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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Social media star Adam Saleh on six years of YouTube

The American-Yemeni personality recently celebrated his sixth anniversary on the online platform. We talk to him about the medium

Adam Saleh's rapping and crooning is solid. Courtesy Le BHV Marais Dubai
Adam Saleh's rapping and crooning is solid. Courtesy Le BHV Marais Dubai

New Year’s Day was even more special for Adam Saleh. It marked the sixth year anniversary of the American-Yemeni comic and rapper’s entrance to YouTube.

Since then, the 24-year-old has gone on to become a social media star with more than 300 original videos uploaded and nearly 3.5 million people subscribed to his YouTube channel.

Despite his penchant for comedy, not everything he uploads is purely for laughs. In addition to the sketches and pranks, there are videos of Saleh discussing pertinent youth issues such as bullying and depression.

“These videos are just me talking about my life and what I went through,” he told The National during a recent to Dubai. “You know, I went through bullying in high school and discussing that inspired a lot of people. They can relate, you know? That’s why I always talk about it even on my live shows.”

How did you get started on YouTube?

It was just from me being bored. I used to make videos for my family on the phone. Then after that, I bought a camera and started vlogging. I would do it here and there till I got a following and started doing it properly.

Do you feel that vlogging is respected in the entertainment industry?

There is still a lot of hate on vlogging from some parts of the industry because it has become the new television. With vlogging you are in charge of your content and you can make the creative decisions. You are control and some decision makers don’t like that. There are a lot of celebrities, like Kevin Hart and The Rock, that understand what vlogging can do and they want to be in these vlogger's videos because they know that everyone watches them. They go into the YouTube world and promote their stuff, which is a good thing.

Your videos are varied; some are deeply personal while others are just a bit of silly fun. What’s is the common theme tying them together?

Honestly? It’s about making people smile and to brighten up their days. Whatever stress they're going through or whatever's making them depressed, I just want them to smile and spread positivity around the world. There's a lot of negative people in this world these days. It's just good to make someone smile because they'll pass on that good deed.

If you weren't doing social media, what do you think you'll be doing right now?

I’d be in law school.

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Read more:

A peek into the glamorous world of social media star Rashed Belhasa

YouTube star Adam Saleh on his debut album and controversy with Delta Airlines

New Delhi rapper Prabh Deep is becoming known for his socially conscious rhymes

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