The 15-year-old sprang to fame at 13 with a nine-second viral video titled “Calling All the Basic Bitches” that features him twirling his leg and making a special announcement before leaning close to the screen to whisper, “You’re basic.” It’s hard to quantify why the video struck such a chord—to the tune of 2.4 million views—but it spread quickly across blogs and over Gchat, well beyond the teen and tween viewership. In an instant, Quintal became the mascot for a new breed of teen superstar.
In his videos, he’s an unapologetically pure teenager. They’re emotional bursts of reactionary glory, mostly filmed from his mother’s Boston home, where he dishes about pop culture moments, reads hate comments, shares tips for everyday life as a teen, and collaborates with other YouTubers under the moniker of lohanthony, an homage to his favorite celebrity, Lindsay Lohan, who’s now a fan of his.
But he’s not resting on his laurels. He’s amassed more than 1.4 million Twitter fans and a gig hosting MTV’s Teen Wolf aftershow, and he has continued to be one of YouTube’s most popular voices since his start at age 10.
For The Kernel’s Teen Takeover issue, Quintal tells us how YouTube has changed during his time on the platform, which mega-mogul is a Twitter must-follow, and his dream collaboration.
Two of our Geek/Entertainment reporters, Rae Votta (blurintofocus) and Aja Romano (bookshop), currently have panels up for selection at South by Southwest’s Panel Picker that offer a crucial perspective on fandom communities that’s missing from many other submissions about fan culture.
If you enjoy our reporting on fandom, Tumblr, and YouTube cultures, please consider casting a vote in support of our panels! Even dropping a note of support in the comment sections will make our day. :)
SXSW Interactive: The No-Bullshit Guide to Interacting With Fandom: An honest guide for creatives & marketers on how to interact with fandom, navigate the Fourth Wall, and treat fans with respect, along with test cases for what works and what doesn’t.
SXSW Film: YouTube Grows Up: Community and Culture: A look at the dynamics of YouTube culture, the difference between successful YouTube content and successful media on television and other platforms, and what’s next for YouTube stars trying to maintain their independence.
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