Live Q&A with the Mastermind behind Paint
We put your questions to John Cozart of the YouTube Channel Paint
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James Gilmore : Welcome to the show John.
Paint : Its about noon here in Austin, Texas I sorta just got up
James Gilmore : Its about quarter past six in the evening here. So I’ve had a full day today; so what a great way to end the show with you on. I must say I’m extremely happy to have you on. You are the interview I’ve been looking forward to the most in the past few weeks.
James Gilmore : You started your YouTube channel ten years ago in 2005. Why did you originally set it up?
Paint : I’ve actually had three YouTube channels in my time. I’ve had four because I’ve got a second channel but my brother actually signed up in 2005 because he liked paintball and he was an early adaptor of YouTube. He said he would gift it to me if I got 1000 subscribers on another channel. Eventually after about 30 videos on this other channel I had 1000 subscribers he gave it to me and I started to make 'real videos’
James Gilmore : Where did the idea come from to make these original videos?
Paint : Well they are wacky. I just make stuff that I think I would enjoy and so I take other peoples stuff like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and I like to celebrate them with fans. Thats the whole idea behind it; I was so in love with Harry Potter; I read all the books and I don’t read so. I’ve seen all the films a million times so that was like the first hit I’ve had (Harry Potter in 99 seconds). I knew a lot about it. I knew the music through and through because John Williams is fantastic. He is constantly on my Pandora radio. Its just like a mutual love for fandoms.
James Gilmore : What’s the process then, how do you go from idea to upload.
Paint : It takes forever because I’m involved with every level of production. Thats what most YouTubers do. It starts with an idea, I’ll just be walking around and singing Disney songs. How can I do that without being copywritten? The only way to do that is parody really. And I just acapalla because thats what I’m best at. I don’t really play many instruments, just piano. The process is not that complex, you know I just sit down and I write it. I’ll listen to musicals while I’m doing it just to get some inspiration from other good artists. Then I sit down and I record it. I plan out everything by ear, I don’t really write my music down on paper. Its a trial and error situation. Then the video doesn’t really take that much time after that, I just lip-sync pretty much.
James Gilmore : So now you’ve given away that you lip-sync.
Paint : Ah, I never lip sync live. I always sing live if I’m performing of course. Lip syncing in the video, of course its like impossible to record the video.
Paint : Pringles, I’m generally a fan of the pizza Pringles. I still remember that commercial from the 90s where there was like an opera singer singing about Pizza Pringles. It really hit my heart. I’m pretty favourable to those.
@amazingfrieda : When are you going to upload another video to the main channel?
Paint : Thats a good question. Now I’m working on a Live show that I’m going to be performing in a few months and so my priority has been the live show. I’ve been writing a lot of new music for the show and new bits and things like that. I imagine once I’m done with the show, I’ll upload the whole thing onto YouTube. And that should be four or five months from now. If not, hopefully I can get another one in before then.
James Gilmore : What is the timescale then, from idea to upload?
Paint : The whole process of making a video depends on the video. The Christmas one that I just made recently, well about three months ago, that one took about a month I’d say. It was a week of constant acapella so I would spend several hours in my room just working that out. I just force that one through in a few weeks. After ever After took about three months; After ever After 2 took four months. It just takes a long time because its a very intricate process and I’m a perfectionist when it comes to production. I don’t want to put anything out there that people wouldn’t want to share.
James Gilmore : Looking at your videos, theres only one that has less than three million views. Are you surprised by the fact that your videos have gone viral?
Paint : You know I’m honestly very surprised constantly by how many people want to watch them. I think the reason why the other ones are so popular is because a certain few went viral. I don’t have a ton of videos so people don’t have to go through like 100 videos. People see the viral videos and just want to find out more about what I’m doing. My older videos had about 5000 views and I thought that was a tremendous success. 5000 views 5000 people its incredible. I don’t look at the views a lot and think wow its so strange.
Paint : Oh my gosh. Wow. What would I change about myself. Probably my work ethic. Just to sit down and do something. I’m a little ADHD and bad at reading as well which just sucks. Nobody wants a brain thats just not good at reading.
James Gilmore : Your newest channel Paintships. Whats it all about?
Paint : Just my attempt at uploading content more regularly and connecting more with my audience and just making videos that didn’t require fully concentration. That weren’t fully scripted and took an exorbitant amount of time. Thats the whole idea behind it and to have fun with the channel.
James Gilmore : What advice do you have for other musicians wanting to start up on YouTube.
Paint : If you are going to be a YouTube musician or a YouTuber in general, you should be that because you want to spread your stuff out to people. Just don’t expect anything it took me so long, like 7 years of making videos that just never got many views. Until I made Harry Potter 99 seconds and suddenly had a lot of view. But that 7 years really formed who I was as an artist. In the midst of failure theres so much success and skills to be learnt that you can develop.
James Gilmore : What is the future of John Cozart on YouTube?
Paint : I’m trying to take a more Bo Burnam approach where I’m trying to take my stuff to live shows and trying to be more of a songwriter. I want to create more original content as well as the parody stuff. Definitely still making more videos; I love YouTube.
This show was broadcast on the 18th April 2015. You can catch James Gilmore's latest show on W!ZARD Repeats here.
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