Skilled Scottish busker Ben Monteith turned up the heat in Glasgow with his fiery cover of Lewis Capaldi’s megahit “Someone You Loved”, picking up 5 million views in the process. In his version of the song, Monteith sings, plays guitar and even drums with his feet, drawing big smiles from onlookers as he plays.
YouTuber Mark McLaren uploaded the video, explaining the story: “I’m walking along Argyll Street in Glasgow, as I turned the corner I heard a busker playing. His voice is incredible, belting out tunes and it stopped me in my tracks. [He did a] great version of ‘Someone You Loved’.” But don’t just take Mark’s word for it, check out the video below.
Monteith is in his mid-30s and he also runs his own YouTube channel, Benmonteith, which has a total of just over two million views so far. Word of his big voice has gone wide and far though, with his view count on other channels and platforms reaching up to 50 million and counting.
One of the most popular videos featuring Monteith shows him doing an upbeat version of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”. This is a really great showcase for his smoky voice, and he adds a lot of grit and soul to the cover, giving it a completely different vibe to the original. Check out the video below.
Monteith’s successes have gone beyond rocking the streets of Glasgow. He went on tour with Scottish R&B star Emeli Sandé throughout the UK and Europe on her Real Life tour and also gained an endorsement with US high-end guitar manufacturer Taylor Guitars.
He picked up the guitar as a 13-year-old in high school as a scheme to help him get out of math class. The story of how he picked up singing is even quirkier, as he explained in an interview with Guitarguitar. He said at age 17 he had a crush on a girl who worked at a coffee shop that held open mics, but that he had no idea how to approach her.
“So eventually I learned her favourite song, which was “Iris” but the Goo Goo Dolls,” he said. “I sang this at the open mic night and sixteen years later, we’ve got three kids together (laughs). It definitely works; if you want to get yourself a bird, man, sing her a tune!”
Monteith’s cover of “Someone You Loved” is certainly winning over lots of hearts. The piano ballad was Lewis Capaldi’s breakout hit, netting him his first UK #1 single. The song spent seven weeks at the top of the UK charts and became the best selling single of the year in that market. It was also a sleeper hit in the US, eventually reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after 24 weeks on the chart.
The minimalist song was a perfect vehicle for Capaldi’s delicate yet powerful voice. “Someone You Loved” helped push Capaldi to international stardom, resulting in his debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent becoming the best selling album in the UK in both 2019 and 2020. If you would like to see more from Ben Monteith, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Instagram.