Editor's Note: This Black History Month, we're highlighting Black perspectives, and sharing stories from Black Googlers, partners, and culture shapers from across Canada.
Last month, YouTube announced the #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator Class of 2022 -- 135 creators from around the world who will participate in the second year of our initiative dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to succeed on our platform. This cohort includes five talented Canadian creators, including Mane Yousuf. Today’s blog features a conversation with Mane centered around his channel, and the opportunity YouTube provides for him to share his authentic self with the world.
Tell us, when did you decide to become a creator on YouTube?
Mane: I always knew I wanted to do something creative and unorthodox. I started my channel in 2018 as a way to capture my thoughts, passions and personality. I love music, pop culture and anime, and I blend these passions together to create videos for my audience. I’m very lucky to be able to do this full-time, and explore the dynamics of spontaneity as I create content.
Mane: Where else? YouTube gives me the opportunity to approach creativity in the most authentic way. There are no barriers, I’m free to do things my way. YouTube also offers me an engaged and global audience, that’s stronger than anywhere else. I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love every single day.
Tell us about the songs you sing in public?
Mane: I love to sing in public! It’s incredible connecting with folks and just seeing how they react. Every connection in these singing videos is authentic and I think that’s what my followers love. I also try to combine different ideas when I sing in public. For example, I’ve learned songs in Japanese and Spanish to bring a different element to the experience. People were really vibing to it!
Now that you’re part of the #YouTube Black Voices Class, how do you plan to use the funding?
Mane: First, I’m so happy to be part of this creator class. It’s great to see YouTube step up and support Black voices, and help us take our channels to the next level. This program also helps me connect with other Black creators, and that networking is so important.
My community is very important to me - these are people who show up and subscribe to watch my authenticity in action. I want to keep listening to their feedback to continue to make content they want to see.
I’m also excited to get support to explore a few new areas for my channel, including gaming. I’m excited to invest more and my equipment and set up as well.
What’s next for Mane Yousuf?
Mane: I’m excited to continue to grow - right now I have a team of two videographers that help support the channel. I hope to grow the team, and be able to provide more hiring opportunities. I’m also really excited to expand my work in music, and test the limits of my talent.