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Rough or Polished? – Singing on YouTube

Ulrike 560

She’s just made a splash on YouTube – and we’ve caught up with her to ask how she did it.

Swedish singer Ulrike’s polished YouTube hit “Animal” is rapidly gaining views.

But her iPhone production is doing well too – she shares her behind-the-scenes work and insights in this exclusive interview:

What inspired you to get your music onto YouTube?
I really just wanted to make my talents and music accessible to as many people as possible. YouTube has become an amazing platform for new artists like myself to be easily heard and seen by people around the globe. I have a blast doing it and gain so much from the experience and comments from the viewers.

Ulrika iPhone video

Ulrika shoots some YouTube videos using an iPhone

Do you do more live gigs or videos and which do you prefer?
Right now I’m in the final stages of completing my debut EP, so I spend most time in the studio, but I do try to upload covers as often as I can. I LOVE to perform live and connecting with the audience but sometimes it makes more sense to put up a video. I love getting messages from fans all over the world saying how a simple little cover made their week.

Any tips on the technical side of video making? What gear do you use?
For some of my videos I have used professional studio gear and recorded into mics like the Neuman U87 and into a Protools system. In other cases I’ve just put up an iphone and played/sung straight into the air.

Which vids does your audience prefer?
You’d think that the audience would pick the well recorded cover but I have learned that people don’t care too much about perfection, just a feeling. If it feels good they will listen. My cover of Chandelier is probably the worst recorded video I’ve ever done but it has over 250,000 views : ).

Most important lessons you have learnt about social media?
– Stay consistent.

– Don’t be scared of sharing your talents, strengths and what makes you unique.

– Don’t constrain yourself with putting out a perfect version of yourself. People appreciate some flaws and imperfections as long as the music feels good and is real. Yes, be real!!

What ingredients are essential for a great vocal performance?
– A good warmup never hurts. Overall it’s important to sing a lot because experience builds confidence that always shows in the performance.

– Mean what you sing! Feel it, live it. You have to make the audience believe you, so it’s important that you follow your intuition.

Showcase a little personality so that the audience feel like they’re getting to know you in bits and pieces

– Showcase a little personality so that the audience feel like they’re getting to know you in bits and pieces. I am corky, and I like to smile a lot…that’s just me : )

Was there a particular thing that helped you reach a larger audience?
Oh I don’t know. It kinda happens organically. Opportunities like this really helps. I’ve recently collaborated with H&M and Gillette as well.

Current favorite YouTube artists? Any newcomers to look out for?
I’ve been following IVY&GOLD for a while. I really like their indie style. They remind me of Imogen Heap meets Florence and the Machine.


Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Ulrika carefully crafted her powerful voice throughout the many years of choir school and classical training. With a global appeal and sound, Ulrika has been compared to the likes of Sia, Ellie Goulding, and Gwen Stefani. Her debut single “Animal” has been referred to as “epic pop” and Ulrika will be releasing her full EP Spring 2015. See www.ulrikamusic.com