Today, social media is nothing new. But some time ago, this was a discovery that people can promote individually, and shake their talents without producers or big budgets at the start – each 50 real Instagram likes along with stats purchased on Socialsgrow could do the difference and still save money. Only by using YouTube and SoundCloud, or Instagram and Facebook, etc., people are able to share their talents and expertise. Social platforms are now a place to explore new talents in many industries, including music. Let’s see who has made it through social networks and now entertains big audiences with their music.

Ed Sheeran

This incredibly talented English romantic singer has begun his career on YouTube. Whether he filmed his performance at home or in the backyard, charisma was leaking through the screens. Today, Ed is known all around the world as an impeccable guitarist, songwriter, and singer. His hits are beating the records in YouTube views and he’s an IG star.

Justin Bieber

This guy is what comes to mind first when we think about sudden success on YouTube. Teenage Justin was filming his cover videos in his bedroom in Canada, and due to his natural talent and charisma, he was able to gain a big enough fanbase. This fact led to Bieber being noticed by producers and later becoming one of the most popular young male singers in the US and Canada.

The Weeknd

YouTube, and promotion in social media in general, have allowed this man to keep the mystery around his identity, as he uploaded his tracks on the platform. At first, the iconic feature of his videos was that each track contained only a static cover image, allowing listeners to enjoy his music without connection to Weeknd’s persona. By doing so, Weeknd has proved that original voice and talent in music-making are enough to climb to the top of the musical Olympus. Today, his social media accounts, especially Instagram and YT collect tons of views and likes.


Pentatonix is a collective of 5 people who make choir arrangements for popular hits. Their performance is showcased on YouTube, and they use it as the main level of their popularity. However, these talented guys have achieved two Grammys and obviously, now they inspire other choir enthusiasts to continue developing this genre of music.

Calvin Harris

Nowadays, this man is one of the highest-paid DJs in the world with millions of fans on Instagram and billions of likes. But he comes originally from one of the first social media platforms ever known. He gained attention and popularity after he uploaded his track to MySpace. Stars smiled at him, and Calvin’s music was noticed by talent booker Mark Gillespie from Global Gathering, who gave Calvin Harris a push in his career.

Shawn Mendes

This young man has started gaining popularity as he uploaded his cover songs to Vine. His talent has attracted producers who saw the potential in him. Now Shawn Mendes has on his account successful collaborations with many famous artists, like Taylor Swift and Camilla Cabello. He is known for his solo hits – “Treat You Better”, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”.


Before her groundbreaking success in collaboration with Chainsmokers – “Closer”, this young girl was known for her tracks on YouTube and Tumblr. Now, Halsey has a huge fan base and many more collaborations with artists, as well as solo hits like “Without Me”.  She is also known for her original style and well-shot videos, great content on IG that gets her massive likes and engagement.

Charlie Puth

Once a Berkeley college student, Charlie used all the knowledge he got to shoot a great cover for Adele’s song. On his YouTube, Puth also posted comedy videos, but his talent and charisma have driven him to a music career. On Charlie’s account today are many good collaborations and solo projects that harness the social media likes and love of the audience.

Bo Burnham

Although he got popular by singing songs and shooting comedy videos on YouTube since he was 16, Bo has aimed for a career as a director. Recently, he won the award from the Directors Guild Of America with his comedy film “Eighth Grade”.

Tori Kelly

Even after she got merciless criticism on American Idol, Kelly didn’t forget her dream to make a career as a musician, so she turned to social media. She uploaded her covers on YouTube and eventually got noticed by producers of Justin Bieber. Now, she is an author of three albums and a Grammy nominee.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Her hit song “Call Me Maybe” is heard and got likes throughout the world. Carly has recorded her song on YouTube, and sometime after, the song was discovered by Justin Bieber himself. He made a lip-sync video and posted it on his Twitter and Instagram page, igniting the flame of Carly’s success. The video has gone viral, and producers couldn’t stand before the potential of the young female singer.

5 Seconds Of Summer

This collective has pushed their potential through Facebook and Twitter, but the trigger of their popularity was YouTube. Posting their music there, guys were able to get a life-changing collaboration with One Direction band – they made a tour together, engaging listeners and gaining a fanbase.

Lil Nas X

This resonating persona comes from Tik Tok. His “Old Town Road” was a huge blast within and outside of the platform. He gained tons of likes and engagement. Now, Lil Nas is continuing to impress the public with his high-quality tracks and original visual content. His latest track “Montero” is one of the most discussed video clips. Lil Nas himself says that his main inspirations are social media trends.

James Bay

Another British guitarist who made it through YouTube. Interesting fact – James was learning to play guitar with YouTube lessons as well. His way to success has started when someone has recorded Bay’s live performance and uploaded it on YouTube. It was noticed by people from Republic Records, and in 2013 James Bay signed the deal. By now James has three Grammy nominations and is a multi-platinum artist.

Rebecca Black

This girl has unusually achieved her popularity. Her track “Friday” that she uploaded in 2011, has become a subject of mocking and massive disliking. However, the criticism and negative reaction didn’t stop the teenage performer from becoming famous and loved. Rebecca has recorded many more songs and in fact, piggybacked on her first track fame. She couldn’t care less about haters, as she still has a huge following base on social media.

Cody Simpson

A teenage talent from Australia who was discovered by the audience at an early age – Cody was only 12 years old when he started recording cover songs on YouTube. By his 13th birthday, Cody Simpson has signed a contract for recording. By now this handsome young man has three albums in his active, and the last one is proudly recorded with his label.

Alan Walker

Another huge star from electronic music was born on YouTube as well. Not only Alan was uploading his tracks on YouTube and got views and likes really fast, but he also learned from the online free lessons how to make music. In 2016, he released a groundbreaking hit “Faded”, which is still hot and well-known around the world. Since the release, this song has become one of the iconic tracks used for shuffle dance and is a material for thousands of remixes.

Soulja Boy

Surprisingly, but this rapper can be described as the first artist to gain popularity with the help of YouTube. He uploaded his videos in 2005, not too long after the platform was launched. His energetic moves and good music has made his name famous on YouTube,  Instagram and in the music industry. In 2007, he got a recording contract and hit the audience with “Crank That”. Compared to modern artists who push their music on YouTube, Soulja’s content looks a bit primitive, but he was the explorer of this method of promotion back then.

Written by Stop The Breaks
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.