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Everything evolves. New standards, trends and practices pop up daily to slowly become the new norm. Media is no different. As Millennials rise to the height of consumerism there has been a subtle shift in how the world distributes and accesses entertainment. In the wake of the YouTube generation, Jeremy Clayton, a rising senior at Howard University is determined to become a force in media. Bravely deciding to create a YouTube channel, ItsJayyClay, and starting out with a personal “My Coming Out Story” vlog, Jeremy creates fun and informative videos on a range of topics including LGBT, internships, and dating.

What made you want to get into vlogging and creating videos for YouTube?

Well It honestly started while I was in London. That was the first time I took serious video production, screen acting, and voice classes. Everything came so naturally to me. It kind of surprised me. Also, I’m a YouTube addict. I watch so many videos! Probably too many. But, what really inspired me to join the YouTube community was the fact that there aren’t many famous Black gay YouTubers. Most of the famous gay YouTubers are Caucasian. No one really looked like me or my friends and colleagues. So, I took it upon myself to change that. I want to be that person I needed when I was younger.

 Is it hard to express yourself and so much about yourself, having it accessed by literally anyone?

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetNot really. In the beginning, I would get really anxious and nervous after posting videos because I was more worried about looking stupid. Then, I made a decision to be fearless, shameless, and unapologetic.  I do have to admit that sometimes, when I’m editing my videos, I think about my family and how they will respond. But, then I remember that I signed up for this, I know they love me and I’m not doing anything they should be ashamed of.

What are you looking to accomplish with your YouTube Channel? What other ventures are you looking forward to?

My main mission is to inspire people to be themselves and to make people happy through my videos. However, since I’m going into my senior year, I had to really think about what I wanted to do post graduation. I know I want to be a TV host and actor, but those jobs are very hard to get . Also, I want to be my own boss. I want to be able to control the content I produce. So, I decided to make YouTube my job. Running a YouTube channel is very similar to running a small network. It’s like a one-man-show. I realized that the media industry is going digital and I need to follow that. Also, I noticed that when networks are looking for talent, they go to YouTube. It’s just easier and more cost-efficient. Networks want to work with talent that already have a strong following, so they don’t have to waste their money on someone people don’t like. I’m also looking forward to working with brands and other digital networks.
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So far what has been the hardest video for you to make?

The hardest video for me to make was probably my first video, the “Coming Out Story” video. It was weird because I was already “out”, but it felt like I was coming out all over again. But, I knew that had to be my first video because that set the tone for my channel. It was all or nothing for me. It helped me become more comfortable with myself. I can record myself in public without a care, which is very important for YouTube. 

What’s your favorite cocktail?

 Mmm margaritas! :-) 

If you had one “lesson from happy hour” or life lesson you’ve learned so far from friends? What would it be?

 Always tip the bartender well the first time, so he/she will always make your drink strong. 

Check out a few of Jeremy’s videos:

Visit the ItsJayClayy YouTube Channel Here

Twitter @ItsJayClayy  Instagram @ItJayClayy