Thinkspace Stories — Christian Tierney (#1)

A 20-year-old filmmaker from Dublin


3 years ago Christian filmed the first ever recording of James Bay’s song Let It Go before a basement gig so small that everyone sat on the floor. Now, 3 years on, that video has nearly 6 million views, Let It Go is double platinum in the UK, US and Australia, has been performed at The Grammys and was a chart hit all around the world.

What inspired you to start filming?

I started making videos aged 10 when I got a Sony Ericsson mobile phone that had a video camera and video editing app on it. I found it fascinating and I used to make little short films with my friends who lived on my road. I started skating at around the same age and when I saw the older skaters making videos of themselves doing tricks to post online, I borrowed my dad’s camcorder to try and do the same. This is where my first experiences of filming and editing happened. I first started filming music when a rapper from Dublin saw one of my skate videos on YouTube and contacted me, aged 14, asking me to make him a music video. I’ve been a massive music lover since I was a young child so to be able to combine my two passions was a dream come true, I’ve been filming music ever since.

Which is your favourite video to date?

My favourite video I’ve made is probably James Bay performing his song Craving on the stage of The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. The first time I filmed with James was nearly two years previous to that in a really tiny, dark venue. He was almost completely unknown and I was a lot less experienced. I think the Craving video represents how far we both came in those two years since as the Olympia is one of Ireland’s most famous venues and he sold it out two nights in a row. My channel had also grown massively since our first video.

How did you turn something so simple into such a success?

I think it’s just that I’ve worked really hard consistently for the last few years. I’ve tried to do everything with integrity. I only feature artists who I genuinely believe in so when viewers arrive on my channel, they know that whichever artist they click on will be worth listening to. It’s never been about anything other than the music, money has never been a big priority and I don’t think it would have worked if it was. I always try to build real, genuine relationships with artists and everyone I work with and I think that’s something that’s been really important to my success as well.

What is your purpose or mission in life and how will you achieve it?

My mission is to make sure that incredible music gets heard by the world. There are so many amazingly talented artists who are overlooked and don’t get the exposure they deserve because they don’t fit the generic pop star profile, that’s why I spend just as much time featuring upcoming, unsigned artists as I do with majorly successful artists. I want to make sure that people hear the amazing music they’re missing out on.


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