The untold truth of Liza Koshy

If you've spent any time on the internet within the last five years, Liza Koshy has likely popped up in at least one of your feeds. With almost 45 million followers across her own platforms, the YouTube personality is officially prolific on the web. Between online content creation and acting gigs, it's safe to say this rising (super)star is killing the game. Curious about Koshy's buzz? Check out the following interesting facts about her life.

She got her start on Vine

Before becoming a YouTube superstar, Koshy got her start online on a different now-defunct platform: Vine. Koshy explained to Forbes that she began shooting videos for the app when she was a teenager back in 2013, right after it launched. She said that her first clip for Vine was her climbing on top of a car with her friends, explaining, "It was just me, with my phone, in my car, dancing along, talking or making a really bad joke. Which is why Vine died. Sorry about that." 

In all seriousness, Koshy did well on Vine, and the app helped her hone some of her camera and comedy skills. She began using the app to create six-second skits and gags that helped her grow a large fan base of seven million followers. As she started to become more successful, she realized that she could "talk for much longer than that." Obviously, YouTube seemed to be the best place to go. In July 2015, she started her own YouTube channel and started posting videos on a weekly basis. She called herself "Liza the little brown girl," as an ode to her Indian heritage.

She dated fellow YouTube star David Dobrik

You can learn a lot about a person by following their social media, and that's doubly true when you're dealing with social media stars like Koshy. The 22-year-old routinely references and re-tweets fellow YouTube personality David Dobrik, whom — according to a post on Dobrik's Instagram feed — Koshy started dating in 2015. "This is a picture of me and my favorite birthday present that I've ever been lucky enough to receive for the past two years," Dobrik captioned a super-cute picture of the pair. "Thank you Liza for putting together an amazing weekend. I love u cutie." Aw!

This cuteness overload made it all more difficult for fans to accept when the two broke up in 2018. Koshy and Dobrik posted an emotional and raw YouTube video on June 4th, 2018, revealing that Koshy had initiated the breakup six months prior, but they are still "best friends." Koshy spoke about the reaction of fans and the outpouring of support while on the red carpet for the MTV Movie & TV Awards two weeks later, explaining that she was blown away: "We trended on Twitter, and we were like 'what the heck? We didn't know that many people cared!'" Oh, we cared, Liza. And, to be honest, we're a little crushed.

She waited 6 months to announce her breakup so she had time to heal

In June 2018, Koshy and fellow YouTube star David Dobrik announced that they had broken up after close to three years together in an emotional and honest video. The couple had never kept their relationship private, and the admission was one that broke the hearts of many fans. They also waited about six months after the breakup to record the video, and as it turns out, there was a legitimate reason why they waited so long.

In an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Koshy explained why they waited, saying they wanted to have plenty of time to heal first and give themselves time to be friends without being romantically involved before they told everyone. She said, "For those six months, we took that time for ourselves to grow, and then to also create, still, together, show the world that you can still be friends." She said they were still working together and still spending time together.

She jumped out of a plane

If you spend any amount of time watching Koshy's videos on YouTube or following along on social media, it becomes readily apparent that she'll pretty much try anything once. And it seems as though her adventurous spirit includes jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. In a video shared to her YouTube page, Koshy explained, "My biggest fear was flying on a plane... thank God I got to jump out of it." She and Dobrik, who were vacationing in Hawaii at the time, headed to Skydive Hawaii to get harnessed up and spread their proverbial wings. Koshy later tweeted photos of the epic occasion, joking, "When you try to channel Beyoncé at 15,000 feet but end up looking like a sassy raisin."

She interviewed President Obama

While Koshy tends to keep things light and fun on her YouTube channel, she does occasionally use it to raise awareness for more serious issues, like struggling with anxiety, facing internet bullying and, in a very special interview, encouraging young people to be more politically active. 

To that end, Koshy sat down with none other than former president Barack Obama for a five-minute interview. "Well, because, you know, young people are gonna be the people who make the biggest impact in this country, and this is the way to reach them. And you're doing a great job talking to them about some of the things you guys care about," Obama said to Koshy during the sit-down.

She's Carson 2.0 on the 'TRL' reboot

In addition to her quote-unquote day job as a YouTube star, Koshy enjoys an on-air co-hosting gig for MTV's reboot of Total Request Live. That's right — she's a millennial version of Carson Daly! 

According to Broadway World, Koshy signed a production and executive producer deal with MTV to create original content for the network. As part of the deal, the social media superstar was also tapped for co-hosting duties on the TRL revival alongside D.C. Young Fly, Tamara Dhia, Matt Rife, Amy Pham, Erik Zachary, Lawrence Jackson, Grayson and Ethan Dolan, Gigi Gorgeous, Eva Gutowski, and Gabbie Hanna.

She has made the transition to TV & film

You may be wondering how in the world Koshy has time to squeeze anything else into her already packed schedule. Yet, she has ventured into scripted acting, too. In 2016, she starred as Aday in the Tyler Perry movie Boo! A Madea Halloween. She is currently also starring in Hulu's original supernatural teen series Freakish as Violet Adams. 

"None of us had friends going into this, and then we all came out with friends, so it's great," Koshy joked of the close-knit cast during an interview at New York Comic Con. Fortunately for the new friends, they'll be spending a lot more time together — the series was picked up for a second season, which is currently streaming on Hulu.

She makes bank

There's money to be made on social media, especially for personalities with as much natural charisma as Koshy. As of October 2017, she has more than 12 million subscribers to her original YouTube channel and boasts more than 1.2 billion views. Those figures are enough to slide her channel into the 84th spot on YouTube's Top 100 Most Subscribed Channels List. But how does that translate into dollars and cents? According to the Gazette Review, Koshy utilizes a combination of sponsorship and endorsement deals, brand partnerships and ads to monetize her work on YouTube and other social media platforms. When her TV and film roles are factored in, Koshy has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.

She still makes rookie mistakes (almost)

One particularly likable trait about Koshy is the fact she keeps it real with her fans — and that includes spilling potentially embarrassing social media mishaps. "Um, there was this one time that I was Snapchatting my bath bomb in the bath tub, and there's that little mirror thing that shows when you, like... like, it like reflects your body. So I was taking a picture; I was just about to upload it when I realized that my breasteses [sic] were in it! It was so bad," she revealed to Clevver News' Jackie Iadonisi, adding of the nearly naked moment, "It was so bad. I never posted it."

She has a dance background

Although Koshy is forthcoming about her life on her own YouTube channel — often using it as comedic fodder — she occasionally divulges fun facts on other channels, too. In one such example, Koshy was the subject of the popular YouTube series "Draw Their Life", which pieces together facts about her life story based on what she has revealed herself in her videos. 

Among the little known tidbits unearthed about the YouTube personality was the fact that she has a background in dance. "While Liza was in high school, she was captain of her dance team. She loved to dance. Also, she is an amazing dancer," the segment explains before lightheartedly featuring a clip of Koshy twerking in the back seat of a friend's car.

She's an award-winning creator

It was only a matter of time before Koshy started getting the awards show treatment for her killer content creation skills. At the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, she and fellow YouTube sensation Logan Paul took home surfboard trophies for "Choice Web Star." She has also won two Streamy Awards — for "Breakout Creator" in 2016 and "Comedy" in 2017 — and been nominated for several other awards, including a People's Choice Award and a Shorty Award.

She has a second, lesser-known YouTube channel

Subscribers to Koshy's flagship channel have grown accustomed to "new videos every Wednezzzday with Lizzza," but that isn't the only time or place Koshy is posting new content each week. She created a second channel called "Liza Koshy Too" on which she uploads more LOL-inducing videos. Examples include Koshy trying on baby costumes ("My head is the size of a six-month-year old") and reacting to her old cringe-worthy photos ("I never had a glow-up — I had a no-up"). She's clearly doing something right, because Koshy's second channel has already amassed more than five million subscribers.

Her dream collaboration is Beyonce

Stick around long enough, and you're bound to hear Koshy give a shout-out to Beyoncé. As it turns out, Koshy is a big fan of her fellow Houston native — so much so, in fact, that she'd love to work with Queen B at some point in the future. During an episode of TRL, co-host DC Young Fly asked Koshy, "Now, if you could make any video with anybody, dead or alive, who would you do it with?" Showing off her quick wit, Koshy playfully quipped back, "Uh, hopefully someone alive." However, she continued to reveal her true dream collab. "Probably Beyoncé," she said. "I gotta give it to the queen. You know, Queen B."

She gives back

Koshy may be at the start of her career, but she already understands that she can levy her influence for the greater good. She has collaborated on a collection of necklaces with The Giving Keys, a jewelry company through which every product purchase supports job creation for those transitioning out of homelessness. To date, the company has provided more than 70 job opportunities to such individuals through their unique "pay it forward" community model. Each necklace (including the designs in Koshy's collection) are stamped with an inspirational word such as trust, hope, or laugh. The Giving Keys encourages those who purchase necklaces to "embrace your word, then pay it forward by giving your product to a person who needs the message."

She made Forbes' 30 Under 30 list

Koshy's success as a YouTube star and television personality landed her a spot on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, which is a pretty significant accomplishment. Her profile on the Forbes site notes that she has 16.3 million YouTube subscribers and 2.5 billion views — crazy impressive. 

She also appeared in a spread in the magazine, which she took a photo of for her Instagram, followed by a long caption explaining how it made her feel. Koshy said that she was dedicating the honor to her father, "to every email he's read, every call he's answered, every doubt he's reassured, every cry he's soothed and every convo I've zoned out of." Koshy also sent out a huge thank you to all of her fans for supporting her and continuing to watch her, even as she evolved and changed within the industry. She even thanked Forbes for honoring her parent's hard work. 

She was named the face of Nickelodeon's Double Dare remake

In August of 2017, Koshy announced that she would be expanding her empire when she signed a deal with MTV to host the TRL reboot. It didn't take long for that to translate to even more hosting roles on television. In May 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Nickelodeon would be putting out a Double Dare reboot with Koshy as the host, alongside original series host Marc Summers, who returned as a commentator. Koshy herself said that she couldn't wait for "a summer of slime and nose-picking," calling it a "dream." 

Koshy spoke about the gig to Hollywood Life, saying that when she got the news, she could only say, "What?!" She talked about how much she loved the chance to relive her childhood with the experience, saying, "It's really cool to be a part of and be able to bring back. I'm honored. I've [got] big shoes to fill — literally." 

She took a break to focus on her mental health and deal with burnout

In 2018, Koshy took a much-needed 10-month break from her main YouTube channel. In January 2019, she returned with a video on her newer channel, Liza Koshy Too, explaining exactly why she needed to step back from the platform. In the video, titled Why I Took A Break, Koshy explained that she had started dealing with some mental health issues and creative burnout. In one clip, she explained that instead of posting about her struggles, she kept them to herself, and she felt it was affecting the kinds of videos she was making. She said, "I don't care about the quantity of videos that I post, I care about the quality. That's why I stopped making them, because I wanted to ensure good content. I lost myself, and I didn't want to document the process." 

While Koshy never went into too much detail, she did say that she had "lost her enthusiasm," explaining that she was faking her happiness a lot, and it didn't feel right anymore. She also said that she was extremely proud about how much work she had done on herself during that time. The break definitely seemed helpful for her.

She has one of the fastest growing YouTube channels ever

Subscriber numbers are proof of Koshy's success. In 2017, she passed a major YouTube milestone when she got more than 10 million subscribers in a little under two years, an incredible achievement for anyone. Koshy's second channel, Liza Koshy Too, gained millions of subscribers as well, and in 2017, there was a total of one billion lifetime views between the two channels. That is seriously impressive!

In a video on her main channel titled "Thank You For Everything," Koshy expressed her surprise and amazement at gaining 10 million subscribers. Throughout a montage of some of her more memorable YouTube moments, Koshy said, "This is just completely insane to me. I'm just eternally thankful to everybody who has supported me." She added, "YouTube and you, too, helped build my confidence." By January 2019, her subscribers reached 16 million on her main channel and 7.5 million on her second channel — and that doesn't even count her other social media channels. She's only going to grow from there! 

She has a YouTube Red series called Liza On Demand

Towards the end of 2017, Variety reported that Koshy would be starring in a new comedy series for YouTube Red (YouTube's subscription service) called Liza On Demand that would be premiering with eight half-hour episodes in 2018. The show would be about Koshy taking on different odd jobs to become an "elite tasker," and to make her "side hustle" her "real hustle." Even cooler: Koshy would be an executive producer. 

In a statement, she said, "I can't wait to bring #LizaOnDemand to my YouTube audience and hopefully a new audience too." Deadline reported that Liza On Demand would be produced by Above Average, a digital entertainment company founded by Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, and cast members would include Kimiko Glenn and Travis Coles. By August 2018, Liza On Demand was being called one of the biggest hits on YouTube Red, and her fans were very much on board. Now we're just waiting to hear when the second season will hit. 

She speaks up about feminism and against sexism

Although Koshy usually keeps things light-hearted, funny, and even a little weird, she knows how to get serious too. In 2018, Koshy spoke up about feminism and sexism at the MAKERS conference. In an interview, she told MAKERS, "When a woman is assertive, it's given a different title than what would be given to a man. That can impact the woman's thoughts and also the way that she expresses herself. But it shouldn't." 

During the conference, Koshy said that she felt honored to have a YouTube platform that allows her to communicate with so many strong young boys and girls, saying, "But I am very proud to speak lightheartedly of topics they relate to and will learn of more as they develop and grow and raise their own voice, such as stereotypes, sexism, anxiety. And I take so much pride in having created this lighthearted world for them to speak their own voices, and share through their own comments, and relate to me on that different level." She also thanked her two older sisters and her mother for raising her. 

She voiced a cartoon character

You may know Koshy as a YouTube personality, a television host, and a social media star, but did you know she's also the voice of a cartoon character? In November 2018, TubeFilter announced that Koshy would be voicing a character, an owl, in the animated short Crow: The Legend. The short, inspired by an old Native American folktale called Crow and Fire, would be on YouTube and Oculus VR. Koshy was in clearly in very good company: Crow featured the voices of John Legend, Oprah Winfrey, Constance Wu, Tye Sheridan, and Diego Luna. According to Variety, the company behind the film, Baobab, partnered with Native Americans in Philanthropy and their CEO Sarah Eagle Heart to work on the film. 

Koshy spoke about the project on her Instagram Stories (via TubeFilter), saying, "I am so happy to partake in sharing this truly beautiful Native American tale of selflessness and sacrifice, and more than proud to promote the inclusion of cultural storytelling." 

She interviewed celebrities on the Met Gala red carpet for Vogue

Koshy took on more exciting projects in 2018 beyond television and YouTube. One was her job interviewing celebrities on the red carpet pre-show for the Met Gala, an exclusive fashion event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Koshy, decked out in a daringly sheer Alessandra Rich dress, energetically spoke with stars like Rihanna, Madonna, Ariana Grande, David Glover, Bella Hadid, and more. Her interviews went on Vogue's YouTube channel, gaining millions of views. 

In an Instagram post on her personal page, Koshy wrote, "It was an honor, a blessing, and a sweaty dream to be Vogue's interviewer at the Met Gala's red carpet. Rihanna, J-Lo, Ariana... ya'll looked good, but standing next to me, you looked even better." It was Koshy's second time hosting a red carpet pre-show — the first one she did was for the 2017 Golden Globes for Twitter.

She was the first digital star to do Vogue's 73 Questions series

In November 2017, Koshy took on a slightly different YouTube role: she became the very first digital star to take part in Vogue's 73 Questions series. The web series, which follows a celebrity walking through their home as they answer rapid-fire questions, was originally parodied by Koshy on her own YouTube channel. Koshy's video, titled 73 Questions with Jet Packinski, featured Koshy as one of her popular characters. The video has over 25 million views, and eventually caught the attention of Vogue

Vogue's video featuring Koshy is a little more serious, but still captures the star's energetic and wacky personality. She described her channel as "introvert gone wild," did an impression of Packinski and another personality, joked that the best part of her job is that she can't get fired, and revealed that her real name is Elizabeth. She also said her inspirations growing up were Jim Carey and Raven Symone and said the thing she missed most about her hometown Houston was the food and her family.