Michael Henry & Justin Robinett: A YouTube sensation that’s twice as nice

August 8, 2012

For Justin Robinett, he likely wasn’t expecting that joining Texas Tech University’s drumline would introduce him to someone who he would eventually join musical forces with and become a YouTube sensation along. But that’s precisely what happened when he came under the influence of drum captain Michael Henry. When Michael – an unsuspecting musical talent from Lake Jackson, Texas with college degrees in philosophy, psychology, and law – found out that Justin was the owner of some recording equipment, the idea was launched between the two teammates to try recording something together.

Just as pop star Justin Bieber started his YouTube career posting covers simply for the benefit of his friends and family, so too did the Michael Henry & Justin Robinett duo, who were in for a pleasant surprise that would soon skyrocket them to YouTube stardom. When they posted a cover of Mayday Parade’s ‘Three Cheers for Five Years’, what was  meant to be a show for friends went viral instead, reaching over 500,000 views.  The success of the cover quickly prompted a succession of follow-ups, each one  seemingly better than the last.

There’s  something about their voices that makes you want to stop what you’re doing and  keep listening. The melodic blend of Henry’s and Robinett’s natural talents is  both comforting and inspiring – a feat which they achieve with clear  effortlessness. Their brilliant harmonies are reminiscent of country trio  Rascal Flatts, whose orchestration of dulcet tones has enabled them worldwide  success for over twelve years. The fluidity and simple allure of Henry’s and  Robinett’s voices could possibly place them on a similar track.

But  the impressive factor doesn’t stop there. Not only are the two singers  incredibly gifted on vocals, their talents also extend to instrumentals. Each  cover features the simple melodies of a piano, along with additional instruments based on the song. In their version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, the duo uses  a tambourine, maraca, and several hand drums which add an acoustic, more  intimate vibe to the British boy band’s hit. Similarly, the use of a guitar in  their tribute to Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin”  adds a smooth, beautifully executed flare not unlike tracks by John Mayer or Ed  Sheeran. In addition, Henry and Robinett’s cover of “Kiss Me Slowly” pays homage to the rock vibes of Parachute’s  original recording, while also capturing a softness to make it all their own.

Simply  put, their style of music is very raw, which is refreshing. They never fail to  deliver passion to their covers, bringing emotion into each lyric. In their  most recent upload, they performed a stunning mash-up of music by Justin Bieber  and the Backstreet Boys, combining their songs of the same name (“As Long As You Love Me”) into a  sensational rhythmic take that not only did the songs justice by giving them an
acoustic flare, but also put an entertaining spin with the mash-up.

Even  along the talent and instrumentals, Henry and Robinett still manage to show  us their personalities, bringing simple charm to each cover. The videos feature  various guests, including one recurring guest in particular who enjoys bringing  a moment of humor (memorably the bridge in “What  Makes You Beautiful”).

Henry  and Robinett’s talent speaks for itself and the success of their music on  YouTube can only be an indication of what is to come for this talented duo. A complete showcase of their covers can be found at youtube.com/justinrobinett and mhjrmusic.com, and the songs can be purchased on iTunes. To connect with  Michael and Justin, visit them on Facebook at  facebook.com/michaelhenryandjustinrobinett and follow them on Twitter: @michaelchenry and @justinrobinett.

-Shelley D.

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