Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!
FaZe Rain is the proud owner and founder of FaZe Clan, the company who’s here to change the trajectory of what gaming and music can be when fused together, while continuing to provide innovative new ways to push the envelope in both realms. Boasting 11.7 million followers on Instagram alone, the lifestyle and media platforms caters to youth, reeling in gamers and music-lovers from all around the world.
And now, FaZe Clan recently announced yet another exciting moment in their journey, welcoming their first ever in-house recording artist and gamer hybrid FaZe Kaysan. His debut single “Made A Way” featuring Lil Durk and Future, co-produced with WondaGurl, boasts over 14 million combined streams to date.
As we proceed in an era where technology and social media are seen as the most valuable, FaZe Rain takes advantage of his surroundings and lays down the foundation for the forthcoming content to thrive. His Youtube presence alone is admirable, having been on the platform since 2008 and working his way up to now 5.4 million subscribers. Additionally, he’s been part of the Call of Duty community, who’s been around for a long time.
AllHipHop: How was it growing up in Toronto?
FaZe Rain: Cold, that’s why I played video games all day. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Who are your biggest influences?
FaZe Rain: My mom.
AllHipHop: When you were playing video games, did you think you were going to make a career out of it or was it mostly for fun?
FaZe Rain: When I started this, I definitely did not think this would be a career. I started doing this just to show my friends the clips , but there was no one that was making guerillas. I was one of the first people to start making money in this scene, people weren’t making money yet at all. There was no one I could point to like “oh, look at that guy. He’s making money, let me do this.”
AllHipHop: Talk about your journey with FaZe Clan, how did it all begin?
FaZe Rain: It just fell in line with what I was doing, I was already recording clips and putting them online. I saw that FaZe Clan was doing the same thing, they were living in my world but differently. I felt I had to join FaZe Clan because all the other teams were doing something differently, they weren’t doing it the way FaZe was. I knew it was a goal for me to get into FaZe. I was grinding for two years when I finally made it into FaZe.
AllHipHop: What was it about FaZe Clan that drew you?
FaZe Rain: It was mostly the fact that they were trickshotting and doing montages, that’s literally what I was doing at the exact same time. It was only FaZe that was doing it, they were the only team that was doing it, too. Trickshotting montages like Call of Duty highlights, montage with music and editing, this and that. Not many people do it like that.
AllHipHop: When and how did you join?
FaZe Rain: I joined September 19th 2012. The way it worked back then was the community knew who was hitting the most amount of trickshots and had the best episodes. It’s like drafting in the NBA, we just knew who the prospects were and those people eventually made it into FaZe. I don’t know how else to explain it. It was all up to FaZe CBass and FaZe Temperrr at the time, back in the day.
AllHipHop: That’s a decade ago. Did it take a minute to blow up?
FaZe Rain: Depends what you classify as blowing up, right? FaZe was getting a million views on videos a year after it was born, but it wasn’t making that much money. It depends on whether you count that as money or viewers. It took a few years for sure for it to become a business, it took 5, 6, 7 years. But for us to get our name out there in the community, that was actually pretty quick. Because what FaZe was doing was pretty much one of one, nobody else was doing it like that so it was easy to scale.
AllHipHop: You were the first member to start a daily vlog on YouTube. What made you want to flip the camera on yourself?
FaZe Rain: At that time, trickshotting would sometimes take days to hit a single clip, and I realized there’s not much longevity in that. I realized my fans only really cared about me doing trickshots. We moved to a crib together in New York, I wanted to pivot and make new content. I knew there was a demand that people did want to see what our lives were behind-the-scenes of gaming and whatnot. I decided to pivot into a new channel and start vlogging, just so I wouldn’t have to be forced to only be a Call of Duty creator. I didn’t see much longevity in myself in that, and I didn’t feel like trickshotting everyday forever.
AllHipHop: What is trickshotting?
FaZe Rain: It’s the Call of Duty version of skateboard tricks. It’s what people would do at skateparks, but in Call of Duty with a sniper. It looks cool, it does.
AllHipHop: What’s the secret to growing a Youtube following?
FaZe Rain: No, I never had that one video that went viral. Up until after my career took off, I had this vape video that went kind of viral. I had this vape character. I went to a vape convention, which is mad weird, but I went to a convention and made a video about it. I got 30 million views on that, that’s my most viewed video. But before my career, nothing really went viral. Just apart from the community posting every single day. That’s really what it is, you gotta love what you’re doing and stay consistent.
A lot of people come into the scene now just for money or for gaming. If they don’t get it out in 3 months, they get demotivated. That’s why for me, it wasn’t even a big deal. I didn’t make money for 6 years, because I was literally doing it because I loved it. It didn’t matter to me if I was getting paid, I would’ve done it anyways. But a lot of people that come into the scene or music industry just to make money, they get really upset when they don’t make money within the first year or two. Even people like Ninja, he tried for 10 years before he really got big, which is admirable.
AllHipHop: You have a huge fanbase. What is it about you fans love the most?
FaZe Rain: One of my biggest slogans is keep it real, I’ve always been saying that my whole career. I saw that so many Youtubers and people in the industry would lie about stuff, they sell out on certain stuff. I always made it a mission for myself to never be that way, and always be as authentic and transparent with my community as possible. As a human, you gravitate towards people that are like that. You’re more trusting of people like that, so that’s my foundation with my fanbase. I always wanted to be as upfront with them as possible, so they know I’m never up to no shady s###.
AllHipHop: Last year you signed FaZe Kaysan, the org’s first in house music artist, how did that come about?
FaZe Rain: I didn’t know about it at first, he’s always been one of our homies. I think Tommy (FaZe Temperrr) and Banks (FaZe Banks) were the ones who originally were talking to him. Our CSO Kai Henry was talking to him and he felt like that was his wave. It’s really cool too because we get to work with as many artists as we want to, through Kaysan. Him being the producer, DJ versus the artist, we’re not only limited to just his sound but also have access to every person that he wants to work with. That’s a huge benefit with signing Kaysan.
AllHipHop: Why did FaZe Clan want to get into music and why lead with Kaysan?
FaZe Rain: We’ve always been tied to music. Even with Logic, Macklemore, Hoodie Allen, people like that, we’ve always used music in our videos from early on when they were super underground –before they had a following or before they even made it. Music and FaZe Clan have always been correlated because we’ve always had to use music for our montages. We’ve always been super interested. We decided to go with Kaysan because he was close to us and he was an inspiring DJ. We thought let’s just put 2 and 2 together.
AllHipHop: Kaysan’s debut single “Made A Way” features Lil Durk & Future, co-produced with WondaGurl. That’s a hell of a collab!
FaZe Rain: I helped where I could. I didn’t obviously produce it or choose who was going to be on it or anything like that, but I helped where I could. Marketing the song, helping strategize the song, all that.
AllHipHop: Those are two of the biggest names in Hip Hop!
FaZe Rain: It showed all of our fans that we’re moving into music and getting into that industry, a lot of our fans are super excited about that. It was a way for us to break the ice in the music world with that song. We got a lot of big things coming with music with Kaysan.
AllHipHop: What’s your own love for music?
FaZe Rain: I love music. First thing I do when I wake up, I have to play music. It sets the vibe for the day. That’s what honestly in a weird way dictates my mood. That’s why I gotta chill with sad music, I start getting sad for no reason.
AllHipHop: Talk about using songs from Juice Wrld, Macklemore, Logic in your ILLCAMS video.
FaZe Rain: ILLCAMS is the series name of the trickshotting montages. We always use different artists. That’s why FaZe and music have always been correlated because we needed music for our montages, which was ILLCAMS.
AllHipHop: Why ILLCAMS?
FaZe Rain: It’s crazy, I don’t even know who came up with that. It’s such an OG term. I think it’s Tommy (FaZe Temperrr), definitely because he loves the word ill. The montages were made out of Killcams. But because they looked ill, we called them ILLCAMS. Tommy did, but you know.
AllHipHop: Where do you see FaZe Clan heading in the future?
FaZe Rain: That’s really hard to say. If you asked me 10 years ago, I wouldn’t say here. So it’s up to where we want to be. It could be anything, we could be an airline for all we know. We could be one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. We could be anything we choose to be. That’s the cool part of FaZe Clan: our fans help us achieve anything we want to do and be. We really could go wherever we feel like FaZe needs to and should go.
AllHipHop: How has your role within FaZe Clan evolved over the last decade?
FaZe Rain: Originally of course, it started as me just being a Youtuber. Literally I was getting trickshotting clips in the beginning, then I pivoted. Started making more lifestyle videos and more videos showcasing my personality. I became a co-leader of FaZe, started calling shots of who was joining FaZe and how we’re doing things alongside Apex, CBass, and Temperrr.
As of the last few years, I’ve been hurt. Especially this year, I got hurt so I haven’t been making videos of anything. I’ve been working more on FaZe: helping with strategy, recruiting, marketing, everything. Pretty much everything and anything FaZe. I know the brand inside and out, I helped build this brand…I was a key part of that so I know everything about the brand, about our fans, what they like and want to see. I’m helping the brand stay alive with what our community wants and making sure that we do everything we can by our fans.
AllHipHop: Craziest memory at the Faze House?
FaZe Rain: I mean, everyday. It’s crazy when I think about it now, I don’t remember loving it everyday as much because I was stressed having to make 3 videos a day. Now I look back at it, it seems like the golden days. The craziest memory was when I filled up Apex’s entire room with packing peanuts, damn near to the ceiling. That’s one of my favorite days.
AllHipHop: What was his reaction?
FaZe Rain: [laughs] It was crazy cause he was supposed to come home at 9PM but then his flight got delayed so he ended up coming in at 6AM. He was so tired and just wanted to sleep, he was so over it, it was so funny. He opened his door and saw all the packing peanuts come rushing out, gave me the dirtiest looks, went downstairs and went to bed.
AllHipHop: Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
FaZe Rain: To walk, that would be cool.