If you’re at home Googling how to get your music on iTunes, you probably have yet to see the end of the rags-to-riches rainbow that is internet stardom. (Don’t worry, bud, we’ll get you there). Because although SongCast makes getting your music on iTunes easy, going viral requires a lot of luck.
Check out these eight lucky, now-famous musicians and take your tunes to the virtual streets of YouTube – where modern-day stars are born.
1. Boyce Avenue
Way back in 2007, these guys catapulted to stardom with a cover of Rihanna’s then-popular song “Umbrella.” Subsequent videos got them noticed by Universal, with whom they signed a record deal. Since then, they’ve done multiple world tours, and reportedly earn $2.3 million annually from YouTube ads alone.
The recent video you should check out: Their cover of Pharrell’s “Happy.”
2. Kurt Hugo Schneider and Sam Tsui
Schneider first started posting videos of his friend Sam Tsui singing covers while they were in high school. Later, after both Schneider and Tsui matriculated at Yale, they posted this cover of “Don’t Stop Believing,” in which Tsui sings all the parts for an entire a-cappella group. They also created a similar video honoring Michael Jackson. Sam Tsui recently toured North America and was featured in a Coke commercial, while Schneider continues to feature other YouTube guest-stars on his channel, which has more than 500 million views.
The recent video you should check out: This cover of Bastille’s “Pompeii.”
3. Tyler Ward
This guy is one of the world’s most popular independent recording artists. He’s been at the top of Billboard charts, and has nearly a million Facebook fans. It’s all because of YouTube. In interviews, he likes to talk about how he spent years playing shows to rooms of ten people, five of whom would be his own family members. Now, because of his popularity on social media sites, he plays to packed houses across North America.
The recent video you should check out: Ward’s version of “Talk Dirty.”
4. Alyssa Bernal
Bernal’s acoustic covers of pop songs got her noticed by Pharrell Williams, who signed her to his record label in 2008, when she was only 18 years old.
Peep this: Alyssa looks pretty cool performing “Royals” on her uke.
5. Justin Bieber
Yeah, yeah, this one is obvious. (But we couldn’t not include him, even if we wanted to. Cough.) For those of you who don’t know, Bieber was first discovered from his YouTube channel, where he sang covers. Look how small and high-pitched he is!
The recent video you should check out: Well, here are some great highlights from the young star’s recent deposition. Quite the performance, wouldn’t you say?
6. Lindsey Stirling
Who says YouTube musicians have to be singers? Stirling’s most popular video has 93 million views, her album sold 10,000 copies in its first week, and she recently signed a deal with Lady Gaga’s manager—but she’s a classically trained violinist.
The recent video you should check out: Watch her play along with John Legend as he sings “All of Me.”
7. Greyson Chance
The video of this sixth-grader’s performance at his elementary school’s music festival has over 53 million views. After that video exploded, Chance was featured on Ellen, and embarked on a world tour to promote his first album.
The recent video you should check out: One of his originals
8. Kina Grannis
The very first YouTube video Grannis ever posted earned her a record deal, and since then she’s done multiple world tours, and frequently collaborates on covers with other top YouTube artists.
The recent video you should check out: Kina, too, does a version of “Happy,” and it’s awesome.
These eight stars have gotten lucky, but then of course there are millions of other incredibly talented YouTubers who are still looking for viewers, like him and her and him and, of course, you! So figure out how to get your music on iTunes, then start promoting it on YouTube and other social media. Before you know it, you might wind up on your very first world tour! And just think, it all started right here.