Regina singer-songwriter surprise reaction videos garner millions of views on YouTube

·2 min read
Regina YouTuber Brian Mendoza, centre, says he hopes to turn his music success on his channel into the ability to buy his hard-working immigrants parents a house. Pictured is Mendoza with his sister, Micca, and his mother and father, Annie and Jake Mendoza. (Submitted by Brian Mendoza - image credit)
Regina YouTuber Brian Mendoza, centre, says he hopes to turn his music success on his channel into the ability to buy his hard-working immigrants parents a house. Pictured is Mendoza with his sister, Micca, and his mother and father, Annie and Jake Mendoza. (Submitted by Brian Mendoza - image credit)

When he left high school early, singer-songwriter Brian Mendoza's family didn't know what to think about his goal of becoming a high-profile YouTuber.

"I'm Filipino. I have that background. They never knew what social media could do for you. They didn't understand," he said.

He fielded a lot of questions about what he would do with his life. Since he started his channel in 2017, the family has seen him rocket up the talent-crowded video platform, racking up millions of worldwide views with live performances, music videos and, especially, videos of him impressing strangers on video-chat websites.

Mendoza's family "is very proud of me for the things I've achieved," he said. "I eventually proved it to them. I'm able to do this and provide somehow."

Like many children of today's generation, he grew up watching YouTube videos rather than cable television, sparking visions of being his own content creator.

Brian Mendoza is a Regina YouTuber who's gained nearly 800,000 subscribers with his reaction videos, performing both covers and original music on the media platform.
Brian Mendoza is a Regina YouTuber who's gained nearly 800,000 subscribers with his reaction videos, performing both covers and original music on the media platform.(Submitted by Brian Mendoza)

His performance in a high school talent show was the first video he put together that created a splash. From there, he began building on his channel to his current list of nearly 800,000 subscribers. At least 12 of his videos have more than 1.5 million views.

He believes his success lies in offering something unique in a crowded landscape. Mendoza finds strangers to chat with online, with the video showing himself and the viewer on a split screen.

When he asks if he can perform for them and sings, the reaction — often from young women — often features looks of surprise, gaping mouths and gushing comments about his talent.

"I'll be honest, I think I literally just fell in love with you," one young woman tells him.

Mendoza often chuckles at these responses and tells his listeners he hopes he made their day better or made them smile.

"When somebody sees your talent, something you love, and they're watching a kid just in his room, singing, it's interesting.… I'm making others happy or smile, using my talent," he said.

At a time when many musicians have struggled with the inability to tour and make money from their music, Mendoza has been able to continue with his performances right from his bedroom, with a mix of covers and original songs.

He still hopes to take his songs on the road and performs for his supporters, but even more important than dreams of stadium tours is the simple goal to provide for himself and his family.

"They worked really hard for us to get here to Canada," he said. "If I can give them back something, there's something about that that's just like, 'I did that.'