Em Beihold’s ‘Numb Little Bug’ Cover Songs.

Now it’s time for Em Beihold’s ‘Numb Little Bug’ cover songs. We’ve reviewed Em Beihold’s ‘Numb Little Bug’ before with our guest writer, Jason Greiner.

He explained, “Beihold comes at the listener with an extremely catchy vibe infused with a sense of fun even though the lyrics are actually a bit deep. It is a far cry from much of today’s pop tracks that seem to be overproduced and somewhat hollow.”

This song was released in 2022, as a part of Em Beihold’s Album, Escape Sonoro. And boy did it take off. Don’t take my word for it. Since it was released, it’s gotten over 16 million views and counting.

‘Numb Little Bug’ Cover Songs

This is a fantastic song hand down. Though you know as a reader of Switching Styles, we don’t stop at reviews. There’s much more to a single song than the original. When you have a song that essentially exemplifies how most young adults feel, there’s no shortage of covers. The lyrics, “Do you ever get a little bit tired of life? Like you’re not really happy but you don’t wanna die Like you’re hangin’ by a thread but you gotta survive,” is something that resonates with many folks around the world.

Photo by Marcelo Chagas on

Now I’ve kept you waiting long enough, here’s a list of Switching Styles’ favourite covers of Em Beihold’s ‘numb little bug’ for your listening pleasure.

Rock Cover by Our Last Night

Rock Version by Rain Paris

Vocal Cover by YellOw22

Duet Cover by Ni/Co

Tell us in the comments below which of these covers resonates with you the most. If we missed your favourite, share it with us on your favourite social media!

Hug your Hound Day Playlist!

Hug your hound for physical, mental and emotional benefits plus a list of music perfect for Hug your hound day!

Photo by Nana Lapushkina on

Did you know that hugging your pets can help decrease stress, increase, and improve your overall well-being? Here are some facts to back that up the benefits of regularly giving a hug to your hound.

Photo by Samson Katt on

Dogs are one of the most popular pets throughout the world

If you’re hugging your pet, chances are it’s going to be a dog. These adorable animals make great companions, but that’s not all. They’ve been trained as protectors, farmers, herders, babysitters, guards, security, and overall helpers.

Hound hugs a day can Improve Your Physical Health

hugging your pet has many benefits to your health, including physical. As both Humans and dogs are social creatures, they both innate craving for physical touch. When you cuddle, hug, or pet your dog, your brain produced Oxytocin. This is also known as the “love hormone” typically associated with feelings of trust and bond formation. Oxytocin itself can also limit cortisol production. cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” which can impact weight gain, and reduce immune function, among other health issues. More than that, cuddling with your pet can lower your heart rate, and decrease your blood pressure! That’s an easy way to lower your heart rate and lower your blood pressure!

Hugging your hound Helps to Relieve Anxiety Depression and other mental health issues

Beyond oxytocin, hugging your pet regularly also stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These both relieve depression, and stress, and elevate your mood. Many folks have contact with their pets to combat panic and anxiety attacks. Spending a few minutes every day cuddling with your dog (or most other pets for that matter) helps you maintain a positive mental attitude and improve mental health.

Cuddling with your fuzzy cutie can help with your pet’s health.

Having regular contact with your pet can help you keep track of their health.  You’ll notice right away if something is wrong or out of the ordinary. While petting your furry friend, you may notice any new lumps, smells, sensitive areas or tender spots. This is a great way to catch an injury or illness before it becomes more serious. Cuddle your pet for their health too.

Hugging your hound helps with their jealousy

study at UCSD claims that your dog can genuinely get jealous. When they see you cuddle another dog or display affection, they can get jealous of your love! Hugging them regularly reminds them that they’re important to you.

Remember that your dog has preferences too!

Each dog has different needs when it comes to contact. Make sure that the cuddles you’re giving are ones they want to get. Look for signs that they don’t enjoy the hugs or cuddles such as getting stuck, signs of anxiety, avoiding eye contact, whining, barking, yawning, ears down and back, Squirming or trying to get away, which are all signs that they want their space. If your dog doesn’t care for hugs, try belly rubs, or back scratches or just a hand on their head instead.

Photo by cottonbro on

Dog Themed Music

Of course, we’ve got some four-legged-themed music to listen to while giving your pooch a smooch.

Cuppy ~ Lo-fi Hip Hop Mix by Fear dog

You’ve Got a Friend in Me Fingerstyle Guitar cover by Acoustic Trench

Chasing Butterflies by Frankly Speaking

Good Dogs by Jameson Rodgers

Happier by Marshmello ft. Bastille

Which song reminds you of your perfect pooch? Let us know in the comments below or on your favourite social media platforms!

Covers Reviews Switching styles

Happy Holidays; Covering Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Franz Xaver Gruber

Over the festive month of December, I’ll be providing you guys with a range of covers. It’ll be my duty to provide a little bit for everyone to enjoy!! It’s something to spice up the Christmas playlist just enough to make the repetition of the retail soundtrack not be so boring. And covering Silent night is our gift to all of our readers!

Here’s something festive just for you! 

“Silent Night” Jazz Cover by Mostly Jazz

“Silent Night” Metal Cover by Chuck Billy (of Testament), John Tempesta (Rob Zombie, Helmet), Chris Wyse, Scott Ian, Jon Donais

“Silent Night” Rock Cover By Janick Thibault

“Silent Night” Tecnho Remix By OX-DEXTER-XO

“Silent Night” Metal Cover By Embracing Soul

“Silent Night” Choir Cover By The Georgia Boy Choir

“Silent Night” Reggae Cover By Christafari

“Silent Night” Accoustic Cover By Boyce Avenue

“Silent Night” Acapella Cover By Pentatonix

“Silent Night” Acoustic Cover By Tori Kelly

Which cover made this silent night a bit more musical? Comment below!

Happy Holiday Soundtrack; Jingle Bells Covers

Let’s start the winter holidays off with a classic but not too classic; Jingle Bells Covers.

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight

James Lord Pierpont “Jingle Bells”

Christmas Songs are the highlight of some people’s holidays and the curse of others. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. Even when there is, people tend to lean to one side or the other. There are two kinds of people; those that decorate their house with tinsel and lights and Christmas cheer in September and those that work in retail.

Below are Jingle Bells Covers to get you in the spirit of Christmas. This one is always classic.

“Nightmare Before Jingle Bells” Remix by heiakim

“Jingle Bells” Vocal Cover by Tiffany Alvord

“Jingle Bells” Acoustic Cover by JT Hodges

“Jingle Bells” Metal Cover by Paritosh Anand

Jingle Bells” Ukulele Cover by Iryna Rymarenko

“Jingle Bells” Launchpad Cover by HVpad

“Jingle Bells” Drum Cover by August Burns Red

“Jingle Bells” Metal Cover by Leo Moracchioli

“Jingle Bells” Duet Cover by Us The Duo

“Jingle Bells” Blues Cover by Andrea Bosio

Which cover jingled the bells the best? Let us know!


Galaxy of Covers; A Deeper Look with the Creators

Galaxy of Covers is an innovative digital visualization project looking at a list of 50 songs and their covers. A team from Interactive Things worked on this project bringing their ideas and visions to life.

The Team

Here are all of the people that combined their skills and talents to create the Galaxy of Covers data visualization project.

Benjamin Wiederkehr

Benjamin is a Swiss interaction designer based in Brooklyn. He fulfills a lot of roles within the field of design and data visualization; He’s the co-founder and director of Interactive Things as well as an editor at Data Visualization.

Combining design and technology he brings information to people in a way that is creative and simplified for his audience.

Though his work doesn’t stop there. He has a large and collective resume. He’s written several published works relating to data visualization, and creative innovation, as well as lectured at the Zurich University for the arts and the Bern University of the arts, and organized hacker meetups.

Jan Wächter

Jan is a designer that specializes in interfaces and interactive data.

“As with cooking, great products are the result of carefully choosing the best ingredients, skillfully preparing them and fusing it all together with a lot of care and empathy”, he explains in his employee bio on Interactive Things.

Many of his projects showcase his ability to create complex and interactive data visualizations in a way that people will understand and engage with. As a senior for interactive and interface designer at Interactive Things, he takes the information and transforms them into a user friendly and dynamic experience. His portfolio include projects for Ava, Biovotion, Swisscom, the Swiss Government and UNESCO.

Mark Hintz

Mark’s expertise in software engineering allows him to bring forth the ideas and designs beautifully and logistically. His creation of stunning visuals, interactive applications and installations means every project is beautifully put together in both aesthetics and logistics.

Currently, he is the Engineering Team Lead at Datadog while taking his Master of Arts in Design at Zurich University of the Arts, with specialty in Interactive Design. While working on Galaxy of covers, his role at Interactive Things was an interaction engineer.

Using his talent and techniques he’s able to utilize software to get the end result that the project requires. Then by implementing interesting visual designs and interface helps users explore the brilliant stories found in the data.

Tania Boa

Tania is a visual and interaction designer based in Italy working for Interactive Things.

Using her background in Visual and Multimedia Communication Design, Tania is able to transform the mundane and the confusing into something altogether spectacular.

With skills and a passion for infographic design, typography, and visual aesthetics, she brings the look and feel of the project together. She provides forward creativity and inspiration to her projects that in turn inspire their clients and viewers.

Ilya Boyandin

Ilya Boyandin is a data visualization engineer that develops interactive data visualizations and maps for a range of clientele and organizations. Currently, he is working at Teralytics, a startup in Zurich, that focuses on mobility data analysis.

With a passion for data visuals, he’s shared his experience and expertise at several talks including the Urban Computing Foundation, The AGIT Symposium Talk, the ClickHouse Talk at Data Council and Flow Maps Talk at the DataVis Meetup. And all of those were just this past summer in 2020.

His recent projects include Flow Map Blue, an OD-Matrix analyst app, and a Covid-19 lung ultrasound study.

Introducing The Galaxy of Covers

Now to get into the main point of the article. What was the inspiration for Galaxy of Covers?

This project was sparked out of the want to do something creative purely because they can. Galaxy of Covers is a self-driven and self-initiated Project through Interactive Things’ team members. This provided the team with an outlet other than client-driven work to utilize their skills and talents. Galaxy of Covers provided a platform to use techniques, designs elements, and aesthetics that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to do usually.

It’s different from most of their other projects that are centered around giving their clients what they need.

“What we wanted to do design-wise was we wanted to create something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary for us. Interactive Things is known for having a fairly clean, fairly straightforward, simple and minimal design aesthetic. As this was a sort of non-client project, we wanted to be a little bit bolder, be a little more vibrant, explore,” explains Benjamin in an interview with Switching Styles.

It started with the opportunity to work on something entirely new. They all discussed the various options and topics that they wanted to do. In taking a vote, the topic of covers won.

“It was mainly driven by this idea that we can somehow make it more tangible and talk about music in a different way and giving physical form to it, to a certain degree,” Jan continues his thoughts..

Compiling the data proved to be a daunting task. Simply because of the sheer amount of covers that exist throughout the world. Working in a group of six adults all with their own music tastes and many with musical backgrounds make it hard to narrow down a list of music to look at.

Both Benjamin and Jan have a history of creating music. Ilya has created music for Interactive Things and has a thriving music career where he creates electronic music as Ibananti.

Thus, they needed a way to narrow down the list of songs. This is where BBC’s top 50 list comes in. Not only did it make the data simple, but it ensured that these songs already have a high degree of relevance in pop culture at the time.

The data process started with gaining information about cover songs, about their specific elements of tempo, valence, energy, and speechiness. The API data was collected from The Echo Nest, Spotify for the song’s popularity, Secondhand songs for the song’s metadata, and Who Sampled for the music genre.

It was out of the ordinary for both the team and for the company. It was something new and exciting to utilize this information. Taking something out of its typical context to describe something else entirely, is innovative and exactly what they set out to do. And it worked.

Space and Music

Using space as a metaphor to explain the interactions between cover songs and their originals is fascinating and creative. Galaxy of Covers takes the concepts of a solar system and applies it to the elements of a cover song.

“Since it’s such a strong visual metaphor, it helps to kind of transport the core of the idea and make it interesting and fun to actually engage with it, even though there’s not even music, and it’s about music.” describes Jan, “I think combining like the idea of galaxies and space to music is kind of fun when you just think about, it in a way. Because there’s probably not even sound in space, right? I think it’s a very successful pairing of the two and I think sometimes can actually help form a different understanding of a topic, just by looking at it from a different point of view.”

The visualization used for this project is created with standard web technologies which include HTML, CSS, JavaScript and open source software (D3, React, Web pack among others). Check out the GitHub repository for more details.

The obstacles they faced were no more than usual, the team said.

In terms of design, they needed to figure out what was the best way to showcase the information. What variables to include, does it make sense to show it like this and does it look good. In terms of data, the data gathering, and animations were tricky as it was something different and unique. It was the usual amount of complexity.

The team wanted to bring more of an interactive style to the data by using clips from the song as you hovered over the orbiting ‘planet’. However, it caused some struggles in terms of post-licensing and copyright. Add to that, there were extra steps that would make the data frustrating to use for their viewers as each time required the viewer to log in to their Spotify account.

The Team’s Favorite Covers

During this, they listened to quite a few covers and of course, some members of the team had their own favourites.

Jan’s favourite from the project is “Hurt” by Johnny cash, originally by Nine Inch Nails.

Ilya’s favourite was “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley, originally by Leonard Cohen. His second favourite was “All Along the Watch Tower” by Jimi Hendrix, originally by Bob Dylan.


All in all, the team had fun with the project. It showed the viewers and the team themselves what can be accomplished when you set your mind to a task.

“If you have some cool idea, then try to work towards implementing it. Something comes out of it, Ilya explains.

“It’s a good example of what can happen if you try to apply a completely outfield metaphor to a different chart or a topic. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. And it’s not always as successful, I would say, but in this case, it worked out very nicely,” concludes Jan.

Interviews Reviews

Switching Styles Features Mako Ray

Introducing Mako Ray

“Lost gender beast attempts to gain notoriety via prolonged struggle on the world’s worst and only video-sharing website” reads Mako Ray’s Twitter Bio

Joining only a few years ago in 2017, Mako Ray has gained over 2.8 million views from followers following his artistic career.

“My ultimate goal is to become a game developer. I’ve spent a lot of time since I was a teenager learning various skill sets such as art, music and writing, and now it’s just a matter of applying them to something, letting them all come together to finally create something big and proper. In addition to that I’m working on a 3D model right now and considering becoming a vtuber,” explains Mako Ray, “I dunno. I do a lot of weird dumb nonsense and I’m currently collecting a fanbase who is into that weird dumb nonsense”.

Currently, he admits to being in the “Following stage,” and creating an audience through social media with the end goal of making a living as a full time artist.

Mako Ray’s Music Career

His YouTube channel consists of art, design, game development content, and of course music. Music, for Mako Ray, is a means to an end, and the end is to listen to something you enjoy and “occasionally that end is supposed to have a specific stronger impact, attempting to elicit certain feelings from people such as happiness, sadness, fear, whatever the situation calls for, and I hope to be able to achieve that in my songs.”

Inspired by specifically video game soundtracks, and artists like Toby Fox, Mayo Ray aims to bring more out of the music than just sounds. Gathering influences coming from primarily video games, it created a unique opportunity to learn. Most video game soundtracks that Mako Ray wanted to learn had scores that weren’t easily accessible. This lead him to his ear to hear for the notes and transcribed them. With this skill and an interest in music, the skills grew and grew.

“Eventually I also decided to dabble in composing my own music, and I’m currently working off-and-on on a collection of original songs, some of which have appeared as background music in a few of my YouTube videos,” he explained.

Switching Styles has highlighted Mako Ray’s Animal Crossing cover. If you want to check out the Animal Crossing cover of “Africa” by Toto, watch it here.

Covers are a way for Mako Ray not only to interact with the audience but with the music itself. It’s combination of the original artist’s work and Mako Ray’s.

“There are certain songs I love so much that I want to sort of…how would I describe it? It’s like I want to embed myself in them, physically feel them, do everything I can to pay homage to them and just enjoy their composition first-hand. Learning how to play/sing them is the best way to do that.” he describes.

My favorite cover I’ve done is a video on my channel called “Barrens, Glen, Refuge” which is a cover of the three main area themes from a game called Oneshot. I used both a piano keyboard and its drum pad simultaneously”

Oneshot’s “Barrens, Glen, Refuge” Piano + Drumpad Cover

Let us know what you think in the comments below!!

Covers Interviews Reviews Switching styles

Q&A With Mako Ray

Joining only a few years ago in 2017, Mako Ray has gained over 2.8 million views from followers following his artistic career. Now he isn’t just a musician and cover artist but also an artist, and designer. His YouTube channel consists of art, design, game development content, and of course music.

Music, for Mako Ray, is a means to an end, and the end is to listen to something you enjoy and “occasionally that end is supposed to have a specific stronger impact, attempting to elicit certain feelings from people such as happiness, sadness, fear, whatever the situation calls for, and I hope to be able to achieve that in my songs.”

Inspired by specifically video game soundtracks, and artists like Toby Fox, Mayo Ray aims to bring more out of the music than just sounds. Currently, he admits to being in the “Following stage,” and creating an audience through social media with the end goal of making a living as a full-time artist.

Below is an interview between Mako Ray and Switching Styles’ Dylanna Fisher.

How did you start in music?

I had a lot of free time as a teenager and ended up taking guitar lessons. Though I forget if it was my or my mother’s idea to do so. Either way I ended up enjoying it, and we eventually got an upright piano that I was very excited to teach myself to play. There were a lot of songs I wanted to learn that people hadn’t made sheet music to, for example, from certain video games. I had to also teach myself how to hear out notes and transcribe music. I ended up doing a lot of amateur piano covers and uploading them to YouTube.

What impact does music have?

For me personally, it’s mostly just some fun stuff to listen to. I’m not usually all that into treating songs as these hugely important sources of emotional impact. Though, I know many other people feel that way and I understand why. I’m very much an applied arts sort of person, so I typically view music as a means to an end, and that end for me is usually just something neat to listen to.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never been on the internet?

I suppose it’s sort of like…chill beats that are often bass-centric, with some occasional chiptune influence? I think it’s kind of hard as a budding artist to describe my own style, it just seems normal to me since it’s what I’m used to, like a visual art style or a spoken accent.

Who are the musicians that inspire your sound?

Toby Fox. Number one without a doubt. I’ve been a fan of his since he composed music for Homestuck which also featured several other artists I’d describe as influential to me. He really outdid himself with the Undertale OST. I’ll be very proud of myself if I can become half as skilled a composer as him one day.

As for other influences, I think there are four types of music that come to mind.

1: Video game OSTs in general, particularly older games. Back before video game audio technology evolved to be able to create any sound the composers wanted, the sounds they worked with were much simpler, and they had to rely on stringing them together in interesting and memorable ways with lots of catchy melodies in order for them to sound like, well, anything other than some weird noises. I’ve always found that style of song making much more interesting than other soundtrack methods such as orchestral walls of sound that do their job but aren’t really memorable or compelling to go back and listen to again.

2: Songs that aren’t afraid to put their bass line front and center. Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers immediately comes to mind, the bass in their music tends to act as both the basis of the song and a counter melody which adds a nice level of complexity that I enjoy for similar reasons as #1.

3: Atmospheric songs that take you to another world while you’re listening to them. I’m talking anyone from Akira Yamaoka (the Silent Hill composer) to Macintosh Plus (the vaporwave composer). If it makes me feel like I’m trapped in a half-lucid dream that I can’t tell is a nightmare or not, I’m down with it. Most of my music doesn’t fall into that category, but I still find it very important to be able to capture that atmosphere when needed.

And #4: Honestly, just those lofi hip hop chill beats to relax/study to songs. You know, the ones that often take no effort to compose other than taking some plundered piano loop and putting some drum samples over it? They just sound nice. I try to go for a similar feel with a lot of my songs but with extra complexity and memorability.

What appeal do you think covers have compared to the original songs to a general audience?

I think people just like seeing different versions of their favorite songs. They love it so much that they want more of it, and covers are a way to give them more. There’s also the novelty aspect of some of the more goofy covers like my Animal Crossing Africa one.

Do you think covers will continue to be popular?

Oh, of course! As long as people continue to find certain songs special they will continue to cover them and others will flock to listen.

How is making covers different from making originals?

Well you don’t have to go through the entire composition process for a cover, you just learn the notes that are already there for you and figure out how to play them properly. I suppose some mild composition is occasionally required if, for example, it’s a song that wasn’t designed to be played on your chosen instrument, at which point you have to make a custom arrangement that may differ from the original a bit but enables you to actually play it while still capturing its essence.

Why do you perform covers of songs?

There are certain songs I love so much that I want to embed myself in them, physically feel them, do everything I can to pay homage to them and just enjoy their composition first-hand. Learning how to play and sing them is the best way to do that.

What’s your favorite cover? Why?

My favorite cover I’ve done is a video on my channel called “Barrens, Glen, Refuge”, which is a cover of the three main area themes from a game called Oneshot. I used both a piano keyboard and its drum pad simultaneously and I’m just really proud of myself for managing to perform it in such a manner, especially the third song which was a challenge for me. I could have easily just played a drum loop while using both hands for the piano to make my life easier, but it wouldn’t have felt the same, it wouldn’t have felt like I was really experiencing the entire song.

What’s the process of creating these covers?

First I learn all the notes; usually someone will have already made a midi or sheet music for the song, but if not I’ll listen to it myself and discern all the notes by ear. Sometimes I’ll even do that if sheet music is available but a midi isn’t, since I’m so slow at sight-reading that it’s often faster to just hear it out.

Then I write an arrangement of them in FL Studio designed for whatever instrument I’m playing; if it’s for piano, I fiddle around with the notes to make sure they’re actually physically playable with two hands.

Then it’s just the process of practicing that arrangement until I’m able to play it decently enough.

Of course, you’re probably curious about my Animal Crossing cover, for which I obviously skipped those last two steps. Instead, I recorded a video of each character playing various random notes on the in-game instruments, brought those clips into Sony Vegas, then placed and pitch-shifted them throughout the timeline to match the notes of Africa. I then did that key frame transparency cutout thingy, I forget what it’s called, to position each character into the same frame despite being from different recordings. You can notice some visual discrepancies and incorrect perspective between each character. And voila. Very tedious, but it was well worth it for the reception the video got.

What are some of your fondest memories while making music?

I did a piano and guitar cover of a song called “Alphamatic Replacement” that someone made for a music contest. It didn’t win but I liked it enough to cover it, and the composer saw my cover and was really impressed I was able to match its speed on the piano, so that felt nice.

Other than that, just being able to play songs I loved on the piano, composing original music that actually sounded good to me, that sort of stuff was and still is really rewarding.

What are some obstacles throughout your music career? And how did you overcome them?

When it comes to covering songs, I’ve attempted several dozen covers over the years that never panned out because I was never able to actually master them. I don’t regret partially learning and never finishing them, though, because it was still fun, and the little practice they offered me still helped me improve my playing skills.

These days I don’t really worry about fully learning every song I love. I just learn little simplified tidbits. When a song comes around that I’m positive I want to cover, I just sort of drop everything and hard-focus in on practicing it until I’ve mastered it, before it slips from the fleeting grasp of my attention span.

As for composing? Having the sense of “I know what I’m doing” is an incredibly difficult thing to attain in digital audio workstations like FL Studio. There’s so much garbage everywhere on your screen that you have no idea the function of, you don’t know how to do anything other than make a short 2-second song loop that never gets extended. It’s totally overwhelming. It really just comes down to spending the time to familiarize yourself with everything; it WILL happen eventually, it’s inevitable, you just have to deal with the confusion until you get there.

What are your future plans?

My ultimate goal is to become a game developer. I’ve spent a lot of time since I was a teenager learning various skill sets such as art, music and writing. Now it’s just a matter of applying them to something, letting them all come together to finally create something big and proper.

In addition to that, I’m also currently trying to cultivate an audience for myself, on YouTube, twitch and Twitter. I’d like to be able to make a living off this stuff as well as just be an internet personality weirdo in general. I’m working on a 3D model right now and considering becoming a vtuber. I do a lot of weird dumb nonsense and I’m currently collecting a fan base who is into that weird dumb nonsense.

How does game development compare to creating music?

It’s a MUCH more involved process that usually requires the creation of music but also visual art, coding, writing…in both cases, though, you’re creating a work of art for the purpose of a consumer to get something out of, whether that be a fun little time or a big emotional journey.

Also, composing music for games is often different from composing music for general listening, as you’re usually creating something meant to serve as the backdrop to the rest of the game, rather than be the center of attention.

Most songs in video game OSTs lack lyrics, for example, because they don’t want to distract too much from everything else going on. Unless you’re Persona 5, in which case you don’t care about that at all and will instead manage to get away with throwing lyric-containing jamming bops all over the place while creating one of the best video game soundtracks ever made. Though that game still contains many songs without vocals, during times where it’d be too distracting for those particular moments. You have got to know how much you can get away with and when to dial it back, I suppose.

What advice would you give to new and young musicians?

Just do something, don’t just sit there listening to the same short loop over and over trying to figure out how to continue it.

Throw a bunch of random notes all over the place and see what you can do with them. You’d be amazed by how much easier it is to work with some weird hastily-composed garbage than a totally blank slate. Don’t worry about those giant crazy synthesizers with the airplane control panels, just use their instrument presets to have a sound to start with. Maybe mess around with a knob here and there to experiment and eventually learn what some of them do. The most important thing is to just get something there regardless of its quality.

The quality will improve in time, but you can’t improve something that doesn’t exist.

Tips for Covering a Song by the Guitar Witch

Guest Written by Catherine GuitarWitch and also published on

Hi! My name is Catherine and I am the Guitar Witch, featured here on Switching Style’s blog for your viewing pleasure.  Wanting to sound like our favourite musicians is usually what draws us to play an instrument in the first place.  While I personally, don’t do a lot of covers, there are a few songs that I am drawn to play again and again, and that to me at least, are timeless.  

One of these songs is “About A Girl” by Nirvana, off of their first album, Bleach. It is simple and beautiful, and there is an affection and a longing in the lyrics that is endlessly charming and warm. You can hear the original here. How can you record a cover that kicks ass, maintains a connection to the original, and allows you to express yourself as an individual? 

  1.  Pick something you love: So many people I see on YouTube are covering the flavour of the week, the new single, whatever is popular to get views. That’s all well and good if that’s your primary aim as a musician. For me, the “goal” of musicianship is about art and expressing a feeling, connecting to something bigger than ourselves, and as a way that us mere mortals can commune with the bigger energies of humanity, the divine, the universe, whatever you want to call it. So for me, I tend to go to old classics, to the songs that made me want to pick up a guitar in the first place, or things that touch my soul. If it can make you cry, that’s the one you should pick!  
  2. Pick something in your vocal range or change the key: Guitarists (and other stringed instruments) can change the key of a song super easily using a capo. For pianists, it’s a bit trickier. There are videos and online calculators and music writing programs that can help transpose things to a new key for you if you are struggling with this. The music should be in a comfortable range so that you are not struggling to hit high notes or low notes.   
  3. Learn the song so well you could play it in your sleep: Doesn’t matter whether you pick out a great tab or sheet music or learn it by ear but play it enough times that it becomes second nature. That means it should flow easily and feel comfortable in your hands and your mind – you shouldn’t be straining to play or sing it. Because we will be recording it, the better you learn it now the fewer mistakes you’ll make during the recording process.   
  4. Add your own spin: You might do this naturally while you’re learning it, and all the better! Your voice might be quite different from the original singer, or you prefer to play an acoustic or a piano and the original might be an electric guitar. Most people don’t listen to a cover to hear an absolute replica unless they are going to see a cover band, people want to hear YOUR take on it. So feel free to play around with different tones and textures, different vocal styles, and different timings and rhythms.  
  5. Focus on the vocals: The vocals are often what draws people into a song, (especially one that makes you feel the need to cover it!). Vocals are usually what scares me the most about performing. I feel like a very competent guitarist, but there is something about singing that is so vulnerable, so naked, it’s like someone seeing inside of your body, inside of your diary. Even as a voice teacher, it’s taken me a lot of deep work to be comfortable with sharing my voice publicly. If it is something that you struggle with, I recommend trying some therapy, journaling, meditating, or various other techniques to help you become comfortable with yourself.

    Also taking some voice lessons and practicing good vocal hygiene, breathing techniques and the like have helped me feel confident knowing that I’m doing what I can to be a good singer. That practice and attention helps me know that the discomfort I’m feeling about performing is psychological, and not because I really, truly “suck” (almost NO ONE truly sucks – it almost always comes down to practice and confidence).   
  6. Perform it or Record it: This is always the hardest part for me because it’s hard for me to feel like things are “ready” to be released. This often causes me to either work way too hard on something and spend too much time on it, or to call something “live” or “improvised” and not take enough time on it at all. Try to strike your own balance of finding a good sound, using good quality equipment to record with, and also releasing things or performing them when they are “ripe”.  

    For my cover of “About a Girl”, I went with a low-medium effort approach. This is what I would recommend for most pieces that you don’t plan on releasing professionally. Take a few takes until something works, but don’t drive yourself crazy. I decided to record through a room mic for my amp and a condenser for my vocals.

    I usually record guitar through an Axe-Fx but wanted the warmth of my little 1×12 Crate. I recorded into my DAW and took video separately, and combined them later. I didn’t do any editing of the audio itself, just cut off the ends and added some basic plugins, such as EQ and reverb. You can play around with this more or less depending on what your goals are. I didn’t add in any drums or bass but kept it as a simple guitar and vocal set up.  
  7. Accept it: Lastly, learn to accept, even love what you make, even if it “isn’t as good” as the original, even if there are imperfections, even if your voice breaks or you can’t get your recording to sound “right”. Doing things and making mistakes and learning from them is ALWAYS better than letting fear of mistakes prevent you from doing anything at all.

    Music is meant to be enjoyed, shared, and to express emotion. If you can achieve those things, it has been worthwhile. 

And so those are my recommendations for covering a song! I hope that you found this interesting, enlightening, and maybe even helpful.

I am also a music teacher and do creativity-related mental and physical health consultations:  Pricing and to Book Directly, Simbi, Facebook. If you liked this article, you can visit me at my home blog here:

331ERock EMeets Switching Styles; Musical Q&A

331Erock is the name of a youtube guitarist with fantastic fingering skills. In addition to just over one million subscribers, this musician has collected more than 136 million views. That’s impressive. And then you listen to his music and it becomes even more impressive.

Behind the youtube channel, is Eric Calderone, a metal guitarist. He describes himself as a “Tattoo gettin’ comic book readin’ guitar strummin’ point and clickin’ tv watchin’ movie buffin’ wifey lovin’ average guy.”

Most of his music contains metal guitar covers of anything you could want. With the titles “… Meets Metal”, he combines nostalgia, film, fantasy, and video games with the metal genre. The majority of his covers are metal covers of gaming soundtracks. these gaming soundtracks like Castlevania, Silent Hill, Battlefield, Duke Nukem, God Of Way, Assasins Creed, Undertale, Super Mario Bro, Overwatch, and Halo. This list is full of amazing nostalgic content perfect for any kind of nerd there is. Each of these music videos takes anywhere between 35 to 40 hours each week.

One of his fantastic playlists is “Memes Meet Metal”. It’s exactly what you think it is. Metal covers of meme music. This playlist includes The Trololol Song, Careless Whisper, The Nyan Cat Theme And Never Gonna Give You Up (everybody loves a good rickroll eh?).

Collaborating with other fantastic artists such as Jonathan young in a “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” Cover.

Fun Fact: Let’s not forget that he’s a metal musician with an impressive background. Calderone received the 2013 “‘Dimebag Darrell Shredder’ Award” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.

Calderone told Live Wire in an interview that it wasn’t his first video, Pirates of the Caribbean, that got him started as a youtube musician. instead, it was his cover of lady gaga’s “bad romance” – his 12th video.

“And then my brother mentioned, “Hey man, this chick Lady Gaga is kind of big right now. Maybe give her a listen? Maybe you can do one of her songs.” I was like, “Yeah. okay,” Calderone explains.

Before his cover of Lady Gaga, he would get excited about the 80 subscribers. After he uploaded the video, his views were beyond triple digits.

“I woke up the next morning and my inbox, it was something stupid, like 1100 messages in it. I was like, “What the hell?” I went through the inbox and it was all the YouTube stuff. I was like, “What’s going on with this?” I went on and it had 125,000 views and I was like, “Oh my god! This is awesome!” That’s kind of the one that started it,” he continues.

The youtube channel provides a range of songs with a metal twist thanks to Calderone’s guitar strumming. Check them out!

Let us know what you think in the comments below!!


Hakuna Matata in different languages

Hakuna-Matata” is a phrase in Swahili from East Africa meaning “No trouble” or No worries”. This has found its way into pop culture by way of Walt Disney. First used in Disney’s film The Lion King (1994) and its 2019 remake with a song based around the phrase. Now it’s used as a common day phrase for its exact translation – no worries.

Directed by Jon Favreau, he chose to take a new direction from the originals animated film to a live-action film. Taking a different approach to the film came forward in several ways. From Disney Live-Action, Favreau brings forward an all-new “The Lion King” as the audience journeys to the African savanna where a future king overcomes betrayal and tragedy to become king on his rightful place on Pride Rock.

Donald GloverSeth Rogen, director Jon Favreau, and more of his Lion King cast discuss how their portrayals of cherished characters still break new creative ground.

Even the trailer and advertising for the new film were rather different than the original. In one promotional video, they present Hakuna Matata in different languages.

Disney’s The Lion King Soundtrack

Although the main phrase “Hakuna Matata” stays in the original Swahili, the rest of the lyrics are within different languages. It’s a way for the film to present itself with an international audience as the base phrase’s intention has no limitations or bias. Everyone can and should enjoy no worries.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen who play Timone and Pumba in the new 2019 film have taken a new spin to the characters and thus to the character’s hit song. Singing these hit songs was nerve-wracking for both of them.

When asked “What is it like singing such recognizable songs?” by of Variety, this is how they responded.

It’s fun because you grow up with them. There was a certain exercise in my head of not being too familiar with the original version. Your first instinct is, “I’ll go listen to the original version and remind myself of what it was like.” The instinct that served me better was to not do that specifically and really trust that Jon would guide me to do all the things that he thought were necessary in order to make the song hit,” said Seth Rogen.

“The songs were probably one of the more intimidating parts to record in terms of having to walk this fine line of nodding to the original and certain elements of the original performances that people just love and would be disappointed not to hear again, but also finding ways to make it our own. Especially “Hakuna Matata” — that song is ingrained in people’s heads. Once you get past the first few takes, you start to fall into your own rhythm. Eventually, the anxiety wears off, but that’s a big one to take on,” said Billy Eichner.

This isn’t the first time Switching Styles has looked at Hakuna Matata in different forms. Check out some more Lion King covers!

We hope that helped take your worries away! Let us know what you think in the comments below!!