By Tara Schoenborn
In most people’s minds, violin is about as classical as it gets. But Seth Gilliard is out to change that stereotype with his renditions of mainstream pop songs. He has covered everyone from Usher to Alicia Keys, and even managed to make Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” sound classy. Now that is an accomplishment.
In his cover, he mixes highbrow classical violin with pop elements making for a very unique and entertaining piece. While the poppy, synthetic beats of “Boyfriend” play in the background, Gilliard plays an epic violin riff to open the song, which only adds to its intensity and improves the musical quality tenfold. As the song progresses, it gets a little bit folk/country, but still sounds insanely cool because it is something different. It is unique, refreshing, and entertaining.
In addition, the video for the cover is simply Gilliard playing on the street just like any other struggling artist trying to find a place in this world. I think the video really captures the essence of Gilliard’s goal: prove you can do whatever you want and then play it for all to hear. Gilliard does not just play along with the beat in “Boyfriend,” but also adds his own style and pizzazz, showing he is not afraid to do something new and show the world. He takes Top 40 songs, adds his own flair and some definite class, and cranks out a really sweet sound.
That is what I call innovation.