How YouTuber Jess Conte met the love of her life
It's not every day that you meet a couple as young and in love as Jess and Gabriel Conte.
The two met first via social media in December 2015, and then finally in person when Jess traveled from her home country of Australia to visit LA for a few weeks.
Jess began posting videos on YouTube years ago, mainly to share wth her family and friends, but a video of her dad and brother unexpectedly went viral on her channel. Since then, she's kept up posting and has grown an audience.
The young social media star posts mostly cover songs and adorable couple videos with her husband on her channel, and has garnered almost a million subscribers. Not to mention, she has a million on Instagram too.
We had the chance to chat with Jess about her rise to social media fame, her love story and more. Check out part one of our feature below.
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Jess Conte, click here.
How did you first get started on YouTube?
I always loved being on camera, even as a child. I have videos of me making up magic shows and cooking shows. I always loved the idea of making a video. A couple of years ago my family and I made videos of my little brother who was banging on the oven and my dad was playing the trombone. It was just a silly video in our kitchen and it blew up and went viral. I remember it getting millions of views and I ended up with 2,000 subscribers. I thought then that I should just make some videos of my own. I started to make cover videos of me singing, and that was really it. It was mostly just singing and I had about 30,000 subscribers when I met my husband Gabriel. We started to film a lot together, and the response from that was amazing and people loved seeing us in videos together and we really grew from there. That's when I started to do YouTube full time. I did more challenge videos and personality videos. That led to us creating a blog channel together in September.
So what was it like when that video went viral? Were you shocked? What was your reaction and your family's reaction?
It was so unexpected because we uploaded it because it was funny and we wanted to share it with family and friends. The song we used in the video is by a DJ named Timmy Trumpet and my dad suggested that we tweet him the link, so that he could see the video. I tweeted it to him and he ended up re-posting it on his Facebook wall. The whole experience was so new to us, especially because we were in Australia. Being in our little town, this never happens. It was all very new, and it was really fun.
What's the transition been like for you to move from Australia to LA? How long have you been in the US?
Ever since I was about ten years old, I always dreamt of living in America and marrying an American. I always loved American accents and I was so drawn to someone whenever I found out they were American. For so many years I had a dream of moving to America. It's funny how everything has played out, and how I actually am married to an American and I do live in America. It's really fun, LA is very different from where I'm from. I'm from a city in Australia called Brisbane and it's much more laid back and relaxed. LA is very go-go-go. It's always busy there's always traffic, but I do really love it. Even something as being so close to the Hollywood sign is still something so new to me, it's awesome.
What has been one of your favorite videos or series that you've worked on so far either on YouTube or anything else?
Something I really love and something I find really rewarding is uploading a lot of music covers. It's really rewarding for me to see people say that a certain song really changed them or helped them get through a rough day. My favorite video ever, though, well, Gabe and I always like really funny videos, so we do a lot of funny challenges. I like one he did with me when he did my makeup. It was funny to see how clueless he was about all of my makeup products. People really loved it.
How did you get your start in music? Where did singing begin for you?
My whole family is musical, my older sister and younger brother, and my dad are talented with singing and playing instruments. So I've always had music around me. Ever since I can remember I was on a piano or I was singing with my dad. It's all I've known, which is really great because music is really powerful. I did a lot of training in primary school and middle school, which really helped my voice become stronger. When I was younger I wasn't as confident with singing, and my older sister was an amazing singer, and I always left it to her to sing, but with lots of training and stuff, I started to find my voice and the style I liked to do. That's when I wanted to share my voice with people online. It did start out when I uploaded my first couple of covers on YouTube, it was more for my family and friends to see. It grew from there. My style I like to do with songs is stripped back and acoustic. I like taking a song and changing it and just stripping it down. Once I found that I enjoyed doing that, I kept uploading covers in that style.
How did you and Gabe meet and really get to know each other?
In January of last year, I was making a trip out to LA. In December 2015, I messaged him on Instagram because I saw that he was in LA and that he was a Christian. I messaged him and I told him I was making a trip out in January, and I wanted to know what church he attended, because I was in LA for three to four weeks, and I wanted to visit some churches. But, since I messaged him on Instagram, I didn't expect him to reply because DMs can get lost pretty easily. A couple of days later he replied and he told me about Hillsong in LA, and that was actually the same church I went to in Brisbane. So we kind of just hit it off from there. We weren't chatting with flirty intentions really, we were just getting to know each other, then we got each other's numbers and then when I came to LA we met up. He took me to church, which was really nice. The time I was in LA, we hung out as much as we could and really got to know each other.
That's when we realized we both liked each other and talked about whether or not we wanted to try long distance because it's really difficult especially from LA to Australia. It's not just a flight across the country. It was something we both had to think about. We were really blessed in what we do for work that we were able to fly when we wanted to see each other. We managed to see each other quite often for long distance. I know a lot of people don't see each other for six months at a time, or more. We were really blessed in that regard. We went back and forth throughout the year, and then we got engaged in September and married in December in Australia. It was really beautiful. It was in a glass chapel and the view was the mountains. Although, it did rain that day, but it did make the pictures beautiful because the background was misty and really gorgeous. It was a really special day.
You and Gabe have an EP you released, "Under the Covers," how did that idea come to be? How did you make it come to life?
I remember when Gabe and I started dating, and I knew he had an amazing voice, but he didn't really have the confidence to sing. I asked him why he never made singing videos and he just would say he didn't think he was good enough. But then, over the past year his confidence with singing grew and grew, and I was so proud of him for that. The idea started from him saying how awesome it would be if we created these covers on the EP, and we called it "Under the Covers." He really had the creative with that and came up with the idea. We were kind of waiting for the perfect time to do it. We got married in December and moved in January to LA, and that's when we got straight into it. The songs that we chose -- we chose 5 songs -- they were all just songs that we loved to sing at home, or that we liked to sing in the car. One of them "Bless the Broken Road" was one that we really wanted to do because it was the song that I walked down the aisle to. We wanted to create an EP of these love songs that just showed our style. They're quite stripped back, like the music style I like to do on my YouTube. It was really fun and it was an amazing experience to be able to do with him. It was our first time in a studio, so that was great as well.
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