Filipino YouTube singer Ysabelle Cueva had the surprise of her life, thanks to her euphonic cover of BTS' hit record Boy with Luv.
The California-based ARMY uploaded her English version of the Korean song on her YouTube channel on April 21, 2019.
As luck would have it, it was spotted by female website Glamour one year later. They included it in the list of song covers presented to BTS in the episode of their online series You Sang My Song released on October 30.
Like other musicians featured in the show, the K-pop boy group was asked to watch unique covers of their songs and comment on them.
They listened to the stylized renditions of Dynamite by Julz West, Black Swan by Cameron Phillip K., Idol by Kurt Hugo Schnider and his acapella group, and Fake Love by Lies Behind Your Eyes.
But it was Cueva's version of Boy with Luv—which was tuned up with club music and her angelic voice—that captured the (purple) hearts of the K-pop megastars.
"It's so awesome," J-Hope said as soon as the song began playing. "I love this. Yeah, the arrangement is fantastic!"
"She did such a good job," V seconded.
"She had great talent and energy," Jimin quipped.
All seven members seemed to enjoy it, so much so that J-Hope and V vowed to find Cueva's video on YouTube and "listen to it again."
Meanwhile, Cueva found herself catching her breath, knowing that her idols were amazed by her work. "Oh my gosh. I'm gonna start crying!" she squealed.
She continued, "I love their songs so much, and I think they have so much meaning to them that it doesn't always translate with people who don't know the language. That's why I started doing covers. And it's just wild to know that V has seen my face--you can tell he's my bias."
The YouTube star thanked the group for being her pick-me-up whenever she's feeling down. "Keep being awesome. You inspire so many people out there," she said. "And you literally have put me through some hard times through life, and I'm grateful for it. I love you guys so much. Thank you. Oh my gosh."
Watch the full video here.
Ysabelle Cueva: A star in her own right
Born and raised in the Philippines, 23-year-old Cueva started producing and posting song covers back in 2012. And it was her love for her mother that led her to become a YouTube star today.
"I started a YouTube channel because my mom went overseas, and she needed to see my family's home videos. She really missed me singing, so she was like, 'Send me a video of you singing.' And so, I started posting covers," she revealed in her interview with Teen Vogue in May this year.
"One of them kind of went viral, and from there, people started noticing."
The BTS is, in fact, not the first K-pop idol to take notice of her exceptional talent. In the same interview, Cueva admitted that it was Taeyang of the four-male group Big Bang.
"My favorite K-pop artist is Taeyang. He's the only one I met in real life," Cueva said. "Big Bang has always been a part of my life, and two years ago, I posted an English cover of one of his songs (Wake Me Up) on YouTube and a week later, he posted it on Instagram and then his team reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go to his concert. Then, I met him there. He was super nice and super encouraging."
As if that wasn't enough for a memorable fangirling moment, Taeyang also requested Cueva to guest in his concert.
She continued, "Then, the next day, he reached out to me and asked if I wanted to sing in his concert. So the next day, I went to L.A. and sang in front of 3,000 people."
Cueva's rose to fame soon landed her a contract under Warner Music Philippines. Still, the proud Pinay stays grounded through and through.
"If you're doing something and you're putting your whole heart into it, and you're passionate about it, and you're happy doing it, I think that's success in itself. It doesn't matter how big the audience is," she told Teen Vogue.
"If you're rooting for yourself and you're happy with what you're doing, and you're not stepping on anyone's toes, then that's success to me."
Banner image from Glamour and Ysabelle's YouTube channels.