Q Park: From investment banker to YouTube star

ByJosh Hartmann & Jamie Nguyen & Johanna Trupp via WABC logo
Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Meet social superstar Q Park, who really just wants to make people laugh and smile.

MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- He has fans by the millions across various social media platforms, from Instagram to YouTube. They love him for his ability to make them laugh in his sketches, reaction videos and challenges. For Q Park, he really just wants to make people laugh and smile.

Q Park -- which is a combination of his first name and last name -- said, "We want to do just feel-good videos, bring a positive vibe." But what really makes him stand out is that he is a socially conscientious video star on a very personal mission.

"Q" as he is often referred to makes a conscious decision to be family-friendly. He avoids controversial topics for his videos.

He said, "We don't want to put anything out there that would make anyone feel uncomfortable." He added, "We get approached by parents who tell us they watch on TV with their kids.Those few interactions really hit home."

His breakout video on YouTube? People reacting to him walking around New York City wearing a romper. It's racked up 2 million views in a few months.

Why a romper? He explained that the male romper was something that was negative and being ridiculed. So he set out to find if people would be "really accepting or grossed out."

He believes that while his video is entertaining, it also proves that if you're confident, you are able to wear whatever you want. The lesson he said is,"Be comfortable in your own skin."

His biggest hit so far on YouTube? "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as Kim Jong Un," the supreme leader of North Korea. It has 11 million views.

Q Park first rose to social stardom on the now-defunct Vine. He used the 6-second video format to make people laugh. He was so popular he attracted 3.5 million followers. When it suddenly shut down, he needed to find a new way to connect with people. That's when he turned to other platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

He now has a million followers on Instagram and 2.7 million on Facebook. In the past few months he has found success on YouTube. In less than a year, he has nearly half a million subscribers on the video network and his videos have been viewed 37 million times and counting.

The New Yorker graduated from Yale with a business degree and started out as an investment banker. He said he "killed himself working over a 100 hours a week." He quit and and opened up a couple of restaurants, but soon realized, "I just didn't have real passion for making food, I have a passion for eating food."

In 2014 when he said social media started taking off, he sold the restaurants and jumped into social media full time. He explained, "Social media is a combination of a lot of things I like to do. It is artistically fulfilling. I like to perform and entertain. I also like to control my own destiny and content."

He writes his own stuff and comes up with his ideas while exercising. "Exercising is a great juice for creativity," he said.

He also collaborates with his girlfriend and partner Edith Oquendo. She does most of the camera work and is slowly starting to surface in front of the camera. Without a background in video production, the couple had to learn how to do everything. So where did they turn? To tutorials on YouTube of course.

With Q's growing popularity, he is getting recognized more and more. Q said, "I'm getting so much love. They are recognizing me as an individual. Not some crazy Asian guy."

And that fits with his bigger, personal mission. The social superstar said, "It's important to me not to sell into Asian stereotypes because it's an easy way to get views and likes, but I'm trying to portray Asians, especially Asian men in a different light because I don't think there's enough representation in traditional media."

Oquendo added, "We've actually turned down campaigns. We're not going to do that. He's not the quiet Asian male. He's gonna go out and sing out loud and shock people."

Their social success is leading to other opportunities. A clothing line is launching soon. A podcast is also in the works and perhaps even a show to launch on Facebook.

They earn a six-figure salary through their social media channels. In the past they've worked with HP and Virgin Mobile. Their rule for working with anyone? Make sure the brand fits what they're doing. They say it's important that the fans can relate to the products. So far, they have been lucky to work with brands they use in their personal lives.

For anyone trying to break into social media stardom: Q advises, "If you're going to do it, be prepared to treat it as a job. Don't try to be like other people. It sounds cliche, but have your own voice."

Q said, "Life is so short to keep yourself in such a little box. People need to step out of their comfort zone a little bit, it's not that serious."

Visit Q Park's website for more information.

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