Social media star, Monaco-based YouTuber GMK has had a banner year. seen in the Principality’s streets by car enthusiasts “deviant”, he posts one video a week on YouTube, where his fan base has grown to 1.67 million subscribers. He took us on board this summer for an interview in his element and therefore promotes confidence.
Do you remember when you took your driving test? Of course ! I got the code twice, it annoyed me a bit. The theoretical part is not what interests me, but it is important to pass it. Drove on the other side I got it right away. For me, driving is synonymous with freedom.
What was your first supercar? A C63 AMG sedan that I bought used in Antibes with 70,000 km. My first really powerful car (457 horsepower). She made a crazy noise, unbelievable.
You launch on Instagram and YouTube to create content for the automotive industry, was it easy? No way. I was extremely shy. I started sharing my daily life with beautiful cars. I realized that it is a very closed, very secretive environment. Nobody knew how much tires cost on an AMG. People thought an overhaul was worth 20,000 euros. I was able to provide all this information by popularizing and democratizing luxury cars. Although I wasn’t the best technician or driver, my little amateur side was appreciated. I made my videos without pretending to say, ”I’m a car journalist”. I was wrong about the horsepower, the engine and many other details, but at the end of the day it’s what people like. It’s like a discussion between friends.
“At first I was very embarrassed, I didn’t film myself, I didn’t make jokes, my voice was very flat”
Were you uncomfortable with the camera? I was very uncomfortable! There was even a time when I posted pictures of myself on Instagram next to cars, blurring my face. I was faced with a choice: do I become a public figure or remain George? At first I was very embarrassed, I didn’t film myself, I didn’t make jokes, my voice was very flat. It was a bit gloomy. One day I took the camera and showed my face. I gave myself time and it happened quite naturally.
What memory do you have of your first million views on the networks? My first buzz was the camouflage of my RS6. No one did, so it attracted. There were those who said: ”Who is this redneck with bad taste?”; and those who loved it. We like it or we don’t like it, but I respect it. Maybe I couldn’t stay out either! I have always accepted criticism.
Especially those asking how you got all those cars… I don’t care about people who make up rumours. I chose not to talk about it and at the time it was also what got the buzz. The slightly mysterious side of the character, camouflage car, tattoos. At first glance, I seem like the guy who is very confident, who talks about it and who drives a Ferrari with big watches, and then people say: ”Ah, but actually you’re nice”. it means that I have a bit of an idiot’s head and that I am ultimately a bit of an idiot. But not too much. [rires]
“Otherwise lock yourself at home, cut off the internet and no one will bother you”
Has success changed you? I remained completely the same. The fact of having more funds than before, more cars, more watches and fame has not changed my mentality. I just see myself as a friend of many people, on the same level as them. It’s internet stardom, I didn’t make a crazy movie or showcase any specific talent. I’d rather we idolize a surgeon or someone who saves lives than a guy who makes car videos. But I am happy to be people’s friend. There are families telling me they watch my videos at dinner in the living room, it makes me super happy.
Do your fans matter a lot? Without my community I would be nowhere. I’m just the one who creates the content, but if you create content and no one sees it, you don’t represent anything in our society. You owe your success to people. Every view has a real person behind it. When I travel to Monaco, someone calls me every meter and asks me for a photo or a dedication. The people I’m with say to me: ”But aren’t you tired of it?”. No, because it was I who looked for it, made myself known. If you don’t figure them out when you meet the people who support you in real life, you need to change jobs. Otherwise, lock yourself at home, cut the internet and no one will bother you.
Has this success on the networks opened up a lot of opportunities for you? Huge. If the Prince of Monaco did me the honor of coming to make a video with me, it is not because he needs it. There was nothing at stake for him, he just wanted to show me that he appreciated what I was doing and the image that I rejected from Monaco. It is a certain form of recognition. I think it will remain my most important video, my biggest pride. Filming at the Monaco circuit with the sovereign driving your car and never-before-seen footage.
“There have been too many scams on the Internet and it’s becoming a nuisance”
And the universe of influences? I don’t have many friends in general, and I have even fewer influencer friends. The world is unfortunately very interested. People are not talking to you for you, but because you have 3 million followers. YouTuber Inoxtag is one of those that I get on very well with. The feeling immediately went well between us. He is respectful, kind, polite and very mature. He has always supported me by promoting me on his networks. He doesn’t have to, so I’m grateful to him. Every meeting I’ve done for my videos are always people I’ve appreciated. I never make a video just out of interest.
You have not chosen to join an influencer agency. Why ? I do everything on my side. I want to maintain my integrity, my independence. I sign without an agency because I have chosen to earn less from my social networks. You can earn a lot of money through social media. Hundreds of thousands of euros a month if you fully earn from them. But at some point when I discovered this media, I encountered some not good things and I had some problems.
E.g ? We wanted me to do a partnership for, say, PlayStation controllers. I sent them to a friend who plays a lot to test them. Eventually I saw that they were rotten and that it was a scam. So I decided not to trust anyone anymore and I personally test all the products that I recommend to people. I stand by what I offer my subscribers. It’s super important because people trust me. There have been too many scams on the internet and it is becoming a plague. For me it is above all passion. After I make a lot of money, I don’t want to hide it, but I monetize my content in a reasonable way. I offer partnerships for license plates, for car care products, I work with Audi, Porsche. It resonates with my audience. An agency offered me to do something with teeth whitening. I said to him, ”Have you seen my teeth? If I advertise it will close your business!”. [rires]
How is a partnership with Porsche going? Porsche doesn’t pay me. To give an example, I can be anywhere in the world and ask them to give me a car to produce content. It’s not like I’m driving around with kids in the car! When I’m in Paris and I want to make a video with Inoxtag, Rim’k or Gad Elmaleh, I call Porsche and ask for a model. If the car is available, he lends it to me. But I have the right to criticize. I did a video with the rapper PLK and we had a Taycan Turbo S, an electric car. I don’t particularly have electric cars in my heart, and I said I didn’t like it. I don’t want a car brand paying me to tell people I like their cars.