What’s Up Guys? This Is Kyan From Deft Pop


Kyan Baker, Contributor

In middle school, I could confidently call myself a huge geek. After I got home from school every day, I would watch YouTube videos about Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, and every nerd fandom you can think of. I was in the process of writing a 200 page Star Wars fanfiction from Chewbacca’s point of view (not the weird kind). While other kids my age played Fortnite, I spent my time playing Star Wars Battlefront. Instead of watching Dude Perfect, I watched YouTube channels like “Star Wars Theory” and “SuperCarlinBrothers.” 

As I made my way through my Computer Programming elective, I learned how to make and edit my own videos, and one day a light bulb lit up over my head. I thought about how fun it would be to make my own Star Wars YouTube channel. So, I made a YouTube account and chose the auto generated name StarWarsLore1.

At the time, I did not use any form of social media. I knew the technology but did not know the world I was getting myself into. I uploaded my first video, which was a ten question Star Wars trivia quiz. It was pretty quickly found by my friends, who wasted no time making fun of it. In the second video, I got my first dislike. Even though it was one dislike, and probably from one of my own friends, I got caught up that there was somebody who did not like my content. This was the first sign I was not cut out for the YouTuber lifestyle. 

The first channel didn’t last long due to a lack of motivation on my part. I wasn’t getting the views or likes I wanted, so I gave up. At the time, I was not willing to put in the effort, and I didn’t understand that the channels I watched every day after school started at the same place I did. 

The summer after seventh grade, I decided to give it another go. I decided I wanted to make a collaborative channel like SuperCarlinBrothers, where I alternated with a friend in a biweekly upload schedule. This time, I wanted to do it professionally. Of course, this wasn’t exactly an eighth grader’s strong suit. The name we chose for our channel was the Greek Geeks. Our first video was whether a lightsaber from Star Wars could beat the Killing Curse from Harry Potter. The video was backed by no evidence, but it was fun. Just like the YouTubers I watched, we had our own intro, “What’s up guys? This is Kyan from the Greek Geeks.” We also had our own outro, “As always, Peace Out!”

Pretty early on, the collaboration idea became difficult. Like in many partnerships, creative differences became prominent. In only our second video, my friend recorded with a friend of his who I did not get along with. I did not delete the video, but changed the name of the channel to Deft Pop in retaliation. Looking back, it’s hard to see what I wanted to achieve here. We were eventually able to come to an agreement, but this first disagreement turned out to be indicative of our professional relationship moving forward. 

I wanted to run Deft Pop the way the channels I liked ran theirs. The only thing is those YouTubers weren’t currently dealing with a middle school workload and actually did YouTube for their career. I can admit now that I was being pretty ridiculous when I got mad at my friend for not sticking to our “schedule.” Other than that though, I was living out my vision. The videos weren’t getting any views, but at the time I was only doing it for fun.

It didn’t take long for kids at our school to catch wind of the channel. Soon, my name became synonymous with “Deft Pop.” At the time, I saw this as popularity, but with more years and more maturity, I’ve come to terms with the fact that they were mostly making fun of me. The direction of our channel soon started to change. At the time, there was a trend in releasing diss tracks, or rap songs designed to disrespect another person.

Another friend of mine in my math class decided to write a diss track against Deft Pop as a joke. This ended up being the thing that spread knowledge of Deft Pop throughout the whole eighth grade class. My co-creator wanted to release a diss track in response, which we ended up recording at his house. I’m not denying it was fun to make, but it was far from my original intent for the channel. I originally wanted to make videos about topics I was passionate about, but this had turned into a manufactured Internet feud. 

Not long after, my co-creator got fed up with the strict schedule I put into place and decided to leave the channel. Seeing as how the first diss track was our most popular video, I decided to make another one by myself, this time against the other half of the channel. Needless to say, it was pretty awful. So, the partnership came to an end. Now that I had full control over Deft Pop, I started uploading daily and putting everything into the channel. The issue with this is it didn’t take long to run out of ideas. I started to get all of my ideas from the Internet, making some about entertainment I hadn’t even seen. Looking back, this was a perversion of my original idea, but I just wanted to put out as many videos as possible. 

I began to embrace my identity as the kid with the fauxhawk and the YouTube channel. I felt like I had to put these videos out for my audience, even though I realize now that most of the eighth grade class wasn’t interested in the hidden lore of Nintendo games. When I began to realize that, I started putting out more, for lack of a better word, dumb shit. For example, during a time vlogging was trendy, I vlogged my trip to Washington DC. As time went on, I stopped uploading what I wanted to upload. 

Even more so, the more people knew about it, the more I cared about what people thought about my channel. If somebody told me my content was trash, I really took it to heart. As the year went on, Deft Pop both helped and hurt my self esteem. It helped because I truly believed the channel had made me popular. While this was true in a sense, it wasn’t because people actually enjoyed my content. It really makes me consider the constant popularity contest in middle school. In many cases, people care more about how others see them than doing what they want to do. I was one of those people. Even though it wasn’t through Instagram or TikTok, I had fallen into the same social media traps as much of the youth.

One way I thought I could gain traction for my channel was by selling Deft Pop merchandise. There were a few days where I walked up and down the lunch area trying to sell t-shirts with Darth Vader holding a Pokeball. The thing is, the website I used to make the shirts wasn’t cheap, and middle schoolers weren’t exactly eager to pull out their wallets to buy merch for a channel with 30 subscribers. I was unable to gain a profit margin, which ended my career as an entrepreneur. I ended up giving away most of the shirts to my friends. 

I kept the channel going all the way until graduation. I can still see today how my yearbook is filled with signatures addressing me as Deft Pop, some from people I didn’t even know. I had become a local celebrity for all the wrong reasons. I continued to upload daily throughout the summer, putting out a solid mix of dumb shit and ideas I got from the Internet.

 The first day of freshman year, I made the decision to stop uploading videos. I decided that I was no longer fulfilling my vision of being like the YouTubers I used to watch after school; and was instead just pushing out content that I myself never cared about. I lost sight of the point which was, when it came down to it, to have fun and do what I wanted to do. Not long after, I shaved my fauxhawk. I saw high school as a fresh start to get away from who I was in middle school. It wasn’t until a year later that I actually deleted the videos from my channel, thus putting an end to Deft Pop.

Looking back, I both smile and cringe at this part of my past. Even though I cared what people thought about my videos, I actually see eighth grade as the time I was most confident in myself. Through Deft Pop, I was able to make new connections with new people. With all that being said, I’m glad my impressions of Overwatch characters are no longer available for all to see on the Internet. As I’d say on YouTube, I hope you liked this article. Remember to like, comment, and share to your friends, and as always, Peace Out!