TOP 10 - ONLINE INFLUENCERS 2022
Rapper and TV personality Big Zuu began his career on the small screen through his show on Dave, Big Zuu’s Big Eats, where he combined cooking with conversation. Celebrities, presenters and cultural influencers such as Mel B and Jamali Maddix joined Zuu to discuss the importance of food in culture. It’s no surprise that as well as a highly successful music career and two Bafta wins, Zuu has also recently released his first cookbook, Big Zuu’s Big Eats: Delicious Home Cooking with West African and Middle Eastern Vibes. Big Zuu’s faithful audience know him both for his incredible cuisine, but also for his incredible appetite for life.
Authors of The Mixed-Race Experience: Reflections and Revelations on Multicultural Identity, anti-racism educators and founders of the Everyday Racism book club, sisters Naomi and Natalie Evans have been using their 200,000-strong Instagram audience to promote anti-racist advocacy. The sisters began by documenting a racist incident on the train and shared the video to social media to help raise awareness of racism in the UK. After the murder of George Floyd, Naomi and Natalie felt a growing need to highlight the prevalence of the everyday racism at play as well as share educational anti-racism resources to support people’s learning.
Kaushal Beauty is a highly successful vlogger and YouTuber who has amounted a whopping 2 million subscribers and an additional 1 million Instagram followers. Her audience tunes in regularly for beauty and fashion content, as well as her insights into South Asian culture through talking about lehenga skirts and mental wellness. Most recently, Kaushal sat on a panel of South Asian influencers in media, hosted by Harrods.
Actor, writer and comedian Mawaan Rizwan has featured on our screens in everything from Channel 4’s Taskmaster to the BBC’s Live at the Apollo, even supporting Jonathan Van Ness on tour. In 2015, Rizwan travelled to Pakistan to film the BBC documentary How Gay is Pakistan, which explored the issues faced by LGBT+ South Asians.
A designer, author and TikTok superstar, Nabela Noor shot to fame during lockdown for her inspiring ‘pockets of peace’ videos, where she shared the importance of positivity and self-care with her audience. As a first-generation Bangladeshi-American, Noor focuses her content on empowerment and has recently become a children’s author. Her book, Beautifully Me, tells the story of a young South Asian girl’s experience of self-love on her first day of school.
Presenter, film-maker and producer Nadir Nahdi has made a name for himself online through captivating video content that articulates the unique experiences of children of the diaspora. Most recently, his videos exploring the intersection of food and history have taken the audience through recipes that are intertwined with culturally significant moments, all wrapped up into a fascinating and innovative video format. With recipe videos such as ‘Ottoman Tiramisu’ and ‘How Coffee Came to Europe’ Nahdi has provided a beautiful fusion of education and mouth-watering recipes. He also founded the organisation BENI, a cultural lab for content, events and culture.
Food-blogger-turned-BBC-creator Shu Lin has been vlogging her travels, food and lifestyle since 2011 on YouTube, before more recently turning towards journalism. Her work with the BBC has led her to create documentary-style content on the BBC such as A Very British History: The British Chinese and on Inside Out, where she looked into the treatment of British Chinese communities in the wake of the pandemic. On her social channels, Lin’s content is geared towards positivity, inclusion and her travels.
YUNG FILLY & CHUNKZ
Two of the most famous Black British YouTubers, Yung Filly and Chunkz (real names Andres Barrientos and Amin Mohammed) have skyrocketed from their prank videos to successful TV and music careers. Both use their platforms to promote charitable organisations, such as participating in Soccer Aid, a charity event in aid of Unicef. Yung Filly and Chunkz have helped contribute to a fantastic growth in Black, Asian and Minority EEthnic representation of previously very White-dominated social media platforms.
Millz is known for her social commentary, both as a TV presenter and as a social media personality. Her self-titled The ZeZe Millz Show has seen her interview some of the Black British music industry’s biggest names, along with important cultural figureheads. Her unique approach to interviews, as well as her coverage of topics like George Floyd and racism, has made her a role model for fearless and no-nonsense takes on difficult discussions.