Your kid’s current idol is probably someone on YouTube.
A recent survey commissioned by Variety found that the five most influential figures among U.S. teens are all personalities from the popular streaming site. Internet celebrities like Sweden’s eccentric PewDiePie topped traditional A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry and Seth Rogen.
While the survey — which focused on questions about authenticity and approachability — didn’t feature any Canadian YouTubers, we know that great things are happening up here as well.
With that in mind, here’s a list of five Canadian YouTubers that should be on your radar. And if you get confused about anything, just ask your kids.
Superwoman’s energy leaps off the computer screen and hits you in the face — in a good way. Lilly Singh, a 25-year-old from Toronto, has generated a massive online audience since uploading her first clip three years ago. Her videos, which sometimes feature her “parents” (actually Lilly in disguise), often explore humorous topics like Types of People At the Mall, Types of Relatives and What a Girl’s Facial Expressions Really Mean. Now, her channel has over three million subscribers, and her recent collaboration with Toronto performer Humble the Poet on the song #LEH scored three million views in just three days.
The next time I go to trivia night, I want to have Matthew Santoro on my team. Santoro, from St. Catharines, Ont., has found fame on YouTube by creating weekly list videos that examine intriguing facts — from mysterious UFO sightings, to creepy urban legends that turned out to be true, to strange traditions from around the globe. In the last six months, he’s grown his subscriber base from 10,000 to over two million, and he now makes more money posting one video a week than he did as a full-time accountant.
Created by University of Guelph science grads Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown two years ago, this channel finds scientific answers for zany questions like Does Penis Size Matter? or What Came First – The Chicken or the Egg? The duo’s short videos feature Moffit’s voice narrating over Brown’s illustrations on a white dry-erase board, and their fun and educational approach has won them almost three million subscribers and a deal with the CBC for a series of Olympics-related shorts.
CONVOS WITH MY 2-YEAR-OLD
This funny web series began after Vancouver-based creator Matthew Clarke realized that the conversations he was having with his toddler Coco were pretty crazy — and would be considered hilariously insane if she was a fully grown adult. So, Clarke started writing down the conversations, and then enlisted his friend David Milchard to re-enact them on video, with Milchard dressed in the same clothes as Coco. The first clip went viral in 2011 and earned four million views in one week, and now the series is in its third season, with a solid subscriber base of over 700,000.
This Edmonton-based musician takes acoustic cover videos to the next level. Daniela Andrade, a Honduran-Canadian performer in her early-twenties, evokes Norah Jones as she plays stripped-down covers of songs by Radiohead, Beyonce, Weezer and others. Her soulful take on Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy recently hit the iTunes Top 100 chart and appeared in the TV series Suits. She plans to release an album of original songs by the end of the year.