The hypertalented kids at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music are at it again. To promote Rihanna’s big single “Diamonds,” her label held a college video contest to score a chance for Rihanna to come to campus. Obviously NYU students decided to go one step further—a group of 14 Recorded Music (ReMu) majors recorded a huge cover of “Diamonds” that Buzzfeed just called “amazing.” (Fine, they call everything amazing, but—look, this is really good, okay?) The thing has racked up over 27,000 views since Saturday. Go watch.
ReMu junior Hannah Babitt coordinated the project via Facebook volunteers, and it took a month to get everything together with the ten vocalists, production, engineering, mixing/mastering—all of whom are in the notoriously selective program to pursue a career in the music industry. Babitt calls the project “in every way a group effort,” saying “NYU is a very collaborative campus, and we have a lot of talented people.” Engineer Alex Gresh is ”totally overwhelmed by the reaction,” saying “I hope that it creates some positive exposure for the talented people at ReMu.”
The video, directed by Ryan Hutchins, features ReMu students Kiah Victoria, Cari Fletcher, Rachel Kanner, Hannah Taylor, Sabrina Reitman, John Phillips, Terrell Kiser (Relly), Sonali Argade, and Lindsey Allen (Lozzy). The beat was produced by Ben Lindsay, engineered by Alex Gresh—he’s the guy in the video that Buzzfeed described as an “adorably nerdy synthpop DJ”—and mixed and mastered by Jason Moss. “This shit is crazy,” Lindsay said. “I had no idea this would happen.” A comment on the video asked happily, “Why is everyone at my school so talented? why?”