With almost 400 million views on YouTube, Adrian Gee is most definitely a name worth knowing.
Having started out on YouTube in 2013, Adrian has built up a fanbase of millions through his content, most famously for his popular street interviews and pick-up artist videos. Turning into something of an icon amongst his viewerbase, he’s been able to diversify his endeavours in the years since and now coaches others on everything from how to pick up girls (something that one look at his YouTube content proves he’s certainly pretty good at!) to getting started and being successful within business.
This week’s DDW cover star, Adrian recently took a break from his busy schedule as a content creator and entrepreneur to tell us more about his YouTube journey, how he really feels about hate comments and his cosmic future aspirations…
Hi, Adrian! Can you tell us a little more about what you do?
I basically film entertainment like street interviews, pranks and social experiments – that’s what I do on YouTube. In the background, I have some digital marketing businesses, some coaching programmes and I have some physical products, too.
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a YouTuber and entrepreneur?
My journey on how I came to be where I am today basically started in Adelaide, South Australia. I came back from acting school and the film industry was really small in Adelaide, so me and my mate just picked up a camera and we went out on the weekends, just shooting content, messing around with people and having fun. We kept at the schedule of posting every week and then six months later, it started to gain a lot of traction. The rest is history!
What do you think it means to be a creator like you in such a radically changing world?
In today’s world, I think what it means to be a creator is to create content for an audience that provides some sort of value. That value can be in the form of entertainment, education or even if it’s a physical product – for example, a dietary supplement that’s going to help you lose weight or something. It’s going to be a piece of content that you create, that’s going to provide value to a certain audience.
What’s your most viewed video on YouTube?
My most viewed video on YouTube is probably ‘The Real Blind Man Honesty Test’. It’s got like 20, 30 million views or something like that.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do and what’s the most challenging?
I guess the most rewarding thing about what I do is having the freedom to be able to travel and work! I kind of set my own hours, I’m not working for somebody else and it’s a lot of fun shooting content and creating videos.
The most challenging thing… I would say that there aren’t too many challenges, to be honest. I think it would have to be when I’m going out and shooting a video and I’m approaching people – random strangers on the street and all that – and they don’t give the best reactions and that means I don’t get content. That’s probably the most challenging thing.
How did COVID-19 affect you as a creator who makes videos with the public?
COVID-19 didn’t really affect me as a creator! I just went to Europe and I spent my time in Sweden where everything was open and was shooting content there. I got around it and adapted.
How do you decide which questions and topics to discuss in your street interviews?
It really depends. If I were looking for something to get a lot of attention, I would just look at what’s worked in the past and then adapt that idea slightly. You don’t want to fix something if it isn’t broken, right?
If I’m looking to test different ideas and content, I’ll look at what the subscribers and viewers say in the comments and if they want to see something different, I’ll consider and potentially shoot it.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a video?
I would say the craziest thing I’ve ever done for a video would probably be going skydiving – doing a little spontaneous trip to Dubai and then jumping out of a plane! That’s pretty crazy. In my opinion.
What’s your favourite pickup line?
My favourite pickup line? I think pickup lines are overrated! I would never use a pickup line if I actually had the intention to pick up a girl, I’d just use it to troll and just have a laugh and then see where the interaction goes.
Through my videos, I have shot a lot of takes where I was using pickup lines and it’s hard to pick a favourite! If I’m going to pick one that I think is comedic, I would probably say ‘If your left leg was Christmas and your right leg was Easter, would you let me visit you in between holidays?’
(laughs) That’s really fun! I’ve used that in the past when I was shooting content and it was funny. You’d think the responses wouldn’t be very receptive, right? But if you go into it and you just don’t care – you’re just saying it to have a laugh and she knows that you’re just messing around and it’s not like you’re going in seriously – then it gets a pretty receptive response, you know?
What’s the worst response you’ve ever had during a street interview?
There was only one time and it wasn’t even that bad! Basically, I went up to this girl and I was interviewing her. I can’t even remember the question, but her boyfriend came in and he didn’t like that I was talking to the girl, so he took my mic and then slapped me.
How about the most surprising response that you’ve ever had?
The most surprising response I’ve ever had filming a street interview would probably be the time I was interviewing this girl and we just totally clicked. I think it was the third take of the day, so the third girl I approached, and it wasn’t even a full video. We just clicked and from there it was just like ‘Oh hey, do you want to hang out?’, so we actually kind of went on this instant date and the rest of the video just turned into a whole vlog.
That was super surprising because it’s like two strangers meet on the streets and then they basically, you know.. (laughs) go out and experience each other! (laughs)
How do you react to hate on your videos?
I don’t actually react. I don’t react, I just leave it. It’s just irrelevant, you know?
What’s your favourite place that you’ve ever been to film a video?
My favourite place I’ve ever been to shoot a video would have to be either Japan or Hawaii. I think those two. Hawaii, the state is just super beautiful. For Japan, I was in Tokyo and it’s a super interesting city – just so different. One of those two, but probably Hawaii!
Who inspired you to start your YouTube channel?
Probably Vitalyzd. He was the original prankster – one of the OGs.
I remember watching their content. They were shooting pranks and just going out and approaching strangers and I thought that it looked fun, so me and my mates started doing that and putting on YouTube – we didn’t really think it was gonna take off or anything, we were just doing it for fun. But yeah, I’d probably say those two guys definitely inspired me.
Tell us about your book, 77 Life Hacks For Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
It’s basically a book with 77 tips and secrets that have helped me launch my business and that I believe would be useful for aspiring entrepreneurs that are wanting to get into business and create their own product, whether it’s a digital product, informational product or a physical product
What are your future goals?
I’d say one of my future goals is to visit every country in the world. That would be pretty lit.
What does the phrase ‘Don’t Die Wondering’ mean to you?
I would say that it means ‘don’t die without taking a chance to try something new or different’.
What do you think your legacy will be?
I don’t really think about that too much because I don’t think it’s very relevant in the grand scheme of things – we’re all gonna die one day. People talk about leaving a legacy but, eventually, that legacy will also disappear. It’s not something I really think about, I really just live in the present moment, you know?
What’s your life motto?
Do what makes you happy and don’t worry what other people think of what you’re doing!
What’s one thing you’d like to do before you die?
I’d like to visit outer space!