Kahlen Barry is showing no sign of slowing down! We chatted with the star about music, YouTube, and even life before fame.
Kahlen Barry is an 18 year-old YouTuber from Michigan who was introduced to the spotlight when he joined Tana Mongeau‘s collab channel “Trash” back in late 2016. That collab channel was successful enough to allow Kahlen to gain an audience of his own on his YouTube channel that he created back in 2014. As a matter of fact, he just recently reached his 100,000 subscriber mark!
Recently, I got to interview him for about an hour—and let me tell you, we got so much out of it! I started the interview asking him about Trash and how it helped him grow. Here are his responses:
How was the experience of being on Tana Mongeau’s collab channel “Trash”?
“The experience was really good for me because I had never done something that large level before, like of course, my YouTube channel had blown up around the same time that I got into Trash. I went from nobody knowing who I was, to all of a sudden having my own audience, and to having all of Tana’s audience, too!”
What has been the harshest YouTube comment you have received?
“I wouldn’t say ‘one’ because I don’t lose sleep over hate comments, but definitely just altogether—from going into Trash and there being so many different hate comments about so much different stuff. I kind of learned that there are gonna be people that do that, so you know, don’t try to change the person that you are just because of a few hate comments. I had to learn how to get thick skin because in this industry people will attack you and you have to remember where and why you started, and honestly, the good outweighed the bad.”
How do you deal with all the hate you receive?
“Well, the block button is a really good tool. I had to to learn, especially recently about it because I feel like the more you grow on YouTube, the more hate you get. And I used to think it was annoying, but I can take it as ‘Wow, that means I’m growing’, I take it as something positive.”
Will you ever make a collab channel of your own?
“If I ever were to make a collab channel, or if I would ever go back to a collab channel ‘wink, wink’, I would definitely go into it differently. I’d go into it a lot more… Not focused on irrelevant things. Like Trash, we were all so new that it was easy to let drama get to us and now, like I said, I have a thicker skin because I’ve been doing this for a while now. I would just make sure to be committed one-hundred percent because I wouldn’t want to let anyone down. Like we got hate all the time when Tana didn’t upload, for instance, so I wouldn’t want to do that. I’d want to make sure I had the time for it.”
Has anyone ever tried to social climb off of you?
“Yeah, there has definitely been people in my life who are trying now, but I think something I’m really good at is spotting that. The friends I have in regular life, like not social media, not YouTube friends; I know they’re not using me because they were here before I had anything. And if I lost it all tomorrow—which I easily could, I know those friends I had before, are still gonna be with me if I had nothing. I always try to keep that mentality that I can lose it tomorrow so I won’t become big headed, but I definitely try to keep an eye out.”
Have you ever social climbed or had friends who thought you were social climbing them?
“I’ve never social climbed anybody. A lot of people could view, like me gaining followers from Tana’s collab channel, however, I wasn’t social climbing Tana (Mongeau), it was a collab channel in which I auditioned for and made it in, so that was never the case. I love Tana and I’m actually going to her tour on August 11th in Detroit. But, no I’ve never social climbed anybody, I don’t like social climbing, I don’t like the concept of it.”
Do you and the people from Tana’s collab channel still talk or is there any beef between anyone?
“I have no drama with any person on Trash, every single person on that channel, I have a good relationship with, and I wish every single one of them the best. I still have respect for Aaron, even though I know like, what he did. But he grew from it, and that was the point. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone’s human, and I don’t hold a grudge on him. Me and him are not best friends, but I still talk to him along with everybody else on Trash. I talk to everyone, and we are all doing our own thing.”
With over 100K subscribers on YouTube and over 40K Twitter followers, do you feel like you’ve impacted people’s lives? Have you received any stories of messages of that kind?
“Yes, I have and it makes me happy—I really started social media because I grew up in the foster care system and my whole life I didn’t have control over anything that was happening. I never knew if I was gonna make it out or be successful, and in the foster care system, only three things can happen: you die, you go to prison, or you just.. fail. But I really believed in my future, and I would make videos, act, practice singing, and do good at school. So I’m thankful for people who have told me they’re inspired by me, or made a channel because of me. If I can do it, you can do it. Your past doesn’t define your future, you determine your future. You have the power to do something good for your life.”
Are there any YouTubers you watch or like?
“I’ve been watching YouTube since I was nine years old. I would watch people like Fred, Miranda Sings, GloZell, Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, and Tana—I wanna say Tana, too. But once I started watching videos constantly, I really liked Shane—I loved what he stood for. He’s just one-hundred percent him, he keeps to himself, and he’s never really involved in drama. And you can see the passion behind what he does, because in the beginning of YouTube, people didn’t even get paid until later on. To this day, he’s maintained himself. So like, if my personality and what I stand for is enough, I’m going to try. And once I did, I could not be more thankful.”
Your new show Hush will premiere on YouTube, how is that all gonna work? Is any sponsoring involved?
“So basically me and my friend, Ally Hardesty are gonna be be co-hosting this show. And it’s interesting because I wasn’t going to start this right away; just because I kind of wanted to have a production company for it to be a little bit more professional. And like I’m writing this other show right now called “Teen Horror” that I eventually want to put on YouTube as well, but with an actual production company, but until then, I like this concept. But, this will be mostly independent, of course with my friend Ally, and my viewers. This show will be filmed over Skype, so what I’ve been doing is intense—I have five hours of footage already. There are so many twists and turns, but everything has to be private because the contestants do have access to Twitter and everything, so I can’t spill anything just yet. A lot of them, though, involve the viewers of the show, the contestants, and even me.
Other than Hush, are there any more upcoming projects in the works or still being masterminded?
“Of course, my YouTube channel. I’m still going to be consistent with uploads even though Hush is happening. I will also make sure I’m committed to my channel, I’m not going anywhere. I’m also working on music, so music-wise: an album is coming probably within two years… It really depends though on the pace of how things go. And there will be more singles that are promotional singles within the next three months. So music will definitely be coming. For my album, I’m doing a music video—kind of like a movie, but for the songs I really like. But, I do have a lot of projects in mind that I do want to become reality.”
As mentioned, he is working on a new show called Hush. Click here to subscribe to the show’s YouTube channel and keep up with updates by following its twitter account here. If you’re interested in Ally Hardesty—co-host of the show, follow her Twitter.
If you’d like to see Kahlen Barry on tour with Tana Mongeau in Detroit on August 11th, make sure to visit www.fullscreenlive.com for tickets!
Article written by
Christopher San Miguel
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