Aspiring singers have been using YouTube as a means to showcase their talent or sometimes, lack thereof for years. Some big names like Justin Bieber have, for better or for worse, been able to call YouTube the turning point of their careers. The piece of the puzzle that allowed them to be discovered. Caleb Hyles created his namesake YouTube channel in 2009 and has since accumulated nearly 90,000 subscribers who look forward to the regular uploads that display his prodigious vocal talent and range, painting this man as an excellent candidate for the recorded voice of an animated character. Hyles’ rendition of Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen has generated nearly 6 million views since it was uploaded in January. The heartfelt performances and smooth sound to Hyles’ voice give him that quintessential Mouse-House sound while strongly suggesting that Disney might want to look for the voice of their next Prince on YouTube.
The stars chosen to portray classic Disney royalty tend possess a distinct quality to their voices. Soft voices that lend a musical element from song into spoken words with a quality reminiscent of the talented voices that carry Broadway. Out There from the 1996 Hunchback of Notre Dame was the ardent introduction to a truly deprived and soulful character, portrayed expertly by Tom Hulce, yet Hyles’ version is nearly indistinguishable.
Disney’s Frozen has seen incredible success. Its most popular power song, Let it Go has seen countless covers and re-imaginings. When Caleb Hyles uploaded his interpretation, it initially attracted about half a million views over the course of one week, prompting the musician to record and release a new video paying homage to Disney’s Frozen and George R.R Martin’s Game of Thrones in April, called, Let Them Come. The video follows a Westerosi aesthetic while the slightly changed lyrics sound as though they might come from a perspective similar to that of former Westerosi King and Usurper of the Iron Throne, Robert Baratheon. The mp3 of Let Them Come is available for download from Loudr.fm at $1 per download.
True, natural vocal talent is rare, and proper diction and elocution can be difficult to master. Some pop stars currently making their livelihoods from their record sales cannot deliver a live performance with the skill that some YouTubers can in the absence of a professional studio. Singer, Lana del Rey has been quoted saying that fans should not “expect much” from her live performances and her performance on Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been marked in entertainment history as one of the worst performances of SNL history.
While multiple mash-ups of his Frozen performance with that of Idina Menzel have already made this undiscovered Disney Prince famous on YouTube, this talented vocalist is more than just a solo project, his band, From The Dark is currently advertising their new album, The Opera Ghost on Facebook, Amazon, and iTunes. The YouTube vocal sensation announced last week that he will be holding a “Skype Day” wherein fans can ring in and interact with him on a casual, friendly level. The tentative date for “Skype Day” is June 26.
By Faye Barton