YouTube Star Christian Collins Signs Management Deal With Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson is set to launch Canadian YouTube star Christian Collins through a new management deal that will guide the release of a new EP and tour in 2017, the former American Idol judge tells Billboard.
Jackson first learned of Collins -- who has amassed 30 million followers and 4 billion views across his social platforms, including his YouTube channel, WeeklyChris, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram -- through technology company Influential, of which Jackson serves on the board of advisors.
Jackson, who's also known for his work on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, as well as his musical contributions recording for Journey, Bruce Springsteen and more, brought Collins in for a meeting a few months ago and was so impressed he signed the 20-year-old musician to a management deal. In addition to musical acts, the roster also includes models and chefs. As part of the deal, Jackson will guide Collins’ music career, including music production, touring, and promotion.
"My friend Chris Detert from the influencer technology company, Influential, that I’m on the board of, introduced us over the summer," Jackson tells Billboard.
Collins came into the office and played Jackson some of his originals as well as acoustic tunes. Jackson was impressed with the singer, who already found success when two singles -- "You Don’t Have to Go" and "Amazing" -- charted on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart.
"Christian is one of the more talented singers that I’ve come across in the world of social media influencers,” Jackson says. “I truly believe that he has the ability to transcend his social fame and become a popular recording artist. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help him get there.”
Collins began his career at age of 11 when he decided to start uploading songs to his YouTube channel. Collins, who plays drums, keyboards, and "a little guitar," found his voice early on as he was heavily influenced by "a lot of hip hop and R&B," as well as popular Canadian acts The Weeknd, Drake, and PartyNextDoor.
He also has another talent: beat boxing. "It used to bug my family on car rides, but we’re a musical family so they would all jump in and add their own sound," Collins tells Billboard.
Collins also grew up watching American Idol and definitely knew who Jackson was when Detert connected the two. “Randy Jackson is a music legend and I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with him,” he said.
Collins had already been working on music for over a year, and the deal with Jackson will make its release to a wider audience a reality. On Friday (Dec. 17), Collins set the stage for 2017 with the release of his new single "Aint Ready."
Collins says the song, produced by Swagga Bob, is "about a relationship and the struggles of going back and forth and fighting."
"After a while the person is not here in your heart," he says of the song, which features the lyrics, "you got me running around in circles with nowhere else to go."
"It’s drawn from personal experiences and a mix of a friend’s experience," Collins continues."It’s a song a lot of people can relate to."
Released two days ago, the song is already being warmly received by his fans, who are sharing videos of themselves singing along to the lyrics. "I got the coolest fans ever," he says.
Even though the song title is "Ain't Ready," Collins says that 2016 was a "preparation year," and he's excited to release a video for the song and hit the road for his On My Mind tour. "I wasn’t ready when I made it [the song ]but I’m ready now," he says.
"We’ve got a lot of exciting stuff in the works for Christian in 2017," Jackson adds. " Let’s just say that you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.”