So, you got yourself a nice camera, two adorable dogs and a dream. What do you do?
You start to build your social media empire, of course! (Obvi.)
That’s what Josh Jolly is doing. And he’s doing that by doing what he loves to do: having fun! But first, let’s win some swag!
swagBOARD T580 Warrior Bluetooth Hoverboard Sweepstakes
Before we got into the meat of the interview, Josh and I talked about hoverboards—specifically, how to make them more swag. Josh answered, “I’d like more lights and music and stuff—and make them very speedy.” Well, Josh, let me introduce you to my friend, the swagBOARD T580 Warrior?
Bluetooth-ready with exclusive ground effects lighting that syncs to your music. And it’s plenty fast! But more importantly, it’s rockin’ the safest hoverboard battery on the market right now with the LiFePo™ battery. Noncombustible and nonflammable from damage, charging or puncture when used as intended. Sounds like a match made in swag heaven.
From Jamestown to Teen Mag
With a name like “Jolly,” you’d expect content that is, well . . . fun. And Josh doesn’t disappoint. His original Instagram account, started in 2013, featured a steady flow of scooter- and skateboard-riding images. He then started his YouTube channel—Josh Puddin and Dozer—featuring the exploits of Josh and his two dogs, named, as you might expect, Puddin and Dozer. Once TikTok became the place to be and be seen, he started creating content there, where he’s grown a very loyal fanbase.
His vids caught on. Creatively inspired by the content of David Dobrik, another popular TikTok creator, Josh’s videos quickly went from 350K views to 2 million views—sometimes more. Viewers simply couldn’t get enough. Josh remembers an interview with The Teen Magazine where he said: “I want to hit 3 million on Tiktok and get verified!” Well, he can mark that off his to-do list. As of today, he now has over 4.6 million TikTok followers, steadily growing, and is verified.
|To “be verified” means to have been authenticated by a social media platform. It verifies that an account actually belongs to the celebrity rather than an unrelated third party. Verification also serves as a status symbol, since the process is usually restricted to “important” accounts—actors, politicians, musicians, etc. Nearly all major social media platforms have a verification system.
The Real Stars of the Show—Puddin & Dozer
You know a Josh Jolly video when you see—and hear—one. From his laugh to his quick cam cuts, he’s definitely got a style. But let’s face it, we know who the real stars are. 😉
And one has to wonder: which one is the diva—Puddin or Dozer? (We have our suspicions.) Josh laughs out his answer: “Puddin is pretty sassy! When we walk her outside she walks like a model-dog!”
Oh, we believe it. Check out Puddin’s swag strut:
But Dozer looks to be the active one:
Self-Exploration with Mood and Music
You’d expect music that matches his TikTok content. Music coming from a guy with “jolly” in his name might be lively, energetic—happy. But Josh’s music is a drastic departure from what he posts on social media. Deep, sometimes sparse, melancholy. When we start talking about his music, Josh is quick to name-check another up-and-coming artist, Indiana’s Lil Skele:
“Lil Skele is one of my favorite artists. We’ve had some songs together, too, actually. So I’d say my music is a little like his. Kind of a sad-boi vibe thing.”
That becomes evident before you even click “play.” Josh uses titles like messed up, dead., broken., giving up, collapsing. All titles without capitalizations, but with full stops (the period) that invoke a fair bit of the sads. If not sad, certainly ennui. (Fancy word, yeah. Think of it as the ho-hums.)
This switch-up from cute, hyper videos to deep music might seem left-field. But as we’ve said before, a creative will create, no matter what. That’s what they do. And if that means switching to a different medium, then they’ll switch to a different medium. Worked for Chopin, Mozart and countless other artists from the past. Josh is yet another proof of concept.
|More swagTEAM You Should Know
Adam Relleh, aka Pretty Done, a multi-genre artist from Las Vegas, is another creative who effortlessly switches from painting and photography to music and DJing when the call to create hits. Check out his brilliance on his swagTEAM write-up here.
After his parents split, Josh found social media as a place where he could get away. But he likely wasn’t able to explore or express his feelings the same way he can with music. Now he’s in a position to make music and explore those emotions.
Josh’s Insta used to feature a lot of scooter and skateboard vids. And he was pretty good at them. “But Covid changed all that,” Josh says.
“The skatepark by me was shut down for good last year unfortunately. Which sucked. It was like a home.” And by extension, the other kids that used the skatepark were like a family. This is the only time Josh gets remotely somber throughout the interview. It’s a fleeting moment—but an endearing one.
“When the weather gets nice again,” he promises, “I’ll try to get up more of those kinds of videos for folks!”
And maybe we’ll see Dozer or Puddin on a scooter?
“Nah, Dozer’s more of an eBike kinda guy. Puddin would probably ride a hoverboard.”
Sign us up! Until then, at least we have this:
That’ll do . . . for now. 😉
“Keep Your Head Up, Never Give Up”
Not everyone can have a Puddin or a Dozer to help them stay energized with positivity. (We should be so lucky!) So how does Josh do it? “Honestly, a lot of coffee and I go live with my amazing followers. I try and keep busy.”
To “go live” in social media terms means to live stream. Similar to broadcasting on t.v., going live turns your video into a real-time conversation. Creators can then use interact directly and instantly with followers who are watching.
Being a content creator isn’t always easy. It requires more than creativity. “You need to be patient, confident. You need to keep your head up, never give up and keep pushing on no matter what.”
And we know how harsh the webverse can be. So we commend Josh’s tenacity. That’s swag!
“Well, it’s like when I was first learning to ride a scooter. It took a while. I fell. A lot. And hard. But you just gotta get back up and try again. You’ll eventually find your stride.”
Way to keep things jolly, Josh!
Listen to Josh Jolly’s Full EP on Spotify