Mike Tompkins has 2.4 million subscribers on YouTube. He’s a musician who uses zero instruments. The music he makes, mostly covers of massively popular hits, is completely made with sounds from his own mouth and voice. But Tompkins is a masterful producer and video editor, creating some of the most exciting and inspiring music videos on YouTube. Let’s explore his work a bit more.
He already has a Wikipedia page and has been on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, so why cover him on EarToTheGround? Well, frankly, because I don’t think 2.4 million is enough. Tompkins deserves to be a household name for the positive contribution he’s making to our world. Here’s what I love about Tompkins and his music. Not only is his music really sonically pleasing, his entire perspective on how to make music and the need to bring people together is something that I fundamentally support. Tompkins is one of the good ones.
Tompkins’ website gives a wonderful biography about his upbringing in Ontario and modest start as a producer. Even from early stages he showed promise with his ear and abilities. After getting a few opportunities with artists, he began to connect his love of production with his eye for visual interest on YouTube. The combination of those skill sets makes Tompkins an absolute force today. When an early video went viral, Tompkins found himself on Ellen, working with Timbaland, and eventually producing a track with Jennifer Hudson.
But the strength of Tompkins’ work, in my opinion, is that he is a master collaborator. He has made some amazing videos that bring together people from all over the planet. It is, in short, a positive use of the Internet that can be so divisive.
When you listen to Tompkins’ music there’s original artistry even within the covers. You can hear how he breaks down the elements of the tracks from million dollar production studios into individual elements. Some of his videos mix together two or three popular tracks, creating something truly unique. When listening, it’s easy to forget that literally everything you hear is a sound made with his mouth. There are pops, hisses, booms, bangs, and even really quality vocals. When it all comes together it’s got the magic of Pentatonix with the visual joy of six figure music video production.
One of my favorite videos on the channel is one in which Tompkins explains his creative process. Of course we’re suckers for that on our website, so if there are any bedroom producers or “up and coming” artists out there interested in the proverbial “how the sausage is made,” check out this final video to learn more about this fascinating, creative person.
Photo credit: Mike Tompkins IG