I had the chance to interview Kingsley, a YouTuber star who has nearly 3 million subscribers on the media sharing site. Here’s what he said about his last year on YouTube, how to become a YouTuber, and the weirdest fan gift he’s ever gotten.
1. Even though 2014 is your “last year” on the site, would you ever come back to YouTube… knowing that your true fans will still be here?
I mean… I would gladly chat it up with the Clevver ladies, but my days of vlogging and wig-wearing will definitely be over. I just wanted the viewers to know it was my last year ahead of time, as opposed to December rolling around and being all “WELP! That was it! Thanks for everything!” – that didn’t seem right to me. I want them to understand it, embrace it and, most of all, enjoy it. I don’t want (and have never wanted) to be making YouTube videos for the rest of my life just because I can, or as long as I can. I’ve enjoyed the experience, but am ready to move on with university and other things, and I know they respect that.
2. What is your advice to those who wish to begin creating YouTube videos and those who are currently making videos but dream of something bigger – what do they do to get there? Should you even join the YouTube community at this point?
I am horrific at giving advice to content creators who want to get “big” – I have no idea what to say or do, because I never planned any of this. I feel like people think there is some sort of checklist. All I can say is to have fun and make sure your heart is in it. I am not supportive of this whole “YouTube gets you famous” mentality, where people only pick up a camera with the hopes of becoming Justin Bieber, or having as many subscribers as Smosh or Ray or Jenna, while having absolutely no passion in their content, or any genuine desire to connect with viewers. I think audiences can tell when you are really into something, and when you are trying way too hard. You watch Tyler Oakley vlog and you know he’s loving it. You watch Jack and Finn and see the passion for filmmaking. Their videos are insane. And then you watch some people and their vids are full of stolen Tumblr quotes, they look like they’re reading off a cue card and their Instagram is full of wannabe model shots and you’re like… wut. Bye. Don’t do this unless you’re passionate about it. If you really want people to hear your music, do it. If you really want to make people laugh, do it. If you really want to make people smile, do it. If you just think you’re cute and should be “famous”, go take a selfie and shove it somewhere deep and smelly.
3. What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever given to you?
This guy at Vidcon gave me a square stuffed chicken! It was a “cock block” – I was dying!
4. Who are your personal favorite YouTubers?
The Slow Mo Guys are pretty freaking awesome. I find myself on their channel every time I have insomnia. I love Tyler (Oakley) and his channel – seeing all his trips and interviews and everything is so cool because he’s been doing this so long. I love Jenna and Grace. Spoken Reasons is everything. Marcus Butler cracks me up. There’s a bunch!
5. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
Mmmm… I’m obsessed with so many tracks right now. Some of my favorite artists have all released music recently. I’m torn between Partition by Beyonce and Alien by Britney Spears: Partition because it’s so sexy, and Alien because it’s super relatable. Partition makes me wanna be a ho.
6. Are you currently planning to or working on any projects for 2014, your last year? Any collaborations?
I”ll have a co-hosting gig with Clevver TV and Clevver News, which I started at the end of 2013. And since it’s my last year, I’m definitely doing some collabs with people I’ve wanted to work with; I’m planning things now with Grace (Helbig), GiGi Gorgeous, Ricky Dillon and some others. I’m also hoping to do a cool vlogging series leading up to Playlist Live and Vidcon. Gonna go out with several fun bangs!
7. What would you like to say to all your fans who have supported you these last five years?
Thank you! to each and every one of them. I am so grateful for their support and their input. They are always so honest – they tell me what they like and what they hate. There are some I know personally, and others not so much, but I appreciate them all the same. I talk to them on Twitter quite often and they’re just an amazing, goofy, hysterical, creative and open group of people. It’s just so cool (and kinda weird, if you think about it) how they’ve seen me grow from this crazy college freshman to now. They’ve witnessed a very interesting period of my life, and I am excited to close it out with them.