Rafael Gomes never intended to become a full-time YouTube vlogger, but three years after the upload of his first video (a Miley Cyrus music video parody no less!) he has built a loyal fanbase he has nicknamed his “zebra community.” While his channel is sprinkled with vlog videos about his life, it is mainly comprised of cooking tutorials that teach viewers how to make sweet treats in record time. Originally from Portugal, Rafael is currently studying at a London university to become a television presenter and hopes to one day host his own television show. Never without a smile on his face, Rafael shares with NMR why he quit dental school for YouTube and which famous YouTuber has been his biggest inspiration.
Your channel takes an intimate look into your personal life. Was it ever hard letting people in like this? Is there anything you wouldn’t film or show?
Rafael Gomes: I see my viewers as my friends; they know me better than some people in my family. Of course it’s important to keep some bits of your life to yourself, but I don’t regret the exposure. I love being able to share my life with so many people from all over the world.
What are three random facts that people wouldn’t guess about your from watching your videos?
This is a difficult question because I’m generally open with my viewers about everything. I am completely obsessed with paranormal stories, I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, and I am colour blind. Yellow is one of the few colours I never fail to distinguish, so I always say it’s my favourite.
Being named a Next Vlogger, what about your channel will change and what will stay the same?
I hope this experience allows me to improve my video quality and expose my videos to more people. Those were the reasons why I applied for it in first place. I think the intimate interaction I have with my viewers and my colourful and positive appeal will stay the same.
In your “Draw Your Life” video you share that you originally followed the path of dentistry before pursuing your true passion of entertainment. What advice do you have for others afraid of following the “unconventional” dreams in life?
I was pushing myself through dental school because I didn’t think I’d be able to fit in the entertainment industry. YouTube made me realise that when you work hard and never stop believing yourself you will be able to reach your goals. If you’re not happy with your life right now, it’s never too late to start again and follow your passion.
Who has been the biggest inspiration to you as a YouTuber?
Shane Dawson had a huge impact on whether I should start making videos or not. I was a bit nervous about uploading myself to YouTube, but he seemed like he was having so much fun and connecting with so many people from all over the world. There were so many positive and inspirational aspects about his story, so I decided to give it a try.
About YouTube Next Vlogger Series 2013:
YouTube gave its yearly shoutout back in April for motivated YouTube creators with “stories of personal triumph” to apply for their Next Vlogger award — a sort of spotlight program for YouTube stars-in-the-making. This year, they’ve selected 15 unique voices from around the world that are challenging the way we think, wowing us or just plain making us laugh. In exchange for that, the recipients get mentoring from industry leaders, $4,000 worth of equipment and channel promotion.
NMR always wants to give you the first and best look at emerging talent, so we’ve reached out to these creators for a little more info on just who they are and why you should be paying attention. Past winners of the Next Vlogger award include Danisnotonfire and Black Nerd Comedy, so this 2013 class is definitely full of up-and-coming creators to keep an eye on.