Joey Birlem Gives RAW Interview
RAW: You have over a million followers on Instagram! How did you get started in social media?
JOEY: I moved out to L.A. when I was 13 and I was living in an apartment complex with my mom and my sister right in the center of Hollywood. I became friends with my a friend of my sister’s who taught me how to do it all. He made my apps and my name and stuff all “itsjoeybirlem” and we both just started and kind of became a group, like us two were doing social media together.
RAW: It’s you and Tayler [Holder] right?
JOEY: Yeah, me and Tayler. And we made a YouTube channel together called Jayler which is both of our names mixed, and that was blowing up at the time. Then we decided go our separate ways now but we’re still best friends.
RAW: What’s the best advice you were given from your social media big brothers? And how was living with Cameron Dallas?
JOEY: Cameron was amazing. He taught me a lot of stuff, he mostly taught me how to stay active! Like I wasn’t usually posting every single day and he helped me a lot with that, and I think that’s what kind of gave me a lot also.
RAW: I’ve heard you’ve had a few near death experiences: ran over by two cars. Do you have any new perspective on life since this has happened to you?
JOEY: (laughs) I’m kind of still a little bit spooked whenever I ride a bike near a driveway because I feel like a car is just gonna come out and hit me. So I kind of stay in the middle of the road and just watch out for cars.
RAW: How has social media influenced your whole career?
JOEY: It made me more outgoing and happier, a nicer person, I got more friends. It just benefited me in every way.
RAW: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to grow their social media audience?
JOEY: You gotta post every single day! Stay active if you already have fans. If you don’t have fans and you post everyday, then you will get fans.
RAW: Where did you grow up?
JOEY: I grew up in Scotts Valley which is right next to Santa Cruz. It’s a really small town. I knew everybody at my school and I could walk to school, walk back. It was pretty dope. I loved it.
RAW: You started singing at 6-years-old. Was there one song you listened to that inspired you to become a singer?
JOEY: Uh... "Baby" by Justin Bieber. (laughs)
RAW: What kind of genre of music do you want to make?
JOEY: Definitely pop, rap, hip-hop. Stuff like that.
RAW: What’s the funniest prank you played on someone or someone played on you?
JOEY: Oh! In 8th grade the whole school shunned me for I think it was like the whole entire school year. Like the whole school would not talk to me at all. It was pretty bad, it wasn’t really a prank.
RAW: So I saw you went to Southeast Asia with a few friends. How was your experience?
JOEY: We went to Jakarta, Indonesia, Bangkok, Thailand, and Tokyo, Japan. And they were all pretty dope! My favorite was definitely Thailand! We went in these little rafts and rode elephants.
RAW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JOEY: (takes deep breath) I think I’ll have kids by then. I’ll have a girl that I want to marry, I don’t know if I’ll marry her yet. I want to have a big house and want to be successful in whatever I do.
RAW: What are some things that not everyone realizes about being such a big star at such a young age?
JOEY: I think (the lack of) privacy, definitely.
RAW: Is it tough to get used to not having as much privacy as before?
JOEY: Yeah, like my phone number gets leaked all the time and I have people texting me, and that’s like my only thing that’s private to me…
RAW: What are some things that keep you grounded?
JOEY: My mom always teaches me how to be humble and stay humble. She’s the only one. My friends teach me how to stay humble too!
RAW: Has your friend group changed since before you found social media fame?
JOEY: Yeah, definitely, in a gigantic way. All of my friends now, since I do social media, are all social media personalities. Back then, I didn’t know anybody who did social media until I met Tayler.
RAW: What are some things that have helped you stay positive?
JOEY: I’ve always been like, “Just keep on going up.” I’ve never gone up and then down. I’ve always just been going up. And my entire family supports everything that I do. They have my back to the fullest.
RAW: How far do you want to take this whole thing? Is there an end goal in sight?
JOEY: I don’t think there’s an end goal but maybe social media is something that brings me up to something and then I branch out to modeling or acting. ᴿᴬᵂ