Singer Emma Heesters matches the covers she publishes on YouTube to her subscribers. They come from all over the world, but she is especially listened to in Indonesia, she tells Het Parool . "Of the 2.5 million subscribers, more than a third live in Indonesia."

Heesters, who was best known in the Netherlands for her participation in the music program Beste Zangers in 2019, profiles herself as a singer for an important part on YouTube. "I started on YouTube because I saw a good marketing tool in it," said Heesters. "That way I could put myself in the shop window as a singer."

There are now about one hundred and fifty songs on her channel, almost all of them covers. Previously she selected those on whether they were big hits. "There is a lot of search on YouTube. Then I could piggyback on those search results," said Heesters. Today, however, she looks at her channel's stats to find out where her subscribers are from.

"Maybe a blonde girl will be special a little faster there"

"Of the 2.5 million subscribers, more than a third live from Indonesia. That is ten times as many as from the Netherlands," says Heesters. She thinks this is because they find "a blond girl special a little faster than here". "On Instagram I have more Dutch followers."

According to Heesters, that attention also comes from Indonesia because she studies the Top 40 well there. "When I hear something that suits me and I think it sounds good in the Western world, I translate the text and make it into an English version." She "just" does this using Google Translate. "But I do my very best to represent Hindi or Bahasa as well as possible. The last thing I want is to insult another culture."

"For example, I made the song Just Missing You ," says Heesters. "The original is Hanya Rindu by Indonesian singer Andmesh Kamaleng. On YouTube my version already has 11 million views and Andmesh also liked it. He sang my version during his concerts."


Emma Heesters sings Hanya Rindu