Multiplayer Interview: YouTube’s Charity Album of Video Game Covers

On YouTube, there are a whole lot of musicians that play inspired and unique adaptations of video game music. That’s why it’s so exciting to see them come together to create an album together. Multiplayer: A Tribute to Video Game Music is a licensed cover album that comprises of twenty six songs from different video games, performed by over 30 of the best video game musicians on YouTube.

To be entirely produced this month, based on an alphabetical scheme, each musician has been assigned a different letter of the alphabet, and must come up with a video game song beginning with that letter that they will perform and submit. Each submission will go onto the Multiplayer album, which will in turn be released on iTunes and Loudr in July. All proceeds from the album will be submitted to Child’s Play Charity (donation page), an organization committed to bringing toys and video games to children in hospitals, hence improving their quality of life.

I was lucky to contact two of the masterminds behind this project as well as contributors to the album, Ro P. and David Russell, both whom graciously answered my questions about the album.

Interview Credits

Interview Subject: David Russell, Ro P
Interviewer: Emily McMillan
Editor: Emily McMillan, Chris Greening
Coordination: Emily McMillan

Interview Content

Emily: Many thanks for joining us today. First of all, how did you come up with the idea for Multiplayer:


Ro: So this one comes from a few ideas, and dates a bit back. Before last summer, a lot of the VG Remixers and Cover artists over Youtube were pretty sprawled in terms of making music. Collaborations were a great way to work together, but I wanted to see more. Last Summer, my friend Carlos (InsaneintheRainMusic) pulled off the ultimate project by creating a “Summer of Video Game Covers” six days a week for several months. While recording songs every day, he was spreading awareness of Child’s Play Charity and also collaborating with tons of musicians we know and love. Talking to my friend and amazing pianist/musician David Russell, we thought of ways to expand Carlos’ idea and bring the charity-raising and collaborating to the next level.

David: I was there last summer watching Carlos pull off his “Summer of Video Game Covers”idea. It was an intense experience watching his progress of music-making for six days out of every week for the entirety of last summer, and I was kind of blown away at his dedication. When summer had ended, Carlos had completed his goal of reaching his goal of 1000 dollars for Child’s Play by means of this project of his. So, fast-forward a few months, I was in school at the time that Ro messages me: “Hey David, I wanna propose a charity album this summer. Want to help?” That’s kinda how I got involved with this thing! Ro tells me that he chose me because I have experience working on online community projects, and that I might be able to help a bit with coordination and planning. As far as that’s all concerned though, Ro’s really been the Atlas of the project, forging ahead and making sure everyone and everything continues running smoothly!


Emily: Could you tell us about your respective backgrounds?

David: I’m a pianist who spends much of my time making transcriptions of non-piano for young pianists. In addition to transcription work, I enjoy improvising on the piano, working on experimental pieces, playing with virtual choirs, pulling together other musicians to help me build fuller soundscapes for fun music videos, and just trying to show young pianists that their pianistic future isn’t necessarily fated to the classical arts.

Ro: I’m a multi-instrumentalist who arranges and record video game (and occasionally other) music for heavy metal, rock, jazz and funk, and everything in between. I love to play and listen to music, and love video games of all varieties. I’ve been covering music on YouTube for about three years, between composing video game music for some small games, and can’t wait to do more.


Emily: How did you choose the musicians for the album?

Ro: David and I are lucky to have met or watched (through 2+ years of networking and Youtubing) countless musicians devoted to gaming. This was both our blessing and curse, as we wanted to hit at least, but not much more, than 26 songs by 26 musicians or groups. Over Skype, David and I listed and targeted around 50 people who exhibited reliability and consistent musical skills, categorizing each by style/genre to balance the album out. With surprisingly good fortune and amazing friends and teammates, we received response and found incredibly talented, consistent, and excited participants. I think the absolute core of this project is the people involved in it and helping it (like yourselves).

David: As Ro said, we messaged about 50 of the most talented musicians we could think of with a note explaining the idea behind the project. Although some of the people we messaged wrote back to us saying that they were unable to participate, the vast majority of those we sent messages to wrote back to us excitedly asking how they could help out. We’re thankful for having such a dedicated and excited team–this only means the album will be that much better, being delivered by some of the best musical talent in the VG community.


Emily: Who will be participating?

Ro and David: Here’s a comprehensive list of the musicians contributing to the album:


Emily: What are the favorite soundtracks of those involved?

Ro and David: We all have a pretty diverse favorite video game soundtracks. Here’s the top picks from some of the musicians involved with Multiplayer:

Ro: Ocarina of Time, Banjo Kazooie series
David:  Kingdom Hearts, Ace Attorney
Insaneintherainmusic: Pokemon Colosseum, XD Gale of Darkness
Chequer: Mega Man X
PokemonEinstein: Earthbound, Pokemon GSC
Zorsy: Marvel vs. Capcom 2
DocJazz4: Ocarina of Time, Banjo-Kazooie
xClassicalCatx: Pokemon RSE, GSC
Storm: Metal Gear Solid 2, Silent Hill
EnTheOriginal: Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X
Richaad: Pokemon RSE
BMBGuitar: Cave Story, Super Mario Galaxy
TeraCMusic: Final Fantasy VII, Bravely Default


Emily: Where will the proceeds for this album go?

Ro: Child’s Play Charity is a network charity, assisting Children’s Hospitals across America, but additionally features, supports, and thrives off video game related charities. Although they traditionally work with speed runners and game marathoners, Carlos introduced the idea and they approved. The funds they receive go towards books, games, and amenities that hospitals can have for children to aid during their toughest times. It was not very hard to decide to help them!

David: Many of charities are deserving of support and contribution, but Child’s Play in particular stuck out to us because it was directly related to what we all involved with this album can relate to: video games. Video games are a way of story-telling in a much more direct and involved way, and many of us who grew up with video games have been taught useful lessons from them. It shouldn’t be surprising that many of us who have grown past the age of the average gamer still have nostalgia for our favorite games and great respect for the value of gaming as a whole. A charity that helps children cope with hospitalization and injury by presenting them with the games and stories we all grew up with demands more recognition and contribution, in my opinion. For this reason, Child’s Play is an organization with merit.


Emily: For readers and YouTubers reading this, how can we can contribute to this project?

Ro: Although we have to limit the Album’s musician roster, there are several ways YOU can help out as an individual, gamer, game music enthusiast, and/or musician. First of all, please check out and/or buy the album when it releases July! It will cover many genres, including but not limited to rock, electronic, metal, jazz, funk, classical, orchestrated, etc… and I guarantee you will find something to love. Next, you can donate to Child’s Play Charity additionally through our link and help the Multiplayer Project cause. Lastly, if you want to help spread the love of music and the Project, feel free to make your own video game remix/cover on YouTube! Tag it with #MultiplayerVGAlbum and/or mention that you are a supporter of our Project and we’ll be adding you to our playlist and sharing your work with our audience. Sharing news of the Project in any other way, be they interviews, blogs, podcasts, converations with friends/parents/puppy, and you’ll be a hero to us as well!

David: In addition to what Ro said, I just wanted to emphasize that we can’t reach our $5000 goal for Child’s Play without your help! All of the money donated will go directly to the charity, and you get a full album of expertly arranged video game music! I encourage you to follow us on our social media in order to stay up-to-date with the Project and gain access to teasers and other goodies we’ll be preparing in June. We’re very excited for our July release date, so please spread the word!


Emily: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Ro and David: We begin recording, streaming on Twitch, and putting out these covers in June. All of the covers, remixes, and renditions on all sorts of VG songs will be coming out on Youtube, so please look out for them! The best place to check out the action will be our Facebook and Twitter pages.

While we will tease some songs on Soundcloud, we also don’t want to give away too many of the surprises in store. There will be popular games on board (such as The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon), but the tracks will be anything but ordinary covers. Since each musician group has been given their letter assignment at random, it’s really going to be a surprise for everyone concerning what you’ll be hearing once the album is finished; most of the people chose very diverse songs to work on! That said, just stick around — we can’t wait to present you with this unprecedented musical collection.

More information about the Multiplayer project can be found on the event’s YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter pages. To donate straight to the charity, Multiplayer has created a donation page for the event.

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on June 3, 2014.

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About the Author

A native and lifelong Texan, I currently work in software education while contributing news, reviews, and interviews to VGMO on the side. I love the feeling that comes with the discovery of a brand new soundtrack, and always look forward to the next rekindling of that excitement. Outside of VGMO, I enjoy playing piano, listening to classical music and film scores, and trying to go unnoticed in any stealth RPG I can find.

One Response to Multiplayer Interview: YouTube’s Charity Album of Video Game Covers

  1. Thanks for organising this, Emily. It sounds like a great cause and I’m looking forward to hearing samples.

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