Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jay's Playlist: Sam Tsui and Covers

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

Today's music is Covers by Sam Tsui (and Kurt Schneider)

The immense popularity of "Glee" has created a trend among young singers of producing stylish (yet simple) covers of popular songs. Thanks to the ubiquity of Youtube and its helpful "related videos" feature, viewers can easily find new arrangements of their favorite tunes linked from the originals and potential vocal stars (and their video producers) can put their voices out there for the world to judge. And of all young stars online, Sam Tsui stands out as the one with the potential to take the world by storm (with the help of his friends).

I found Sam exactly as described above: I was on a Glee kick and after listening to their version of "Don't Stop Believing" I saw Sam's version in Youtube's "related videos" area. So I watched it. Then I watched his a cappella Michael Jackson medley. Then the Lady Gaga medley. Then his "College Musical" series. Next thing I know, I am purchasing his album on iTunes and haven't stopped listening to it since. Since I rarely drive any more, and listen to my iPod when I do, I am blissfully ignorant of the current pop music on the radio. So his album of covers contains about a half dozen songs which I have never heard before and only associate with him. At this point I don't think I can listen to the original versions as they wouldn't sound "right".

Sam and friends, specifically his friend/guitarist/producer/filmmaker Kurt Schneider, are passionate artists who attend Yale University and have access to (and the talent to use) the university's musical production equipment. After seeing the success of High School Musical they began making their own (somewhat juvenile, yet entertaining) version called "College Musical". They produced four episode and ended on a cliffhanger before being contacted about making a full length movie which is currently in production.

While we wait for their feature debut, Sam and friends have been hard at work at producing more music videos of popular medleys, hilarious musical duels, an album of Covers, and duets with fellow aspiring vocalists. Which brings us to our...


Nick Pitera works down the street from me at Pixar, but in his spare time he records covers of his favorite duets. Yet he sings both the male and female parts. Watch his version of Aladdin's "A Whole New World" for a good laugh:

1 comment:

  1. I am normally hesitant to check out your playlist blogs, but for some reason I decided to give it a chance today, and I really enjoyed it! Sam is very good!