Montreal YouTuber sits down with hip hop heroes

This story is part of CBC Homerun's series on Montrealers making a name for themselves on social media.

Who is Kendrick Lamar's favourite superhero? What did A$AP Rocky do with his first big paycheque?

Those are the kinds of questions that have helped give Montreality its success. For the past six years the popular YouTube channel has been putting out an average of 80 interviews a year with different hip hop artists.

From Method Man to Wiz Khalifa, Sina Ghiassi of Montreality is not shy about reaching out to big names to ask unorthodox questions.

"We think that, really, interviewing is an art and that's how we practice it: as an art," said Ghiassi.

The young Montrealer has made it his mission to strive for "the best interviews on the planet." The 2-million Facebook likes on Montreality's page are proof that people are receptive to what he and his partner, Daniel Yanez, are putting out.

"[The fans] want something timeless from the artist," Ghiassi told CBC's Homerun.

When he and Yanez were classmates at Vanier College, they felt that no one was putting out the kind of interviews with hip hop artists that they wanted to see. The pair eventually dropped out of school to make their dream a reality.

Starting small

At its inception, Montreality was Ghiassi and Yanez sneaking backstage at shows. Promoters cut them some slack and in exchange the pair would hand out flyers and sell tickets. Eventually, Ghiassi and Yanez would start filming interviews with the artists.

"The way it started out was really the promoters telling the artists like 'Okay, look, these guys helped me with the show. Can you give them five minutes of your time,'" explained Ghiassi.

They used those interviews to build a portfolio and start getting in touch with bigger artists.

"A lot of times we've had interviews with artists that even their day-to-day managers are learning new things about them as they're answering our questions, and that's the goal right there," said Ghiassi.

Growing the audience

With over 350 interviews on YouTube and 25-million total views, Ghiassi sees no limits to the power of social media.

Ghiassi says there are "infinite possibilities" for people hoping to make a name for themselves online.

"Even if it's so vast, you could still carve your own place in there... it's not hopeless."

Going forward, Ghiassi says that they want to use their newfound clout to put a spotlight on more local talent, like Kaytranada and High Klassified.

"The goal was to build up the platform to this point," said Ghiassi. "Have all the eyes on us and then, you know, bless our viewers with a look inside Montreal and what our local artists are doing."