I’m always on the lookout for new music and new artists, but recently I started looking into covers of some of my favourite artists and found a weird and wonderful world of musical plagiarism to feast upon.
So if you are looking for something old that is actually something new, then this is the list for you.
Happy listening xoxo
1. “Hello” – Taps Mugadza
This is the one track that has recently been covered to death. I got SO annoyed because it felt like Adele had dropped her debut album for all of 5 minutes before all aspiring singers decided that was more than enough time for her to shine before they all tackled it. It was too much.
So when my people on my Facebook timeline started posting about this amazing cover by my fellow Zimbabwean, I was rolling my eyes and just aghenest (yes aghenest, not against) . Curiosity got the better of me and by the time he had launched into the first chorus I was ululating and yelling “Mwana wedu iyeye” with so much pride, lol. Okay not really, but I wanted to. It was THAT good.
Best part: When Taps decided to bring out his guitar at the 02:03 mark and strum “our pain with his fingers”.
2. “Ho Hey” – Lennon & Maisey
One of my current favourite shows is Nashville; my younger sister got me onto it. Initially I watched it to perfect my slightly-dodgy Southern accent and before you know it, I was sucked into the world of Rayna James & Juliet Barnes. However, the two characters that truly caught my eye are the real-life sister duo Lennon & Maisey.
I live, LIVE, for their singing duos on the show. My absolute favourite collaboration of theirs is “Rockin’ & Rollin’” but when it comes to famous covers, they did this track by The Lumineers absolute justice.
Best part: When Maisey (the younger of the two) swoops in with her harmony at 0:22 *chills*
3. “So Into You” – Childish Gambino/Donald Glover
How do I love Donald Glover, let me count the ways *sigh*. He can do no wrong in my eyes. So imagine my sheer delight when I discovered that he had covered this track by Tamia. This song is the backing track to the summer in the late 90’s I truly fell in love for the first time.
Despite the less than lustre outcome of that particular relationship, whenever I hear this song play it always makes me smile and yearn for simpler, sweeter times.
Best part: The wonderful falsetto he hits at the 2:09 – 2:12 mark.
- “Shake It Off” – Us The Duo
An episode from Season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy and my trusty Shazam helped me discover this duo and their awesome remake of Taylor’s Swift tongue-in-cheek song. I really love the mellow twist they’ve put on this 2014 hit, this version is so much more haunting and sad than the original but I’m all about that emo song life, so I’m a happy camper either way.
Best part: The resigned defiance in their voices at the 0:44 – 0:56 mark is quite moving.
5. “Hotline Bling” – Kiana Brown
Who can turn an insecure, earworm of a song into a melody of vulnerability and loss? Kiana can, that’s who. While Drake’s version reeks of pettiness and turtlenecks (lol), Kiana’s soothing vocals speak of confusion, pining and long winter nights eating directly from the tub of ice-cream whilst watching your phone for a call that’s not coming *sigh*.
Best part: When Kiana stops playing and decides to really let it all out at the 01:09 – 01: 17 mark.
6. “Teenage Dream” – Glee
Who could forget this epic scene when Kurt had joined The Warblers and we were introduced to his highly talented and very easy-on-the-eye future boyfriend Blake. I never knew why New Direction won anything at Regionals or Nationals, because as far as I was concerned The Warblers were the superior team.
Anywho, this an amazing cover of Katy Perry’s song that immortalises skin-tight jeans and teenage sexual activity. Ummm yah. No comment.
Best part: That dramatic, crescendo what-what bit they do around the 1:31 – 1:40 mark.
7. “Thinking About You” – Kiah Victoria
I was introduced to this amazing artist and this particular cover when I watching one of YouTuber Joulezy’s natural hair tutorials like 3 years ago. Instead of concentrating on whatever advice she was providing me with, to take care of my unruly 4c Hair I was more preoccupied with finding out who the backing track belonged to.
Speaking of Frank Ocean…don’t even get me started with my “Where the heck is your new album” rant. It’s a sore spot right now *pout*.
Best part: 3:18 – 3:50 that involves a cello, a tinkering bell and some sturdy vocals. Imi ka!
8. “Where Are U Now” – Pentatonix
Despite the many choir and accapella groups I was a part of in primary and high school, one of my major gripes was the stuffy, old English material that had me singing about meadows and zephyrs. Yes, zephyrs. The concept of covering current and young material wasn’t even a thing, now when I come across groups like Pentatonix I imagine what truly could have been at our Eisteddfod competitions.
Justin’s ode to Selena Gomez is sad in itself, but I love the poignant melancholy that the Pentatonix members really hit home with in this cover.
Best part: The beat boxing, deep bass and that melodic imitation of that potentially irritating siren effect around 01:08 – 1:21 are all more than super impressive.
9. “Style” – THIRDSTORY
Oh look, another Taylor Swift cover on my list. #SorryNotSorry.
So I discovered these guys just last night after a friend posted their awesome cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” on my Facebook Timeline (thanks Ntombi). When these gentlemen sing this cover they have me chilling in a jazz club, wearing a form fitting long crushed black velvet dress, a very red shade of lipstick and a mink stole over my right shoulder. They’re a class act, indeed.
Best part: That playful staccato 03:36 – 03:55 they do is too cool for school!
10. “Trap Queen” – Josh Levi
I think the fact that he changed the opening line from “Seen your pretty ass as soon as you came through the door” to “Seen your pretty face”, oh and made drug dealing sound like a romantic endeavour, had me like “Winner”.
Goodness this world is filled with talented people and I’m here for all of it. ALL OF IT. I hope to hear more of Josh in 2016, we need more of what he’s selling…music, I’m talking about music here people, lol.
Best part: Josh’s voice + that melodious piano in the background are ALL sheer perfection.
Did any of these covers blow you away? And what are some really good covers you’ve recently heard? Hit me up in the comments section.
Happy weekend, chickens!