Interview with Frostmatic : From Zero to Someone on Youtube
There is no standard path for a successful life and career. We all live our lives differently. Some people take their time discovering what they’re meant to do, while others knew they already had it in them and they just needed the right place and venue to show it.
For the first of our interview series, we will see a glimpse of what life and success are like for a Youtube artist who is fondly called “Frostmatic.” We’ve all heard of YouTube. Perhaps you own a channel there or like spending time viewing the channels of your favorite artists. But little do we know what kind of work that an artist has to do to carve his own name in this part of the web.
The Man Behind the Name
Frostmatic is living proof that we can go from zero to someone. But his career took off, and not so suddenly, Greg became the Frostmatic. And Frostmatic made his way from just a few subscribers to hundred thousands of them! It started with a name, then came in his music and unique videos that endeared him to his fans.
Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Okay, whether you’re a YouTuber, a budding visual artist, or a veteran in running businesses, there is one thing you need to remember which ever your career path is: success doesn’t happen overnight. You go through a process. You might encounter a few misses, you fail a few times or meet some road blocks. This YouTube artist right here has even made the mistake of taking care of his copyright responsibilities which resulted in quite a loss in profit.
But after overcoming these shortcomings and coming out stronger and wiser, you will soon realize that you needed those negative experiences to shape you into a better person.
A Little Help Goes a Long Way
YouTubers like Frostmatic rely on their brands to make a difference in the online entertainment scene. It isn’t always quick or easy to launch yourself as a brand, maintain the momentum and reach the next level. Sometimes, a little help goes a long way. You might falter through the challenges, but having a coach to cheer you up, motivate you and get you back on track is instrumental to success.
Can you tell our readers about yourself and the tale behind the name “Frostmatic”?
My name is Greg. But I am probably better known by my stage name "Frostmatic.” I am primarily a YouTube rapper and Frostmatic is the name I use for all online activity, including my music.
The name Frostmatic actually started out as a bit of a joke between me and my brother. But in the early 00's I needed a screen name for something like AIM or Myspace or something, but every good name was taken. So I thought about it a little and decided to give the name Frostmatic a try. And to my complete surprise, it was available. So for every form of online interaction where a unique identifier was required, I always used the name Frostmatic. It is always available, because I AM Frostmatic. Literally nobody else used the name, it was mine and mine alone. There has been a couple of others using renditions of the name as of late, but they are derived from me and are fans of mine.
I believe my career started with the name. Due to the uniqueness of the name, it was always memorable. Rather the name was on Soundcloud, Xbox, Twitter, whatever, if you seen it even once you would remember it, even if only vaguely. The ownership of the name created consistency for me and people who wanted to find me. It was the beginning of my brand.
How did you become the music artist that you are now?
Initially I started off doing freestyles of popular songs. I would post them to Myspace and spam everyone asking for people to listen and give me feedback. Feedback was "mixed" to put it lightly. But as a 13 year old what do you expect. Mostly negative, some positive, but I enjoyed what I did, and thats what mattered. So I kept doing it and I slowly improved. Learned about leveling, effects, splicing and all this other stuff that slowly made me better. It was just fun for me. But I kept putting out content. Then something hit me a year or so later.
I was thinking to myself (as I so often do) what do I like to watch on YouTube? I'm like… funny videos of course. So I got this idea to combine my two favorite things at the time, music and video games. My favorite game at the time was Halo 3. So I did a song about Halo 3 to the "Crank Dat" beat.
After about two months it had gotten about 1,000 views. I couldn't believe it! I thought I was famous. But it was a funny video, people liked it, people shared it. Then a year after I posted it, it was at about 20,000 views. Crazy. To me. At the time. But that taught me something. It taught me to make content that people would want to watch, for whatever reason. So that’s what I did. Then an opportunity came to me in 2011. My favorite football team is the Denver Broncos and they had a QB at the time named Tim Tebow. The guy was talked about non stop on just about every media outlet. So again, I used my formula. Music+Tebow=Success. I did a song about Tim Tebow to the "Paris" beat by Kanye and Jay- Z. I posted the video on a Monday, and by Saturday it had maybe 100 views if that. Then Tebow went out and won a crazy playoff game the next day and I noticed my numbers went up a bit.
It went from 100 to 301 in a day and I thought that was amazing. So about two days passed and I noticed my view count didn’t go up at all. So on the third day I checked the views again…28,000! I went from no views to 28,000 in a little over a week. I was so proud, little old me, 28k on YouTube. But that success just made me want more, but now I was ready to get paid for it.
How do you earn money through YouTube?
Back in the day, in order to get paid from YouTube you had to have a certain amount of views. Due to my Halo song, my Tebow song, and a couple others, I had reached the threshold. I was ready. I went through the whole process. Gave my info for tax purposes, gave bank info so they could deposit the money, I was good to go. But man, nobody told me how hard it was gonna be to actually see the money. In order to get paid you needed at least $100 in your "pool". You get money in your pool each time an ad plays on your video. You might get 0.009 per ad. And yes that is the correct amount of zeroes. So in order to reach $100 making less than one cent per view and with YouTube taking 40% I knew I was going to need a lot more views. So with me unable to make money on the songs I had made due to copyright issues, I had to make original content , so it was time to change the formula.
What are your strategies to get noticed on YouTube and get more clicks?
Vibe=Titling. With clicks meaning more than anything, I had to find a way for people to click my videos. With not many people knowing the name Frostmatic, I had to give them another reason to click. I started titling my videos based on the vibe of the song. I found which vibes generated the most views and rolled with that. I put my lyrics on the screen so they would have something to follow along with and I noticed it worked. My first song to hit 100k views was a song called "Street Lights" but the title of the video was "One of the Deepest Raps Ever Written". It took a year to get there, but it got me subscribers. People liked what they clicked to enough to subscribe and want to be informed on every other video I put out in the future. That process is what works for me. Now I have about 8 million views total, 30 thousand subscribers, and make enough from YouTube on a monthly basis to pay my phone, internet, and car note.
It took me some time to find my niche, but I found it. If the climate changes I am aware I will have to adapt and change with it. But due to the work I put in early, I have people who will be exposed to whatever content I put out. The loyal fan base that I built through the consistency of my brand will help propel me forward in any endeavors I pursue.
What are your career goals in the next 5 to 10 years?
My career goals for the next 5 to 10 years are quite simple. Because I only have one. That goal is to be a contracted songwriter for major and independent artist. Not everyone can sing, not everyone can write, but that's why we collaborate. You do what you do well, I do what I do well, and together we can make something great. I've recently been contacted to do some writing for an internet songwriting company. It's still early in the process but I'm eager to see how it goes.
How long did it take to hit 100k on YouTube?
The video was uploaded maybe a year. It slowly but surely started to gain views on its own. I've never been one for promoting or spamming because it doesn't really work. But I put out good content, people liked it, shared it with others and grew to 100k. It was a major milestone and pushed me to go harder. But prior to that the channel was up and running for maybe three years or so. So it took a while.
What are lessons you learned making money as a YouTube artist?
Make sure you have rights to your music. If you do not have the rights, you can end up making someone else money. It happened to me. I posted a song and I didn't have the rights to the instrumental. It took me about a year (with severe procrastination on my part) to get the rights to it. For a year, and maybe 200k views someone else was getting paid. So make sure your affairs are in order.
How are you going to take your career to the next level?
Being persistent and consistent as well as showing growth. Music is a weird medium. Music is personal and a depiction of my life at the moment. If someone becomes a fan, they like the you, from that part of your life. As you change, so does the music, and not everyone will like that. It's a balancing act of trying to make as many people as possible happy, yet staying true to yourself.
What advice can you give those just starting out?
Make sure you love what you do. Make sure you are OK with not making money for doing it. If you do it with the intent of making money and being famous and all that, you won't get it. I guarantee it. You're doing it for the wrong reason. Do it because you like it, and you wanna show other people why you like it. That's the key. People like other people who remind them of themselves. That's why people like Cardi B and Tiffany Haddish are so popular. They're just regular people that other people identify with. So people support them. Be true to you, be true to your craft, and you will prosper. I promise you.
How important is having a career coach?
A career coach is fairly important. Everyone needs someone to keep them on that path. It's easy to become stagnant and rest on your laurels. But having someone behind you, letting you know you still have further to go is a great thing to have. With life and other things going on its easy to put those hobbies on the back burner. But with a coach keeping you focused and motivated you'll definitely go a lot farther.
Contact Frostmatic or Subscribe to his YouTube channel here.