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YouTube star Zach Clayton talks with Long Island kids

YouTube star Zach Clayton, center, with Kidsday reporters,

YouTube star Zach Clayton, center, with Kidsday reporters, from left, Michaela New, Catherine Meyers, Brianna Hecht, Samantha Hauk and Samantha Schatzer. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met YouTube star Zach Clayton when he was visiting Manhattan recently. He had so many funny stories to tell us and at the end he even sang with us. So much fun!

We heard that you’re trying to deal with anti-bullying, and we were wondering, what does it consist of?

Well, I have a really big following on social media, and like thousands of people comment and look at all my stuff. So I try to use that attention — because I have a lot of power — for anti-bullying, because I went through bullying and stuff, so I know how it feels. So I just try to use all my powers and supporters to kind of get a movement going.

What are your songs about?

All my songs are about my mom. No, I’m just kidding. My songs usually are about me, to be honest. Like, looking for love, and one of my new songs, if you just listen to the lyrics, it’s all about me and how weird I am.

Do you come up with the name BruhItsZach?

Everybody asks me that. I don’t know. It just came to me. It’s not like I thought of it. It was like two years ago, so “Bruh” was like, everybody did it. Everybody said “Bruh.” It was the thing. It’s cool.

What kind of support do you like the best from your fans, and how do you like to communicate with them?

I love how my supporters add, “Hey, comment this,” or tag a friend [on his posts]. Because you know you can read and be like, “Oh, like whatever.” I like when I’m trying to spread a message, like get something out. I’m like, Hey, can you guys spread the word and tag your friends or whatever? I get 20,000 comments from people tagging their friends.

Now that you’re an internet sensation, how do you make time to visit your family?

Well, my mom comes with me everywhere I go. I can’t go without her. So I’m always with my mom. But a lot of my friends are actually online. I met most of my friends online. So when I’m out late or when I’m here in New York, like my friends live here. So it’s like a reunion, you can say. But traveling a lot, I don’t see my pets. I miss my pets. I am home, though. And I like to take breaks, like after I’m traveling for a while. I’m like, all right, I want to stay home for three months, and then I can travel again.

Do your friends treat you differently now than before?

All of my friends that I talk to at home, they’ve been my friends before social media. So like, no, really, we still act the same. Hang out the same. And they like to not even think about me being a famous kid. You know, they still treat me like Zach Clayton.

Now that you’re a celebrity, when you travel and go to different restaurants or just go out in general, do you have to have security with you or are you free to go wherever you want?

No, no security. If I see people or I run into them, I don’t mind. I would prefer not to have security so I can actually talk to my supporters and meet them. Because they either paid money to come see me or they stop me sometimes. I’ll be on public Snapchat, and I’ll be like, how did you find me? I told them on Snapchat!

What are the most enjoyable parts of your life, like hanging out with other celebrities?

Honestly, I love going to Playlist [a convention held primarily for YouTube content creators]. I like going to those because everybody on social media goes. And then we just all get together. And it’s just like a big family reunion, you can say. And then touring. I love to tour with all of them because it’s like being on the road, adventuring the world with your best friends.

Do you like to blog?

I love blogging. Blogging is my favorite thing in the world.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue your type of career?

I would say be yourself because there’s a lot of people that try to act like they’re someone they’re not. And it’s just not going to work. If you’re being yourself, you’re having fun and you enjoy what you’re doing, then go for it, you know. Just be really dedicated and passionate with what you do.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the fame?

Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Sometimes in public I’ll meet people and they’ll scream, and it’s in McDonald’s or something. So everybody looks at me, and I’m just like, All right. So sometimes it’s a little chaotic.

Do you still go to school?

Oh, no. I do online school. I do miss public school though. Because like the prom and all that stuff. All my classes are online.

Now that you have millions of followers on Instagram, how did you figure they would find out about you?

I don’t know where to start. I don’t really know how it all started. Like when I first found out about it, I wasn’t a social media kid. I didn’t even have Instagram. I may have had Instagram for my cat. But I didn’t have a Twitter. I didn’t have Snapchat. I didn’t have all that stuff. I had YouTube. I didn’t have an account, though. But, yeah, I was just like a normal kid who had no idea about social media. Like I didn’t know anything. So when I did hear, and I got introduced to it, like by me accidentally going on now, and then like it becoming a thing, I learned everything and realized how cool it was, you know. It was really random how it happened.

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