Meet Perry O’Bree, the 24-year-old music and theatre fan sharing his passions on YouTube, a platform that more and more people everyday are taking to share their experiences.
It’s only a hobby for Perry, his nearly 2,000 subscribers are friends to him, fellow music fans looking to experience something together. But as he shares the story of a teenage girl’s mother coming up to him at a Little Mix show to thank him for his videos, which had brought a smile to her daughter’s face when in hospital for the girl group’s previous tour, there’s a great desire to make genuine connections clear in Perry’s voice. “For me, just to make one person smile is all that matters. If one or one hundred people watch my videos, it doesn’t matter.”
Having first started to play around with YouTube as a 13-year-old with his friends, the videos from which he laughs were taken off his channel years ago, it was when he started becoming a frequent attendee at concerts and theatre events that his passion was picked up again.
“The magic of live and being in the moment is really incredible. The biggest part of it all is being able to share that excitement and positivity.”
Perry’s content is wide-ranging, centering on music and theatre events. Joyous concert videos take you through the pre, during and post excitement of the night as if you are there with Perry himself. His run-ins with pop-stars, all of whom crack a smile without fail with Perry at the camera, bring a different side of the celebrity out. The sparkling trips to West End open up a musical box otherwise reserved to those within commuting distance to London.
Some of his most popular videos are reactions to new music releases. That is a trend that has taken off on the platform over the last two years and Perry has put his finger on exactly why:
“I think it’s just the happiness of it. The buzz of watching someone react to something you like and to feel, hey I felt like that too. The thrill of watching someone react to the same awesome thing an artist has said, or hearing a really catchy beat that they just have to dance to… to see that excitement on screen is a lot of fun.”
“Some people are able to say a song or album is terrible, but I could never criticise someone like that. Everyone has different tastes in music and, for artists who have worked really hard on an album, to call it rubbish is just unfair. You have to think about how they feel at the end of the day. Music is different for all people.”
“I absolutely love listening to the song the very first time and sharing my reaction. I get a real excitement at being able to share my excitement and to help that artist get the promo they deserve.”
He hints at Little Mix’s ‘Woman Like Me’ as being the next single he’s going to react to, the excitement in the self-proclaimed Mixer’s voice easy to pick out. Recent videos include a vlog to his first and second trip to see Six, the musical. “One of the most clever, quirky and fun musicals,” he labels it, expressing his love at seeing “six girls on stage, girl band, girl power,” with his trademark charm and enthusiasm.
Perry’s latest video follows his trip to see A Star Is Born, a raw look at just how touching that film can be to viewers.
“Lady Gaga has been a huge inspiration of mine since I was about 13-years-old but, in the film, she really becomes Ally and that was so special. Bradley Cooper’s character talking about drugs as well is tough but something that happens in the music industry. It’s hard-hitting but it is something that should be seen by a wider audience.”
Perry goes on to mention Demi Lovato and Whitney Houston, as well as it being World Mental Health Day when we chat. Whilst Perry is aware that “I am very positive” he talks of people who want “to put their perfect lives on social media”, and that not being a reality. In fact, some of the video-maker’s most popular work breaks away form his usual format and talks of his own struggles with hair-loss.
“I wanted to talk about it because there was such a big stigma around it. I started sharing my experiences online and talking to people going through similar things. It can get worrying, thinking you’re going to look ugly and noticing your friends aren’t going through it. To find someone online you can watch or reach out to or talk to is really important.”
That idea of reaching out is exactly what Perry loves when interacting with fandoms online, he himself rattles of Lady Gaga, Little Mix, Michael Bublé and Harry Potter as ones he considers himself part of. We talk about the importance of fandoms and how it can have such a positive impact on members.
“It’s important to be proud to be fans. Everyone is a fan of someone and it’s really important to be happy to speak about that online.”
He mentions the personal importance of Lady Gaga and her track ‘Born This Way’ as well as how outspoken the Little Mix girls are in their work as “music that has helped me be proud to be gay”.
“I think it’s [fandoms] absolutely amazing. You can go see an artist live and be with people who are like-minded and share feelings with you.”
Throughout our chat, one thing is clear: Perry O’Bree isn’t a YouTuber making the same generic content to keep an expensive lifestyle ticking over. It’s his hobby, a channel to share his passions and interact with people. The result? One of the most genuine content creators out there who deserves to reach an ever bigger audience. That’s a matter of time, though, this hidden gem won’t stay hidden for much longer.
Have you checked out Perry O’Bree? Let us know @CelebMix on Twitter.