Viral YouTube singer William Singe talks about the evolution of his music
William Singe became a household name in Australia back in 2011, when his audition for "The X Factor" floored every single judge on the panel. Singe proved his cover chops back then, creating a rendition of Justin Bieber's "One Less Lonely Girl" with an original rap verse that sealed the deal for his audition. It was the first indicator that Singe was on to something no one else had done before. Fast forward five years, and a lot of aspects about Singe has changed -- his look and his music preferences among them. But one thing has remained constant: his ingenuity when it comes to musical composition.
It's this unique way he spins and recreates hit songs that has led Singe to amass an incredible following. He has almost 3.5 million fans across all of his social media platforms, including a pretty hefty 2 million following on Facebook alone. His reach is undoubtedly impressive. But what's even more noteworthy is the quality of music Singe is producing. From start to finish, all of his covers get an R&B makeover, as Singe strips down and rebuilds some of the world's biggest hits. Not to mention, Singe is doing it all on his own, arranging the songs, playing the background instrumentals, and belting out tunes completely solo.
The result: incredible covers that always manage to go viral.
Now, William Singe is revving up his solo music career by going on tour and bringing his YouTube music to life on stage. We caught up with the singer/songwriter in our New York City offices the day after his very first stateside performance in Philadelphia. Ahead, William Singe talks about how he's seen his music transform since his "X Factor" days, how he handles the pressures of managing a hit YouTube channel, and more!
And if you want even more William Singe news, head over to AOL.com at 12 pm and 6 pm EST today for more exclusive videos, photos, and interviews!
Why did you decide to start your YouTube channel?
To be honest, I did not want a day job, so I was praying it would take off. I had maybe like 1,000 subscribers in the beginning of 2015 and now I have about 700,000. The whole year I just smashed out the covers and it just grew. I mean, consistency and quality is going to equal results, right? Regardless if you get 10 subscribers, you're always going to grow and get more subscribers as long as you're posting.
How long does it take you to make a video on average?
It depends if I'm really mood for it. If I'm in the mood, it could take me about 2 hours, but if I'm not really feeling it, it might take me a day or two, only because I might scrap the whole project and then start over.
That's from you start to finish, including the compositions of the song, correct? Two hours seems really quick!
Yeah, it becomes routine after a while. Especially since last year we were doing two covers a week. Even though some weeks I couldn't get out two covers since I had other work, I really tried to do two on average.
Since your time on the "X Factor", how have you seen your music evolve over time?
Wow, it's evolved so much since then. The more time you spend doing the music, or producing the music, or recording, you learn. Last year, I've learned so much more compared to the whole time I've been involved in music, since I've just been so adamant about getting covers out and doing original music on the side, and getting that ready for release. When it's time to bridge that gap between cover artist and original artists, there has to be music ready for it. My music is always evolving, especially with all the different genres coming out each year. There are different influences that I take from it, so I think my music is always constantly evolving. But so is music in general; you have to evolve with it or else you'll fall behind.
What are the pressures after you've had one or two viral videos on Youtube to keep churning out content?
It's pretty hard because you never know which ones are going to be hits, so it's kind of a letdown when the one you did before compared to the one you just released doesn't do as well. You just have to take that on the chest, and know that you're still picking up followers and fans, and people are still watching it. And while the majority of the people might not be watching it, you'll still gain that extra two hundred, three hundred people who really like that song. And they come to your page and hit "like" because they really connected with it, and that's all that really matters.
Do you remember what your first ever cover was?
I think the one where I was producing the cover in the video would have been "Show Me" which was by Kid Ink and Chris Brown.
How was that received when you first put it out?
People were like, "Woah! This is crazy!" They hadn't seen someone do this before -- well, I'm sure they had, but not the way I do it. It was really well received. I think the first of those videos that did the best was "Earned It" by The Weekend, probably because it was a hit song at the time and I took it upon myself to make it different. I kind of stole some D'Angelo drums and put that in there, and that went down really well.
What's the process like when you choose a song? Do you choose something that you know is popular at the moment or does it really come down to your musical preferences?
For me, I don't really listen to the hits. But, people request songs and if they request it enough, of course I'm going to do it. But for me, it comes down to what I can do with the song, if I'm really feeling it, and what I can do to change it and make it really unique to my style. When I do that, it's when it works the best. It's all kind of calculated sometimes. I have to kind of go with the hits or what's hot at the moment, because people are looking out for covers for those songs.
What's one song your fans keep requesting that you're thinking of covering now?
At the moment, they're asking me to do that new Zayn Malik song, "Pillowtalk." The last one I kept getting hit up for was "Say It" by Tory Lanez, so that was the last one did.
I'm sure you get a lot of Taylor Swift.
Yeah! I've done 4 of them already, like "Bad Blood" and "Style" -- I love that song. Same with "Shake it Off," I did a really slow version of it and that was cool.
What was your favorite cover that you have done so far?
It's "Hotline Bling" and I think that's why it did so well. I remember telling people "this one is going to be crazy!" That was probably one of my favorites; I loved the way I did it, it had that 90s R&B feel to it.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusive William Singe features, including his feelings towards his celebrity fans.
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