Last week, Anthony Vincent, a 26-year-old musician, voiceover artist and video editor, uploaded a video to YouTube reimagining Katy Perry’s "Dark Horse" in the style of 20 different singers. While the lyrics were unchanged, Vincent’s dead-on interpretations of Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Run-D.M.C. and Metallica, among others, blew up, earning the singer a coveted front page post on Reddit and more than 1 million YouTube views in less than a week.
"I’ve been trying to find a niche on YouTube for a very long time and I think I finally found it," Vincent tells Rolling Stone.
Created as a way to promote his company Ten Second Songs, in which Vincent writes and records custom songs for special occasions, the video has already been featured on Buzzfeed, Gawker, Time and Yahoo.
"I came up with the idea last November and wanted to do this with [Miley Cyrus'] "Wrecking Ball," but it was too late," Vincent says. "I wanted to pick the most random styles you could imagine. I listened to 'Dark Horse' and after I heard it, I immediately thought, 'This is it. This is the one.' And I got to work."
Vincent was originally going to take the ubiquitous track and split it up into different genres, but decided on recording the video with myriad artists. After writing down a list of various singers he felt would be best suited for the song – Bee Gees and Beach Boys didn’t make the final cut – he winnowed down the list to the 20 featured on the video. "Every one of those artists has influenced me at some point," says Vincent, who also fronts a local rock band.
After matching tempos, Vincent recorded all the music in his production facility in Port Chester, N.Y., a small town located 30 miles north of New York City, where he works in one of the production rooms. Presented as one long cut, the video is actually a mix of clips spliced together during downtime from Vincent’s day job.
While Vincent says there’s no immediate plans for a follow-up, he says the happiest facet of the video is people discovering new music through the clip. "I love that people are having conversations that are involving Frank Sinatra, Type O Negative and Tech N9ne at the same time," he says, laughing. "If I’m in any way responsible for having some 14-year-old girl Google 'Type O Negative,' that’s crazy."