KhanStopMe is a mix of fast-paced, witty observations, sketches, and animations. Having recently been named one of YouTube’s Creators for Change fellows, Taha Khan tells us more about his YouTube journey.
“I really wanted to play the video game Halo, but couldn’t, so I decided to watch Halo-related content,” explains Taha Khan, thinking back to his introduction to YouTube back in 2007. “I discovered a show called Red vs. Blue by RoosterTeeth. I was instantly hooked by this weird mixture of Halo and serialised comedy. At a similar time, I also discovered nigahiga [Ryan Higa]’s How to be series that was going viral. In fact, RoosterTeeth and nigagiga are both channels that I still watch regularly to this day.”
For the next five or so years, Taha experienced YouTube as a viewer – building his subscription box and becoming more and more familiar with the world of YouTubers. Then, in 2012, he decided to make a tribute video to Bungie – that company that made Halo – and put it up online. “After that, I started making videos I sent to my friends. They were either Halo– or dance-related. But I also made podcasts and sketch videos with my friends, all of which were unlisted because I was scared of making videos for the public,” he says.
“I then, after a year, made a dance channel which got a bit of traction – it had 30,000 views and 150 subscribers after a year which felt HUGE. But after a year, I realised I wasn’t having as much fun as the channels I was watching, so I stopped posting.
“One of the reasons for my timidness [about] making videos that put my personality out there was that I hadn’t seen Muslims/South Asians doing YouTube. It was Humza [Arshad]’s first DOAB video and Suhbi Taha’s early vlogs that showed 14-year-old me that Muslims and Pakistanis can do YouTube too.”
A year later and a newfound confidence in tow, Taha decided to start a new channel called KhanStopMe, which was supposed to be a temporary home for his comedy and vlogs, with the intention of making just 24 videos. “Looking back, it was so strange that I had put an expiry date on YouTubing,” he reflects.
As time went on, Taha realised he really enjoyed making videos and decided to take it more and more seriously, eventually creating content such as Hey Monty, We miss you., a video he is extremely proud of. “I really put my heart into it,” he says. “But it’s also a video that reminded me of that first video I ever made, the tribute to Bungie.
“I’m always proud of the videos that generate a discussion and have an impact such as Calling People Out and A Racist Sketch Video but maybe the videos I’m most proud of is the little people series (Greg and the Bench., Sam wants to Fly., and Callum goes to Eat (Cheeky Nandos).) because they felt both artistically considered and comedically valuable. They really felt like I was bringing something unique to YouTube.”
Like many creators, as he generates more and more content he sometimes hits a wall – or a “creative slump”, as he calls it. When he finds himself in those moments, he watches other creators such as Emily Diana Ruth, Evan Puschak, exurb1a, and The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. “The stylistic elements in their videos have always felt like they are pushing the boundaries of creativity on YouTube,” he explains.
“In terms of people, Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum of RoosterTeeth and John and Hank Green of vlogbrothers are the people that inspire me the most on YouTube because they successfully built sustainable, community-focused businesses that not only shaped YouTube as it is today but showed me that there is a way for business to be kind to community.”
That sense of community continues to be one of Taha’s favorite things about YouTube. Aside from friendships made on the platform with other creators, he loves that there is a space where he can talk about his own interests with other people who share them.
“I don’t really have a specific favourite memory; there are so many to choose from. Although, favourite experiences have been ones in which I have been able to talk to people whose content I have been a fan of for years in a peer-to-peer context. I’ve learned so much from those conversations and it’s helped me grow as a creator and person.”
Without an expiration date in sight for his channel, Taha says that his new goal is to focus on the Creators For Change initiative and how he can use it to make videos that make a difference. “I don’t generally have many goals for my channel,” he admits. “Right now, YouTube is a hobby and I feel like having goals for something I do purely for enjoyment would detract from the experience.
“But it’s been a dream of mine to one day be able to build a successful, community-focused business the way RoosterTeeth or John and Hank have – but that’s just a dream! Right now, I’m worrying about normal things like when I’ll be able to find time to make a video and how much revision I’ve procrastinated [instead of] doing.”
Yep, we know you’re a procrastinator, Taha! But whenever you do upload another video we’re sure it will just as entertaining and thought-provoking as the ones before, and we can’t want to see it.
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