By Drossoulla Mavromatis
With over 389,000 subscribers, and videos exceeding at least one million views, it is no wonder why Konilo is one of Greece’s most popular ‘YouTubers’.
For those of you who don’t know, Konilo (Stelio Nikolidakis) is a Greek YouTuber originally from Crete well known for his comedy videos. Konilo began his YouTube success with a video he made to make a statement about something that he did not agree with at his university. After that upload, everything was history from there as he uploaded more videos and his numbers were increasing higher and higher.
GCT sat down with the Greek YouTube sensation via Skype to discuss everything from the reason he uploaded his first YouTube video, to his latest music video “Come to Greece.”
How old were you when you first started your YouTube channel?
Well, I uploaded my first YouTube video when I was 19 years-old. I was in my first year at the University of Economics and Business. I was studying management science and technology.
How did you start your videos?
When I started uni, I showed a situation that I didn’t like there. In Greek universities, there are some young political parties that are taking over studies, trying to persuade you to vote for them and try to make you be apart of them so you can go to their parties. There were posters all over the uni, immigrants were selling illegal things, and I didn’t like the situation. The uni had made an advertisement showing how great the work was being done there, so I made a sarcastic parody of this advertisement. I was showings fights between the political parties in the university.
What inspired you to create your channel?
It was because of this situation that inspired me.
What was your first video that became very successful? Were you expecting it?
I created a video about a very well-known model in Greece that was a student in the same university as me (Doukissa Nomikou Theodoridi). I was saying that I really liked her, I wished that I could meet her, and she watched the video and posted it to her social media, that is how it became viral. It got over 70,000 views. At that time it was a very big number of views, and all of the TV channels were inviting me to go to their channels to talk about my feelings. I was really scared because I didn’t want to be on TV.
Even though Stelio was afraid, he eventually did go on one of the channels. He continued his story noting that when he went to the TV Channel, he wore a t-shirt that said ‘Close the TV, and direct your life how you wish’ with an image of a broken TV.
Were you expecting any type of “fame” when you created your channel?
Yea I did because I knew that YouTube was a great platform, and is very revolutionary. So I thought that it will take the power of TV, and people would start watching YouTube. When I started, most people were still watching TV, and I saw that the users of the platform will increase, and I thought that if I were part of YouTube, I would increase my numbers as well.
Did you expect to become this successful?
This successful? No. I thought that this fame would be something that will not stay forever. But the videos I made became very popular, videos that are posted daily so people can watch them any time. I didn’t expect for people to still watch my videos.
Where do you get the inspiration for your content?
I got it from other ‘YouTubers’, I watched their content. I watched some American ‘YouTubers’ and some Greek ‘YouTubers,’ and I thought that I could do that too.
You have a category of videos on your channel (which happen to be our personal favourite) where you interview people on the street and ask them all kinds of questions. How do you pick your victims?
I try to be like a psychologist. I try to pick all kinds of people so I can show the big picture of the Greek society. With these questions, many people will reply false answers. They give the wrong answers, but I think it’s because they get stressed out when somebody with a microphone approaches them while they’re shopping. Like: ‘woa! I didn’t expect to see you there!’. So that’s why most of them get all of the answers wrong.
What kinds of questions do you like to ask them?
Tricky questions. It’s the most successful section of my channel.
What do you try to achieve when you make these videos?
To make people think-because some people don’t like to try to think. ‘Food for thought.’
Aside from your regular comedy videos, you also have made some comedy music videos. You recently uploaded a music video called “Come to Greece” with other Greek YouTubers. What was the reason behind the video and the song?
I’ve made many English videos in the past, and I see that many tourists and people that are second generation Greek-Americans for example like these kinds of videos, and liked the videos that were showing Athens; so I thought that I could make a video inviting them to come to Greece for holidays. I called all of my ‘YouTuber’ friends, and we made a collaboration. I collaborated with a music producer, singers, and my ‘YouTuber’ friends. The goal was to invite people to Greece because tourism is the first biggest industry.
Is there a specific message you were trying to get out to the public or was it just for fun?
The message is to come to Greece. I made another video called ‘Welcome to Greece’. The country at the time was in a very bad financial situation; and in that video I was thinking about all of the: problems- all the Greek stereotypes (such as Greeks are ‘lazy’). I was really aggressive to the European union and to foreign people. Now that we are supposed to be in a better situation, we wanted to make a happier video, more friendly to people. The message is to come to Greece in general.
What is the future of Konilo?
The future of Konilo is very unknown. I think I will make more of these English videos because I want people to see how nice Greece is. And there are not any channels in Greece that are about tourism, so I think I am going to make more tourism videos; but I feel like an artist now trying to think about what I want to make, what I want to show the world. Maybe some more English videos. Some more social videos like “why are divers driving like mad in Athens?” for example.
Is there any exciting news you can give our GCT readers? Anything to expect soon?
The only exciting news is I am done with my studies. I studied directing in London, and I started working on some advertisement there. But I really like my country, so I moved back to Athens now. So the news is that I’m here, I’m in Athens, and expect more videos from Athens.
*For more Konilo content; make sure you subscribe to his channel.