Roll over, Bieber: two new Canadian tweens with big voices take YouTube by storm
Justin who? While the Biebs may have been a YouTube sensation from an early age, a new generation (yes, newer than Bieber) of Canadian tweens is stepping into the online spotlight—and this time, they’re sporting some girl power. Two new female mini-Biebers are gaining notoriety, at least in the dailies: Winnipeg’s Maria Aragon and Toronto’s Heather Russell. Aragon recently got a shout-out from Lady Gaga, and Russell signed a record deal with former American Idol judge and notorious curmudgeon Simon Cowell, all thanks to the power of the Internet. We’re not sure exactly what’s feeding our appetite for pint-sized belters in this country (and you can add Nikki Yanofsky to that list, too), but here’s what you need to know about the two new Girl Biebers:
- She’s only 10 years old.
- She posted a video of herself performing Lady Gaga’s latest single, “Born This Way,” accompanying herself on the piano.
- Her cover earned a tweet from Gaga herself that read:
“Can’t stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future.”
Not only did she make the great Gaga tear up, but Aragon’s video now has over one million views.
- Also 10, Russell is a Toronto native and—cue feelings of inadequacy in the face of remarkable talent—she’s been singing and writing music since the tender age of three.
- Her mature voice has been compared to the likes of Janis Joplin, Mariah Carey and Ronnie Spector.
- She first caught the attention of Grammy-winning producer Rob Fusari with a video for her original song “You’re Beautiful” (thankfully, not the James Blunt snoozer). Fusari was on a plane to Canada shortly thereafter and has been working with her ever since.
- She managed to impress the usually taciturn Simon Cowell. Says Fusari, “Heather performed one song for Simon, and Simon was enamoured like everyone else…He really was out of his mind. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He offered to sign her to a record deal.”
- Her album is expected to be released later this year.