A Q&A With Your Favourite English Cover Artists

The western audience for Asian entertainment is steadily growing, and subsequently, more and more people are listening to music in a language they don’t know. Whilst the language barrier is clearly not an issue for plenty of people, there are many Hallyu fans who wish to hear the music that they love in their native language. Furthermore, there are many musicians who want to sing the songs that they love in their native language. How to kill two birds with one stone? English covers! English covers of Asian music have been appearing on YouTube for years now, and they’re only growing in numbers. Due to the high demand for them, there are a great many YouTube creators who have gained recognition for their amazing English covers. Let’s get to know them.

JANNY

Chinese-American Janny has over 9,000,000 YouTube views and thousands of social media followers. The twenty-year-old regularly uploads English K-Pop covers that attract thousands of views, and her viewers compare her vocal tone to that of Jessica Jung’s, despite her never having undertaken vocal lessons. Due to her natural sounding lyrics and unique voice, Janny has quickly become one of the most popular K-Pop English cover artists.

How did you start out on YouTube?

Honestly, I never really intended on starting a YouTube channel. I had a channel open so I can upload school projects, that’s all. One day, a friend of mine overseas wanted to hear me singing and convinced me to make a cover, and, I did. I ended up uploading the cover on YouTube so they can see, and just things kicked off from there!

What’s your favourite thing about posting covers on Youtube?

I love being able to upload whatever I want and whenever I want without being pressured. Also, posting covers on YouTube has helped me become friends with many people, other YouTubers that post covers, as well as some really kind listeners. Having this kind of support from people from all around the world that don’t even know me is unbelievable, and most definitely an important part of my life.

How did you first get into K-Pop?

The first K-pop song I heard was BigBang’s Haru Haru and SNSD’s Gee, however, I didn’t get into Kpop at that time. SHINee’s Lucifer and Hello was what really got me in during the beginning of 2011 when an older friend showed it to me, and from then, I was hooked!

Do your family and friends know about your YouTube channel?

At first, they didn’t, and I have to wait until I am home alone to record anything, however, as time went on, I became more comfortable, and now mostly all my close friends and everyone in my family, even some extended family, knows about my YouTube channel. They are all very supportive, and it’s been a blessing.

Is there anything that you want to say to all of your viewers who are supporting you?

I would love to thank you all for sticking with me and supporting me even though my upload schedule is very inconsistent and mostly just spontaneous, whenever I find a couple of hours in a day to record since I’ve been quite busy with my studies. In darker times of my life, you guys never fail to leave a smile on my face with all your kind words and it means so much to me, thank you so much once again!


MARGOT D.R.

Margot D.R. is a French Youtuber who covers K-Pop music, particularly BTS. Margot makes a great deal of bold musical choices, resulting in a unique and high-quality sound. She often drastically changes the arrangement of popular songs, complete with ad-libs and harmonies. The final products are hauntingly beautiful and have reeled in over two million views.

How did you start out on YouTube?

I remember being around 16, completely unsatisfied with my life and wanting to do something that would keep me inspired for a long time. At the time I was just getting into K-Pop and opera singing training, so I thought it would be nice to combine the two and make covers of my favourite songs on YouTube. I made French covers first because it’s my native language and almost nobody had done it before – so I thought it would be original, kinda. Well, they’re not accessible anymore, considering how terrible I sound in them. I find it much easier nowadays to translate Korean songs in English.

What’s your favourite thing about posting covers on YouTube?

I love making them. Music is really something that I do out of uttermost passion. I don’t think too much about what people will say when I’m in the middle of a recording, I literally do it because it’s what I enjoy the most in my life. Of course, getting super nice comments and support from people from all over the world is the epitome of gratification, and I’m extremely thankful for that, but the main reason for those covers and my favourite thing about it is the pleasure it gives me to make music. And sing.

Do your family and friends know about your YouTube channel?

My closest friends kind of know about it, but I prefer to stay secretive about my K-pop activities. I never think that what I post on YouTube is good enough for my friends and family to listen, or that it could interest them in any way. Actually, when they happen to find my channel, it makes me pretty mad and uncomfortable. It’s like a small fire cupped in the safety of my hands, I guess.

If you could be best friends with any K-Pop idol, who would it be?

RapMonster? Intelligence and emotional sensitivity are extremely appealing to me for some reason. And I love INFPs.

What’s a K-Pop song that you would recommend and why?

You know, it makes no sense at all, but I really like “House of cards” by BTS. It’s sampled from an extremely famous French song called “Je ne regrette rien“, and well, if you don’t already know about it, give it a try.

Is there anything that you want to say to all of your viewers who are supporting you?

I know my French accent shows when I’m singing in English. Sorry ’bout that. I swear I sound much better when I don’t sing.

Also, thank you so much to all of you. For real.


JUBYPHONIC

JubyPhonic specialises in anime and VOCALOID covers, and she’s quickly become one of the most popular YouTubers who do. So much that she’s accumulated over 400,000 subscribers and more than 150,000,000 views. Her lyrics are well-timed and accurate, and her pretty voice and aesthetically pleasing videos do her words justice. To top it off, not only is JubyPhonic an insanely talented cover artist, but she’s also a professional voice actress for Sentai Filmworks. When it comes to anime and VOCALOID covers, Juby certainly sits at the top of the chain.

How did you start out on YouTube?

Well, that’s a story. Actually, my whole family performs–I started on stage at age 3. Being creative runs in the family. So I can’t remember a time I wasn’t on a stage, in a choir or taking voice or acting lessons along with my brother and sisters. In the summer before my senior year in high school, I was looking for something creative to do. I had recently developed anxiety so performing on stage was out for now and I missed singing. YouTube I thought might be a way to sing again and perform, as well as explore a possible career path. And I just loved VOCALOID songs and anime since very young. So I thought for the summer I might experiment with writing lyrics and singing in English. I hoped that by sharing a few of these evocative, heartfelt songs in English more people around the world might listen to them—people that might not have been adventurous enough to try songs in another language till introduced?  I never expected it but five years later I am still here! It is not easy to do justice to the original song but I try. I’m rarely satisfied. I believe in putting out good content to the world. And somehow I have to put something out every week or so. I find being creative is very challenging. But it is also satisfying when it feeds the soul.

What’s your favourite thing about posting covers on YouTube?

Truly? I love that I can reach the world in an instant on YouTube and touch so many hearts with my voice. I’ve never sung words that rang truer to me than the lyrics in the cover, “Tell Your World”. We are all one people, the people of the Earth, and I hope I can do my small part in bringing the people of the world closer together in goodwill and kindness by sharing common experiences in song.

Do I prefer voice acting or singing?

I love both acting and singing. But for now, I will have to say I get the most psychic income out of singing. I have a lot more creative freedom when I am the artistic director of my own work.

You’re also a voice actress for Sentai Filmworks. Do you prefer voice acting or singing?

That’s a pretty hard question when you have released near 200 covers. I guess I would have to pick “Perfectionist Complex” because it was the song that I worked on while I was getting my drivers license. I was terrified but it helped me get thru a difficult time. And really that’s the magic of music. It can help us understand things, emotions, experiences to finally get past them or give us courage, a better attitude, appreciation for others, a zest for life that was missing.

Is there anything that you want to say to all of your viewers who are supporting you?

Yes! Be passionate about something in life. Embrace that passion and follow it for as long as it inspires you, no matter what others may say. And remember when life is getting you down that tomorrow is another day. Today, take risks. Dream big. Work hard. Don’t give up easily or fear failure—you have to fall many times before you learn anything. Above all, be kind to each other. But don’t let others ‘rain on your parade’.  And as I always say…

Enjoy what’s beautiful about the day wherever you are in the world!


MALLORIE HERRERA

Unlike most YouTubers who upload English covers, Mallorie doesn’t merely sing her covers, she performs them too. Using a combination of shots, her videos are visually interesting as well as pleasant to listen to. Her impressive videos combined with her crystal clear vocal tone results in high-quality videos. This has resulted in Mallorie’s channel garnering a solid following and over 3,000,000 views.

How did you start out on YouTube?

I wanted a way I could spread my love for music with others. YouTube was still growing at the time (before Justin Bieber), so to see all the other raw talent doing the same made me feel complete. Even now, I enjoy watching other K-Pop covers.

What’s your favourite thing about posting covers on YouTube?

Being able to reach the fans. I love doing what makes them happy. Being able to communicate through English and sometimes Spanish covers is honestly such a blessing.

Which K-Pop group is going to take over the world next?

BTS hasn’t already? I’m kidding. But honestly, I think that they have a real shot at going international. Which I’m sure they will soon enough.

Musically, what’s next for you?

Well, I’m still trying to build my fan base across the world. But when the time is right I’ll release a Spanish album, English album and even my first Korean single. 

Is there anything that you want to say to all of your viewers who are supporting you?

Thank you! I can’t stress it enough how grateful I am to have y’all. I know I’ve been M.I.A for a while but I promise things will get better and more covers and original music will be out soon. I love you guys and I miss you all terribly!!!


PELLEK

PelleK is currently one of the biggest Norwegian YouTubers online, and he’s only getting bigger. Renowned for his incredible vocal range and clever metallized covers of popular songs, PelleK has amassed over 2,300,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 300,000,000 views. One of PelleK’s specialities is Japanese music, which he regularly covers metal-style, in a variety of languages.

How did you start out on YouTube?

I uploaded my first video March 6th, 2008. I just wanted to share my music with people. A lot of original stuff, and also metallised pop songs. I always thought that would be cool to do, no one did it back then.

What’s your favourite thing about posting covers on Youtube?

Taking something my fans and I don’t like, and turning it into something we do (i.e pop into power metal). That, and learning languages. I’ve sung in fourteen languages by now, and many, especially Japanese and Spanish I sing in every month, and it’s a lot of fun.

You’ve posted covers in so many different languages! What are the pros of covering songs in different languages?

The pros are you learn a lot, you reach out on a deeper level with your fans from the countries where they speak the relevant language, and you start understanding more languages in general because many have similarities. Also, for me who is a huge anime fan, it’s easier to understand the anime I watch (I’ve sung over one hundred songs in Japanese by now).

What made you decide to specialise in metal covers?

No one did it when I started doing it, it was just something that I thought would be fun and entertaining. I had some guilty pleasures, some songs I did like that were really mainstream and poppy, and I wanted to take the greatness of those songs and see if they got even better made into metal.

Your vocal range is crazy high! Is your voice naturally that high or did you have to practice a lot?

It’s not naturally high, I’ve talked about this on so many talk shows and interviews, but what I did was actually I practised ten hours every day for two years. Absolutely isolated myself from everything and everyone until I had something unique to offer. The first fifty videos I made, no one gave a s**t about (for good reason, I was really average), so I decided to focus on becoming good, rather than trying to be famous. After those two years, I really hit it off when my range and control was on a new level.

Is there anything that you want to say to all of your viewers who are supporting you?

I tell em’ all the time, especially my patrons, they are the reason I do this, and they are the ones who make it all possible. You guys are the best!


I’d like to sincerely thank all of the talented creators who participated in the interview. Make sure to go and give them lots of support and love!

choiyujins

Maknae blogger who likes CLC and raisin toast

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