youtube.com/connorfranta / 5.6M+ subscribers
STAG RATING 5 STARS
Artistic, thoughtful and intensely passionate, Connor Franta creates the kind of stylish, offbeat content that only perfectionists like himself can ever fully appreciate. Every week, once a week, he’ll sit down and talk candidly to his audience for a few minutes, usually with a clear topic prepared, which his wandering mind may or may not be able to stick to for the duration. And it’s pretty amazing….
He may begin the process unfiltered, but Franta’s final product, his posted video, is usually anything but. Meticulously edited and re-packaged, in a style akin to Instagram, his videos always seem to go that extra mile, above and beyond the competition. But what kind of things does this 24-year old American like to talk about? Personal things, like family, friends and sexuality, often pop up time and time again in his running commentary – Franta publicly came out as gay in one of his 2014 videos, and has frequently returned to themes related to it ever since. Like self-acceptance, and gender norms, for example.
Meticulously edited and re-packaged, in a style akin to Instagram, [Franta’s] videos always seem to go that extra mile.
Another common occurrence on his channel is a focus on deep subjects. From discussing dreams and personal growth to drawing meaning from seemingly insignificant things, Franta comes across not only as an introspective millennial, but as someone keen to share and cultivate attractive personal traits, like introspection, in others.
One of the most striking things running throughout the Connor Franta repertoire is the clear sense of entrepreneurial identity. His professionally-designed logo opens every video, and a mention of at least one of his many ongoing projects is almost a given at some point during each weekly instalment.
Franta comes across not only as an introspective millenial, but as someone keen to share and cultivate attractive personal traits, like introspection, in others.
For someone so young, he’s already accomplished a lot. In 2015, Franta set up his own record label, entitled Heard Well, through which he releases and promotes music compilations from less well-known, often up-and-coming, artists. In addition, he founded his own lifestyle brand company, called Common Culture, through which his audience is encouraged to check out a range of merchandise, including the compilation albums, but also anything from hats and hoodies to bags of freshly-ground coffee.
Through such entrepreneurial endeavours, Franta is presumably able to build and maintain a sizable financial income, but it is his choice to partner with other organizations that reveals his true intention behind growing his YouTube platform: to promote good causes. In September this year, Franta teamed up with GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), an organization aiming to eradicate bullying, harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ+ students in American elementary to high schools. Through one of his videos, he announced he was selling limited edition pride shirts, featuring a rainbow flag design designed by him, to help raise money for GLSEN’s projects. But it wasn’t just any video: it was his birthday video, and a conscious decision was made to shift the focus away from himself and on to a charity, on one of the rare occasions where narcissism is perhaps most expected.
it is his choice to partner with other organizations that reveals his true intention behind growing his YouTube platform: to promote good causes.
That speaks volumes about his character, and it’s a large part of why I think Franta’s channel has not only become so popular so quickly since it first started in 2010, but also why it should continue to grow impressively in the years ahead.
Ultimately, you won’t know for certain whether this is the type of YouTube channel for you until you take a look. I did, and never looked back since!
So, what are you waiting for?!
2016 CHANNEL HIGHLIGHTS:
A Video To My Future Kids
This is the most adorable video of 2016, hands-down. Nothing more needs to be said, but: in this video, Franta speaks initially to his imagined future children in a time-capsule-esque fashion, before switching to his audience to discuss International Family Equality Day, how he would like to one day become a parent, and his involvement in a documentary, Gayby Baby, which followed 4 samesex families, aiming to normalise attitudes towards LGBT parenting.
This Is Out Of My Control.
Speaking quietly to his viewers from an airport lounge, Franta explains why he’s made peace with the fact his plane got delayed, even though it’s dismantled his original video-making plans. As he says, in a therapeutic tone, the delay is one of many things completely out of his control, and there’s no point in getting upset over it. And that instead of worrying about uncertainty, it should be embraced. The not-knowing-what’s going-to-happen part is pretty cool, after all
Moving Out, Moving On
This video begins with a series of shots of an empty apartment – Connor’s apartment, to be precise. Why is it empty? Well, he’s moving. Franta reflects on the bittersweet nature of moving on to somewhere new when it means leaving behind something familiar. As he notes, the 2 years’ worth of memories associated with this place were only possible because of a move originally, so he embraces the prospect of change, and encourages others to do the same.
Say Yes To New
Stepping outside your comfort zone is always hard, and Franta draws on this idea in this video, contrasting the fear that comes immediately before trying something new with the happiness that usually follows after. You don’t see his face, but you hear his voice, through a gritty sound filter over the top of an edgy track, complementing a montage of location shots. Are they places you can go? Things you’ll miss out on if you don’t embrace newness? Who knows, but you’ll definitely feel inspired after giving this one a go…
Words and Design by Matthew Nolan
This article was printed in the December 2016 issue of THE STAG.