There's no boost like a Justin Bieber boost. That's what Ernie Halter found out after the Biebs covered his song "Come Home to Me" Wednesday. UPDATE:And came out to his show last night, bringing Selena Gomez too! Shit continues to get real.
While certainly no unknown before--the Orange County singer-songwriter has gone top ten on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts multiple times and had his songs featured on TV shows like Sonny with a Chance and Army Wives-- it's safe to say this is getting Halter a lot more ears.
Popdust took a couple minutes to talk with the songwriter about his cover by, as Halter put it, the "Pope of Pop" (a nickname once bestowed on Andy Warhol, although Beliebers surely won't be opposed to it being handed down.)
The Bieber cover was pretty much out of the blue. Well, almost.
Although Halter says he's not sure how the Biebs got word of his music, he does know where things began: during his My World concert May 13 in Hong Kong, Bieber slotted "Come Home to Me" after a performance of "Never Let You Go:
Soon after, Halter got links to the video from several fans--one of whom was his mother. "Her job is just, like, going on Google now to find mentions of her son," Halter jokes. "I was like, 'Holy crap!'"
Being played at the concert was "pretty weird," Halter says, but nothing compared to fans' reaction to the polished-up version. "I have a tweet feed that comes on my computer, and it was on fire with retweets," he says. "Maybe a couple per second, ding-ding-ding-ding-ding." It's still going on, too--watch it in real time.
And Halter says that aside from a bit of Twitter back-and-forth, he hadn't even met Bieber (that is, before last night's show), making the whole thing even more surprising.
His son's a fan of Justin Bieber--but maybe not so much a fan of covers yet.
Halter's 3-year-old son is a Belieber himself, and he's not the only one in the family. "I got his records because [my son is] obsessed with Justin Bieber," Halter says. "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a grown man and I really dig them. He's very, very talented." "Come Home to Me" happens to be his son's favorite song, too, and Halter says they often sing it together. "It's pretty adorable," he says.
So what does his son think of the cover? "He doesn't understand it," Halter says. "He just wants to listen to other Justin Bieber songs on YouTube. I'm trying to explain it--'Hey, that's Justin Bieber! He's singing Daddy's song!' But he just says, 'I want to hear Never Say Never!'"
What's next? A Gregory Brothers collaboration, and more Bieber.
There's no follow-up to Halter's latest album, Franklin & Vermont, just yet, as Halter and his wife Kristen are expecting twins. But one thing Halter says he'd love to see is a cover by country group Rascal Flatts--he's a huge fan.
For newfound followers looking for more Halter, though, there are a few things up ahead. One involves the Gregory Brothers, of AutoTune the News and "Bed Intruder" memetic fame. The latter inspired Halter and Tony Lucca's "Ode to Antoine Dodson," a ukelele version, and Halter said over Twitter that the Gregorys are returning the favor by putting the two on an upcoming cover record.
And speaking of returning favors, Halter's working on a Bieber cover of his own. It won't be his first teen-pop cover -- he's done acoustic versions of "Miley Cyrus" and "the Jonas Brothers," among others. His YouTube channel's here; Beliebers, ready your refreshes.
UPDATE: That was quick! Here's "Baby".