10 YouTube musicians to get out of your music slump

Autumn Sorrentino

Believe it or not, there is more music in the world than what is played on the radio.

YouTube, in particular, has given independent artists a platform to create more niche communities. Songs often echo world events, personal choices and difficult situations, which can, in many ways, be empowering to those whose voices aren’t heard in the car or on an elevator.

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Here are 10 artists who have found fame in ways other than mainstream media success.

EDEN (515k YouTube Subscribers)

Jonathan Ng is an independent singer-songwriter who specializes in indie pop. Originally known as The Eden Project, Ng covers a wide spectrum of music, including acoustic vocals, electronic rock, dubstep and alternative genres. Based in Dublin, Ireland, Ng has released over 70 songs under both aliases. 

In Love with a Ghost (496k YouTube Subscribers)

One of the few musicians careful not to reveal their birth name, In Love with a Ghost makes upbeat lo-fi hip hop-music. They have recently come out using they/them pronouns, which reflects the transition in their latest album “Gay Story.” Based in Rennes, France, they utilize sketched cutesy music videos to supplement their electronic piano.

Sleeping at Last (455k YouTube Subscribers)

Ryan O’Neal originally spearheaded the band in Wheaton, Illinois, with his brother Chad O’Neal as drummer and Dan Perdue as bassist. Though the three have separated since, Ryan O’Neal has continued to independently produce music under the same name, writing and composing over 100 songs — the vast majority being instrumental or mellow in sound. Albums are determined by a basic theme, with songs revolving around connected ideas such as the solar system, oceans, human development and, most recently, Enneagrams types. 

grandson (420k YouTube Subscribers) 

Jordan Edward Benjamin is a Canadian American musician. Songs range from hip-hop and rap to alternative rock and are politically charged. Speaking on subjects like gun control, political corruption, police brutality and adulthood, Benjamin’s music videos are nothing short of controversial; however, they open discussion to topics music has largely avoided.

MISSIO (382k YouTube Subscribers)

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With future bass and rock pop motifs, Matthew Brue and David Butler have also made statements in their music, including subjects like drug use and mental health. Brue, having dealt with addiction in the past, stated in an interview that the name “Missio” came from the Latin root for mission — a term that has meant a great deal to him when in recovery. 

Amber Run (307k YouTube Subscribers)

Amber Run, consisting of three members and playing acoustic guitar-driven harmonies, is based in Nottingham, UK. With Joshua Keogh on vocals and guitar, Tom Sperring on bass and Henry Wyeth on keyboard, the band reflects traditional music expectations, releasing two albums and four EPs. They specialize in slow, soft love music or, depending on the song, classic break-up tunes. 

The Wombats (133k YouTube Subscribers) 

Founded in Liverpool, UK, The Wombats began their career in 2003. Winning the New Musical Express award for Best Dancefloor Filler for the song “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” the band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Matthew Murphy, drummer Dan Haggis and bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen. Their style can be compared to that of a refined Two Door Cinema Club with unique and unconventional music videos.

Elliot Moss (73.7k YouTube Subscribers)

Elliot Moss is a singer-songwriter from New York City whose haunting chords seem to recur throughout each of his works. Having worked on his album “Highspeeds” since his sophomore year of high school, Moss’ most notable pieces include “Slip” and “Without the Lights,” inspiring dances worldwide in the genres of electronic, indie pop and alternative. 

Gregory Alan Isakov (13.3k YouTube Subscribers)

Gregory Alan Isakov is a singer-songwriter located in Boulder, Colorado. Diverging from others on this list, Isakov’s arrangements combine folk and indie pop, with songs often relating to the bittersweetness of growing up. He and his family were originally from South Africa, moving to Philadelphia when he was eight years old before ending up in the colorful state of Colorado.

Alaskan Tapes (2.28k YouTube Subscribers)

Last, but certainly not least, Brady Kendall is the composer for Alaskan Tapes. Drawing out and reverberating piano melodies, Kendall approaches ambient instrumental music as a story, filming and producing many of his music videos himself. Established in Toronto, Canada, Kendall’s choruses have been featured in several short films such as “Mag Sein” by director Eliot Rausch. 

Autumn Sorrentino can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @ItsNotTarantino