Its interview time with our friend Dave Brown from Boy in a Band, which happens to be the biggest Music Tutorial Channel on YouTube. (yay for dave!) From humble beginnings just a few years ago Dave is now rocking 400 videos, 100.000 subscribers and 21 million views (!) and produced several viral video hits with over a million views. We met with Dave to discuss his success story, his band You and what Army and what tips he could give to those who look for success with their music career and YouTube channel.
Boy in a Band Interview
Q:You are a musician, a band member but also a teacher, with over 100.000 subscribers and 21 mio. views quite the “youtube celebrity” and now pride owner of the biggest music tutorials related YouTube channel afaik. Also you´re quite young – did you plan all of this? Did it just happen? A mix of the two? Are you some kind of genius child prodigy wunderkind?
It was all part of a maniacal plan, I predicted YouTube’s meteoric rise and consciously chose to ride that wave at age 10 and have been working tirelessly to exploit it.
Not really. I started making tutorials on my blog to see if it would help out some people, a few months after my first one I noticed it was getting a bunch of views so I followed it up again. and again. and eventually branched out into more original content, which really grew my channel. It’s just a case of trying a ton of things and pursuing the most successful ones.
Q:How come you started “vloggin” in the first place?
The vlogs came when I had some things to say and I wanted to start getting my face out there to satisfy my ego. Mainly though, it was an outlet for my terrible jokes.
Q: Tell us about the first Boy in a Band Channel years. Were you afraid being on webcam in front of thousands of people people? Was the channel an instant success or a slow start? Were you afraid no one was going to like it or confident your show would be a hit? Did you have short hair back then? How was life in the 80ies?
I experienced 3 years of the 80s, so it was well-fed and involved a lot of transformers. It was a very slow start, took years to get my first few thousand subscribers since I didn’t know anyone and didn’t like self-promotion to blogs (I should have made myself like it)
I’ve never been afraid of being in front of lots of people, I thoroughly enjoy it – I had no idea whether people would enjoy it. Still don’t, I should probably be a bit more consistent to ensure that they do.
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Q:Tell us about your band “You and what Army!?”
We’re a metal/rap/EDM crossover act that have a pretty mental live show if I do say so myself. Currently taking a break from said live performances though to write some new material!
Q:How did the channel help your career as a musician?
It allowed me to have one, so quite a lot. More than that, I can do pretty much anything I want barring violently murdering people (though a video like that would get a lot of views, it’d probably get flagged and people would complain at me for monetising it)
Q:You do a lot of collaborations with other YouTube artists. Please tell our readers more about those collabos.
Whenever I see someone who has a talent and an obvious passion (usually in the form of seeing that they’ve also made hundreds of videos to get to where they are) I instinctively want to make something with them – I just email them and ask if they’re down for working together. Some don’t reply, some do. The people I’ve collaborated with have now become my closest friends. I recently visited a bunch of them on a trip to North America, still editing footage from that.
Q: Do you have some tips for YouTube success?
First, make videos consistently. Second, ask to help out existing youtubers who aren’t too big. Make friends. Collaborate with them. As you grow, just try sending out emails asking to collaborate. That would get you where I am currently, and I’m happy which is a pretty good definition of success.
Q: Lately it seems you have been focusing more on rapping and videos with entertainment value than tutorials – how come? Do you want the channel to be more accessible to a larger audience?
A few reasons – 1. I made like 200 tutorials – I felt like I covered enough to get beginners started. 2. The wider appeal stuff is more fun to create than the tutorials and has a wider appeal. I do have plans to help budding electronic musicians to learn and grow, but getting an audience and the funds to make it happen is necessary.
Q:What were your most successful videos and why?
I have 3 over a million views. A remix of my band’s song “Skyline” performed live on my MPC – people love live performance EDM on YouTube. A video called “Dubstep Guitar” where I explain the basics of playing dubstep guitar, which I had no idea would get big and still don’t quite understand it. Finally, there’s my gangnam style dubstep remix – take a wild guess why that one worked.
Q:As a musician what are your biggest personal challenges?
Finding a direction and sticking to it; I’ve always been very eclectic with my music. It makes it more difficult to grow an audience.
Q:What do you feel are the biggest challenges and problems for musicians and producers in your audience?
Motivation and direction, I assume. If they were to join a few forums and make some friends to help motivate them, then keep collaborating (that direction worked for me anyway) in between their solo releases, they’d probably grow in terms of production ability and popularity.
Q: What is the future for the Boy in a Band?
I have like 15 videos to edit and upload after my trip to America, so the conclusion of my “Dave North America” POV vlog series (this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JavxQYWV9bI ), along with tons of weird musical experiments!
David, Thank you for your interview! You are a god, gentlemen and role model for the youth. 😉