I know, Christmas music isn’t hard to find in December, but there’s a limit to how many times you can listen to Frosty the Snowman without turning your mind to mush and I was looking for something new. What I found was an original Christmas themed song by Jess Moskaluke, a young lady from Canada. It was a charming song and I found myself listening to it repeatedly over the next few days. Give a listen.
Curiosity soon got the better of me and I searched YouTube for other songs by Miss Moskaluke. It turned out that she’d been doing cover songs for some time and was something of a YouTube sensation with over twenty million hits on her renditions of country and pop songs. The more I listened to her, the more I understood why. Sit back, turn up the volume a bit and listen to her cover of Nicki Minaj’s Starships Are Meant to Fly.
Her main focus though is country and, with her edgy voice, I think that the comparisons between her and another Canadian songstress, Shania Twain, are inevitable. Listen to Miss Moskaluke’s version of Carrie Underwood’s song, Blown Away, and see if you can’t envision Shania singing.
Performances like this are crucial to giving young people a start at the beginning of their careers. Years ago the only option was to walk the streets in Nashville, New York City or L.A. trying to find someone who would listen to a demo tape. That’s still done today of course, but sites like YouTube and Vimeo have opened up an entire new venue. That’s a good thing which makes me wonder how many talented artists gave up years ago because they didn’t have that option?
But, doing cover songs is just an opening…a way to get noticed. If a young artist wants to be successful, they have to use that opening as a springboard to performing their own work. Miss Moskaluke is doing just that. She’s released one album already, Catch Me if You Can, and has another album on the burner. Here’s one of my favorites from the first album. The song is titled, Amen Hallelujah.
This is another one from Catch Me If You Can titled Go Big or Go Home. If the NFL doesn’t pick this up to play as an intro to the playoff games, they’re idiots.
Besides her album of original songs, Miss Moskaluke also has four albums of extended play cover songs that are available both on iTunes and Amazon. I have all four and there isn’t a bad performance in the bunch. I don’t go to concerts often anymore, but when this young lady comes to town, I’m going to make an exception.
As I’ve wandered through YouTube over the last couple of years, I’ve been amazed at the talent I’ve seen. For years, recording companies have pulled the strings of young artists, picking which ones would succeed and which ones would be relegated to performing at seedy night clubs just to survive. In a very real sense as consumers, our musical tastes were dictated to us. It’s refreshing to see that the tide is changing. Today a young artist can walk into a recording company bringing along a fan base that they built on the internet and negotiate contracts on their own terms. That’s a win for both the artist and the fans.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some YouTube surfing to do. You never know who you’ll find singing a song.