It shouldn’t be news that Wil B and Kev Marcus, the classically-trained duo who make up Black Violin, have transcended their classical roots. They have been revolutionizing the way we view violins and violas to keep classical music relevant for generations to come. Their career has involved collaborating with large artists from Kanye West to Aerosmith, but that’s not the only reason you should be paying attention. Their catalogue of covers is as diverse as their catalogue of collaborations, and just as impressive. Here are 5 of their best covers in no particular order except the top pick, which is objectively their best cover.\
1. “Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
Is this song overplayed? Absolutely. Does this version breathe new life into it? You bet.
2. “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
This description is me (Jake, the author) editorializing, but this cover makes this song listenable. Ed Sheeran is an objectively decent songwriter, but his performance often makes songs unbearable. By not only removing him but replacing him with two incredible musicians, this song rules.
3. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
Another late 2000s radio hit given a new lease on life by the genius of Black Violin.
4. “All Day” – Kanye West
Less of a cover than a ground-up redesign, Black Violin take this Kanye track and make it their own through an elegant yet punchy implementation of their classical training.
5. “Big Rings”
A perfect example of the way Black Violin fuses classical music and hip hop. The violin and viola start as a modification of the background beat, becoming their own beautifully orchestrated backing track.
Bonus! Here’s a track off their 2015 album of the same name. Their original stuff is even better than their covers.