Most teenagers don’t have over five million subscribers on Youtube, a music career, and legendary Fortnite status. Tiko is not most teenagers.
“There’s an advantage to being a younger streamer,” he said. “I can put a lot of my time into trying out new things. If something doesn’t work out, I can always try something new!”
The Youtuber, who recently hit the five million milestone, is known for his Fortnite videos and also for his alter ego, “Fishy,” in which he uses a voice modulator to sound like a child while using the Fortnite Fishy costume.
However, Tiko said he was not trying to create his initial brand around Fishy.
“Fishy just kinda came with Fortnite and everything. I just happened to wear fish skin in my original video [and] the fish skin really stuck,” he said. “It was never really a plan to base my brand around it, but a lot of people really liked it.” He added that people saw him wearing the fish costume, then people started to associate the fish costume with Tiko, and the initial brand was born.
In addition to streaming as the character and as himself, Tiko uses the voice modulator and character to rap and create music. His song, “Fishy On Me,” has over 73 million views, and many of his other uploads using the character have over 10 million each.
The success was both wonderful and shocking to him.
“When everything took off, everything was stressful and scary. I didn’t have the internet for the week after everything blew up. I’m thinking, ‘This is the one time I need to start making videos, and now I can’t make them,’” he said. “Now, I want to make sure I’m still making content. I don’t want to be [unmotivated].”
This success also allowed Tiko to give back to the community. As revenue streams started coming in, Tiko decided to give some of his earnings to a local homeless shelter. His goal was to donate, and also allow them to go to a grocery store for food, which he would pay for. Due to COVID-19, this project has been put on hold, but once it’s safe Tiko said he wants to make this a reality.
Though Tiko’s now in the upper echelon of Youtube success, his videos didn’t start out making waves. Tiko began creating content on an old Chromebook that he got from his school, making random videos around his house. He was eventually given an old PC from his father, which allowed him to start creating Fortnite videos. As he started to slowly gain subscribers and realize he needed to create more content, he upgraded.
Tiko got a loan for his first PC, built it, and continued to create and stream. Through it all, he was basically a one-man-show.
“I edited all my own stuff, even while uploading daily and going to school,” he said. Thanks to Youtube success, he now has editors to help, which also lets him make time for another thing he truly cares for: his family.
“I love my parents. They love what they do, and are passionate about it. They want to do what they love,” he said. “I have a lot of value with spending time with friends and family, and with content creation it can be very stressful with how much I’m doing. Now I have editors because of how much I’m uploading.”
It’s these values that have also influenced Tiko to continue his career in streaming, proclaiming, “This is what I want to do with my life. This is the job I want to have.”
Not only is Tiko passionate about streaming, there’s also a reason he continues to play Fortnite. “Fortnite has something you can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “Other games try to copy it, but Fortnite is always number one.” He also said he didn’t even get into gaming until he started playing Fortnite, and he wants to be the person who takes the game “To the next level.”
This passion and value set also sees Tiko taking his brand in another direction. Fishy brought him success, and he isn’t planning on getting rid of the character, but he wants to start moving away from it. However, the direction he wants to take his brand in, he said, is in direct correlation with Fishy. This is because Tiko wants to keep the “tropical vibe” of his brand.
“I wanted to base my brand around a tropical beach theme, because of the idea of relaxation,” he said. “I’m family friendly, so I want [parents] to know that my channel is a safe place where they can let their kids watch my videos. When I think of a tropical beach, I think of a vacation, a safe place.”
He did add that he wants people to know there will still be “fish-related content.”
As Tiko continues to build his brand with a bright future ahead of him, he shared some advice with the community, letting people know that if people want to be successful, they can be.
“If you can give people something on your channel that you can’t get everywhere else, and can do it consistently and it’s high quality, then you are destined for greatness,” he said.
Tiko has revolutionized the Youtube gaming sphere, and we at Stropse can’t wait to see what’s next from our favorite fish.