YouTube's clever cover artists, Karmin, debut on "SNL"
Another YouTube act is about to hit mainstream consciousness.
Karmin, the musical duo known on the Internet for their cover versions of popular songs like “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” is performing on NBC's Saturday Night Live tonight.
Amy Heidemann leads the pair’s vocals and plays guitar, while Nick Noonan plays piano and a percussion instrument called the cajón, or box.
Karmin first burst on the YouTube scene last spring with their cover of “Look at Me Now,” a video that to date has been viewed more than 56 million views. (That’s more than a third of the views Brown’s original version received.)
“You're like a better version of [Nicki] Minaj in Katy Perry's body haha,” wrote YouTuber kiddiekat619 about Heidemann in a comment on their first viral hit.
Their earlier viral videos caught the attention of other big-name musical acts, notably Questlove and Owen Biddle from the Roots, who played instruments for them in the background of their cover of Minaj’s “Super Bass.”
Their late-night debut has been building for a while. The duo has already made various television appearances, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Earlier this year, Karmin won the first ever New Media award at the American Music Awards. Epic Records signed them last June.
Heidemann, asked if their appearance on SNL would “open the door for other acts who are making music on YouTube,” told Rolling Stone:
“I think it's safe to say that recently SNL has been doing a lot of stuff on the Internet, kind of like we do. They've got the Lonely Island songs that are just really super viral all over YouTube so our worlds aren’t too far apart, but we're honored to be one of the first to kind of have gotten our start on the Internet then landed on SNL before our album is even out!”
The first musical act to burst from YouTube to SNL was Lana Del Rey, who released her first album last month, after a video last summer saw 27 million views.
By all accounts, Karmin’s digital debut is considerably more substantial than Del Rey’s.
They’ve been so busy dealing with their YouTube-borne success—so much so that the six-year couple has been trying to get married for over a year, but have been too busy to plan their wedding. (Hey, wait, you can totally plan a wedding on YouTube.)
“Isn’t it crazy these days that you can live out your dream with just the Internet?,” said Heidemann in October’s YouTube video introducing their first single.
Karmin’s first album goes on sale in April.