Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Capella Hanukkah Video Wars: You Decide

As you may be aware, the hit song this Hanukkah is that of the A capella group the Maccabeats. Their song Candlelight  (click here to buy it) which is based on Mike Tompkins' A cappella version of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite", has over 2.7 million hits on YouTube. One of the members is actually a Houstonian, Noey Jacobson. These kids have gone from a moderately successful A capella group in a nice market, to full blown rock stars overnight! The phones are ringing off the hook with requests to perform in Italy and other far off places I'm sure. They have been  written up on major blogs, papers and  have had interviews on many TV stations non stop. This kind of publicity by religious Jewish performers is very unusual. With the exception of perhaps someone like Matisyahu, who also put forth his own Hanukkah music video entitled "miracle". Matisyahu's video has yet to get a 1/2 a million hits. Another talented A Capella group, Six13 released their Hanukkah video in conjunction with NCSY entitled "I Light It". This video was based on several songs ("Baby" by Justin Bieber "Heartless" by Kanye West "I like it" by Enrique Iglesias) which got about 164k hits. This video did get some attention online they however, did not get the same kind publicity as the Maccabeats did. The reasons behind why one A capella  group did better than the other can be analyzed to death. Then of course you have copy cats. A group out of Israel, The Fountainheads are trying to cash in on the Hanukkah video craze, put out this music video based on the black eyed peas song "I gotta feeling" . After listening for a few moments you"ll underdstand why it has a mere 10k hits ( they even try to steal concepts from the Maccabeats video). What are your thoughts?


Yehuda said...

Just for the record, the whole "colored backgrounds" from the Maccabeats vid was ALSO taken from Mik Tompkin. Not just the tune/lyrics.

So they don't lose points for originality, but the Israeli video does?

moshe said...

actually, they go out of their way and credit Tompkins at every opportunity

Danny said...

I wasn't aware of this song but thanks for sharing!

Yehuda said...


I wasn't faulting the Maccabeats.

I was saying that the video's popularity had nothing to do with originality. That's all.