If you haven’t heard of TenSecondSongs, you might want to crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under. What started out as a business creating ten second custom cover songs has turned into a viral phenomenon gaining more popularity with each new video created. These aren’t your average one hit wonder viral videos. The musician behind TenSecondSongs has some serious talent and judging by the size of his fanbase, he’ll be sticking around for a while.
Anthony Vincent, the owner of TenSecondSongs, takes a popular song and covers it from start to finish in 20 vastly different musical styles. Seamlessly switching styles from The Offspring to Eminem, or from Frank Sinatra to Metallica within seconds, his talent is unparalleled. It’s no wonder his YouTube channel has garnered almost 1,000,000 subscribers in less than six months. So what’s all the fuss about? Check out his 20 Styles videos and see for yourself.
Vincent records and edits all of his videos at his New York studio and looks to his fast growing fanbase to suggest styles for upcoming projects. He’s probably already covered a song in the style of one of your favorite musicians. If not, stay tuned because this is just the beginning.
With some of his videos trending worldwide within days of being released, and gaining over a few million hits each, Vincent is the undisputed King of Covers. Pancakes & Whiskey sat down with him over the weekend to gain some insight into the genius behind his 20 Styles videos.
P&W: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I really appreciate it. How are you doing?
TSS: I’m doing well, how are you doing?
P&W: I’m well, thank you.So, TenSecondSongs started as a custom business where you were creating ten second clips, right?
TSS: Yea, custom songs. I started off using a website that was a platform for freelancers. You could charge a certain amount for your services depending on what level seller you are. You start out at a level one and I ended up becoming a top rated seller about a year and change into it. I would produce and perform songs ten seconds in length. Customers would write the lyrics and I would perform them in any style. When I started the YouTube account for it in March of 2014, my very first attempt to promote the business was Katy Perry’s Dark Horse in 20 styles. I wanted to take a pop song and do it in 20 styles to showcase the variety of work I could do and it ended up going viral.
P&W: Since that’s how TenSecondSongs started, are you still providing that service for customers? Since your videos started going viral and with everything you’ve been doing lately, has all of it halted that process?
TSS: It definitely crippled it for a while. I’m still at a point where I’m in a transitionary period. My main focus is creating content. I’m really doing my do diligence to make that switch into content creation to get paid for that so I can now focus on the next chapter, which includes all my personal projects like my band and our production studio that I’ve been looking to do something with for years, but haven’t been in the proper position to. Now I’m in that position.
P&W: At what point did you start trying to mimic the styles and vocal ranges of other artists and realize you could create a business out of that?
TSS: From when I started working on music production, I’ve always been open- minded to what I could do. I never turned an idea down. I’ve worked with friends of mine, rappers, and just for fun I would try singing different styles to see if I could do it. I figured out just through trial and error that I could do a lot of different things. As far as when I started the custom songs, that was when I decided I’d do rock, hip-hop, R&B, pop, metal. It was doing very well, but people were asking specifically if I could do a Nirvana style, a Metallica style or a Queen style, so that’s how that started. I was getting these requests and being put to the test. In my experience I got better and better at it and that’s really the reason why I came up with the idea for a song in 20 styles.
P&W: You’ve been making music for a long time. What was it like for you watching everything unfold on the Internet when your Katy Perry Dark Horse video started going viral?
TSS: Oh that was completely overwhelming. It was insane. I knew that when I was working on it, it was going to do something. I just didn’t know to what extent. I thought maybe it was going to get 400,000 views in a week. I’ve been chasing after viral content for years, that’s the thing. So I was always very in tune with popular videos and what made them go viral. When I first released it on YouTube, it wasn’t doing anything, so I went through a different source. I contacted a smaller site, LifeBuzz.com. They responded right away and were the first to share it. In the first day, the views were climbing to about 13,000. By the next day it was on the front page of Reddit. It was very, very overwhelming and such a celebratory moment. What’s crazy about it is that it really hasn’t stopped. I mean, a lot of times you get a viral video and it doesn’t go anywhere after it blows up. That’s a typical viral video. When I put out Dark Horse it wasn’t even a week until my channel hit 100,000 subscribers, which for a brand new channel is crazy.
P&W: And to have it showing up on T.V. in other countries was crazy. It was all over the place!
TSS: Yea, it was an international thing. Then a month or so later I put out another video. It didn’t quite explode like Dark Horse, but it still exploded as well as the video after that. And now there’s the latest In The End video. So the channel is about five or six months old and racing toward 1,000,000 subscribers.
P&W: You’ve covered songs by female artists before, but not many of the 20 styles have been those of females. Do you think more of the styles in an upcoming video will be those of female artists? I’d love to see that!
TSS: It’s tough because I can sing in a female range, but it won’t sound like a female. There are some people who can pull that off well, like impersonators. I’m not an impersonator. When I do a female style, it doesn’t sound anything like them, but it sounds like their style. It’s their arrangement and how I interpret they would do it if they were to be singing that song.
P&W: In your latest video you covered Linkin Park’s In The End, and actually got lead singer Chester Bennington to endorse the video. How did that happen and how stoked were you when it did?
TSS: That’s been in the works since the first of July. It was a deal made through those who represent the YouTube network we’re signed to. Even though their channel certainly doesn’t need much help, it was a marketing thing between our channel and Linkin Park’s channel to help pump out both channels.
P&W: From watching your videos, it’s clear that you have endless musical inspiration. Who would you say have been your top five musical influences? I know that’s really narrowing it down.
(We changed it to seven because he had seven specific influences ready.)
TSS: Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Type O Negative, Nirvana, Pantera, Iron Maiden
P&W: Wow, you were able to list them so quickly. Awesome. What are your hopes for the future of TenSecondSongs?
TSS: My goal is to just keep it growing and make it a source. The idea is to make my account a powerhouse so that anything else I do also becomes a success. If Set The Charge(Vincent’s band) has a new album out and even a percentage of half a million of the subscribers I have at the time subscribe to Set The Charge, it could be enough to help make that a successful project. Same thing goes with our broadcast network and anything that I embark on in the future.
You can check out and subscribe to the TenSecondSongs YouTube channel here. Keep an eye out for the next video. It’s sure to be as badass as the rest of them!
Article by: Ashley Rodriguez