The Truth About Working with Ariana Grande + More Secrets from Alfie Deyes
Alfie Deyes was a normal teenager when he started his YouTube channel, PointlessBlog, back in 2009. Now, over five years later, the 21-year-old YouTuber has almost 4 million subscribers, over 2 million Twitter followers and a one best-selling book!
Next on his calendar? His second book, The Pointless Book 2 will hit stores in the US on April 7th (!!!), and to celebrate the pages of fun, random activities, we chatted with Alfie about all things YouTube, his love for Ed Sheeran & Shawn Mendes, working with Ariana Grande and more!
Teen: We LOVED The Pointless Book, so how will the second one be even better?
Alfie Deyes: “[The second book is a ] complete opportunity for us to step up the game and have much more. The pages will be a lot more interactive and there is a lot more content. Obviously, there is an app involved, so there is exclusive content and videos on my YouTube. Stuff like that. This book really takes it to a whole other level and made me cross the bridge between me and the audience. It’s made it even easier for me to access the audience and for the audience to access me. It just has more content, better content and is just a lot more fun.”
T: Obviously the first one was super interactive and gave fans the chance to do things and play with their friends. But, is there more about you in this one? Is it a little more personal?
AD: “There’s not more about me. With the first one, I didn’t know how well it was going to go or how people were going to take it. So I really just went for it this time and put a lot more creative input into each page and made sure that each page was a lot of fun to do. There is so much more content from my side of things — more exclusive videos, more things to do with the app — and I can’t give away too much, but there is so much technology that I didn’t even know was possible.”
T: That’s so cool! Speaking of the videos, let’s talk about YouTube for a bit. It’s been a few years since your first video. Do you remember the first day you decided you were going to put a video on YouTube?
AD: “Yeah! I watched YouTube for years and years before I started. I always loved the interaction and the opportunity to get to know someone through the Internet that you wouldn’t get to know without YouTube being there. So, I followed each event and would beg my dad to take me to London to meet these people and buy merchandise. And I got to speak to other people and YouTubers and just thought this community was so awesome. One day I just thought I would try to make a video myself. I didn’t tell any of my friends or anybody at all. It was my own little secret project that I thought I would try out.”
T: Who were some of the YouTubers that you were buying the merchandise for or that you wanted to meet?
AD: “There were a lot of people! The Shaytards…Rhett and Link…”
T: Do you have a favorite past video that you’ve done that you’re really proud of or that you have an emotional attachment to?
AD: “There’s a video I did, and it was the first one I did with Marcus [Butler]. It was the Chicken Nugget Challenge. It was the first time that I met up with someone that I only knew through YouTube and that I never met before. So, we decide to meet up and do a video together and see what would happen if we were in the same video. I remember it being so strange because I had always seen his bedroom and knew so much about him because I had seen his videos. So, it was like were friends right away.”
T: Did you ever make a video that was really difficult? Like, maybe you weren’t sure if it would go as you planned, or wouldn’t be received the way you wanted it to?
AD: “Yeah, the only video that I ever done like that was a video that was called something along the line of, ‘We Need to Talk.’ It was on my main YouTube channel. It was basically all about the YouTube culture and fandom and people that watch our videos. And just how extreme it can be and how involved and invested people can get in our lives. It was just reminding people that we are normal and exactly the same as whoever is watching the video. I just happen to be on the other side of the camera. [It was] kind of to remind them that you only get to see 12 or 15 minutes of our day and that you don’t need to scrutinize every single detail — just enjoy the video. That video was obviously a risky thing. I just wanted people to keep in mind that this is stuff for them to enjoy that we put up for free. And if you don’t enjoy them then you don’t have to watch them. Instead of leaving a hate comment, just don’t watch!”
T: We’re sure you’ve had some pretty intense encounters. Any crazy fan experiences?
AD: “I don’t know. Things aren’t that crazy…”
T: No one has ever waited outside your house or followed you somewhere?
AD: “Of course, of course. I don’t think that’s that crazy, though. I mean, it’s strange, but people are so excited and so happy and so nice. They are genuinely excited to meet you that there is nothing ever too crazy. It’s usually a positive moment because they just want a picture and they’re happy. The thing is, it’s me [that they see on YouTube]. It’s not an act and I’m not an actor. What they’re meeting is what they know and have seen. They know the deal.”
T: Is there a place that’s off limits? Would you prefer them not to wait outside your house?
AD: “Of course. Some people do get carried away. Waiting outside of the house definitely isn’t cool. But when I bump into people outside on the streets, they are always so cool. It’s always a happy and nice experience. I get to thank them for watching my videos.”
T: Switching subjects a bit, was there ever a celebrity that you were surprised to find out knew who you were?
AD: “Yeah, there are so many crazy opportunities and moments with people I meet. And you can never really know if someone knows who you are or not. And everyone expects celebrities to have this aurora around them and be so crazy. Like, I had chat with Ed Sheeran once and we were just sitting down and having coffee. And honestly I have no clue if he I knew who I was; He probably didn’t.”
T: OMG! What did you guys talk about?
AD: “We just chatted. We were both backstage at an event and just sat down and talked. One time I was filming with Ariana Grande and just talked to her for 15 minutes. It’s hard to remember that these are normal people.”
T: We remember that video with Ari! How was it working with her back then?
AD: “When I was offered to do a video with her I thought it was awesome. She seemed like she could be really fun since she was on TV and stuff. I would never just do a video with someone because they are famous; It would have to be a video that I want to do as well. But, she seemed like she would be fun and okay to go along with the jokes. When she came in she was so down to earth and friendly. And afterwards I asked for an Instagram picture with her. And since we did ‘Ariana Grande Does My Makeup’ and she was wearing white, her manager was like. ‘we don’t want to get your makeup on her.’ But, she was like, ‘of course we can!’ And she gave me a hug and we took pictures. She was so friendly and she tweeted me after, too.”
T: Let’s go back to the book. It’s whole purpose is to prevent you from being bored. What do you like to do in your time when you’re not vlogging or doing YouTube work?
AD: “You know, [I like to do] the things in life that are weird. Like Rubik’s Cubes and all of that! I’m somebody who in my spare time just learns every weird talent that one can possibly learn.”
T: What are some of those weird talents?
AD: “I can do a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. That’s kind of like where the book stems from — pointless, random stuff that I love doing.”
T: You’ve collaborated with tons of people, but is there someone left on your list that you’d love to do a video with?
AD: “I’d like to do a video with Taylor Swift! I would also like to do one with Connor Franta. I’ve hung out with him before, but I haven’t had a chance to do a video yet.”
T: Since Teen.com is celebrity based, who are some of your favorite stars?
AD: “I’m going to go with Taylor Swift. I love her music. And the typical people I guess. I was going to say Ed Sheeran next. I love his music and him in general.”
T: What’s a song you sing in the shower?
AD: “Probably Shawn Mendes. Maybe ‘Show You’ or ‘A Little Too Much.'”
T: Last question. Who’s your all-time celebrity crush?
AD: “It always was and always will be Emma Watson. She’s awesome. I heard she was dating Prince Harry, though…”