COVER TO COVER: THANK U, NEXT.
Unless you’ve been living on a desert island over the last few weeks, it would be hard to have missed Ariana Grande, the sassy pop queen, surprising everyone when she dropped her latest single Thank U, Next last month. The new hit single, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Ariana’s first number 1 single, has taken the world by a storm and quickly become one of the biggest hits of the year. In addition to releasing the iconic break-up song, Ariana accompanied it with a music video which payed homage to iconic teen films Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Bring it On and 13 Going on 30; also becoming a viral success.
In the wake of the success of Thank U, Next, and its incredible positive reception, this has certainly been one track people can’t stop singing and have been quick to cover. So here is a run down of some of my favourite Thank U, Next covers by some incredible up and coming YouTube cover artists.
Being quick in the studio, and in the release of this incredible cover of Thank U, Next, Ebony’s cover was one of the first I heard, with it remaining one of my absolute favourites. Having followed Ebony for a number of years, one of the things that always impresses me is not only her vocal range and distinctive sound, but the effortlessness with which she sings and the emotion that goes into every note. This cover is no exception, and absolutely does not disappoint. Sticking to her traditional style, Ebony presents a much more stripped back and raw version of the track with a gentle acoustic piano instrumental to accompany her stunning vocals. Slightly more downtempo and melancholy than the original, this slower and more emotional cover fits so perfectly with the lyrics and meaning of the song and will no doubt have you all in your feelings.
Jonah Baker also impresses as he puts his own spin on Thank U, Next, with his indie, acoustic cover. Putting the track to an acoustic guitar beat, Jonah’s soft vocals are instantly captivating, giving off a chill and relaxed vibe. He then switches things up as the pre-chorus begins bringing in an additional guitar track, which adds some soul/funk vibes to the song, while still maintaining an indie, acoustic sound. It is then as the chorus kicks in that we really get to hear Jonah’s vocal range and some incredibly smooth vocal runs. This is definitely the perfect slowed down, acoustic cover that captures the emotion of the song while also maintaining a slightly more upbeat, funk vibe running throughout.
Up next is Alex Aiono. Known for his covers, and in particular his unique mashup’s, Alex blended his cover of Thank U, Next, with two tracks that have also been gaining a lot of attention at the moment, Drip Too Hard and Sunflower. In traditional Alex fashion, he uses his audio workstation to produce his own beats and create a more uptempo, dance/electronic cover. However, the track still has an underlying acoustic vibe to it, and with this, Alex’s vocals really come through and he again shows off his impressive vocal range while throwing in several addictive vibratos and vocal runs. The three tracks blend seamlessly together with the mashup producing something out of the ordinary from other covers. This is certainly one of the most unique Thank U, Next covers out there, with Alex using his own beats to create an original sound, and it undeniably delivers on the incredible vocals.
Another acoustic cover which quickly became one of my favourites is Bailey Rushlow’s ukulele version of Thank U, Next. With a slightly lower key for the stripped back ukulele beat, the cover has a more sultry and darker sound, giving off some slight soul influences and bluesier vibes. Bailey’s classic vocals really shine through in this cover, sounding smooth, effortless and intoxicating. Simple yet effective, this cover gives off a unique energy with its relaxed blues vibes and seductive sound, with there something very retro and old-school about the cover’s whole vibe which you can’t hep but find absolutely captivating.
Last but not least is a rap cover by artist Austin Awake. This is the most different from the original, with Austin putting his own spin on the track from the get go as he edits the lyrics throughout to reflect his personal experiences. Still maintaining the theme and vibe of the song, the rap influences, reminiscent of Drake, give the track a slightly edger sound. However, Austin manages to seamlessly blend his own sound with the original, more pop inspired, track. The most notable element of this cover is the change in lyrics which really emphasises Austin’s personal mark on the track, and makes it a more authentic Austin Awake production. With catchy lyrics that you will be rapping along to in no time, this cover was definitely one of the most unusual, yet personal and genuine, covers of Thank U, Next I came across and is certainly one to go and check out.
So keep on the look out for more covers and original music from these incredible artists, which are sure to be filling your YouTube subscription box over the next couple of months. And of course don’t forget the highly anticipated 5th album from Ariana, Thank U, Next, which is said to be coming soon, with another track off the album, Imagine, dropping this Thursday!
Written By Stevie Carter