“Knot Locks’s” obsession with dreadlocks fuels journey from obscure videographer to a YouTuber with over 45,000 subscribers
By Vincenzo Ciccone
TORONTO — Jonathan Craig, the Canadian videographer who is known to his followers as “Knot Locks,” videotaped the steady transformation of his hair from an Afro-style “bush” to “2 strand twists” to “interlocked roots,” “crocheted roots” and finally to “dreadlocks” and posted the results on YouTube. The post attracted over 45,000 subscribers to his channel illustrating the spell interesting content has over Internet users, particularly when the content is obscure or an alternative to the content found in mainstream media.
Craig’s commitment to Jamaican culture, and its Rastafarian roots, has blossomed into a serious following on the Internet called Knot Nation.
His career as an obscure videographer shooting movies for families and friends to a major player in the social media game was ignited in part by his choice of ethnocentric content in his video posts.
Craig is a craftsman who attended the Sheridan College for Media Arts in Oakville, Ontario, where he acquired the conventional skills of a videographer, but he finds the continuing need to update his skill set and expand his range of artistic options to keep pace with computer innovation.
“The most difficult element of being a videographer is staying proactive on your skill set and booking management,” said Craig.
“My first gig I got through a friend. It was nerve racking, but exciting at the same time. I lacked some proper gear, but after a few gigs I was able to invest back into more gear,” said Craig.
Before Craig began to post content around his Jamaican hairstyle, he struggled to get into the business. “Home videos around the house initially inspired me to record life with video.”
These beginnings show how far Craig’s career has come in the world of media. This journey would undoubtedly not have reached the plateau of over 45,000 subscribers to his Knot Nation YouTube channel if there was not a rare marriage of the videographer’s artistic eye, the will to record “life,” the skill set necessary to deliver ideas to an audience and, crucially, Craig’s gift of recognizing and posting interesting content.
Craig is confident the market for videographers who offer content outside of the mainstream promises to be quite robust into the foreseeable future.
“With the current social media and Internet boom,” said Craig, “videography is better than ever. Every business needs a website, and every website needs a video.”
“Knot Locks,” picture above, is seen practicing his craft on the very first video camera he ever owned in his pre-dreadlocks days.
“Knot Locks,” wearing his signature dreads, is seen here on a job site.
“Knot Locks’s” YouTube video post entitled “Evolution of Knot Locks’s Dreads”:
“Knotty Headed Nation” YouTube video post: