Honesty is a rare gift in entertainment — the ability and the fortitude to tell the truth despite what people might say about you. And as far as honesty goes, there might not be anyone in YouTube more honest than This Is a Commentary’s Tre Melvin. How does NMR know? Well, according to our interview with the YouTube multi-hyphenate funnyman, personality and singer, there isn’t too much he likes about YouTube. And if you’re a YouTuber, there’s a good chance he doesn’t like you. But you know what he does like? His friends and his fans — the people that are real and honest with him. And we like that, even though we play the goddamn phony game as much as anyone else in this business.
But if you’re in Tre’s inner circle, he’s more than honest with you — he extends himself to you. See down in the interview where he let a fan and her mom move in with him for a month because they got evicted and had no place else to go. Society tends to think that honest or seemingly “abrasive” people are the bullies and the jerks. But frequently, the opposite is true. They are the people holding us to a higher standard than we hold ourselves — and if we don’t live up to their expectations, they let us know it. Maybe it isn’t that Tre Melvin doesn’t like you, maybe he just wants you to be the best person you can be — and so far you aren’t living up to your capabilities.
Tre also came out as bisexual this year — and according to him, it’s been an incredibly liberating and positive experience. Check out our interview with him below and see if he doesn’t influence you to start living a little more honestly yourself.
What compelled you to become a vlogger?
Tre Melvin: I don’t consider myself a vlogger. When I first started, I wasn’t even on YouTube. The first episode I put on Facebook wasn’t even considered an episode. It was just out of boredom. Some of my friends just told me to put it on YouTube. I put it on YouTube, and they kept telling me to make more. And it just kind of blew up a lot quicker than the average stuff on YouTube, I think. And in a week and four days I already had like a thousand subscribers. And these weren’t just my friends and family; these were people that I didn’t know as well. So yeah, I know a lot of YouTubers consider themselves vloggers, but honestly I see those people as the people who don’t really have talent. I consider each and every one of my videos — I don’t even refer to them as “videos” — I refer to them as episodes just because it takes a lot more work that I have to put into it than a lot of people realize. It started out of boredom and then getting the fanbase, and I’m kind of just figuring it out.
Why do you think you caught on like you did? What made you so popular?
I really just answer everything to my fans; I have such a loyal fanbase. I know a lot of people don’t have that. And it’s not anything in particular that I’ve done to get myself out there. I don’t do advertisings. I owe it all to my fans telling their friends, and then their friends tell their friends and their family, and it kind of gets around virally like that. I do take pride in keeping a really close relationship with my fanbase. They trust me and I trust them. I have like 20 or 30 of them in my phone that I text regularly. So yeah, I do have a really close relationship with them. And I think that definitely helps a lot with keeping a relationship with them and keeping everything open.
That’s great that you have a really close relationship with your fans. Has it ever gotten where it’s gone over the line a little bit, or have you had fans that have maybe became a little too obsessive?
It’s funny that you said that, because about 20 or 15 minutes ago, one of my fans that has been around forever, she just texted me. And I’m a really bad texter. But there’s her and a couple other fans included, and I don’t consider them annoyances or too possessive ‘cause I do understand that to a lot of people I am their everything. There’s just a lot of them who really wouldn’t even be here had I not started my show. So I don’t consider them annoying, but I think sometimes some of them don’t realize that I have to cater to millions of people around the world. So I can’t really be there 100 percent of the time for each and every one of them. But I have to try my best to be there. I had a fan back in February who was evicted; she’s been a fan forever. It’s actually kind of weird ‘cause I was just saying this story to friends. Her mother was evicted at the beginning of February, and she texted me maybe a week later asking for money for a down payment for an apartment. Anyway, we got everything straightened out. They ended up staying with me — they were only supposed to stay with me for a couple weeks or so, but they ended up staying a month. But the whole time they were with me there weren’t any problems, no issues whatsoever, and I was finally able to help them get back up on their feet. I think that’s just one of the many examples of literally how close I am to my fans. Yeah, but I don’t consider any of them annoying though.
So what would you consider then the worst part of being an entertainer? Is there some part that is negative?
There is a lot of negative, but thankfully my supporters keep me grounded. I think it’s really important too to stay humble. I mean sometimes it sucks waking up and just knowing that there’s certain things that I have to do. I have to put every single thing out there as opposed to like an average person. So it does suck always being under the radar. And all the judging people, there’s always people judging. I’m just grateful to be where I am and I think that I have some issues every now and then, but I just kind of, I guess, appreciate the fact that things aren’t as bad as I know they will be in the future.
Now speaking of being able to put things out there and share things, you chose January 1 of this year to come out as a bisexual, correct?
Okay, why did you choose January 1? Was it like a New Year’s resolution, was it just a way to get the year off right, was it just something that had to be done?
The name of my video was “My New Year’s Resolution,” and coming out wasn’t necessarily my New Year’s resolution. It was just taking pride and being real. Not with everyone else but with myself starting this year. There was just a lot of shit that I went through last year. I’m from Ohio; I moved to Orlando. And it’s weird that it’s almost been a year since I’ve moved here. I’ve just learned a lot and I met a lot of people and went through a lot of shit. At the end of the year, I was just tired of really just giving a fuck. I’m tired of worrying about everybody else. I’m tired of living for other people. And I do have the people that I’ve met here in Orlando to thank for that.
That’s awesome. Have things changed noticeably as a result of you making this declaration?
Change, definitely. But I think just a lot better for me. I didn’t expect the reaction that I got. I hardly got any negativity. If there was more negativity than what I saw, then I wasn’t even aware of it. Things are definitely a lot better than I expected them to be. It’s just easier. There’s literally nothing in the world that I have to hide anymore. I think that’s the best part about it. Not only with myself or with my fans, but with my friends too.