Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.

Like many other musicians with high subscriber counts, Alex Goot first made a name for himself with his cover versions of well-known songs. However, his recently completed tour, along with his now seven-digit subscriber count, proves that Goot has an audience of his own. We talked to him about his life, his music, and his place on YouTube.

Tubefilter: How does it feel to crack a million subs, and what would you like to say to the fans who have helped you reach this milestone?

Alex Goot: It feels surreal when I think about 1,000,000 people having clicked the “subscribe” button on my channel – it’s an almost incomprehensibly large number. To every viewer who decided to subscribe to me – the first thing I can think to say is a sincere, honest, and humble “thank you”. It really is unbelievable and I’m thankful every single day.

TF: As someone who has made his fame primarily on YouTube, how do you think the presence of such a platform helps unknown musicians? 

AG: I had been making music for years before I had a YouTube channel. I always had a small fanbase, but it was EXTREMELY difficult for me to get my name out there. Once I started posting videos where people could actually see how my music is created and how I perform it, I think I started to make a real connection. YouTube is truly amazing in that way – it makes it possible to form an instant bond with your audience. A bond that allows fans and casual viewers to truly “get” what an artist is all about.

TF: Conversely, what do you feel are some of the obstacles that young musicians must overcome when looking for an audience on YouTube?

AG: Standing out from the crowd. To a certain extent, I’d say it’s all about making up your own rules. Don’t do things just because you heard that’s the way you’re “supposed” to do them. I’m a firm believer that if you truly express yourself, and believe in what you’re doing with an undying passion, it’s obvious. And it’s magnetic. People connect with obvious passion. I know I do.

TF: You’ve done lots of collaborations with other YouTube musicians. Do you find you have a kinship with people like Boyce Avenue and Kurt Hugo Schneider because of the similar path you all took to notability?

AG: Absolutely – it’s such a healthy community of friendship and respect. There’s definitely a strong “family” type kinship amongst us. It’s really cool to see everyone help and support each other.

TF: A lot of your popular YouTube videos are cover songs. How do you choose which songs to cover and what role do covers play on your channel now that your original music has gained a foothold?

AG: My mission statement from day one on YouTube has always been the same. It’s simple: (1) Grow my fanbase, and (2) get my fans to fall in love with my original music. I want people to connect. Not just with me, but with each other. All through my music. People enjoy covers, sure, but in my mind they’ll never fully connect with an artist who isn’t putting out strong original material. I try to approach writing my music from a listeners standpoint – why do I listen to music? Because it makes me feel something. Be it good, bad, or any other feeling in between. I just want people to feel something.

That was a bit of a tangent, so let me get back to the 2 questions here: (1) I choose songs that I know are popular, but also that I really enjoy. I can’t cover something I don’t care about. (2) Covers are a constant source of new fans, and casual viewers. So far, they’ve been the best way to get my name out there. Their role on my channel continues to be that – promotion and connection with new potential fans.

TF: As for your original songs, do you have the YouTube audience in your mind in any way while you are composing?

AG: If I answer this question directly, It’s gonna make me seem like a pretty selfish songwriter. I write songs for me. My first goal is always to satisfy myself with composition, production, lyrics, etc… and then at some point call a project (song / album) “done”. I release whatever that “done” product ends up being. Luckily it tends to naturally connect with my fans. It’s not that I don’t think of my audience when I write, I do, but I don’t write music specifically to cater to anyone but me. If that makes any sense.

TF: Finally, your tour just wrapped up, so what’s next on the horizon for you?

AG: I’m always writing new music. I want to put out a new album. I have so many ideas floating around, it’s just a matter of making sense of them and turning them into songs. Also…as many touring musicians will tell you.. tour is never over! I have one coming up this summer with some pretty cool special guests on it. I’m really excited about that!

On Deck (channels that will soon reach one million subs): History ChannelKhan Academy, Let’s Play