What made you decide to start making YouTube videos?
Lilly: Few reasons, actually…I was coming out of a really difficult time period and I wanted a way to cheer myself up and also cheer other people up. And then I discovered YouTube, which was a great platform to express myself and spread positivity. And from a business point of view, when I discovered YouTube, I saw that there were no South Asian females doing it, so I thought it was a great opportunity in a business sense to create a niche market [and target that audience].
So those are some of the business and personal reasons why I started doing it, but I think it all just comes down to [the fact that] ever since I was young, I've always loved creativity and expressing myself and I love that spotlight! So I think finding YouTube was just that perfect platform.
When did you first realize you were famous, and what was your reaction?
Lilly: (Laughs) I wouldn't say I'm famous yet, but I am starting to get recognized…the first time people approached me in a mall, it was just overwhelming and I didn't know what to make of it. And it still is…I'm always shocked, because you don't realize those numbers on the internet actually reflect real people, and then when you go to an event and there's thousands of people [that came to see you]…it's always just overwhelming, shocking, and thrilling every single time. And I don't think that'll ever go away.
What’s the craziest/most memorable thing a fan’s ever done?
Lilly: I've had fans do some pretty awesome things…I once had a fan do a mock proposal for me in Mubai, inside a McDonalds...and I've had fans give me some precious things. I had one fan give me her mother's ring; I've gotten some pretty intense stuff. And I always get drawings and scrapbooks from fans, which is also pretty cool.
Who are your favorite YouTubers?
I noticed you’ve started doing collabs with some other famous YouTubers, like Ryan Higa, Jenna Marbles and Shane Dawson. How do you all know each other and how do you make this happen? Must be difficult since you’re in Canada and they’re in California.
Same question goes for stars like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Sean and Madhuri Dixit. How did you get them to be in your videos?
Have you thought about expanding into other things like acting for television, screenwriting, or writing a book?
Lilly: Yes, definitely! I think one of the things about me is that I need to constantly challenge myself, so I want to keep making YouTube videos twice a week for sure, but I also do wanna write a book, and I do wanna try film and television. I want to do everything I can possibly do to step outside the box. So I definitely wanna try all those things, and that is the plan for 2015!
Your video “What I do on airplanes” had me cracking up. Was it difficult to film on a plane? What were the other passengers saying?
My personal favorite was “Emotions I Go Through When I See My Crush Online” mostly because it’s so relatable. Do you have any advice for girls who are going through that phase right now, like on how to be more confident around guys?
Would you say being famous makes dating easier or more difficult?
Lilly: (Laughs) Again, [still not famous]! But definitely being in the public eye, I think [that] makes dating more difficult. Because you never know why people are messaging you. The majority of people call or message me because they need something or they want something. You never know what people's intentions are. And also being a confident, outspoken female in the public eye, it can intimidate a lot of guys. A lot of guys don't like that. So it can definitely prove to be difficult. Trust issues definitely skyrocket when you're in the public eye.
Another favorite video of mine was “Why Brown Girls Like White Guys.” Would you say you’ve dated more white guys or brown guys, and do your parents have a preference either way?
Speaking of parents, your videos where you play your parents are always hilarious. How similar are your parents in real life to their respective characters?
Do your parents watch all your YouTube videos? And have they commented on how much you make fun of them?
Lilly: My parents definitely watch all my videos; it is the most awkward thing of life. Every time I walk by the room, they're watching my videos. [It's] extremely weird. They do comment, but they understand I'm not actually making fun of them, because that's not how they act. They understand I'm just making fun of parents, not necessarily them. And that took quite a bit of an explaining period, and now they always joke about how they should make commission on my videos!
Have you tried getting your real parents to react to things like Anaconda and Wrecking Ball?
Your job gives you lots of opportunities to travel. Do you travel mostly to give motivational speeches? And what is your favorite place you’ve been to?
Lilly: I do travel a lot! I travel for a lot of things; I travel for shoots, to perform, host events, have meetings, do motivational speeches, and do stand-up comedy. So, lots of reasons [to travel]. And I've been to a lot of amazing places, but two that have stuck out are Mumbai, India and Singapore. There's a whole bunch of places I wanna go this year, but we'll just have to stay tuned for that!
Got any advice for other people who want to do something cool like acting, screenwriting, or making YouTube videos, but are too afraid to put themselves out there and feel pressured to go the safe route?
Lilly: I would say, life is about decisions, and if you wanna do something cool, when else are you gonna do it? We all gotta make that decision in our lives, like do I wanna do what I love or do I wanna take the safe route? And obviously, not taking the safe route is absolutely terrifying. And while my job is exciting, it is also extremely challenging. It's unstable…I'm just going with the flow, and it's the best decision I've ever made. And one piece of advice I actually heard was "If you keep having a Plan B, you'll never give your Plan A 100%." So I'm a big believer in taking risks sometimes. You only live once; you gotta take the risk!