Out of the millions of YouTube videos that make their way into cyberspace, every now and again there are some gems that showcase talent of extraordinary proportions. While some of the talent is from folks we already know who are using YouTube to further their already popular brand--Brandy and her frequent bathroom posts comes to mind--there are a few diamonds in the rough who may not be so readily familiar to us. Granted, Antoine Dodson will forever be known as the YouTube star of 2010, but I was able to find four YouTube videos from this past year that actually relied on musical talent to win interest and praise on the overcrowded online video site.
"Bed Intruder" by Afua Richardson
I was familiar with Afua Richardson as a visual artist, meeting her recently at the Black Age of Comics Convention in Chicago, Illinois this past fall. Her work as a visual artist is incredible. Add that talent to killer looks and an incredible sense of style, and you can only be taken aback by the fact that she has also been blessed by talent of the musical variety. You'll agree with me when you check out this video below she shot earlier this year in ode to the Antoine Dodson legacy and his on-air rant that was transformed into a nationally-acclaimed parody song, done first by The Gregory Brothers. Afua is beat-boxing, playing the flute, the bass and is on vocals. Yes, be amazed.
"Pretty Girl Rock" by OohlalaKris
Regardless of whether you are a Keri Hilson fan or not, you can't dispute the fact that "Pretty Girl Rock" is, well, pretty cute. If not condescending on some level, you can siphon out a bit of positivity from the song, and there is no denying that the original video by Keri is adorable. Enter OohlalaKris' YouTube cover of the song. You don't get any cuter than Kris, and her vocals are pretty stellar to boot.
"F--k You" by D.Scott
I've been a fan of Danielle Scott--now going by the modified moniker D. Scott--since 2007 when I first heard her single "Rise." I've been checking for new music from her ever since. She is all the things that we love when we think of someone like Lauryn Hill-- an incredible voice mixed with a dynamic flow as an MC. In this vid, she covers Cee-Lo Green's hit "F--k You" from a womanly perspective. I think it's hot and a great publicity stunt to get us ready for new sounds that are all her own. Prepare to enjoy.
"Tightrope" by TSMillerProductions feat. Steph Ciotta
The fact that an acoustic guitar is being used in a cover of Janelle Monáe's high-energy hit "Tightrope" is the first thing that strikes you as unreal. The second thing may be the voice that comes out of Steph Ciotta's mouth. Rich with vibrato and a crisp tonality that is unexpected, Steph's voice turns "Tightrope" into an entirely different song. But, ultimately, you'll realize that is not necessarily a bad thing. These two have truly done a great job making this song their own. Guitarist Thomas Scott Miller out of Boston, MA has a knack for linking up with vocalists to cover popular songs and this is, by far, one of his best collaborations.