GRAPHIC BY CAROL LI
By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
YouTube might have just found its fastest-growing singing personality…
Audrey Armacost, also known as Audrey Mika, has been making unique strides in the current alternative music scene. Although the 18-year-old YouTuber has been posting music covers since 2015, she has recently been receiving an immense amount of popularity.
Armacost posted her first cover of an original song titled “Paper Jet” which reached only over 13,000 views on Aug. 17, 2015. As her channel began to grow, she became more frequent with her uploads. In the beginning of Jan. this year, Mika only had about 2,000 subscribers. Currently, the teen vocalist has over 380,000 subscribers, having gained an over 100,000 following in a span of 2 months.
Essentially, one of Mika’s most popular uploads was her “7 Rings” cover which surpassed 1.1 million views. In her cover, the audience was able to really observe Mika’s unique voice and dynamic range, as well as her demonstration of runs and butter-like tone. In addition to her stunning voice, Mika’s personality was evident throughout the entire video. Instead of just filming a single framed cover, she chose to include visuals to add a sense of comedy and creativity to engage fans even more.
Being a huge Ariana Grande fan, Mika’s subscribers were ecstatic to learn that new covers since Grande’s “thank u, next” album release was on its way. In just the first three days of the album’s debut, Mika had already covered three of the songs from the album, one on each day. Fans were stunned to have seen Mika’s insanely quick uploads and definitely did not disappoint. As of right now, her “break up with your girlfriend, im bored” cover has reached over 1 million views, with a number of views on her other covers as well. The following week, Mika uploaded three more covers of songs from the “thank u, next album,” including “ghostin”, “fake smile” and “makeup.” As the teenage vocalist gained more and more attention, so did her interaction with her fans. In one of the most popular attributes, Mika exhibits her dedication and work ethic. Unlike some YouTube cover artists, Mika’s commitment to her channel and subscribers is what truly makes her stand out. For example, on March 4th, she posted a cover of musician Billie Eilish’s new single “wish you were gay” under 24 hours after its release. In fact, Mika was respectively the first to post a cover of the new song, in which the audience was shocked to have witnessed her remarkable dedication.
Subsequently, a huge factor that contributes to Mika’s success is her diverse personality and imaginative creativity. As a part of her brand, she uses a signature pink toy microphone mostly every time she sings. Her quirky personality is very prominent in her videos, as well as her individuality when it comes to style and image. For instance, her fan base, called the “paper clips” originated from her unique use of creating jewelry such as earrings and necklaces from paper clips. She ultimately began a new trend, in which her fans have embraced the idea of paper clip jewelry to accessorize themselves. Aside from her style, the fact that Mika stays true to herself and embraces her quirkiness is what sets her apart from the average YouTube music artist. Instead of relying on high-production video quality, Mika inserts her “aesthetics” through her sound. For example, she might not be filming in front of a set backdrop or in a professional studio, but captures her viewers through her sound and creativity with any location she films in. Whether it be her room, a balcony or a garage, the musician never fails to surprise her viewers in the best way possible.
On Feb. 28, Mika released her first album titled “Level Up” featuring 12 original songs. The album includes her singles “Pure” and “Followin,” which she released a couple months prior. The album starts with a 46 second “intro,” in which was created to resemble a phone call in which Mika introduces her new album with a quick message to her fans. After the into, the second song titled “Blueberry Skies,” captures the audience with Mika’s soft, dreamy vocals and insanely beautiful harmonies. Later in the album, her hit single “Pure” brings on the more techno-pop beats, which compliments the vocalist’s dream-like tone. Mika’s use of individuality is demonstrated in her vocals, as she uses very intricate runs and techniques to enhance her singing. Another song that truly stood out from the rest was “Freestyle Like Jhene Aiko but Def Not As Good.” In this song, Mika uses incredible harmonies to encapsulate a stellar balance of tone and range. All in all, “Level Up” stayed true to Mika’s musicianship and demonstrated her unique style as an up and coming vocal artist and YouTuber.
In summation, Audrey Mika has been making her mark through her insane music ability, as well as her signature individuality. Instead of imitating or striving to be another typical cover artist, Mika exceeds her viewers’ expectations by performing the unpredictable.