Finally – the day has arrived! Playlist List kicks off today in Orlando, Florida and the #BBTVFam is out in full force. We’re wrapping up our Playlist Live Q&A series today with BBTV creator and YouTube star Riyadh K. Attending Playlist Live for the first time, Riyadh shares his plans for the weekend-long event as well as inspiring words for any aspiring creator trying to find their place. Riyadh’s loveable nature and his refreshing sincerity when discussing the realities of being a part of the gay community have landed him a new TV series with BBC3 called Queer Britain. Check out his interview below!
How did you get started on YouTube? What was your inspiration for starting a channel?
I started my channel back when I was just 16 years old (TEN bloody years ago). I had seen Tyler Oakley, Davey Wavey and Michael Buckley online and was instantly inspired to buy a shitty webcam and start creating. I did it for about 9 months before online homophobic trolling got the better of me and I gave up. Fast forward eight or so years and I’m now back as a full time creator. I decided not to let the hate stop me but instead used it as motivation to make even more daring, original and outrageous content.
What has been the biggest change in your life since becoming a YouTuber?
I never expected that this site would turn me into an ‘internet celebrity’ or that I would be recognized on the streets, invited to red carpet premieres or even make it my full time job but that’s what has happened! It is impossible to pinpoint one thing that shocks me the most about this journey because the whole thing is pretty crazy. I love and appreciate all that my online career has given me and wouldn’t change it for the world. It really is a gift!
What’s your favourite video (that you created)? Why?
That is a hard one! I have to name two. If it comes down to pure fun then it would have to be ‘Mom reads son’s Grindr Messages’. This video catapulted my channel from small-scale to mid-range within weeks and suddenly I was known by creators I had looked up to for years, I had a agent, I was flying to YouTube conventions all over the world and I was able to think about YouTubing as a possible job! The video went super viral less than a day after being uploaded and was written about by MTV, BuzzFeed, Daily Mail, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post and more! On a deeper level, my favourite video is the one where my parents and I discuss my coming out story and my dad reveals that he attempted to take his own life after I came out. Although this video and my dad’s revelation was incredibly upsetting and hard to hear, since the video went live we have received thousands of emails from young LGBTQ people and their parents thanking us for showing the raw side of coming out and how parents can change to be supporting and loving people even when they initially refuse to accept you.
What do you want to say to the people watching your channel?
Pretend that I’m in the room with you and we are just having a fun time together. The channel is supposed to be a bit of an escape and fun with an undertone of love, diversity and acceptance. Just sit back and enjoy ☺
Is this your first time attending Playlist Live? If not what’s your favorite memory from last year?
This is my first time at Playlist Live.
How excited are you for Playlist Live? What are you looking forward to the most?
I am incredibly excited as I have heard SO many amazing things from other creators and viewers about how fun it is. I am so looking forward to meeting my viewers and speaking on panels about topics I care most about!
In case you missed them, check out our previous Playlist Live 2017 Q&As with your fave creators here.