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AmplifyLIVE Focus: Tyde Levi

12 April 2016 | 7:16 pm | Bob Gordon

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With in excess of 470,000 followers on YouTube, Tyde Levi is on track to becoming as famous as his oft-celebrated brother, Troye Sivan. He'll be appearing at AmplifyLIVE along with social media giants Tyler Oakley,  Kian Lawley, JC Caylen, Jamie Curry (Of Jamie’s World) and Andrea Russett at the Perth Concert Hall on Thursday, April 14. Bob Gordon chats with the 16 year-old from Mirrabooka down the line from Los Angeles.

You appear at lots of You-Tube conventions and events around the world, what's it like knowing you're going to do one in your hometown?

It's honestly the craziest feeling because I would never expect in Perth, of all cities, to have the fanbase that I do have there. In Australia Perth is one of the places that has the highest amount of my subscribers. It's such a crazy feeling because I'll get in my mum's car and drive to the venue and then I'll see thousands of people. It's a crazy feeling.

How much time are you in Perth and away these days?

I'm probably at home for like two months sometimes and then I'll go away for a month and then I'll be home for two weeks. Then I'll go away for a few weeks. It's on and off. Right now, I've been in Los Angeles for a month; I'm only in Perth for a day on Amplify, then I'm back to America for like, two weeks, then I'm in Europe for 10 days. So I won't be home for two months.

Are your recognised more overseas or at home?

It's probably when I'm back at home, just because most of my subscribers are from Australia. Like it's only happened a few times when I've walked the streets of Los Angeles. But when I go to YouTube conventions in America the fans are definitely crazier there.

A lot of attendees at the YouTube conventions may be there for other YouTubers and may not have come across you before. Do you find that there's a spike in your followers after these conventions?    

Definitely. Other creatives such as Tyler Oakley, who has eight million subscribers, will post something to Twitter and I might be in the background of the photo, or he'll tag me because we're on the same tour, so all of his followers will see, and there's definitely a spike every time it happens... with everyone's followers.  

The way in which your address the camera and talk to your followers is very engaging and conversational. This is innate in some people, but is that something you've worked on and been conscious of, or is it just a case of being yourself and that's what's being evoked?

It's just me trying to be as engaging as possible, but it is myself. I just sit in front of the camera, and I'll talk to the camera. That's what I do. I'm not putting on an act, I'm not doing any crazy. It's literally just me sitting in front of a camera talking about whatever I want to talk about. I'm definitely think about how someone watching it will react to what I'm saying and how I'm going to keep their attention. But it's just something weird that happens, I don't try and do it."

When you started your vlog your brother Troye Sivan had already become successful with his. What were your visions and expectations when you started out?

Honestly, for me when I started the vlog, it was just something to get out of the house. I saw Troye who was travelling to America for all these conventions and I was like, 'I want to do that. I want to go to America, I want to see all these new places'. So I started it and that was basically just for travel, but now I can use it for anything and it is absolutely amazing.

With a public profile comes a certain amount of judgement. There was a piece in Vanity Fair last year about your decision to take on home-schooling. It was extremely condescending....

Definitely!

If it was written objectively then the reader could have weighed up the points for themselves, but it was pretty bitchy from the get-go. I guess this just goes with the territory?

(Laughs) Honestly, I saw that article and I literally laughed out loud. I found it funny, because they don't know what they're talking about. I know what I'm doing is the right choice; they can say what they want to say. I literally laughed when I read it, but stuff like that is going to happen, there's always people who are going to try and take you down, but you just have to ignore the bad things that are said. I'd rather focus on the comments that I'm getting for my videos saying 'I love you' and 'you make me smile'.

What's your advice to people who want to become a good and prominent YouTuber?

For people staring off on becoming a YouTuber... I think just have originality and try and upload as many videos as you can because there's just so much content going onto YouTube that you need to be original and you need to catch people's attention. If you're doing the same thing as everyone else is out there, then no one's gonna watch your videos.

Originally published in X-Press Magazine