When one pictures a celebrity, they often think of big-screen movie stars.
However, thanks to new media platforms, many entertainers are finding success on the smaller screen – more specifically, the computer screen.
YouTube comedian Lilly Singh is one of those entertainers, garnering millions of views on her videos, but she didn’t find success through sheer luck.
Singh joined Simi Sara to talk about her long journey to YouTube stardom, and how others can work to find the success she has.
According to Singh one of the reasons why she achieved her success was that she wasn’t aiming for it.
When she started making videos back in 2010, Singh just wanted to do something that made her happy.
She says YouTube was a different kind of world at that time.
“Now when you start on YouTube it’s very much, ‘I want to be a star and make this my living.’ So the atmosphere was very different back then.”
It worked out, then, that she happened upon a slight niche being one of the few South-Asian women on the platform.
But her humor isn’t limited to her own culture, and she says that kind of multiculturalism proves to be what sets her apart.
“No matter where you are in the world I’ll probably make a joke in reference to your food, or your music, or your culture, and I think it makes people think ‘this is super universal, she’s speaking to me.’”
When it comes to aspiring YouTubers, Singh believes making that connection with the audience is key.
She says if someone is good at what they’re doing, an audience will follow.
“It’s kind of pointless to compete with other channels because there’s an audience for everything. Literally – if a cat falls, there’s an audience for that.”
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And now that she’s found her own audience, Singh is branching out into other forms of media – she’s currently on an international tour, coinciding with the release of her new book.
She’s also pursuing opportunities in traditional mediums like TV and film, in an attempt to “get her foot in everything.”
However, she says she still loves the freedom a platform like YouTube gives her.
“There’s no rules I’m confined to, which is very cool.”
But those opportunities didn’t come easily. For Singh, it took almost a decade of self-improvement and motivation.
Qualities she says are the most important for anyone looking to succeed.
“Fight for your happiness, work hard for your dreams, don’t hope and wish. Actually do something about your life.”