Canadian YouTube star Mike Tompkins still marvels at the list of celebrities that came through for a music video he co-created in support of Hillary Clinton.
Stars from Jane Fonda to Rob Reiner and Sia turned out to record an a cappella rendition of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” to be screened at last month’s Democratic National Convention.
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The Edmonton-born Tompkins also appears in the video, which now has nearly two million views on YouTube.
“It was pretty cool working with Jane Fonda. She’s such a living legend,” he said in an interview for the recent YouTube FanFest in Toronto.
“Every moment was kind of like: ‘What’s happening right now?’ I didn’t even know who was going to be coming in, so it was pretty cool.”
Tompkins said he was recruited for the project by actor-filmmaker Elizabeth Banks, with whom he’d previously worked on a music video in support of the movie “Pitch Perfect.”
They worked directly with the celebrities over two days in Los Angeles and one day in New York. He only had about 30 minutes with each celebrity in-studio. Some stars also submitted their recordings remotely.
The singer/producer said it took about a month to put it all together.
“Hillary wasn’t there, but the campaign was there and they were very involved in the whole process,” said Tompkins.
“I was pretty happy when they were pleased with it.”
Tompkins, who now lives in Nashville with his wife and son, has about 1.8 million subscribers for his YouTube channel of a cappella covers and original songs.
He’s been the opening act for the Jonas Brothers/Karmin tour and has worked with artists including Timbaland, Jennifer Hudson and t.A.T.u.
“It’s cool to have been able to build a business doing what I love to do,” he said. “I love to create and so I’m just thankful every day I get to create things and try new things.”
One of the biggest names he’s worked with? The Muppets, with whom he made an a cappella video.
“When the Muppets happened, it was kind of like, ‘Well, I guess I’m done. What else can I do?'” he said with a laugh.
“I was such a fan as a kid and I was also just really obsessed with puppets and really wanted to be a puppeteer when I was a kid. So when I was working with the actual Muppets, it was like, ‘This is it. I’m happy now. I can die now, happy that I feel like I’ve created something I don’t know if I’ll be able to top.’
“I’m trying to top it. Trying to top my Muppets video. That’s the next goal.”