By Madelyn Olsen
SPEED will host a YouTube Showcase in the Murray-Green Library on April 3 at 7 p.m. Roosevelt students Sandy Mousheh, Emma Elisa, Oommen George and Gabe Evans will open for YouTube performers JR Aquino, Andrew Garcia and Landon Austin.
In anticipation for the big event, the Torch gathered some information on the featured YouTube performers.
YouTube user “JRAquinoMusic” is a singer/songwriter from Anchorage, Alaska, currently residing in Las Vegas, Nev. Aquino has 560,099 subscribers on his channel. With more than 100 videos dating back five years, Aquino has uploaded a wide array of covers, as well as original songs.
His most popular video is an original song titled “By Chance (You & I)” with more than six million views. In addition to being a YouTube star, Aquino also appeared on the third season of the hit TV show “The Voice,” when he won a spot on Cee Lo Green’s team with a rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.”
Unfortunately, his time on the show was short, as he was eliminated in the battle rounds in episode 10. Aquino also made it to the Top 40 of “American Idol” during its fourth season.
Now, five years since his first YouTube video, Aquino has a full length album, “This Time Around,” released in April of 2013, under his belt. He has also played shows in New York, Boston and Las Vegas, among other cities, and has a Texas tour scheduled for this summer.
YouTube user “andrewagarcia” is a California-native singer with 461,330 YouTube subscribers, and a little more than 50 videos. His first video is a cover of Owl City’s “Fireflies,” uploaded in January of 2010.
Garcia’s videos mainly feature covers of popular songs, his most popular videos reaching up to two million views. Outside of YouTube, Garcia was the ninth place finalist on the ninth season of “American Idol” where he was praised by the judges — even Simon Cowell — as being a “genuinely good singer.”
Since then, Garcia was featured in the “American Idols LIVE! Tour” in 2010, where he sang “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul and “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5.
Garcia released his first single “Crazy” in June 2011. Also in 2011, Garcia began performing with Yesterday, Today, Forever, a musical and comedy performing group.
In 2012, Garcia began appearing in popular YouTube user Nigahiga’s videos, and acted as a guest judge in the third episode of the YOMYOMF Network web series, Internet Icon.
YouTube user “LandonAustin” is a singer-songwriter from Nashville. He has 68 videos, 171,508 subscribers and more than 14 million total video views. His most popular video is a cover of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up,” with more than one million views, while his original song “Once In A Lifetime” has received more than 990,000 views.
Austin started uploading videos of himself singing about two years ago, debuting with a cover of “Fear You Won’t Fall” by Joshua Radin. On iTunes, Austin has released multiple cover albums and singles, some which feature original material.
Austin’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “Sparks Fly” was tweeted about by Swift herself, who stated that she “Really liked it!,” which led to Austin later meeting her in person. Outside of his strong online presence, Austin has played shows across the country, including stops in Florida, New York, Texas and everywhere in between.