Feature's YouTuber advent 2018's YouTuber advent 2018

When I say 'YouTuber', what do you think of?

I think of PewDiePie. I think of Fortnite. I think of Logan Paul vlogging a corpse. I think of influencers whining about hotels not giving them free holidays or guest slots at conventions. Then I start thinking about gin.

However, it's not all microwave and Tide Pod disappointment ruling the video giant. To celebrate the festive season, we've put together 12 excellent YouTubers for you to check out, spanning across multiple disciplines; gaming, films, fashion and more. 

Some are in here because they've had a great 2018, and some are in here because well, we like them.

Without further ado, here's our YouTuber advent!

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 UpIsNotJump

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    It's been a pretty good year for Matt, who runs UpIsNotJump. The channel kicked off 2018 with just over 100k subs and has racked up over 500k since.

    His particular brand of dry wit mixed with gaming knowledge has amassed him a passionate fanbase, alongside a pretty nice view to sub ratio which is pretty rare on YouTube.

    The channel covers a variety of titles but holds a particular focus on the Fallout franchise. I'm particularly fond of the 'absolute nightmare' series, which is a bunch of well-produced videos on the bad elements of certain games. The most recent installment discusses Fallout: 76.

    UpIsNotJump has also collaborated with similar creators this year, including Many A True Nerd and NerdCubed. 

  • 2 WheezyWaiter

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    Craig 'Wheezy Waiter' Benzine has been kicking around on YouTube for over 10 years, and he might just be the longest-serving creator on the list.

    His content has evolved throughout the years, from the earlier days of comedy skits and weird songs to his more recent vlog series that delve further into his daily life with his wife, Chyna.

    After sitting around the 500k mark for a few years, Benzine's channel experienced a resurgence in late 2018 and grew to 780k subscribers. His recent video on quitting sugar for a month racked up 7.4 million views and seemed to bring some new eyes to his content.

    While Wheezy is well overdue a gold play button, his content has always been entertaining and thoughtful and he's a genuine unsung hero of YouTube.

  • 3 ItsRadishTime

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    Taylor Behnke, who runs the channel Its RadishTime, is a small Brooklyn-based creator that records weekly vlogs spanning all kinds of topics.

    Behnke has been making content consistently for over four years. She often discusses current events, creative thoughts and ideas, alongside life advice videos. Her content is smart, eloquent and easy to digest regardless of the focus.

    While Behnke is one of the smaller creators on this list clocking in with just over 14,000 subs, she's definitely worth a look. She's also a part of YouTube Creators for Change - an initiative dedicated to finding and amplifying inspiring content creators on the platform.

    In a climate where YouTube feels swamped by vapidity, smaller creators like Behnke need to be heard more than ever. 

  • 4 Rare Earth

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    Rare Earth is an educational channel run by Evan Hadfield, the son of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield.

    Each week, the channel releases a mini-documentary on what I can only describe as 'cool life things'. Moments in history, science, nature and humanity are all explored in this short, weekly videos.

    Evan's space-based father has also made an appearance on the channel. Some of the channel's colder content features Chris Hadfield in short comedic skits about being an astronaut, but the Rare Earth series is the channel's main offering now.

    Clocking in at 665k subscribers, Rare Earth is quite a small channel despite the high-quality content it puts out. However, educational YouTube is a powerful tool, and companies are striving to see this type of content flourish more on the platform.

  • 5 Binging With Babish

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    Binging With Babish is a food channel run by filmmaker Andrew Rea.

    The bread and butter of Rea's channel are cooking tutorials laced with a quiet humour, where he often recreates dishes that are referenced in pop culture. His most popular servings include the 'Krabby Patty' from TV show Spongebob Squarepants, and 'Jake's perfect sandwich' from Adventure Time.

    Rea also offers tutorials on simpler things, such as the basics of some food. He has a series called 'Basics with Babish' where he showcases how to make dishes such as a slow-cooked pork joint or a simple salad.

    The channel has been active since 2006 but began to gain serious traction in early 2017. Binging with Babish hit 1 million subscribers last June, and has racked up over 3.5m to date. Rea has also written a book with a similar theme titled 'Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook For Movie Lovers'.

    Rea's content is both informative and entertaining, but we wouldn't recommend it on an empty stomach. 

  • 6 Daniel J. Layton

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    Daniel J. Layton is a British content, author, influencer and an all-around good egg. 

    He's often spotted on YouTube creating vlogs on a variety of topics, but his main fortés are cooking, books and Janet Jackson. His videos are comedic and well-presented and he's frequently joined by fellow YouTube creators, such as Jack Howard, Hazel Hayes and Dodie Clark.

    Layton has been active on YouTube for over six years, and his content has evolved with him in that time. It's been a steady grind; the YouTuber kicked off 2018 with 89,000 subs and is currently sat on 96,000, 4000 subs shy of a silver play button. 

    He's also written a book about baking, which will be available in 2019. At least we think it's about baking, it could just be a Janet Jackson biography. 

  • 7 Simone Giertz

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    Simone Giertz is a Swedish YouTuber and engineer. 

    Giertz shot to fame last year as the 'queen of shitty robots', which were robots she'd built herself to carry out various tasks. The robots were notorious for their amusing and animated malfunctions, but Giertz herself is no idiot. 

    In early 2018, Giertz was diagnosed with a brain tumour which saw her out of action for a few months. The creator has recovered from her surgery and has made a triumphant return to YouTube, as well as unveiling a Kickstarter project. 

    While Giertz's signature offering is her badly designed robots, the virality of those projects has given her a platform to showcase her talent and amass a great community. Her content is fun, light-hearted and inspirational, and her openness about her recent tumour has seen YouTube rally behind her. 

    So much so, that the engineer was featured in this year's YouTube Rewind alongside a handful of other science-based creators. 

  • 8 Ahsante The Artist

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    Ahsante is a U.S based YouTuber focusing on creativity, education and expression. 

    She releases one or two videos a month on her channel, Ahsante The Artist. The topics range from self-care and life advice, through to cultural events, sexuality and identity. Her videos are calm, entertaining and insightful. 

    Ahsante is one of the smaller channels on this list, clocking in at just over 17,000 subs. However, her content is always consistent and high quality. 

    YouTube is crying for more creators like Ahsante, ones that create to inspire and inform, and not to appease the algorithm. 

  • 9 Peaceful Cuisine

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    Food channels have experienced a popularity surge on YouTube in recent years. Peaceful Cuisine is one of them.

    The channel is run by Japanese filmmaker Ryoya Takashima, and it features well-crafted food and cooking tutorials. The videos are shot close up to the food Takashima is preparing, accompanied by calm instrumental music. 

    Alongside recipes, the channel also features ASMR tutorials with no music, Q&As, and an entire playlist of how to make different ice cream flavours.

    Takashima makes the content all about the food. The soft sounds and macro shots of ingredients creates an encapsulating experience that is almost impossible to turn away from. Literally peaceful cuisine. 



  • 10 Sailor J

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    JJ 'Sailor J' Smith is a U.S based comedy vlogger.
    Sailor J's channel started 2018 with around 170k subscribers, and that total has more than doubled in the last 12 months.

    Her brand of brash humour laced with sassy realness has earned her a loyal following this year. The staple of her videos is comedy beauty and make-up tutorials, where she demonstrates how to use certain products.

    The most popular video on her channel is 'Contouring 101' and it's racked up over 2.5 million views to date.

    Sadly, Sailor J is taking a break from YouTube content at the moment, which makes now a good time to catch up on the content she's made this year.

  • 11 Captain Disillusion

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    Captain Disillusion is a creator that focuses on the bizarre and inexplicable. Then he explains it. 

    The channel's main focus is videos that debunk visual and digital tricks. The cap will dissect illusions and clever editing techniques and show viewers how to recreate them. 

    A good example of this is his 'Definitive Guide to trick shots', in which he takes deconstructs the trick shot craze and demonstrates how videos can be edited to make it look like that ping pong ball bounced off 13 walls and into a thimble. 

    In the ever-expanding realm of digital manipulation and fake news, Captain Disillusion is a saviour.

  • 12 Linda Barsi

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    Linda Barsi is a small YouTube creator, writer and mental health advocate based in Los Angeles. 

    She's another one of the small influencers to grace this list, clocking in at just under 19,000 subscribers. However, her content speaks more volumes than her sub count. 

    Barsi's videos centre around life advice, creativity and support, alongside vlogs about her daily life and times. She's also chronicled her journey into gaining an MFA in screenwriting. 

    Her channel has been a little quiet for the past four months, which means you've got some time to go and catch up on her content. There's nothing more festive than helping a small creator break through the YouTube noise. 

  • 13 Casey Neistat

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    A bonus day? No way! At over 10 million subscribers, I thought everybody had heard of Casey Neistat. However, I learned this year that a lot of people hadn't. 

    Neistat has been on YouTube for over 10 years, and his content remains thoughtful and refined. The videographer has earned his keep and has even utilised his presence on YouTube to challenge some of its key figures. In 2018, he interviewed YouTube's chief business officer Robert Kyncl, as well as disgraced YouTube sensation Logan Paul. 

    But it's not just video content he dabbles in. In 2018 Neistat launched 368, a studio set up in New York City to help YouTubers and creators come together, collaborate and thrive. While Neistat's numbers are phenomenal, his product is still very much in touch with the grassroots creators that made YouTube so popular, and that deserves respect.



Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.