In top Cyprus influencer PAUL LAMBIS finds a DJ using humour to fuel his success, and detail gaming experiences, but life on social media is not all that it appears
George Ioannou, better known online as 2J, is a Cypriot DJ, music artist and YouTuber, ranking number one in both Cyprus and Greece. Born in London to a Greek Cypriot father and Italian mother, 2J lives in Ayia Napa where he manages his YouTube channels from his trendy studio, focusing on gaming, parodies, and other videos. Surpassing the million-subscriber mark, 2J’s popularity is continuously rising as he remains dedicated to his comedy form.
Since 2007 when he first launched his YouTube channel, 2J maintains a high level of activity across all his social media accounts, constantly thinking outside the box, and capturing his audience’s attention.
“At first, I was making YouTube videos just for fun,” 2J says. “Back then, I had no money, however all I wanted to do was to make people laugh, creating videos without having to show my face.”
2J claims that his first videos were “terrible,” to the point where he deleted them all. “The potential to get wealthy while working from home made YouTube very appealing,” he adds. “I had already figured out how to capture and keep my audience’s attention; all that was left was to create a way to monetise my passion.”
Since becoming a full-time vlogger, and after putting his face to his name, 2J’s often hilarious and always genuine videos became a staple part of his channel, attracting over one million subscribers. Accessible, and authentic to his viewers, 2J’s international influence soon caught the attention of the YouTube organisation, rewarding him for his subscriber counts, while recognising his power to influence consumers’ purchasing power.
But there is a down side. “You cannot please everyone all the time, and you cannot possibly offer everything that everyone would want all the time either,” says 2J. “You can either be yourself on YouTube and accept all the judgement that comes along with it, or you can be the ‘correct’ influencer, which is what I tried to be.”
But despite appearing to have made it in the eye of many wannabes, according to 2J influencers are not happy. “You see many YouTubers talking about anxiety and depression, as they often feel the need to be anything but themselves on screen.” 2J describes the experience as highly stressful, suggesting that most influencers are motivated by the subscriber count and the financial gain that comes with it, often falling into the trap of producing content that does not represent who they truly are. “Most of the time whatever is trending is fake.”
On the home front, and in Greece, 2J’s reputation as a force of influence had a direct impact on his career, creating opportunities and collaborations with well-known Greek pop singers and rap artists, teaming up for music videos, and performing live at the MAD Video Music Awards with Eleni Foureira in 2019.
“A lot of people meet me up close and expect me to be this happy guy that they see on my videos,” he admits. “On the contrary, I am a shy and introverted individual.” 2J’s lively and energetic videos are created to appeal to his millennial and Gen Z audiences. “The average attention span of a millennial is 12 seconds, and for Gen Zs that number is an even more disappointing 8 seconds, which is why I start all my videos with a bang!”
The enormous popularity of his primary channel, together with his passion for gaming, inspired him to launch a second channel, involving playthroughs and walkthroughs of popular video games with a “comedic spin.” Since its inception in 2014, 2J Games has amassed nearly one million subscribers and over 300 million video views.
When asked about the future, 2J admits that the internet is going through some unpredictable changes. “Things can change overnight, so I do not really bother about making any plans for the future. I want people to look back at my videos ten years from now and agree with what I was saying and doing.”
Although 2J believes every opportunity has a shelf life, he hopes on leaving a legacy behind that will celebrate him as an influencer who chose to make a difference on YouTube, rather than to be remembered as ‘The Funny Guy.’
For a full interview follow the link on the Cyprus Mail’s GoodLiving portal