Jamaican YouTubers have been upping the ante all quarantine, from Quite Perry’s cake-decorating fail and The Carter Family’s unsparing pranks, to sibling challenges with RolleySoEasy, doses of motivation with Iandra Babooram and Atlas-starring vlogs with Tami Chin Mitchell.
Though the local entertainment scene has been indefinitely disrupted because of the faceless coronavirus, life for video content creators goes on, even when it means filming indoors.
“I still have to get stuff done as I have to live; I have stuff that I want to do for my family and if I slow down or stop it’s gonna take me longer to do it,” well-known YouTuber Jason Whyte told BUZZ. “I want to be the best YouTuber there is and I’m nowhere near there so I have to keep working regardless.”
Whyte, who has three channels (Razablade TV, Razablade TV Vlogs and The Razablade family), is famed for his outdoor content, from daring social experiments and public interviews to daily vlogs. Needless to say, ‘quarantine and film’ has proved challenging.
“I started my YouTube journey doing videos inside but I’ve evolved into that person who is always out and about,” he said. “As YouTubers, we can’t really keep a fan base doing videos inside all the time because people get bored easily… My audience has gotten used to me doing videos outside so to come back inside and try to think of creative ways to keep them entertained is very hard. It slow down the production but I’ve managed to keep people hooked right through.”
“It’s a lot of work and sometimes it’s stressful but I have goals that I want to achieve by the time I’m 30.”– YouTuber Sue-Ann Gordon-Pitter
Among his offerings are three web series, the latest of which is dubbed Unlucky. The four-part drama wrapped up production two days ahead of the first curfew order in March.
“I knew that something was gonna come up that would prevent us from going on the road based on the lockdowns I heard about in other countries. I had to do the smart thing and keep it short but good. People a seh dem wish it was longer but I can come up with something else.”
While 2020 has become a sinister meme on social media, Whyte is still optimistic.
“I had a lot of collabs lined up and stuff I wanted to get done and I definitely wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to still make this my year on YouTube. As soon as me hear seh the place free up and we can go outside, I’m outside.”
Leading YouTuber Sue-Ann Gordon-Pitter (Petite-Sue) continues to be the consistency queen despite the new normal, taking viewers into her daily world on Petite-Sue Vlogs, and serving all things skin, beauty and hair on Petite-Sue Diviniti.
“This pushes me to be more creative with being at home and finding something to vlog as restaurants and movies are closed, parties aren’t being held…and that’s what a lifestyle vlogger does,” she said. “Business has also dropped as a lot of places are not experiencing certain sales so certain ads aren’t running through the channel. If they are, it’s not the same amount of revenue.”
On the flip side, Gordon-Pitter said her ‘Diviniti nation’ has been requesting more content to stay entertained during this period. She has also had time for self-introspection.
“Before I had really serious goals, but they just got ten times more serious with this reminder that we don’t have much time on earth,” she said. “I’ve recently found myself writing down my schedule for the day and I stick to it…I make sure I get up at a certain time to workout…I make sure I’m eating right and then I get to filming. I immediately go to editing afterwards and still find time to vlog in between. It’s a lot of work and sometimes it’s stressful but I have goals that I want to achieve by the time I’m 30. I feel this is God giving us a second chance.”