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MP! Exclusive: Jack and Conor Maynard give you a lesson in YouTuber 101 and talk BONCAs


We all love YouTubers. We watch them daily. They’re our friends, teachers and ahem… crushes.

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YouTubers are always there when we need them and we couldn’t love them more. But sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones who recognise their unique talents. There are dozens of award shows for music, film, TV, everything! But there doesn’t seem to be much for YouTubers.

Well that just changed.

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The first British Online Creator Awards (BONCAs) will be held on Tuesday 22nd November 2016 to recognise the achievements of all our fave YouTubers.

The nominees this year include Dan & Phil, Grace Helbig and Marcus Butler and also Conor and Jack Maynard, who are also hosting the ceremony. We caught up with them to discuss all things BONCAs…

Hey guys! So let’s go back to the beginning. How did you both first get involved in YouTube?

Conor: I actually started my account in 2006 the year after YouTube was started. So ten years ago when I was 13. I would make weird sketches and post them up. I’ve actually deleted them now but I did really really enjoy it. I used my channel for like a year and then I didn’t use it for a long time. Years later I got into singing and it got to the point where a lot of people were asking me to send videos and this was back in the days of dial up internet so it would take an hour to send one MP3. So I just thought it would be a lot easier if i started posting videos online.

I first started posting it on Facebook, then I thought I’d post on YouTube so people other than my friends could see it so I could get feedback people all around the world and it just grew form there. I started off with like no views then out of nowhere one video hit like 100,000 views, and then another one hit a million and it just snowballed.

Jack: I’ve always been destined for entertainment haha. Joking. Two years ago I was presenting on a TV show in Bristol, but then I left and came to live with Conor in London. I was just waiting around to see if I was going to get any presenting work so I decided to start a YouTube channel again. I actually had one ages ago which basically had the same stuff on but only 6,000 subscribers.

Conor: And your heart wasn’t really in it.

Jack: Yeah it wasn’t. I was doing it more for work back then. So yeah I started a YouTube channel and it just grew pretty fast to the point where that became my job and I didn’t need to do TV anymore.

How do you come up with ideas for your YouTube channel?

Conor: I’m still working on original music and while I do that I want to give fans something to listen to so I kinda look out for any songs that I have a connection to. I don’t just want to cover any song. I want songs which I can interpret in my own style. I like to reproduce a song completely from scratch. It also gives people a glimpse into what my original songs will sound like so there’s definitely a strategy behind it. It’s not just me randomly covering songs haha.

Jack: Me, Conor and Josh Pieters live together and my friend Michael Pearce, who is also a YouTuber, lives two seconds down the road so there are always ideas flying around between us.

Also a lot of viewers tweet me challenges and stuff they want to see me do. I recently did apartment mini golf. I was just walking by a mini golf course and I thought that would be funny to do it inside so I went on Amazon and bought a load of mini golf stuff and we did it in our flat.

Why not.

Jack: Yeah stuff just comes to you and you do it in your own way. You can also take inspiration from other people.

What’s your fave challenge that you’ve done?

Me, Conor and Mikey did the mouthguard challenge which was really fun.

Conor: I’m a man of more sophisticated humour so I prefer the more witty challenges. We did a challenge like Radio 1’s ‘Alphabetical’ and we did ‘The Interrogation Challenge’ where you say a statement and the other two players have to find out whether you’re telling a lie. That was a lot of fun. We came up with the most ridiculous stories and obviously some were true and some were not.

Do you feel nervous at all about hosting BONCAs?

Conor: I definitely do feel slightly nervous because I haven’t done anything like this before. It’s a first for both of us. I’ve presented an award but I’ve never hosted an award show. Also, all of our friends and people who do the same thing as us who are gonna be there and were supposed to entertain them and make them laugh. You don’t know how people are going to react. It’s the first BONCAs so you can’t go off previous times to gauge what it’s going to be like.

Jack: I’m not necessarily nervous but I’m as nervous as I get, which is still fairly relaxed. I’ve done live TV before, but having an audience in front of you where you know most of them is quite daunting.

Conor: Yeah I’d rather perform in front of a stadium of strangers than  my friends.

Which category is the most hotly contested in your opinion?

Conor: Some of the biggest names are in the British Creator of the Year category. It’s not malicious competition though.

Jack: It’s all just a bit of fun really. I don’t think anyone will be annoyed if they don’t win.

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Which other British YouTuber’s work would you like to see get recognised?

Jack: Caspar Lee comes up with a lot of original ideas.

Conor: Caspar’s amazing and Joe Sugg kills it. Obviously they’re our friends so we would say that though.

Jack: I think everyone deserves to win.

Very diplomatic answer. 

Conor: Everyone there will be a pioneer of this new form of entertainment, this new platform which has allowed young people to express themselves in a new way. And it’s amazing that they did it without really knowing what it would become.

Why do you think people connect with YouTubers on such a personal level? 

Conor: I think that’s because it’s so personal when you watch. They’re just sitting there talking to you, not to 800,000 people. Also, the creative process is very personal ith the majority of YouTubers. They edit the videos themselves. There’s no director. It’s literally just them sitting behind a camera. Kids watch that and think I can do that as well.

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What is your worst autocorrect blunder? 

Conor: When I’m angry with someone or I’m trying to make a serious point and it autocorrects to “ducking”.

Gutted, man. Thanks for chatting with us Jack and Conor! 

BONCAs is on Tuesday, 22nd November at the Palladium in London. 

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Written by David Farrell

David is the Head of Content at Maximum Pop!

Having studied Russian and Spanish at the University of Leeds, David moved to Moscow to work in the education sector. Upon returning to UK soil, David initially immersed himself in the wonderful world of MP! as a music writer.

Now head of all things content, David takes being a music fanboy to a whole new level, and can often be found dancing like there's nobody watching to 'Shout Out To My Ex', obsessing over Lauren Jauregui and defending Taylor Swift's honour.

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