(Single Dad Diary)
Jesse Lozano was kind enough to allow me to inflict my views on parenting on him (see my column, How a Single Dad Uses Tech to Stay Emotionally Connected to His Pre-Teen Daughter), and in return, he answered my questions about why he makes these videos and what motivates him to keep going.
If there was any doubt that he’s a caring, involved dad, his video and my talk with him put those doubts to rest.
Deb Amlen: You’re a radio guy. What’s up with all the videos and video blogging?
Jesse Lozano: About seven years ago, I was asked to become active online [for my job]. I signed a radio endorsement that supplied me with a Mac computer, and I was looking for a way to stay in contact with my daughter, whom I only saw on weekends. She was in San Diego and I was in L.A. … Doing the videos together made for great online radio content and gave her something to watch during the week if she missed me.
The first one we did together was called “Kindergartner.” It’s a parody of Kanye West’s “Stronger.”
DA: Has making videos together benefitted both of you?
JL: I have always noticed a giant spike [in views] anytime I use her in my content, so she is my secret web weapon. … I have noticed that she seems extremely involved in school projects, talent shows, etc. It’s almost as if all the videos have taught her how to be a motivated self-starter when she is in creative situations.
DA: Was the switch from “Frozen” to “Fancy” pre-selected, or do you both just know the Iggy Azalea song so well you could lip-dub it? Who chose it?
JL: I am obsessed with “Frozen,” along with my [3-year-old] son Jason, but Savannah does not share in that love. She is a dancer, so she is very hip and “now.” We took a flight together a week earlier and we were both listening to that Iggy Azalea song on her iPod. That’s when we decided it was perfect for a video shoot.
Apparently, Iggy Azalea felt the same way. (Twitter)
DA: Are you worried about your daughter being exposed to the lyrics and swagger of the song? Have you gotten any blowback from people about her listening to a song with NSFW lyrics?
JL: I do not believe kids listen to music the same way we do. With that said, we only did the first verse because the second is a little too much. I never allowed her to lip-sync any inappropriate lines (I did those). She was very aware of the blatant dad censoring, too. I can’t say the Iggy Azalea song is bad compared to a lot of others, but my daughter saw me make the effort to keep her out of harm’s way. To me, that’s the big win.
DA: Why do you think this particular video went viral, out of all the videos you’ve made?
JL: It took 432 videos to finally go viral. That, to me, is the best part about this for my family and me. I never gave up, and I probably won’t change a thing. I get to be an example to my peers, which is a place I’m looking to be, with or without a video. When I finished my final edit of the Iggy video, I convinced a local news station to play it on the air.
When i watched it being played back from my studio, I looked at my intern and said, “Ya see? You really want to do something in this business? Well, go do it! Not one person asked me to make that video. I am not being paid one cent for its success. I just wanted to do something I had in my head and now it’s blowing up.”
I asked my daughter if she wanted to add anything to this interview, and she said, “Only if it will get you off the computer. I need to sync my iPod.”