Titanic Sinclair vividly remembers the first moment he surfed the web. “I was on the old Windows, and we had a tiny little computer in our kitchen, because in the ’90s, people put their computers in the kitchen for some reason,” he says. “I remember my father saying, ‘All the information you’ll ever need is right here. It’s like a library, but through these wires.’ I remember thinking that was so insane.” Flash forward a couple of decades to today, where Sinclair, a multimedia artist, songwriter and director, has mastered the art of creating buzzy, addictive, eminently consumable content. And he’s just getting started.
Sinclair grew up in Michigan (“There was a lot of gang violence—it was a post General Motors wasteland,” he recalls), where he got his hands on a video camera at age 8, thanks to family members who worked at a local news station. “I was always making little movies and short films, but I never imagined I’d end up making things that people actually watch,” he says. People are certainly watching: Sinclair racks up hundreds of thousands of views for his odd (and oddly soothing) personal YouTube videos. In one, he stands awkwardly in a suit holding a microphone while discussing his Steve Madden shoes; in another, he sits on a stool and quietly eats a pretzel. Given that Sinclair seems to have been born for this era, it’s no surprise that he and Garrett Borns (aka BØRNS) met on Twitter: “That’s the most natural place to meet him,” says BØRNS, “because he has created this world within the internet that basically is the internet.”
But the scope of Sinclair’s work is broader than his personal vids. He’s a songwriter, a screenwriter, a visual artist and one of the masterminds behind the videos for Poppy, a diminutive blonde singer whose Instagram presence has garnered nearly as much attention as her music. In one short video, she just marvels at the sight of her own gloves—it has been viewed more than 500,000 times. (There are entire Reddit threads devoted to sussing out whether she’s in the Illuminati or an android.) Sinclair and Poppy met through the L.A. songwriting community and clicked immediately—he’s worked on her music videos and the odd short films she frequently releases. “Our work together has gained a really big audience,” he says. “A quarter of a billion people have watched our videos. So if there’s 8 billion people in the world, that makes 1/32nd of the planet has seen one of them. It’s just mind blowing.”
Sinclair turned 30 this year, and that big number also marked a big personal milestone. “It was the best year of my life, because years of hard work started to finally pay off. Whenever I get so exhausted that I can barely breathe, I just remind myself that I had 10 years of literally eating rice and beans and wishing and praying for a day like this. I have nothing to complain about.” And though he’s relentlessly productive (he’s currently writing “a couple of scripts” for feature-length films), if you ask Sinclair to nail down exactly what his precise job title is, even he has to pause. “In Hollywood, people always ask what you do,” he says. “And it’s really hard because I’m not even sure. I know I get bored easily, so I just like to keep learning. I want to keep making as much as I can during the very limited time we have on this planet.”