Kingsley Russell's Twist of Hate
BY Brandon Voss
April 22 2010 5:35 PM ET
Is your room the one with the Jonas Brothers posters?
sir. When I first started on YouTube in July 2009 — before a lot of my
early videos got deleted — my very first video was about the day the
Jonas Brothers came to St. Louis. I tried to get to Applebee’s with some
friends, but there were all these Jonas Brothers fans in the parking
lot, making posters and listening to their music, so I went off on that.
My first subscribers were a bunch of Jonas Brothers fans, so that’s how
I got started. I do enjoy them — well, I enjoy Nick anyway, because the
other ones are just there — but I got the posters one day as an inside
joke for the people who’ve watched me from the beginning.
Did you think that first video would catch on?
I had no idea. I went to sleep and there were 200 views, and when I woke up there were 2,000, which was a big deal back then. I was very happy.
What was the moment you realized you were onto something big?
In September, after Kanye West stormed the stage at the VMAs, I made a video about that. That was my first video that had over 100,000 views, and YouTube featured me in their little “People & Blogs” section, so that was the first time I got really excited. Recently, of course, Ashton Kutcher tweeting my videos was a really big deal for me. He tweeted “Wild Animals in Spring” and “Birds.” I woke up on Easter Sunday, got on Facebook, and some of my friends had written on my wall that Ashton had tweeted my videos. And everyone on Twitter was like, “@aplusk tweeted you!” I was freaking out the whole day. I wrote him and pretty much said that it meant a lot coming from one of the most hilarious people in the galaxy.
Did he write back?
No. [Laughs] But I wasn’t expecting him to.
“Things I Hate” is your most popular video yet. Why do you think it became such a breakout hit?
A lot of people can relate to some of the things I’m talking about, like the skinny jeans and stuff, but then other things, like birds, are just so unexpected and ridiculous. I don’t know why it took off like it did, but everyone has pet peeves, so maybe they like seeing someone getting them off their chest.
Do you now get people coming up to you to tell you what else they hate?
Oh, yes. I guess that’s the easiest way to start a conversation with me.
So you’re basically starting friendships based on hatred and bitterness.
Exactly. I met this one girl, and after we talked for about three minutes, she said, “I’m so surprised. I thought you were going to be so mean to me.” I was like, “No, I just yell for three minutes a couple days a week.”
Some might say that bitching and complaining, even for just a few minutes a week, is unhealthy and nonproductive.
I think it’s worse to keep your feelings bottled up inside and pretend everything’s happy when it isn’t. People have different ways of dealing with things, and my YouTube videos are like therapy for me.