By Ashley Davidson
July 4, 2011
YouTube sensation Mike Tompkins has been making waves with his natural talent and unique musical interpretations of popular songs.
How does this Canadian artist do it? Where does he get his inspiration? Find out in this Voices.com interview on VOX Daily!
ASHLEY HALL: How long have you been doing beatboxing and a cappella for? When did you realize you had this talent?
MIKE TOMPKINS: I started beatboxing when I was 7 or 8. I started making videos a year ago and that's when I realized that people liked what I did.
AH: What was your first big break?
MT: The first big break was my appearance on the Ellen Show. It was an awesome experience. She then introduced me to Timbaland (that was my Biggest break)
AH: Voices.com co-founder, David Ciccarelli, also graduated from OIART. How has your education at this school positively influenced your career?
MT: It really gave me a huge platform to learn so much more on my own for this industry. I don't think I would be where I am without OIART.
AH: What inspired you to transition from music production to becoming an artist?
MT: It was never my intention to become an artist. It was really just something I fell into honestly. I love it, but it was never my dream.
AH: How do you select songs to cover?
MT: It's usually a last minute decision. I listen to a song and feel it out how I can recreate the individual elements. In most cases it has been a really popular song at the time.
AH: Your performances are very engaging. Do you find that using your facial muscles to produce certain expressions helps you to better create how the vocal instrumentation comes across?
MT: Definitely, a big factor what makes my videos interesting is fact you can visually see all the instruments happening at once. And I think it helps that I have an expressive face, that came from being involved in theatre at a very young age.
AH: As someone with an audio engineering background, the art of Foley likely interests you. Do you see beat boxing as vocal Foley?
MT: Totally, I haven't been hired to do any movies yet... but we'll see I guess.
AH: One of your recent videos was a cover of Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T." (Pretty Young Thing). Who else has influenced or continues to influence you as an artist?
MT: Timbaland and Justin Timberlake always were big influences for me. They do a lot of beatboxing and mouth stuff on their songs. Which is why it's been such a huge pleasure to work with Timbaland.
AH: How do you manage your business success while balancing your personal life?
MT: It's not always easy, but my family will always take priority over my work. Not a lot of people know this but I married my high school sweetheart when I was 21. She plays a big role in my career (more behind the scenes). But she is beautiful and amazing.
AH: What do you think it takes to become an online sensation or go viral online?
MT: A LOT of creativity, talent and luck.
AH: What projects are you currently working on?
MT: Currently working hard in the studio on original tracks. It's going to be awesome when I'm ready to release this stuff.
AH: Do you have any advice for people looking to start their career in audio production and/or voiceovers?
MT: If you believe you have what it takes to be successful, don't give up. Go do what you love to do!
Channel Views: 3,394,498
Total Upload Views: 42,352,903
Style: A Cappella
Joined: July 21, 2006
Mike Tompkins' cover of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" embedded above has been viewed 7,967,279 times on YouTube as of this writing.
To watch more videos, visit Mike Tompkins' channel on YouTube now.
You can also "Like" Mike Tompkins on Facebook. While you're there, let everyone know about this interview!
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