16.09.2016

The Superb Grant Hinds

The game crazy TV host turned Youtuber

Playing, reviewing and reporting on video games for a living sounds like a sweet gig – and it is – but getting there isn't child's play. Just ask Grant Hinds, the local video game expert GQ and Expresso lean on for gaming news and advice. You may recognise Grant from his work with both, or perhaps one of his radio spots, or maybe you're one of his nearly 13,000 Youtube subscribers (or it could be when we shot his game-changing partner, Aléz Odendaal, and he photobombed...). However you come across him, you won't look away – Grant's love for what he does is highly infectious, and if that doesn't get your attention his shock of pink hair definitely will.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?

Playing video games, and spending time with my S/O. I also love watching films and series. Have you guys seen Stranger Things? You need to.

What’s the next thing you’d like to tick off your bucket list?

Ooh. Um, I don’t know. I don’t have a bucket list. I think enjoying what you have around you, and creating more opportunities to have those things themselves be better is important – rather that is, than having long-term goals you’d like to achieve one day.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

A bit of both. I never sleep. But on a good day – a morning person.

What are the top 10 things on your Wishlist?

Better studio gear – always. Drones, better cameras, microphones. Stuff that’s going to help me create better videos.

What are you reading right now?

Console Wars by Blake J. Harris.

What’s one question you would ask the president?

Do you think that the new FPB laws are necessary considering the potential damage caused to South African creatives, and if so, why?

How did you start doing what you do?

I started on TV, giving video game and tech reviews, and was then poached by a potential Youtube competitor to do that for them exclusively. So, obviously that got shut down, and I went back into traditional media, where I meet Caspar (Lee). He helped me realise that Youtube was an option for that kind of content. I took the tip and ran with it, slowly removing myself from other platforms until I was where I am now – doing Youtube almost exclusively.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs wanting to start a business?

Firstly, don’t set out to make money. Set out to do something that you love. The money often follows your passion. Doing things this way means you’re likely to make a lasting difference in your field.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve had so many incredible mentors, but there’s one concept that really holds truth for me. Pitch up for work. Casey Neistat is one of the best and biggest Youtubers around, and he maintains that his success comes from the follow-through of consistent and frequent work.

What would you do with a R100 000 investment?

Again, better gear is important to me, but so is community. Having more equipment to play around with allows me to make that gear available to the Youtube community. There are a lot of cool people starting out and making things happen with DIY lighting and so on. Imagine what they could do with the right stuff?

Which words or phrases do you overuse?

High-five a stranger. It’s part of my sign-off in every video.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think I’d like to be more aware of the people around me. When you do this kind of work you tend to be self-centred. Sensitivity would help with this oversight.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Pink hurr, don’t curr.

Which historical figure do you identify with the most?

I don’t really identify with any, but my work has made me sympathetic to figures who worked hard to establish new ways to for us to consume the world and to express ourselves in it. That’s everyone from the pioneers of the printing press, through to the efforts of Madame CJ Walker, and later to the trails and success of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Inventors and early adopters ring my bells.  

What is your biggest regret?

Sticking to what was safe, and not taking ‘risks’ sooner.

When and where were you happiest?

Whenever someone has a positive response to a video I’ve put out. I don’t think people realise how much their feedback impacts a creator, but it does – a lot.

What causes you to lie?

Corners and being backed into them.

What is your idea of complete happiness?

When everybody is thinking of everyone else’s needs before their own. That would be a pretty happy space. Uncapped fibre is also sweet.