Kayode Ewumi and Tyrell Williams chat to BBC Three about the Triple threat artist and star of #HoodDocumentary, Roll Safe aka R.S...
Is R.S based on anyone you know? Be honest!
Kayode: R.S isn’t based on anyone we know, but I do know a few people who subconsciously have similar traits to R.S…
Tyrell: Not particularly. Maybe a whole bunch of people but not one specific person.
When did you realise you were onto something?
Kayode: For me, it was when the numbers were going crazy on youtube. That’s when Tyrell and I knew we had created a BEAST!
Tyrell: After episode one, it was like, wow! The views kept on rising and I saw Kay’s face circulating all over the internet. It was a true blessing.
Did anyone hate on you for doing it?
Kayode: No-one hated on us for doing it, to be honest. We received love from everyone which we are so grateful for. People love the character because he is so universal and relatable. Everyone knows someone like R.S (maybe not as deluded), no matter what age, gender, class or ethnicity. However, my Dad was a bit upset that he wasn’t going to have his jacket back for a while.
Tyrell: Naaaaa, no-one that I know of. The positive support was overwhelming.
What do you think the secret to making a hit YouTube comedy is?
Kayode: I don’t think there is a secret to be honest. Just make what you believe in because no one can ever understand your vision like you understand your vision.
Tyrell: I’m not sure if there is any particular secret. I would just say we benefitted from cohesive collaboration between individuals who were great at what they do and were willing to learn off one another and we created something that we wanted to see and that we found funny.
What does is really mean to be ‘hood’? What is R.S's big dream?
Kayode: Hood - a covering for the head and neck with an opening for the face, typically forming part of a coat or cloak. There’s the real definition via Google!
R.S’s big dream is essentially to be a... Actually, why don’t you guys watch the episodes and answer that one yourselves?
Tyrell: I’m not sure what it means to be 'Hood'. I guess in many ways that’s a question that will draw many different answers from many different people. And R.S’s big dream? Got to wait and see!
Making an internet thing feels so much more democratic. Do you read the comments and shape the comedy accordingly?
Kayode: Comments are from a subjective place. I can’t look at every comment and act accordingly. Tyrell and myself write and create what we as creatives find funny and that’s important for us before anything else. However, if there is a consensus viewpoint that our core audience are sharing, depending on what Tyrell and myself think, then we sit down and have a talk.
Tyrell: I read the comments for a short while after the release and then leave it for a few months. I take in the feedback, both good and bad, but it does not have a strong influence on my creative decisions.
Why do you think there’s so much love for R.S?
Kayode: Because it's R.S! Durrrr.
Tyrell: I think he’s a likeable character and one very relatable. I think everyone knows an R.S.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Kayode: One of the biggest challenges we faced was definitely trying to get our pilots down to five minutes per episode. Tyrell and I knew it was going to be a challenge but we have learnt so much from the experience as creatives and are ready to move on to the next step.
Tyrell: A lot of opportunities have presented itself on the back of the success of #HoodDoc. The biggest challenge has been choosing the right opportunities.
Say I’m 21 and thinking about a career in comedy. How might I actually make that happen? Have you got any advice?
Kayode: What I would say is, the internet is free… use it, mate! As young people, there is so much out there from improvisation classes, clowning workshops, books, videos, youtube stuff etc. When it comes to creating, I’m a practical guy so for example, instead of talking about a scene with Tyrell, we get on our feet, get the iPhone voice note recorder thingy out and improvise funny scenarios. So I would say after reading a book or attending a certain class, get on your feet and try it out!
One piece of advice that has stuck with me is, "It’s okay to fail. Enjoy failure and learn from it."
Tyrell: Get a small team together of people who are great at what they do and will add value to the project. Dedicate time and thought into pre-production, shoot it, think of clever ways to market it and reap from what you have sown. Make something that you enjoy and most importantly, have fun.