YouTube Star Mike Tompkins Produces Music Video for Convoy of Hope
With more than 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube, it may be hard for some to imagine a cappella artist Mike Tompkins creating a music video about Convoy of Hope's efforts - on location in Tanzania. But that's exactly what he did!
The original new release titled Daylight debuted on Tuesday, April 21 - and had more than 30,000 plays in the first day and over 100,000 its first week.
For those unfamiliar with Tompkins' a cappella style, the musical background to all the cover and original songs he performs are sounds he makes with his mouth and vocal chords - from drums to bass to synthesizer (and a wide variety of other sounds)! However, for Daylight, Tompkins also used sounds from Convoy of Hope's Children's Feeding and Women's Empowerment Initiatives in Africa.
Tompkins explains that he had been looking for a nonprofit organization to team up with, but nothing really fit. But when he was introduced to Convoy of Hope, it was a natural fit for him. After some discussions, Tompkins landed on creating an original song and traveling 8,000 miles with Convoy of Hope to Tanzania in East Africa to create the video.
Daudi Msseemmaa, the Africa field operations director for Convoy of Hope, says Tompkins didn't just make a video in Tanzania; he made a connection. "At an orphanage that Convoy of Hope serves in Kilimanjaro, Tompkins recorded children humming in the background - they're still singing it three months later!"
A self-described Christian who grew up in a Pentecostal church, Tompkins says the Tanzania experience impacted him as well. "The joy that the people had there, it was kind of contagious," he says. "You can't go through a day without smiling through half of it. It made me come back [to the U.S.] with a sense of not fearing 'lack.' These people had nothing, but they were still happy!"
"People in our communities have hard lives, but we have so much joy, dignity and hope. Mike's video captured that," Msseemmaa states. "The lyrics are such a hopeful message - through the clouds streams daylight - and no one understands that more than the women and children in our programs."
Tompkins credits Msseemmaa for the incredible experience and the cooperativeness of those who were a part of the video, including the Maasai tribe.
"He was the backbone behind the video, our translator," Tompkins says of Msseemmaa. "Everyone felt safe - we were not exploiting anyone - and everyone had a fun time with the video. Daudi told me they are loving the new music video over there."
Molly Erickson, creative communications director for Convoy of Hope, says that through Tompkins' video, tens of thousands of individuals who may have never heard of Convoy of Hope have now been introduced to the organization.
"The main objective of this campaign was to raise awareness among those not familiar with our work," Erickson says. "We greatly exceeded this goal by reaching 100,000- plus views, which garnered the attention of platforms like VH1, who included our story on their daily celebrity news wrap-up. We are thankful to Mike for his partnership."
As far as Tompkins is concerned, he says that he was personally blessed and honored to work with Convoy of Hope. He also sees his partnership with the organization as long-term - only time will tell what they may partner to do next.