23 Apr April influencer of the month @m_shobain
Listen to Mohanned’s Spotify playlist, curated for Vamp:
Let’s get to know @m_shobain. Based in Saudi Arabia, our April influencer of the month told us how he shot a YouTube music video with 42k views, gave us tips on growing a TikTok following and his favourite shoot locations for Instagram. That’s what we call a triple threat!
Congratulations Mohanned! We’re so excited to name you April’s influencer of the month. Your authenticity is one of the things that makes you stand out. What does that mean to you?
It’s so important for me to be my most genuine self. For me, brand partnerships are about showing that a brand is part of my everyday life, not just a product that I am promoting or selling.
I believe that my content should reflect my personality and always keep this in mind when shooting. It’s important that your creative ideas feel authentic to you. Avoid trying to talk, behave or act like someone you’re not.
Where are your three favourite locations to shoot at – and why?
Basketball courts, Cornish and parks. I’m a lover of the outdoors and an athlete, so these places allow me to feel like myself while shooting content. I get so much positive energy when I shoot there. It feels authentic and that helps me be more creative with my content.
You tend to shoot some of your content with photographers. Do you prefer to collaborate when shooting?
Yes I do! I love to collaborate with professional photographers and videographers while shooting my bigger projects. They tend to have a better and more unique eye when shooting. Also, I haven’t mastered the editing process yet, so I like to leave that up to the professionals! However, it’s something I want to learn.
Last September you dropped a new song AND music video on YouTube. Tell us a little bit more about that and what went into creating that.
I wanted the song and music video to spread awareness about basketball, how it can bring people together and encourage others to play. When I was writing the song, I originally wanted known rappers to perform it. But then I thought, why not get out of my comfort zone and give this a shot myself.
I reached out to some top Saudi rappers for advice for performing and filming a music video. One of the biggest things I learnt was that you need to be very energetic and capture lots of movement in front of the camera! You basically need to zone out and have the mindset that no one is watching you. It’s just you and the camera. Good advice for shooting any type of content – still or video.
What are three tips you’d give to other creators looking to grow their TikTok audience?
#1 Start a new trend. I started this one and drew inspiration from something I know well and what would feel relatable to my audience. Then I added a humorous element to it. This is a great way to potentially go viral and have participating users tag you to give credit, helping you reach a wider community
#2 First impressions count. Your content could hit the FYP and have hundreds of eyes on it, so it’s important you draw users in during the first two seconds of your video to keep them wanting more. I do this by featuring something exciting or unique to the eyes or ears. This could be an outfit, a hairstyle, the environment I’m in etc.
#3 Duet viral videos. This shows collaboration and is a great way to connect with your online community. Sometimes duetting a famous video and adding your own touch to it becomes a trend in itself, helping you gain more views and new followers.
Learn more tips here.
If a creator is just starting out on TikTok, what is one piece of advice you would give to them?
I have a few pieces of advice to share:
#1 Don’t be shy to act. Get out of your comfort zone with this one. The platform allows for acting videos or skits. This type of content can perform well, especially with all the trending sounds available to use.
#2 It’s OK to look silly. Don’t take yourself too seriously on the app. The more spontaneous and fun your TikTok content is, the better.
#3 Lighting and camera angles are important. Although it’s more of a fun platform, your lighting and camera angles are still important to consider to ensure you capture the full story you’re trying to tell.
How do you create and edit your TikTok content?
I usually just shoot and edit directly on TikTok. Like I said, spontaneity is the key to TikTok success. This method works well for me as it’s quick and easy. I sometimes have to repeat takes multiple times, but I find this productive as it improves my on-screen performance.
Quick fire round. Right now I am…
Listening: B.I.G x Om Kalthoum remix
Watching: NBA Highlights
Wearing: Puma everywhere
Drinking: Watermelon and pineapple juice