Growing up, Jasmeet Singh (a.k.a. Jus Reign) was always interested in comedy and had dreams of going to film school. His parents? Not so much.
“Unfortunately, I have brown [Indian] parents, and they said, ‘You’re going to be a doctor,'” says Singh. “So, I went into bio-med and I hated it… I knew it wasn’t for me.”
So, Singh turned where everyone turns when they’re bored and have something to complain about: YouTube. And thus, Jus Reign, was born.
If you haven’t already experienced the hilarity that is his YouTube channel, you’re one of the few who hasn’t. The 25-year-old Guelph, Ont., native now boasts over 600,000 subscribers and 86-million views on the platform—not to mention, more than 1.5-million fans following his every move on his other social media accounts.
The genius of his comedy, which touches upon everything from race and culture to life in the T-dot, is its ability expose universal truths through his personal experiences. We’ve all been there, even when we haven’t. Case in point: “Desi (Indian) Parents and Money,” “Desi Parents and SCHOOL” and “Desi Parents and Technology” are his top viewed parodies—all with over one-million views each. Singh says they’re so popular because they transcend cultural barriers.
“At first, I assumed only South Asians could relate to [my work], but then I noticed other immigrant and non-immigrant kids commenting with, ‘OMG, my family’s the same way… You’re not that different from us!'” Singh says. “It’s a cool way to connect with people all across the board and it’s an interesting unification experience. This comedy is so universal and relates to people on so many different levels. It’s a beautiful thing.”
It’s this magic formula that’s allowed Singh to pursue comedy full time. His main source of income? Ad revenue from YouTube, Vine and SnapChat. The funnyman also teamed up with Much Digital Studios earlier this year and is starring in a web series and a TV show and doing stand-up.
With so many projects on the go, it’s hard to imagine the man has time to peruse YouTube for a good laugh or two, but it turns out he does have a few go-to favourites, namely Timothy DeLaGhetto, LifeAccordingToJimmy and Bath Boys Comedy. “I really respect their comedy. They’re all just great writers and actors.”
“I love those guys. They’re like my brothers. I actually genuinely find them funny, and they find my content funny so that’s how we became friends,” Singh said.
And if there’s anyone who knows funny, it’s Jus Reign.