If you have the ability to sing and want to be a singer, rendering a cover song may be a good way to showcase your talent. A cover version, a cover song, or simply cover, is a performance or recording by a singer of a track originally rendered by a popular artiste. In recent years, budding singers have lent their voice to such songs and earned thousands of views on YouTube. Some singers render the song with a little touch of their own, showing their creativity. In fact, YouTube has helped many budding singers gain quick stardom.
Orissa POST talked to some singers, who have earned popularity with their cover songs, and also asked a few avid listeners for their views on this genre.
“Previously, cover versions were not liked in Odisha. People were critical of me when I started singing numbers which were already popular,” says singer and software engineer Amrita Nayak. Today, with more than four lakh subscribers on YouTube, the young singer from Cuttack has many cover songs to her credit. Her ‘Aye mere humsafar’ from film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak has earned 34 million views. Besides, the Hyderabad-based singer has recorded original tracks in 10 languages and lent her voice to many background numbers in regional films including Telugu and Rajasthani.
Amrita adds, “Releasing covers on YouTube has a great impact. We may not earn a lot due to copyright issues, but we get a huge platform to showcase our talent. We may even get a chance in Bollywood films, if we work hard for it. Shirley Setia, Jonita Gandhi and Sanam are some of the examples of those who have made it to films.”
“Through cover songs we can participate in multiple contests and win. Recently, I won the T- Series #humnavamere contest. As a result, I will soon get a chance to sing a song for T-Series. Cover songs have given me over 410,000+ subscribers on my channel and also got me the chance to perform at the YouTube fanfest 2018. Through YouTube, one can also get brand deals. I have worked in a song for Honour Mobiles.”
Sanchita Subhadarshini, a B.Tech student from Bhubaneswar, has earned 7.5 lakh plus views for her cover song ‘Suna Ra Chadhei.’ Besides, she also has some original hit albums to her credit. The talented singer says, “Cover songs have played a very important role in my life. My song ‘Suna Ra Chadhei,’ which I sang along with Shashank Shekhar, has been the turning point in my life. That apart, with my other cover songs ‘Ae jhuma jhuma golapi belare’ — originally sung by Hariharan and Arati Mukherjee — and ‘Sindura mathare tora’ — originally sung by Suresh Wadkar and Anuradha Paudwal — I have earned the appreciation and support of my listeners.”
“There are singers who don’t get a chance to sing in movies or commercials. For them, the cover song has become an effective way to showcase their talent and reach the audience. Besides, teenagers of today who hardly know popular old favourites are getting an opportunity to enjoy those songs through their cover versions. In fact, they constitute a large portion of the audience for this genre and they are appreciative,” Sanchita adds. “I have many cover songs in the pipeline. I think this trend should continue so that people can get to hear new singers.”
Sunil Maharana is a young lyricist who has earned popularity in Odisha with the songs based on his lyrics which are on YouTube. An avid fan of cover songs, Sunil believes this is the best way to reach the audiences. He says, “We love to listen to a song in the voice of the original singer. Yet, every singer has his or her own creativity and style which can add to a song’s sweetness. So, we must listen to cover singers. We are sure to enjoy the cover version if the singer is talented.”
Model Shankar Shukla often listens to cover songs on YouTube. “I like the new musical elements that singers sometimes add in a cover song. Of course, sometimes they fail. I like cover songs, though maybe not all.”
HIMANSHU GURU, OP