‘I Like The Independent Stuff, The Underground Stuff, The Stuff That Is Real’ – Anthony Vincent Valbiro Speaks On Viral Katy Perry ‘Dark Horse’ Video, Alternative Media, And More!

Apr 15 2014

Anthony 1

You may remember a few weeks ago, we shared a video of a talented singer doing his rendition of Katy Perry’s insanely huge hit “Dark Horse” in 20 different styles…including Tech N9ne.

Since then, Anthony Vincent Valbiro’s video has accrued over five million views, he’s had an interview with Rolling Stone, and has successfully exposed the world to some music they may have never heard of before.

Anthony isn’t your run of the mill seeker of viral fame, however. This guy has a plan, and if he has to hijack the mainstream to fulfill that plan, so be it.

We think that’s pretty badass, so we sat down with Anthony and got his thoughts on everything that this video has spawned. Check it out below!

How long have you been singing, and how did you get started?

Well I’ve been singing since 2005. My father is a singer, and I was brought up with a background in musical theater. I was in school plays and stuff, but I really started singing in 2005. I started playing the bass guitar at age 11, and I was in a hardcore metal band throughout my years of high school and I actually opened up for bands like Hatebreed. That was back in high school, but actual singing? 2005.

Where did you come up with the idea of doing this song the way you did it?

Honestly, this was years of little pieces coming together. I started doing YouTube videos with my band Set The Charge, we did a bunch of YouTube covers and stuff…. and actually we’ve done some YouTube covers of really bizarre picks, to kind of challenge ourselves to do rock covers of like rap songs, we did look at me now, we did a bunch of things and we got a little notoriety from it but it never really took off the way I wanted it to. I always wanted to have a viral video. I didn’t expect this, but I always wanted a viral video.

What happened was…are you familiar with Fiverr.com? It’s pretty much a platform for freelancers to go on and sell their services – whether it be graphic design or video animation or music – anything. So I was introduced to this site and it starts at five bucks so it’s like what can I sell for five dollars? So I came up with the idea of doing 10 second songs for five bucks. A quick 10 second song sung in any style, rock, metal, hip hop, or R&B. So then that began to grow and it just grew more and more and I got better and better at these different styles and throughout the time I was doing Fiverr people would suggest different artists, and the key is I never said no. I never refused a job.

I once had a guy ask me to do a French legionnaire march, and I just accepted the job and figured out how to do it afterwards. So with all these things combined, I then came up with the idea of taking a popular song and doing something ridiculous like dividing it into 20 different styles and just have the song switch into the styles as it progresses. So it started off like that, I came up with that concept back in December, and originally I was going to do it for “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, but the thing was I wanted to get a song that was really hot and I felt like I had already missed that wave, so I kinda waited and sat on the idea for a while and then when Katy Perry put out the “Dark Horse” video, that’s when I got to really listen to the song and I was like, “This is the song I’m going to do.”

Katy Perry

So these styles that you performed in the song, were a lot of them styles that you picked up while doing the ten second songs? Or are these all artists that influenced you?

No these are just influences of mine. I said you know what man, I’m gonna take everything that I’ve ever been influenced by in my entire life, and put it in one song. It’s the truth. When I put in Type O Negative, they’re one of my favorite bands. I didn’t know what kind of reaction that was going to get, and to my surprise it got a big reaction. Same with Tech N9ne, I could have put any rapper in there. I could have put Eminem in there, that’s probably what a lot of other people would’ve done, but…no, because I like the independent stuff, the underground stuff, the stuff that is real, you know? And that’s kind of like – I didn’t expect for it to happen like this – but that’s why I feel like there’s a lot of love and respect for what I did because yeah, I did these different styles and kind of paid tribute to them, but at the same time it kind of infiltrated this Katy Perry track to show people good music.

Yeah totally and that’s why we thought it was so cool! It’s like you’re using this mainstream piece of art and totally sneaking in all this underground stuff that people might not have heard of and, like you said in your Rolling Stone interview, if it’s responsible for someone to google Type O Negative that’s awesome, that’s super cool to us.

I could tell you right now that I’ve had people tell me that they never heard of Tech N9ne before now, and now they’re going and looking up Tech N9ne specifically, so that’s awesome.

Now I read there were some other styles you did the song in that didn’t make it, can you tell me some of them?

I had The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, The Beatles…they’re definitely going to make an appearance in other videos. I’m not sure what else. There’s so many different places I can go with this. It’s not even a matter of…if I stick to formula and only use top 10 songs, I just think it’s funny. I could go out and do other songs but it’s amusing to me to do only top 10. I want to touch on some punk , maybe some southern rock, I know a lot of people have already been requesting Bob Marley, so it’d be cool to sprinkle in some reggae, but yeah it can go so many different places.

I think you’d do a great Glenn Danzig

Yes! You know what, my brother actually suggested Danzig.


Which style would you say you had the most fun with? Is there one that was more memorable than the others?

Yeah The Doors. The Doors was a lot of fun. Not that I didn’t spend extra special time on the whole thing, but I really made sure that I really put everything – from the guitar sound and tone, to the keys and the way the keys were done up, and the bass – I just made sure that The Doors was sounding extra Doors-y (laughs).

I know Tech would appreciate that because he’s like the biggest Doors fan ever.

Really? Well that makes him even more awesome.

He actually named Strange Music after The Doors, like “Strange Days” and “People Are Strange”, and actually got to collaborate with the remaining members on his last album!

Wow man, that’s awesome.

Who would you say is your favorite vocalist of all time? Do you have one?

Aw man, that is really hard…It’s tough, because I can tell you right now Freddie Mercury is up there. He’s way up there as far as a vocalist and a performer, but I love…I mean Michael Jackson? Forget about it, you can’t compare.

Who else? There’s just so many…then again, are we talking favorite vocalist or just influential? Because I feel like….like Kurt Cobain, even though he’s not the best singer he has one of those voices that was just like, “Woah, this guy is a voice,” you know what I’m saying? So he’s also up there on my list just because of how monumental his voice is. Ozzy is up there for the same reason. Chris Cornell, he’s up there.

After doing some research, I learned that you started an alternative media network called Zedalza Entertainment, and you’re also the front man for a band. Can you tell us about those two other facets of your life?

Absolutely, ZenLive.tv (which is Zedalza Entertainment Network) that’s a major part of the facilities here that I did the 10 second songs in. It’s an online internet TV network that focuses on the underground alternative media, underrated independent music, all that stuff. The stuff you’re not going to see on mainstream media. I have a radio show that I started with my brother and our best friend, and we’ve been doing it for about eight years now.

We started on college radio, we were doing it between our bedrooms for a while, then we moved out and got a studio that’s located in Port Chester, NY and we’ve been here since 2009, and now it’s become a network where we have other original programming, it’s a really wild operation. This whole “Dark Horse” video it took everyone by storm and it was a big success but it’s just so funny because we’ve been busting our ass to get notoriety for years, and it just took one day for something that hardly has anything to do with the big picture here to just blow up. It’s been an interesting week.


It’s kind of badass that you Trojan horsed in on the mainstream and got your own agenda accomplished from that, that’s really cool to me. Like re-purposing what that song was made for which was basically just to make a shitload of money.

[Laughs] Yeah man, absolutely.

So what made you guys want to go the independent route? Did you have any experiences in the mainstream media that made you want to go that way? How did it come about?

You know what it is dude? We did this for years, just as our show, and then little things started happening where we started to wake up to certain things, have some realizations. Like, for instance, we’re all freedom loving constitutionalists over here, and we see a lot of the crap that’s put out on the news and stuff like that and I think anyone with common sense – even though common sense is not common anymore – would see that there are things that are just not right.

This is our way of feeling less alone, because we’re all in this together and there’s a lot of other people out there who share not only our beliefs and just wanting to be free thinkers, but they also share our same musical interests, and it’s really cool. The kind of crowd that we’ve attracted over the years, it’s made us all feel like we have a purpose, you know what I’m saying?

That’s really cool that you guys are able to provide an alternative for like-minded people that isn’t biased and full of shit. Anything else you’d like to let our readers know before we wrap this up?

Just look out for the next video! I’m going to be putting out a video to at least address everybody and kind of talk about the next video I’m going to do…but aside from that, my band Set The Charge is playing in Brooklyn on April 25th at The Trash Bar, so we’ll see what happens with the capacity (laughs). It might be crazy, it might be a dud, who knows, but that’s one thing that’s coming up as far as live music is concerned. Other than that, just look out for the new video and check out ZenLive.tv!

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Tech N9ne - Strangeulation (Deluxe Edition)

– What did you think of Anthony’s video?
– Which song should he cover next?
– Which other Strange artists would you like to see him impersonate?

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