Exclusives Interviews 3 January 2023
Author: Ore Bolarin

GRM Exclusive: The Sidemen talk “Christmas Drillings”, Charity Football Match, 2023 plans & more

3 January 2023

The Sidemen have been making waves all year in the YouTube scene, from consistently delivering hilarious Sidemen Sunday videos every week to hosting one of the biggest YouTube events this year with their Football Charity Match and now they’re going for a Christmas No.1 with a song born out of one of their challenge videos.

We had a chance to talk to Vik and Tobi and get their thoughts on the year the Sidemen have had, their plans for 2023 and how they feel about Christmas Drillings potentially becoming a Christmas No.1

The Sidemen as a whole have had a massive year, with huge videos like Sidemen Tinder 4 and the $200 v $20,000 Hotel, are you guys already anticipating how you’re gonna top this year in 2023? 

Vik: Yeah absolutely. We’ve already planned all of January and February out in terms of Sidemen Sundays, and just those months alone have some really big videos in. 

Tobi: We’ve got some massive videos planned later in the year as well. A couple that we’ve wanted to do for a while and that the fans have been asking for, it’s gunna be a big year. 

As well as that it’s been a huge year for a lot of you guys personally, there’s been babies and engagements, congratulations on yours by the way Vik, how is it for you guys now juggling the Sidemen brand with what you guys get up to away from the cameras? 

Vik: Thank you, and yeah, I think it’s always hard balancing work and home life with any job. We’re really building out the Sidemen team behind the scenes now to help us manage all the projects we have across the board, be it Sides, Vodka, Side+ and so on, which is a massive help for us. I think as our lives have changed over the years so has the way we’ve managed The Sidemen brand. It’s different to how it was like 4 years ago, we couldn’t have lived like we do now back then with babies and everything. 

The anticipated return of the Sidemen Charity match was one of the biggest YouTube events of the year, can we expect another entry in the saga for 2023? 

Tobi: You’ll have to wait and see… 

Vik: We definitely want to bring it back again, I mean we raised over 1 million pounds for some amazing causes this year, so it’s something we’d love to continue. 

Tobi: It’s so much fun to do as well. Playing alongside your best mates in front of all your family, friends and supporters AND all to raise money for a great cause. It’s a dream. 

For one of the Sidemen’s recent Sidemen Sundays, the group split into two teams and were tasked with making a Christmas song. Ethan, Harry, Simon and Josh were on a budget of £100 and were helped by friend and artist Randolph resulting in ‘This Or That’ with the music video amassing over 6 million views on YouTube and 2 million Spotify streams.

Tobi, Vik and JJ got a slightly higher budget of £100,000 and were joined by grime legend Jme and producer Nyge. The song has taken off, amassing over 8 million views on YouTube and nearly 9 million streams on Spotify. The track is currently sitting at number 9 in the UK charts and is still climbing. The YouTubers are donating all proceeds to the charity FareShare.

On to Christmas Drillings, did you guys have any idea it would take off the way it has done?

Vik: I’ll be honest I thought it was just going to be a funny song for the video or and that’s it. I never thought it would be in the charts. Like we’ve made songs for videos before and they don’t go off like this one has. It’s The Sidemen though you know, our community can make amazing things happen. 

Tobi: It was like any other Sidemen Sunday when we were making it, we didn’t think it would go anywhere past the video but here we are. We’re incredibly grateful for the support from our audience as always, they show us love with whatever we do and it’s why we keep trying to go bigger and better for them. 

Jme is a legend of the UK music scene and Tobi you’ve ventured into music yourself, but for you Vik aside from your diss track, what’s it like stepping into this world and now hearing yourself on the radio and seeing yourself in the charts because of it? 

Vik: It’s bizarre, it’s a weird feeling hearing yourself on the radio. I’m definitely glad we didn’t know in advance how many people it would reach, there would have been a lot more pressure making it! Like 8 million streams… that’s a lot of people, and people from outside our normal audience as well. It’s awesome though, I’m glad we could make something that people outside of our normal YouTube audience can enjoy as well. 

All profits from the track are being donated to Fare Share, how important is it for you guys to highlight that charity with the song’s success? 

Tobi: Yeah massively important, I mean that’s really the reason we’re doing all this. Of course people can donate directly to Fareshare themselves, we encourage that – but the song’s position in the charts also helps to bring awareness to Fare Share and highlight the incredible work that they do, particularly around Christmas. So we’re raising money and increasing the charity’s profile at the same time. The charity match was a huge success earlier in the year and we’re just happy we have the opportunity to raise money again. 

Finally, what would it mean for you guys personally for Christmas Drillings to become a Christmas No.1? 

Tobi: For me it would be an amazing example of the power of YouTube. People from lots of different audiences are buying and streaming the song. Having a group of YouTubers as Christmas number 1 I think would be an amazing thing for the scene. 

Vik: I think just the sheer amount of money we’d raise as well for a great cause would be amazing. Buy the song guys! Christmas Drillings to Christmas number 1!

With the power of YouTube and their fans, The Sidemen are on a mission to make Christmas Drillings a Christmas No. 1. With all profits from the track going to a good cause it’ll be very exciting to see whether the Sidemen can reach their goal.