On 24 February, teenage vlogger Jake Mitchell held a fan event to celebrate the release of his latest single and music video Echoes.
Hosted by the London YouTube Space and set up by network Studio 71, only 100 places were available to book for Jake‘s intimate gathering. TenEighty got the chance to go along and talk to Jake about the event, as well as speak to some fans lucky enough to reserve their place in time.
Doors opened at 6pm, and the first hour or so was a relaxing meet-and-greet in the Space’s lounge. YouTube put on a great spread as per usual, with free pizza as far as the eye can see, while a DJ added atmosphere to the proceedings. Jake himself spent the whole time chatting with all his fans, taking selfies with the Space’s well-known booth and being generally jovial – even being given a few presents at one point.
After just over an hour, we headed downstairs to Studio 1, where there were seats and goodie bags waiting for us – including Echoes postcards and stickers, glow sticks, and a generous amount of sweets. The main section began with the airing of the Echoes video on a large screen, which had the audience enchanted, clapping rapturously when it had ended. Host Luke Franks then came out to introduce Jake for a Q&A section, which absolutely brought the house down.
Luke began by asking Jake about the genesis of the song and video, with Jake saying it began when he met his manager Oran in February 2016 and told him he would like to try a music career. He wrote the lyrics himself while working with professional producers for the music, travelling to Amsterdam to record the track last November. He carried on to say that he played every new version of the song to his close friends, asking for their input on the track’s progression – and then made them all buy the single when it finally came out.
When asked about the inspiration behind the song, Jake told the audience it was about the naysayers he has experienced throughout his career: “If someone says you can’t do something, to me it’s an echo. So it doesn’t affect me, it’s behind me.” Jake also revealed that there will be an official remix of Echoes coming out at the end of March – “It’s like a summer, tropical vibe […] if it was out, it would definitely be playing upstairs” – and that it will get its own official video, recorded when he heads out to LA very soon.
After that, it was time to take questions from the audience. Jake was coy about further musical ideas, suggesting he “maybe” has other song ideas and stating he would like to perform one of his tracks acoustically, but would need to hear how it sounded first. When asked which musician he would like to duet with most, he suggested singer Chris Brown: “I could do a backflip with him off my arm. I can teach him some parkour.” He admitted filming the video was fun, although largely due to the free food at craft services, much of which he took back to his hotel. When asked if he was comfortable during the shooting, he simply stated, “If I felt awkward, I just dabbed.”
More general questions followed this section, with Jake being asked for his top tips for starting a channel, which he gave as: Keep at it, act natural, don’t buy expensive equipment at first – “You can do cool things with anything” – and set yourself a schedule. He stated that success did not come quickly for him, with him earning about 200 subscribers in his first three years – but that he still made videos for the love of it, having been creating personal videos for around three years before joining YouTube. The Q&A then ended with a group photo, featuring the most number of people dabbing in one space this writer has ever seen:
Following the Q&A section, everyone went back to the lounge for more selfies, more hang-time with Jake, and more free food – this time in the form of delicious cupcakes. At this point we managed to speak to some of the attendees about their thoughts. Many of the fans were proud of Jake for his success, with Bailey stating that, “He so deserves this […] everybody’s come together to support him, and it’s just been amazing”, while Jade continued by saying, “He’s done really well, I’m really glad he’s got this far”. Everyone we spoke to enjoyed the event, with Nicole telling us, “It was just really fun, I’ve made some new friends”, while Keelie left us with her hopes for Jake: “[I] want him to keep up the good work and just enjoy himself.”
During the Q&A, Jake also shouted out a young fan who had been invited to the event after Jake saw her Echoes reaction video. Although she wished to remain anonymous, she told TenEighty that the event was “good, it was exciting, it was fun”, and that she thought the mention by Jake was “crazy”.
Once the event was over and guests had left, we headed down to the Space’s green room to talk to Jake about his thoughts on the night.
“I think it went really good,” he told us, also seeming happy with the smaller group of fans present: “I think everyone enjoyed themselves as well. It would have been cool if I’d met loads of people, but I got to have conversations with everyone […] it’s not like any other event, where you get five seconds to have a photo.” He felt the Space worked as a location for smaller fan events, stating: “I was really impressed.”
Following on from his previous comments on the themes of the song, we asked Jake if he had heard more or less ‘echoes’ since he achieved online success. “It’s stayed the same,” he replied. “There’s always gonna be people saying you shouldn’t do something, jealousy is a big thing. You just gotta keep your head high.” When asked how he felt this song was a progression from his previous single, 2016’s What We Wanna, he stated: “The first single I did myself, I did in my bedroom, I had a friend who helped me out […] this one had a full budget, a production team who filmed and recorded it.”
We asked about the next step in Jake’s musical career, and he said he “definitely want[s] to do more […] I think it’s important to do new things. Acting, for example; I want to get acting lessons”, while also admitting that he sees YouTube as a gateway to other forms of media: “If I’m given opportunities, I’m gonna take them.” Not that he has any plans to leave the platform – “I’m also gonna stay as a YouTuber, 100%, for as long as I can.”
And with that, our night was over – although we still had to make our way through the many fans gathered outside the entrance for one more picture with a creator who clearly means so much to them.