Mauna Kea stands 13,796 feet above sea level, but for one day, YouTube supergroup YTF was the biggest thing in Hawaii.
YTF stands for “Yesterday, Today, Forever,” and according to the group’s website, the goal is to entertain as well as to share the message “that success and happiness in one’s life starts with individual choice.”
YTF is comprised of seven members; former American Idol contestant Andrew Garcia, So You Think You Can Dance contestants and former Quest Crew members D-Trix and Victor Kim, YouTube musicians Chester See and JR Aquino, and YouTube comedians and vloggers Kevjumba and Ryan Higa.
As KHON 2 noted in a short news segment on the YTF concert, Ryan Higa’s YouTube fanbase, of four million subscribers, is larger than Justin Beiber’s or Lady Gaga’s.
While other members of YTF have had more mainstream exposure, Higa’s loyal fanbase makes him the easy leader and spokesperson for the group. Higa was the only one to feature a recap of their 5-day adventure in Hawaii and put it on YouTube.
Uploaded on October 22, “YTF in Hawaii” was the most viewed video in the People & Blogs section on YouTube on Monday. It has nearly 300,000 views.
At approximately nine minutes, the recap video follows the seven members of YTF as they attend media interviews, partake in a photoshoot, rehearse for their concert, and finally, get food at a late night joint following their performance.
YTF did not film any concert footage, knowing many show attendees would. YouTubers HeySayJesKuh2, 4jordann, and karenChinese have the best footage of the show, while Sarah1660 has the most comprehensive.
At times the act on stage is drowned out by screaming female fans, and the energy has a Beatles-cum-YouTube vibe.
In a vlog announcing the show on September 30, Higa thanked his fanbase “for everything that you’ve done for me” and “for making one of my childhood dreams come true.”
“It’s always been my dream to perform on a stage in Hawaii, ever since I was young. And to finally be able to make this happen, it’s like a dream come true for me,” Higa said.
In a Channel APA interview uploaded on September 30, Higa admitted the YTF group “started out as a joke” but quickly turned into a YouTube powerhouse.
“We did just say, hey, let’s do a show in Hawaii, and we just made it happen.”
Just like that.
When Higa was asked what exactly YTF stood for, he said it’s about spreading positive messages “around the world...We really do believe that anything can be possible.”
Instagram photo by KevJumba