Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we–in partnership with content creator tool Gyre–profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
If you go to Josh Allan‘s TikTok account, you’ll see dozens upon dozens of videos where he’s the equivalent of a culinary daredvil, trying out the weirdest, wildest, trendiest, and most texturally satisfying (rice paper candy straws, anyone?) recipes he can find on the internet.
So it might surprise you to know he actually doesn’t like most of the new things he tries.
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“I love to try new things, but for some reason, I just don’t tend to like most things,” he says. He knows this and he accepts this–and, despite it, he still has fun just with the sheer experience of doing something different. “I love traveling and going to new places, going to new restaurants and trying different things, but I don’t always like everything. It’s always fun to document, to try new things.”
And, he adds, sometimes it’s a “fun little game” for his followers to witness the rare occasions where he does end up liking something.
Allan, who’s 18, is from a small town in Canada, and–probably unsurprisingly–has always wanted to try being a content creator. He would make his own videos on editing apps when he was younger, and when TikTok began to take off in late 2019, he seized the chance to start uploading. He was still in high school, but committed to making and uploading multiple videos every single day, and not too long later, his smoothie bowl videos began drawing a sizable audience to his account. Allan gamely made them for a few months, but eventually, doing the same thing over and over got boring. He expanded into other foods, and now is in the midst of expanding even further, into lifestyle and travel content (a lot of which can be seen in his vlogs on YouTube).
We’ll let him tell you the rest below.
@joshhallan Making rice paper candy straws!!! why do they look like cond0ms 😃 #fyp #food ♬ original sound – josh allan
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: I’d love to start with just a little bit of background about you, where you’re from, and what brought you to TikTok.
Josh Allan: For sure. My name’s Josh Allan. I’m from a small town in Canada and I grew up always wanting to make videos. I think I finally started around late 2019 on TikTok. It didn’t really go anywhere, I don’t think, until around the beginning of 2021. That’s when I put it into full force and I started posting videos every single day. Then over the past year or so, I’ve expanded to the other couple of social media platforms and I try to post every single day. I think my main niche is food and lifestyle.
Tubefilter: What did you get up to before you got on social media? Were you just in school?
Josh Allan: Yes, I was just in school. I graduated like six months ago, I just recently graduated. Since elementary school, I was just making little videos on different editing apps. I always knew that I wanted to become some YouTuber, that was always my little middle school dream. Then at the beginning of high school, that’s when I just decided if I was going to do it, I should just start now.
Tubefilter: Are you planning to go to college or is this your full-time thing now?
Josh Allan: I think college is definitely something that will always be there. That’s definitely something that I’d consider doing, but at the moment, no. I’m just doing this, which is really, really cool. I’m super grateful that I am in the place that I’m able to do this.
Tubefilter: So you started in high school, and then how did you end up committing to this being a full-time thing? Was there a specific video that took off? What helped your audience grow to that point where you were like, “Hey, this is a real thing that I’m going to keep doing”?
Josh Allan: I think I made this specific account at the beginning of 2020 and I tried, honestly, like 10 different kinds of videos and just different niches. I wasn’t sure what I liked. I was just doing what other people did. Then at the beginning of 2021, I became really obsessed with making smoothie bowls. I was like, “Okay, I’ll maybe try to make a couple of videos off of this” and they started to do really well. I’d say for half of 2021, the first half, I just made smoothie bowl videos. Everything was just centered around smoothie bowls and different recipes.
That’s how I first grew my account on TikTok. Then from there, I started branching out a little bit and making different kinds of things and doing vlogs every now and then.
If you go to Josh Allan’s TikTok account, you’ll see dozens upon dozens of videos where he’s the equivalent of a culinary daredvil, trying out the weirdest, wildest, trendiest, and most texturally satisfying (rice paper candy straws, anyone?) recipes he can find on the internet.
@joshhallan Finally trying to make lemon possette!!! I already know these are gonna be so good!! #fyp #food ♬ original sound – josh allan
Tubefilter: Are you still obsessed with smoothie bowls?
Josh Allan: I’d say the obsession has maybe calmed down a little bit, but yes, I still make smoothie bowls, maybe a couple here and there.
Tubefilter: What’s your top recipe?
Josh Allan: I would say definitely a mango strawberry. I love mangoes.
Tubefilter: Ooh, okay. I’m also a big fruit person. Take me through a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of your channel. Do you aim to put out a certain number of videos every day or every week?
Josh Allan: I usually try to film two or three TikToks every day. I think TikTok is definitely the platform that I focus on pushing out content the most on. I try to post one or two times a day, definitely daily. Then I repost my TikToks on YouTube every day, on YouTube Shorts and sometimes on Instagram. YouTube videos, I also love. I think I can really show more of my personality in long-form content just because there’s more time for people to get to know me. I think I try to post a YouTube video every single week as well.
Tubefilter: Are you making separate content for each platform?
Josh Allan: Yes.
Tubefilter: Can you tell me a little bit about the differences and how you approach them?
Josh Allan: Yes, for sure. I think most of the videos I make on TikTok or are just quick little videos of me trying to make different items in my kitchen. I think a lot of people think I’m some kind of chef. I get a lot of comments being like, “Oh my gosh, I love your recipes.” I’m like, “No, they’re not my recipes.” I’m definitely not good in the kitchen. I love to make different things in the kitchen, try things out, but I think mainly on TikTok, I am just trying different things out, usually failing, but trying different things in the kitchen. Then on YouTube, that’s when I show more of my personal life. I have day-to-day vlogs as well as a couple of videos of me making things, but it’s mainly just little bits of my life.
Tubefilter: What originally ignited your passion around food?
Josh Allan: I definitely think smoothie bowls is what started it when I started making those videos. The videos are still doing really well, of my smoothie bowls. Then I think around the summer of 2021 is when I just started losing a passion for making those kind of videos because once I was posting two videos of making a smoothie bowl every single day, it got old. I was like, “If I’m not passionate about this, then I need to find something else that I am passionate about.” That’s when I started branching out and trying new different recipes and then people started to like it. Then from there, I just continued to try new things.
Tubefilter: There’s definitely an experimental feel to your content. Like a foodie mad science lab.
Josh Allan: I definitely try to make some unique things. Once I started, I started to make kind of cakes and just normal food that you kind of just see in a day-to-day life. Then over the last year or so, I really wanted to try to find different things that maybe people haven’t seen because I think that just draws people’s attention so much more. Because once they click on a video and they see me making, whether it’s like a papaya milk jelly or an edible crystal, it’s like something that I never even heard of before I made it. I think that hopefully draws audience’s attention.
Tubefilter: Where do you get ideas for these different things you try?
Josh Allan: I definitely see a lot of them on TikTok of different creators making them. I spend a lot of time scrolling through just Google and Pinterest trying to find different recipes. It’s a lot of just searching and exploring, then whenever I see something that might be interesting, I just have a folder in my notes app where I write everything down.
Tubefilter: How long does it take? Let’s take, like, for example your edible crystals, how long does that take from start to finish, in terms of you in the kitchen?
Josh Allan: The edible crystals I think are definitely the longest process. It always just depends on what I’m making, but something like that, I’d say making them usually takes about like an hour and a half, and then the process of them finishing and then me trying would take about a week because they have to sit for almost a week. It always just depends. I always get a lot of comments asking me when part two’s going to come out or whatever, but I’m always just like, “I have to wait. I’m sorry.” I usually make things where it’s like I put it in the fridge or it has to freeze or it has to sit out for a while.
Tubefilter: Yeah, you make a lot of jellies and stuff, I’ve noticed.
Josh Allan: Yes.
Tubefilter: Do you ever take requests from your community if they’re like, “Hey, I want to see you make X thing”? Is that ever part of it too?
Josh Allan: Yes, for sure. Over the last year or so, I started getting tagged in maybe 10 to 20 videos every single day. People being like, “You should try to make this.” I try to scroll through my tagged videos at least once every couple of days because there’s always so many ideas in there from people that are asking me to make specific things. Yes, I definitely try to take my followers input and see what they want. It’s a really cool thing. Over just the past little while, it’s crazy how all of a sudden it just seems like a community now where I can make something and it doesn’t really matter what I’m making, but they always seem somewhat interested, which is really, really cool.
Tubefilter: Speaking of, what was it like for you to hit a million followers?
Josh Allan: That was really, really crazy. I was working up to that for a long time. I didn’t even realize that was even possible for me, but then I think maybe a couple months before it, I was like, “Okay, this could actually happen.” I was working really hard toward it. Then I had a video where I made brownies and that blew up overnight. The next morning I was at school and I was sitting in one of my classes and I checked my phone, and I had a million followers. It was kind of like a surreal moment because I was in class. I couldn’t really freak out or anything because there was a lesson going on, but I was like, “Okay.” I couldn’t really focus, but it was okay. It was good.
Tubefilter: That’s really interesting, I haven’t spoken to a lot of people who are in high school and going viral. Was it ever complicated at school?
Josh Allan: The first year or two of me having my account when it started to get big, I just kept it a secret. I didn’t really tell any of my friends or anyone at school just because I was so worried about having to deal with people talking about it. I’m also a pretty socially anxious person. I’m not used to people just coming up to me and I also don’t like that much attention being on me, especially in social situations at school. I didn’t talk about it too much, but then people just naturally started finding out about it.
My last year of high school there was definitely a lot of people that came up to me. Some people are really nice. Not always, but it was a pretty good, I think, reaction from the people at my school.
Tubefilter: I imagine being in a small town and then having that virality can be a little intimidating.
Josh Allan: For sure. I didn’t really know anyone else that was going through the same thing, so it was definitely new to everyone in my life, especially my parents. They didn’t know what was really happening once they found out about everything. It was definitely a learning experience for everyone.
Tubefilter: Have they been cool about it?
Josh Allan: Yes, they’ve been amazing. I really appreciate them. Within, I think, the first couple months of them finding out, they were definitely a bit skeptical because they were like, “There are so many people watching you, why are they watching you?”
Tubefilter: I think that’s just natural parent worry.
Josh Allan: Exactly. Then when I started getting PR sent to me, they were so worried that people were sending me illegal things and I shouldn’t be getting things. They’re definitely really worried.
Tubefilter: [laughs] “Who’s mailing you these illicit food items?” Were they cool with you not going to college for now?
Josh Allan: They’re so supportive with whatever I do and I really appreciate that. I think once they started to understand this and once they started to realize that I could make this a career, which is crazy, they really started fully supporting me. They’re so excited. They always ask about it, so they show me so much support.
Tubefilter: I’m glad that you have that support system around you. Have you been able to meet up with any other creators or is it something you’re interested in?
Josh Allan: It’s definitely something I’m interested in. I have a good amount of mutuals on TikTok and sometimes I’ll just comment on each other’s videos, but other than that, there’s not many people around me who are making content, or at least people that I know. I think most of the people are definitely in the US that I’m in mutual’s with. It’s been kind of hard to do collaborations like that, but I’m definitely open to doing something like that in the future.
Tubefilter: Do you have any other plans or goals for things that you want to get up to in the next year or so?
Josh Allan: Yes, for sure. Ever since I finished high school, I’ve been traveling a lot, and I definitely want to continue traveling. I love to travel and just document it. I want to keep seeing a little bit of the world and also bring my followers along with that, because I think that’s such a new thing for me and it’s also really fun. Then I just want to continue to try to make my content the best it could possibly be. Ever since I finished school, I’ve been trying to still learn things every day. I think I’ve been learning a lot with my YouTube videos and through TikTok videos, so I just want to improve on that and get as best as I could be.
Tubefilter: Are you learning about more ways to make videos?
Josh Allan: Yes, just different editing skills. I’ve gotten a few different cameras to try out.
Tubefilter: Any solid plans for traveling?
Josh Allan: Yes, I have a few plans. I’m going to New York soon and then I’m also going to Los Angeles, and I’m going to be in London in June.
Tubefilter: Oh man, you’re really hitting lots of the big ones.
Josh Allan: I also just got back from Greece.
Tubefilter: How was that?
Josh Allan: That was great. It was my first time leaving the continent, so it was cool to be in Europe. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everything was just so new and so cool. It was such a cool experience. It was so nice just being able to try new things and also filming it and documenting it. I’ve been working on a vlog on YouTube for my trip. I’m really excited for that to be out just so everyone can see what I did. That’ll be exciting.
@joshhallan Making the strawberry yogurt bites!! these better live up to the hype!! #fyp #food ♬ original sound – josh allan
Tubefilter: I feel like I remember seeing in one of your videos, you saying that you’re kind of a picky eater?
Josh Allan: Yes.
Tubefilter: For anyone who comes to your channel, you seem a very adventurous eater because of the things that you make and the things that you’re willing to try. I’m just curious how that has interplayed in terms of you being willing to try a bunch of things, but also being picky.
Josh Allan: It’s interesting because I’m definitely a person who’s always open to trying new things. I love to try new things, but for some reason, I just don’t tend to like most things. I love traveling and going to new places, going to new restaurants and trying different things, but I don’t always like everything. It’s always fun to document, to try new things and show my followers if I like something because I also think they know that I’m picky, so it’s kind of like a fun little game now.
Tubefilter: Honestly, the fact that you’re still willing to try so many things despite knowing that it probably won’t end well is an admirable quality. It’s very cool.
Josh Allan: Thanks.
Tubefilter: What is your favorite food to eat or to make?
Josh Allan: I think to make my favorite food would probably be some kind of boba. I love making boba, I think that’s so fun. I started to do that in my videos. I never even thought of making it before making a video about it, but I did it a couple months ago and I’ve done it a lot since. It’s been really fun. Then just food to eat, probably pizza. I love pizza. It’s probably basic answer, but I could have pizza every single day.
Tubefilter: Okay, last question. Do you have any advice for somebody who’s just starting as a creator? Maybe someone who’s in high school, someone who’s young like you?
Josh Allan: For sure. I think the biggest piece of advice I could give is just to start. That might sound a little bit weird, but at the time, there were so many times when I would think about making content and I was just like, “Okay, I’ll do it next month,” and then, “I’ll do it in a week,” because I was just so nervous to start. Then once I started, I just got so passionate and I became so much more creative and I started posting videos four times a day. I think once you start and if you’re really passionate and you really want to do it, just keep posting content and I think it’ll get somewhere at some point.
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