First it was MySpace, then YouTube, and now the emerging trend is discovering new talent on the social network Vine. The six-second-video site's latest star has vocal chops that could rival most singers you hear on the radio, and he's only 13 years old. MySpace helped buoy the careers of Lily Allen, Colbie Caillat, Sean Kingston, and the Arctic Monkeys. Then musicians migrated to YouTube, where acts like the duo Karmin and the much-talked-about Justin Bieber were found.
But while YouTube did not lose its coolness in the way MySpace did, the network has become saturated with aspiring musicians looking for their big break. This has forced a new movement of artists who use Vine's quick six-second clips to make a lasting impression on an audience.
A precedent was set just this year when Michael and Carissa Alvarado became the first act to land a major record label deal through their work on Vine. The married couple, known as Us The Duo, gained over three million followers on the network in four months. Like many who gained popularity on YouTube, the Alvarados built a loyal fan base through unique covers — but these were of the six-second variety. Us The Duo rereleased its second album under Republic Records on May 6.
Now, 13-year-old Jeffrey Miller enters the spotlight. The Boston native also covers songs in six seconds, but it is his combination of talent and youth that has people buzzing. His almost 600,000 Vine followers like and "re-Vine" his renditions of contemporary artists like Ariana Grande, OneRepublic, and the aforementioned Bieber.
"You're so inspiring and taught me to follow my dreams," Miller wrote on a cover of Bieber's "U Smile" before adding, "hope you see this!"
The beleaguered Canadian heartthrob just joined Vine this month, uploading his first video on May 12. Bieber has since accumulated over 750,000 followers.
In addition to singing, Miller also takes to Vine to show off his piano- and guitar-playing skills. And he has used the platform to speak out against bullying and offer condolences to those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Pretty impressive work for a teenager who is only communicating with his newfound audience six seconds at a time.
- Arts & Entertainment