Internationally ignored superstar Vanity von Glow is spreading her performing wings with a brand new YouTube channel.
Her weekly videos feature all manner of silliness, sexual innuendo and celebrity tittle-tattle with special guests. QX’s very own Dylan Jones has even starred in one. Being the curious queen that he is, Jason Reid was eager to find our more so he spoke to the man behind Vanity, Thom Glow, this week.
Hey Thom! First thing’s first, why YouTube videos?
I used to make YouTube videos, and for me this character was created the minute the camera was switched on. It was always a purer character through the lens than it was on the stage. And I was quite interested to explore that some more.
Why do you think the character comes to life more on camera?
I find that when I’m onstage I get much more of a desire to sing. Music is such a big part of what I’m doing in gigs and I don’t want to stop doing that. But I feel like, over the last few years, singing other people’s songs all the time I’ve somewhat lost the original idea of the character. She’s supposed to be dripping in disdain. She’s supposed to be narcissistic and inappropriate but ultimately benevolent. So having been a guest in a few YouTube videos I suddenly found, that side of Vanity was back and it was much more acute.
Do you mix ever mix the two onstage?
Lately I’ve been mixing both a little bit. Now I feel I’m doing that more regularly, and when the camera comes on I’m envisaging that onstage. I think I’m getting back to where I want to be as a performer. I’ve grown so much as a singer and a musician from exploring those elements and I’m now ready to come full circle, going into my eighth year with Vanity.
There’s more and more people going down the YouTube and vlogging route these days. How do you stand out?
Well, we’ll see in time how I stand out [laughs]
That’s something you must have thought about though?
Yeah, absolutely. The main reason [my channel] is different is because I can walk out onto a stage and deliver a confident performance. While most YouTubers have spent their time masturbating to videos of themselves in their bedroom, that’s not where I’ve come from; I’ve never given a performance where there isn’t an audience.
Being a live performer gives you that edge over the others?
I think it means I know what I want to achieve, too. I have set myself targets of how many subscribers I want to aim for by a certain time. The plan is then to pull them into new types of live shows, not like the shows I do now but something along the lines of a talk show. People will come to a comedy venue and I’ll talk at them like I do in the videos. Not standup as such, but that type of thing.
Is Vanity imagining she’s playing to an audience when she’s on camera?
No, I don’t think so. I think she just imagines what she’s saying is important. One of the lines in a recent video that made me laugh like an old dear was: ‘Ellie Goulding has quit music to become a pair of hair straighteners’, which was actually said by our Dylan Jones. This is the thing that I’m really happy about; it’s not just about me. Half or more of the videos are me and a guest.
That’s so very generous of you, to let the guests be funny too.
[laughs] Well the comedy is a relationship. I’ve got some cool guests coming up. There’s even talk of Jonathan Ross appearing in one.
Finally, something I’ve always wanted to know: what makes Vanity laugh?
The misfortunes of others.
Subscribe to Vanity’s videos here.