Issa aka YouTuber Twaimz, has made a name for himself in the YouTube space. His love of llamas ("The Llama Song" video quickly became a viral hit gaining over 18 million views) and infectious humor has put him on the fast-track to social success. Three years, 146 million views, and 2 million YouTube subscribers later, and Issa is still doing what his fans love the most: giving them weekly videos that range from personal glimpses into Issa's life to outlandish song and dance numbers by his alter-ego Twaimz.
But his dubbed "Hannah Montana" personality has its ups and downs. Issa notes that balancing the two characters, himself as Issa and his character Twaimz, is a juggling act and as he gets older, it becomes harder and harder to maintain Twaimz. But for fans who fell in love with the character -- have no fear. Issa notes that some of the best-loved features of Twaimz can be found in Issa. Case in point: Issa's newest project, "The Sour Patch Kids Prom Project" features Issa with all the qualities of Twaimz so many die-hard fans adore, including signature dance numbers and out-there antics.
Launching April 19th on Twaimz's YouTube channel, tune into the "Sour Patch Kids Prom Project" and watch 36 real teens compete in prom-themed challenges in this first-of-its-kind, teen only reality game show. Even more exciting is the lineup of YouTube influencers who will be joining him on-screen. Some of the biggest names in the social space will be making cameos on Issa's latest project -- and trust us, you won't want to miss it.
We recently spoke with Issa about the development of his on-screen personality, what fans can expect from "Sour Patch Kids Prom Project," and more!
And if you want even more Twaimz news, head over to AOL.com at 6 p.m. ET to see more exclusive features, including the fan interaction his recent tour that changed his life.
What was it like for you balancing your typical teenage life with your YouTube life?
I don't really thing about this that much. But my life at home has not changed that much. I'm still in the same house I was in during high school. My life as Issa really hasn't changed that much except for the fact I have so many more friends now. I'm very self aware as a person now and I was back then too, so I really didn't want anything in my personal life to change and it hasn't. But once YouTube kicked off, my parents had no clue what to think whatsoever. They were very mad at me when I told them that I wanted to quit college and pursue this and they kept saying, "What if this doesn't work? You're going to go down hill and not have a job." But I had a gut feeling that this was something I wanted to pursue and they're very supportive of me now. My dad is in my YouTube videos and people love him more than me. Anytime I'm on my tour and I tell the crowd that I'm about to bring him out they lose their minds completely. He, in a way, is helping me become more personal on YouTube.
It can be difficult being Issa as Twaimz. I call it a Hannah Montana situation, where when I first started I had a very crazy persona Twaimz and I continued that persona throughout a lot of my YouTube career. But as Issa I was a maturing. So Twamiz was not getting older but Issa was. So I had to learn how to meet in the middle and be more personal. Now on my channel I have Issa Tuesdays, which are a lot more intimate and sound just like how I'm talking to you. And Twaimz Fridays are the songs, skits, dancing, or anything over the top. It's a very weird process in my mind but the longer I remain on YouTube and the more opportunities that are happening -- like "Sour Patch Kids" where I host as Issa -- I'm learning to meet in the middle. I've had to learn that's okay to rebrand myself. If I'm getting older as Issa I'm going to have to change the way that I'm making YouTube videos as Twaimz.
What can fans expect from your news "Sour Patch Kids" project?
It's a prom game show that I am hosting! There are a lot of different challenges that showcase Twamiz and Issa. There is a lot of too. I don't want to give too much away -- but there are some fun completive aspects of it since I love competition. For each episode, there is a different YouTube special guests, so that is a great surprise! A lot of them are my friends too. So if you do a little digging, maybe you can figure it out. It's a great surprise!
You're doing so many different projects at the moment! Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I feel like in 5 years I will just be Issa. I also want to explore more traditional entertainment roles. Also, I have a really good movie idea that I can't tell anyone since I'm so scared someone will take it from me. But who knows? At the end of the day I love being theatrical and I'm always going to be doing that. I always need to be dancing, singing, or putting on a show.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusives on Twaimz, including his most memorable moment on tour.
By BANU IBRAHIM
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