YouTube star and Fanshawe alumna, Bailey Pelkman visits MIA students to chat about her success
Credit: PROVIDED BY BAILEY PELKMAN
Fanshawe Alumna Bailey Pelkman visited Fanshawe Music Industry Arts (MIA) students and spoke about her musical journey as a YouTube sensation.
She's also opened for musical greats Shawn Hook and Vanessa Carlton, and plays Britney on the Netflix/Family Channel TV show Lost and Found Music Studios.
Pelkman's introduction to internet stardom began when she was in grade 12. At this time Pelkman posted a cover of the well-known “Cups” song from the movie Pitch Perfect onto YouTube.
Although many people have released covers of this song online, Pelkman's stood out as she merged it with a cover of a well-known song by The Beatles.
In these early days, Pelkman had no idea of the many windows this YouTube channel would open.
“I didn't start it with the thought of it being a career”, she recalled. However, the video quickly went viral, gaining over 100,000 views in its first week online. Shortly after, she posted a “Thriller” cover which garnered 150,000 views in two days and gained her international attention.
Since that time, she has released a steady stream of musical videos with now over 100 uploaded online. They collectively have over 5,000,000 views.
Pelkman shared that “If you want to [create videos for] YouTube as a career, you have to think of it as a business”, attributing much of her success to this mindset.
“Figuring out your brand is very important,” she said, believing, that as a YouTuber, one also has target demographic of customers that the brand must be tailored towards.
Another key to her success has been the loyalty that Pelkman's shown for her fans.
“I reply to all my comments,” tells Pelkman, believing it's important to make fans feel important, as she wouldn't be where she is without their support.
In terms of content, Pelkman tries to release videos that are both creative and authentic. “There has to be something about the content you're creating that's original that will make you stand out,” she said.
Working with other artists is one way that Pelkman keeps her videos interesting and original, while continuing to expand her audience.
“Collaborating is super, super important…you're gaining a whole new set of eyes that otherwise wouldn't have seen you,” states Pelkman. Some of the great YouTubers she's collaborated with includes Peter Hollens and Malinda Kathleen Reese.
After years of dedication to her art and developing her online brand, Pelkman is able to make a living entirely through her music income streams. When asked if she would ever take an offer given to her by a label, Pelkman said “I would most likely not be interested…this is a business and it's my business and I would like to be in control of that… you'll never trust someone more than you trust yourself.”
Pelkman's channel continues to grow with new videos being released regularly and her subscriber base continuing to expand at fast rate. Those interested in following along and discovering more about Pelkman can find her online at BaileyPelkman.com, facebook.com/BaileyPelkman or twitter.com/bpelkman. Her videos can be found on YouTube at YouTube.com/BaileyPelkman and her music can be heard on all major streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.