“I hope my viewers find something good in my content, that [it] makes their day a bit better.”
YouTube is a place where people can share their talents. Most notably, it’s seen musicians from across the world take a chance and upload their music for all to hear. It’s a daring move, as music can oftentimes be about topics which are personal to the artist, but it’s one that Maisie Marshall has taken in order to build herself a career through her life’s passion.
Maisie, who is better known online as Mais Violet, created her YouTube channel back in 2012, but didn’t start uploading to it until 2013, when she was just 12 years old. Back then, her motivation for doing so was the site’s “community and the whole support system that seemed to come with making content”, a sentiment many creators making videos on the site share. While her original videos are no longer visible, her video catalogue goes back to 2014, starting with A New (and Better) First Video.
Currently, Mais’ channel sits at just under 1,100 subscribers and features a blend of original music, update videos and more chatty-style vlogs, which make you feel like you and she are the closest of friends. Known for her colourful hair, which gives us major Hayley Williams vibes, and her bubbly personality, her content is real, and those who watch it know they’re getting to see the real Mais and not some character she’s created for the camera.
As aforementioned, Mais has been using her channel as of late to help launch her music career, something she she decided to do, in spite of the nerves she initially felt. “I’ve always been very private about my music,” she shares. “The first time I ever sang in from of anyone was at 16, the same age I uploaded my first song to my channel. So, to say I was nervous would be an understatement.” The move was a good one, as this helped her to form a tight-knit community of viewers who not only enjoy her music, but also offer her support.
Since uploading her first music-related video to YouTube, Mais has moved on to professionally release her songs. In March 2018, she released her debut EP, Letters, which was followed that December by a Christmas EP. She has since formed the band, Harsh Light. While she feels YouTube may not be the best way to spread her sound, due to changes involving the algorithm, she still sees it as useful when it comes to the release of music videos.
“I see YouTube helping with the spread of my music, mainly through music videos now, because [it] doesn’t seem to promote smaller channels at all anymore,” she says. “So, instead of using it as my main platform for releases as I used to, I now use streaming services to distribute. However, because music videos offer something visual, I think YouTube is still the best platform for that content.”
Given Mais has been an avid viewer of YouTube since 2012, she’s been witness to the ever-changing landscape of the site and how its creators have evolved in terms of their content. “My first favourite creator was, without a doubt, Connor Franta. Nowadays, I watch a lot of the channel ThreadBanger [and] John and Hank Green,” she shares. “Another long-term favourite that’s never really wavered is Luke Cutforth. I have a lot of respect for him as a creator and person.”
Those feelings she has about Luke and the other creators she watches are the same her viewers feel toward her. The community she has built around her channel is an active one, frequently commenting on new uploads and interacting with her on Twitter. One reason for this is how real and relatable she is, traits that aren’t always shown on YouTube, and it’s something she hopes people take from her channel.
“I’d like for people to be able to relate to my content, including music, in any way that makes them feel positive,” she explains. “I’m never going to police what people should feel about my content, but I hope that my viewers find something good in my content that makes their day a bit better.”
As for the future of her channel?
“I would like to see myself uploading consistently, if I’m being honest,” she shares. “I would like to release music videos and behind-the-scenes of those shoots, and just generally start using my channel for creativity, without worry about what will fit with a certain image or idea.”
This is something we think everyone can get behind.
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Nathan Zed recently taught us how to be more comfortable about being alone. Alternatively, you could read about dodie‘s reaction to the letter her 20-year-old self wrote five years ago.