GENERATION YouTube, a quarterly YouTube Malaysia initiative, is a platform for talented up-and-coming local creators to showcase their work.
Music comes in many genres, from the offbeat rhythm of reggae and catchy Kpop songs to the jazzy sounds of P. Ramlee. Communities all over the world have found YouTube to be a place where they can freely consume, explore, express and experiment through songs and musical instruments.
Even megastars like Charlie Puth, Troye Sivan and Justin Bieber have their humble beginnings on YouTube.
Since the early days of YouTube, creators worldwide have used the platform to display their talent.
We too have our very own local success stories like Zee Avi and Elizabeth Tan as well as viral sensations like Santesh’s smash hit, Amalina, making waves in the country. More local musicians are also actively exploring YouTube as a springboard towards their dreams.
As the world’s most popular online video community, YouTube allowed millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos by providing a forum for all ages, background and interests to connect, inform and inspire across the globe.
Enter Generation YouTube, a quarterly YouTube Malaysia initiative conceived as a platform for talented, up-and-coming local creators to showcase their work.
In previous creator showcases, Generation YouTube has highlighted local geek culture, Malaysian fashionista community, millennial vloggers and stereotype breaking female YouTubers.
Four musically talented YouTubers took the stage to give their take on music and share their YouTube journeys on Generation YouTube.
Takaharasuiko, Eb Duet, Jess Wy and Shaddy Factory share their inspiration, creative process and how YouTube has helped them in their efforts.
JAZZ IT UP
Singing her rendition of Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning, the 30-year-old music major Jess Wy from Universiti Putra Malaysia first joined YouTube in 2015.
The shy girl from Alor Star took a bit of convincing from her friend before she posted her first video on the platform and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I had the idea of being a YouTuber many years ago but was reluctant to start a channel, as I felt I wasn’t good enough and I had zero knowledge on the IT field. I want to thank my friend Pei Loon, who bought me a condenser microphone and encouraged me to post my first cover song on YouTube. I would not be here if it wasn't for his kindness and help,” said Jess.
Through her stripped-down, unique mash-up covers, Jess, or whose real name is Lui Wan Yen, sings popular songs rearranged in a jazzy twist.
With no marketing background, Jess knows she needs something to get attention and chose the latest hit songs as her strategy. Paying attention to trends, Jess manages to steadily grow her channel and audience.
Jess credits her fans for helping her to stay true to herself in her music.
Jess’ music went viral after she caught the eye of renowned Taiwanese singer Jay Chou who praised and shared Jess’ rendition of Waiting For You on social media.
If you think about it, Jess’ name is also a homophone to her music of choice, jazz.
Although she has steady followers on her channel, Jess is pursuing her passion
For music as she is a piano instructor in Singapore, spreading her love and knowledge to more people.
Channel name: Jess Wy
Total views: 723,549
Total subscribers: 9,991
Most viewed video (view count): 376,339
NO SHADDY BUSINESS
Fondly known to fans as Shaddy Danny of Shaddy Factory channel, Danny’s YouTube channel is all about his music.
At 15, Danny, whose real name is Danish Kumar, was already producing his own music but found that it was an easy task to get them produced. With no access to computers, it was Danny’s friend who first uploaded his music to his personal account.
“I didn’t know anyone to publish my music then. YouTube wasn’t as well-known as it is now.
“As I encountered difficulty setting up a YouTube account, I used a friend’s account. When my song reached 100,000 views, I decided to start my own account, taking advantage of the smartphone boom then.”
Danny’s unique style of Tamil music has not only captured audiences locally but also gained a large following overseas such as India, Sri Lanka and Australia.
The 25-year-old channel showcases music videos that he has written, composed and directed himself.
Starting out on his musical journey was not easy but Danny has found that YouTube’s mainstream popularity has opened doors for him to bring his music worldwide without the high cost.
Singing, rapping, writing and directing, this entertainment all-rounder chose YouTube as his platform of choice to share his talent due to the ease of reaching a wide audience.
Even though he has never appeared in any newspaper or television programmes, Danny said that it stuns him when people stop him on the street. “. they recognised me,” said Danny, who hails from Johor Baru.
Channel name: Shaddy Factory
Total views: 8,176,012
Total subscribers: 51,866
Most viewed video (view count): 6,182,382
The music channel Takaharasuiko started as a means for musician Takahara Suiko to archive and store her music.
Her original music and unique covers have a digital twist.
The self-taught musician uploaded videos of her music as visual reference because she was not able to read music. It was only later that her shared videos, intended for personal use, gained a following.
The front woman for alternative indie band The Venopian Solitude, Takahara also has an alter ego whom she calls Viona.
Inspired by veteran YouTube creators like Julia Nunes and MysteryGuitarMan, Takahara uses YouTube as a platform to pick up editing techniques and learn unconventional song-writing methods by watching other creators.
“By writing songs about social commentaries, politics and social taboos, people can see that I’m vocal in my opinions. I don’t hide behind an online persona,” said Takahara, adding that the YouTube experience has helped her develop her style.
Creating music as both Viona and Takahara Suiko, she explores genres, combining her love for producing and making music in an unconventional way, experimenting with live looping and audio mixing along with random acoustic jams.
So is Takahara her real name? No one knows but Takahara did share that she met her husband on YouTube. Love at first view?
Channel name: takaharasuiko
Total views: 1,382,134
Total subscribers: 12,585
Most viewed video (view count): 196,333
BIRDS OF A FEATHER, JAZZ TOGETHER
Brought together by a shared love for jazz, Eve Wong and Billy Ho — who make up Eb
Duet— uses YouTube to share live and pre-recorded jamming sessions with fans.
Eb Duet has always felt that it was pursuing a niche segment of the local market. It was surprised to find a community of likeminded jazz enthusiasts supportive of its musical pursuits on YouTube.
“The genres we love to perform such as oldies and jazz are not mainstream in Malaysia. YouTube has widened our horizon to enable our music to reach out to more like-minded people worldwide. It has given us confidence to continue to do what we love!” said Eve.
Since 2013, the duo has been regularly uploading their music covers and original compositions and fans are particularly enthralled by their live-recorded videos and the rawness of their performances.
Their YouTube journey has been an eye opening experience for both Billy and Eve.
On top of gaining an international following, they have also had the opportunity to collaborate with famous brands on commercials — something unexpected since they started their channel five years ago.
You may remember a cover video of Getaran Jiwa which made its rounds on social media at the end of last year. It was Eb Duet’s cover of the famous P. Ramlee song.
Billy, who is a sound engineer and owner of music studio Studio B, teamed up with beautiful Eve to form Eb Duet — a clever play on the music key, E-flat (Eb).
Channel name: Eb Duet
Total views: 2,182,117
Total subscribers: 12,000
Most viewed video (view count): 1,314,969