Ever feel like the number one R&B, hip hop, and pop hits on the radio get old after a while? Do you find that every other song that makes it big sounds the same? If you answered yes to either of these two questions, allow me to introduce you to a YouTube artist on the rise, Dan Henig.
Born and raised back and forth between both the United Kingdom and the United States, this once small time musician has hopefully found the beginnings of a big break like many other artists through YouTube videos.
Although Henig has been playing a multitude of instruments since a very young age, it was only after he convinced his mother to buy him his first guitar that his life began to take shape. Years later, after leaving his music program at Chicago’s Columbia College, Henig returned home to start making more music than he ever had before.
Acclaimed producer Tim Patalan (producer and member of Platinum selling rock band, Sponge) began working with Henig in 2010, helping him record his first ever six song, self-titled EP. In order to help promote this first album, Henig began creating various YouTube videos in late 2011.
Early on, Henig’s more popular videos were his incredibly unique and catchy versions of well-known R&B, hip hop, and pop songs. Instead of performing these tunes how they were written, with produced beats, sound effects, and often rapping, Henig turned these songs inside out by performing jazz-inspired acoustic and a cappella versions. Henig managed to generate a decent sized following with these videos, but what would come next would be the tipping point.
On November 26, 2012 Henig released the video “Coffee Shop Acoustic Session… Get Low Cover”, unsure of the reactions he would get during its filming, as well as online. In the video, Henig traveled to an unsuspecting coffee shop and performed the song “Get Low“, originally by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz at an open mic session. Henig’s original intentions were for the performance to be a prank, assuming not much would come from it except he and his friends finding a bit of amusement.
Although it was clear a few customers in the establishment felt uncomfortable listening to such controversial lyrics in such a uncensored & playful manner, most couldn’t help but get quite a few laughs out of his performance.
Amazingly, once the video was uploaded to YouTube, the response was overwhelming. Henig’s “Get Low” cover exploded onto the internet, raking in close to 1.2 million views in less than two weeks. Not only did this bring an incredible number of fans to Henig, but it also caused the press to take a real interest. In addition to making many news sources, Henig’s video was also shared by sites like Funny or Die, CollegeHumor, & Mashable.
Henig’s “Get Low” cover has definitely opened up some doors for his career in ways that didn’t exist just a handful of years ago. We’ll see if he can continue and hopefully capitalize on that opportunity. But for now, if you want to find out more about Dan Henig or at the very least be entertained, take a look at his website below. You can also purchase Henig’s first self-titled EP here.