Interviewed by Lisa Brown
Lonnell Williams is the very well-known vlogger from his channel 3LW TV on YouTube. . Originally from San Francisco, California, now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Williams has been blogging actively for the past four years. Very in touch with who he is spiritually, living by his own mantra: Stand in your light., Williams created his YouTube channel to inspire people to believe in his/her own power. Williams’ recent experience meeting Oprah Winfrey, being a corporate flight attendant, and having the opportunity to fly all around the world has had a huge effect on his life. Check out the interview.
When did you initially become a vlogger on YouTube.
LW: I’ve had my channel for almost five years; it’s been four years really, since I started doing videos regularly.
What inspired you to create 3LW TV.
LW: It was inspired basically, by just observing the world that I lived in; and hearing a lot of people in my community complaining about things that didn’t necessarily reflect the
world that I lived in. I thought if I could show people how some of the things I see that existed within our own community, maybe it will shift their perception. I didn’t set out to become a video blogger; it really was just born organically from the travel pictures that I was posting. Then that progressed into videos.
Tell me the significance behind the name and what it stands for.
LW: Before I did the videos, I had a blog actually, which I still do have. It was called Living and Loving Life with Lonnell Williams. The whole word 3LW was the three “L’s”, living, loving, life, and it was kind of a play on words, the “W” being my initial. But 3LW was actually taken as a singing group. So the record company that produced that group still owned the rights to that name so I had to add TV on the end of it.
You have a unique motto that you live by, ‘Stand in your light.’ Explain.
LW: It’s funny because I’ve always said that throughout my spiritual growth ,as an adult for the last 20 years. So, when I started doing videos, I was really hesitant about saying it, because I didn’t want to come across as some corny, preachy, spiritual, esoteric freak. Then one day, I was sitting up making a video, and I said: ‘you know what, I am corny and this is me (Laughs). [I told myself] if you’re going to do it authentically, [then be you]. I’m glad that I [decided to use it], because [it's] what I encourage others to do. I really thought I could show people better than I could tell people.
You finished college and worked in Hollywood. What were you doing exactly.
LW: I started off as a production assistant on a show called, A Different World, which was a spinoff of the Cosby Show. I was answering phones on the set, running errands, getting people’s food; I was basically the liaison between the set and the outside world. So, everything that was coordinated coming through that stage had to come through me. I had to connect the dots with the cast, the director, Debbie Allen, the producers, the outside vendors. That was my first job. When I went to “Out All Night,” I was a writer’s assistant basically typing up and doing all the changes in the script each week. After that, I worked for the executive producer of that show, Al Hayman, who was also a music promoter. He hired me to do some VIP seating on concert tours. It was a lot of fun, but then at the same time it wasn’t.
Tell me about your recent meeting with Oprah Winfrey.
LW: Oh my goodness, meeting Oprah. Well that was actually my second time meeting Oprah. The first time I met her, I didn’t expect her to remember, because it was briefly in New York City after one of her shows. This particular meeting, it was really like a dream come true to me; because first of all getting her attention out of the millions of people that are trying to get her attention, and doing it via social media, was just a feat in itself. I was thrilled when I got the very first tweet from her, but when we started tweeting back and forth all the time- it was like, ‘wait a minute what is going on here, this is like for real!’ When she invited me to the life class taping and got me tickets, it was really just a surreal experience. I was just so blessed and honored by it.
And not so much because, this is Oprah the celebrity, but it was really just because you know this is further confirmation- when you believe and stick to your convictions, dreams do come true. Nothing is unattainable. And that is what that moment really represented for me. It wasn’t until I posted the video and people started responding to it, that I realized, ‘oh, this is much bigger than my dream for myself’. I’m really standing on the shoulders of a lot of people of the community, and that’s when there was a different level of responsibility with this.
What do you tell people when they ask you what it is you do.
LW: Right now, I have a day job, in addition to doing the blogging and producing, which brings in some revenue. I still actually fly. I work on a private plane, not a commercial plane anymore. I still fly around the world as a corporate flight attendant. It enables me to still do my videos, because when I’m on these destinations and on my layovers, I get to do my videos. It’s been a blessing.
Are there any upcoming plans that you have for yourself or your channel.
LW: Let’s see, I’m going to continue doing the videos. I have a backlog right now. My immediate concern is really trying to get that stuff edited and posted. Really, I have a few meetings now, thank you again Oprah; I’m really trying to take the brand to the next level. I’ve been hired to do different speaking engagements, hosting a couple of events, so I had been traveling around doing that as well. It’s all taking a life of its own. I plan to continue to produce videos and just expand the brand and the audience as well. I just put on my seat belt, work hard, and be grateful. We’ll see where it all goes.