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Warren County native finds TikTok fame

TikTok has taken the world by storm, especially the younger generation. 

A Warren County native has received a large dose of fame from the social media platform.

Jahvahn Gurley, or Jay Greek, has accumulated almost 250,000 YouTube subscribers and over 2 million followers on TikTok. Greek moved away about two years ago, but he still recognizes McMinnville as his start. 

He went to Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary growing up. While in Warren County, he said he never had a phone, so social media wasn’t something he explored heavily until later. 

“I used to play outside with sticks,” he said, “You know the vibes.”

Jay started on YouTube in 2018 editing the audio of different songs to make artists’ voices deeper. He said, “My friend, he’s a Tik-Toker too. He basically told me that YouTube is a great platform for editing.” 

He said editing is something he loves to do, and that’s how he got interested in creating video content. “I got on YouTube because I love editing.”

He said he technically started on YouTube in 2015 making, in his words, “cringey” covers of popular songs. He has since privatized those videos from public viewing.

Jay said the video that got him a lot of fame was “Zodiac Signs in Horror Movies.” 

“I love astrology and Greek mythology so I basically decided to make that into entertainment,” he said. “I’m really big on comedic entertainment and I wanted to incorporated astrology into my style.”

Jay creates content playing video games, which are often horror-themed, and posts himself playing through games on YouTube. He mostly played mobile games but he wants to venture out. “I bought a PC not that long ago because I want to start gaming as well,” he said.

“I started TikTok before the whole COVID thing. I started in 2019,” he said. “I started off with lip-syncing, but I wasn’t good at it. So I decided to do a Zodiac sign video and it blew up.” 

His sister was the one to push him to post on TikTok and he woke up the next day to many likes and follows.

He got nervous at first about receiving negative comments and feedback, but he said he doesn’t get a lot of hateful messages. “TikTok has let me grow to have thicker skin than most.”

Jay uses his platform to inform, educate and entertain. He has spoken out about COVID when it first started since his mother has first-hand experience and has spoken out about many other issues in our nation and outside the nation he feels strongly about.

TikTok and YouTube have both helped him during quarantine. “It’s helped me not be bored,” he said. “TikTok has helped me be a better person in general.” He hasn’t been able to meet as many people because of COVID, but once it’s over, he does plan to venture out more.

YouTube and TikTok have both been able to give Jay a comfortable start in pursuing a career in nursing. “I’m looking into nursing. My mom’s a nurse,” he said. “I’m thinking of using the money from YouTube for my schooling.”

He is really grateful he can do something he loves while working toward other goals.

Jay can be found on YouTube at Jay Greek or on TikTok @jahvahngreek.