YouTube star and musician Dodie performs many of her songs acoustically while playing the guitar (Image via Stanford Daily)
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YouTube star and musician Dodie performs many of her songs acoustically while playing the guitar (Image via Stanford Daily)

Turns out YouTube is more than crazy cat videos and weird challenges.

YouTube, which was first formed in 2005, was originally made so that people could share video clips with friends and family more easily. There was not a single world-wide video sharing site that was easy for anyone to use before this point.

The website soon became very popular with people sharing videos with friends that lived far away that they couldn’t always talk to face-to-face. This then led to strangers watching these videos and encouraging people to make more comedy skits, music covers, short films and so much more.

In the last 13 years since YouTube’s creation, many big-name musicians have been found through the site, such as Shawn Mendes, 5 Seconds of Summer and even Justin Bieber. Nowadays there are a number of incredible YouTube musicians making some really cool art. Here’s a few that could definitely use a spotlight shown on them.

1. Dodie

Dodie Clark is an English singer-songwriter who has been on the platform since 2011. She currently holds 1.5 million subscribers on her main channel “doddleoddle” where she posts an array of covers and original music.

She also has a personal channel filled with all types of videos from vlogging, to unofficial covers to just hanging out with her friends. In 2016, an official VEVO channel was created for her future music videos, which currently has eight videos. She’s released two EPs in the last two years and has toured in the U.K. and Europe in the past and will be doing her first solo U.S. tour later this fall.

2. Conan Gray

Conan is a 19-year-old YouTuber residing in Texas. He’s not only a YouTube musician but also a vlogger and general online star. He does videos in many different genres on the site including lifestyle, beauty and is a huge LGBTQ+ activist.

He has amassed over 700,0000 subscribers since the creation of his channel in 2013. He put out his first two singles last year, which gained him nearly 300,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. There’s a big future ahead for him and his creative style.

3. Sarah Close

Sarah has been posting covers on YouTube since 2009, playing a wide variety of genres. She got fairly popular after doing a few unique “Singing Your Questions” videos and posting them on her channel. She’s based in London and has a following of nearly 800,000 subscribers.

Although she doesn’t do many covers on her channel these days, she has recently released an EP of original music and has plans to release much more soon. Her EP “Caught Up” is streaming on Spotify, where the singer has nearly 50,000 followers. She’s recently stated that she has new music coming out later this year, so be sure to keep an eye on her.

4. Rusty Clanton

Rusty is a U.S.-based folk singer who’s been posting on the site since 2010. He has a playlist on his channel with all of his music, both original and covers, that is 80 videos long. He’s toured in the past with Dodie, as well as some other YouTube musicians and has gained over 5.5 million views on his channel.

He got a lot of attention after posting a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” The video reached over 300,000 views on its own. Rusty is most known, however for the sheer amount of originals he’s posted to his channel.

There’s a new song posted to the channel almost every month, including the newest one “I can’t help you” which was posted about a week ago and has already reached 20,000 views. He’s just under 100,000 subscribers, so you should go check him out.

 5. Tom Rosenthal

Tom is another U.K.-based YouTube musician known for his uniquely written pop songs and expertly crafted music videos. His channel has reached over 40 million views and has over 800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

Tom’s channel is mostly original music and the accompanying music videos. He’s had the YouTube account open since 2006 and his first video, a music video for his song “Away With The Faries” was posted in 2010. He’s a father of two in London spending his time making short songs that tell fascinating stories through incredible lyrics and beautifully done videos.

There are hundreds and hundreds of wonderful YouTube musicians that don’t ever get a proper light shined on them so if you’re ever looking for new music and new artists to listen to, turn towards YouTube before you go to turn on a radio station that will play the same 40 songs and maybe 15 artists over and over again.

YouTube is the perfect place to go find some insanely talented people that could really use all the views they can get. Most of the musicians on YouTube have quit their day jobs to pursue their dreams and every video view or song stream is how they make their income.

There are a lot of really stupid people doing stupid things on the Internet, so next time your looking for a little entertainment try out one of these hard working artists and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with what you hear.

Writer Profile

Michaela Sickles

Suffolk University
Print Journalism & Creative Writing

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