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Meet the Sarnia guitarist who quit his day job and earned 1 million YouTube subscribers

Meet the Sarnia guitarist who quit his day job and earned 1 million YouTube subscribers


After years of working in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley by day and burning the midnight oil as a musician at night, Cole Rolland recently did what all aspiring musicians dream of: he quit his dayjob.

After putting in his last shift at Nova Chemicals last October, the 26-year-old guitarist and YouTuber reached a number of milestones in his musical career.

His YouTube channel, which features Rolland’s rock, metal and classical covers and originals, recently surpassed one million subscribers and 150 million views.

To top it off, the California-based guitar manufacturer Kiesel is set to release the “Cole Rolland DC600C Midnight” on October 26, making Rolland a YouTuber with his own signature guitar.

California-based guitar maker Kiesel is set to release the DC600C Midnight on October 26, 2020. It’s a signature model electric guitar that Rolland helped design. (Kiesel Guitars)

Guitar hero

“I never knew that I would be able to make anything out of music, but I knew at such a young age that I wanted to,” said Rolland. “I knew that it would be the dream job to really strive for. And I’m thankful to be able to say that it’s my job now.”

Rolland spoke to CBC Radio’s Afternoon Drive about building his musical career on YouTube, and how it all started with his first video – a performance of a song from the Guitar Hero videogame series – when he was 15.

Have a listen below:

Afternoon Drive7:25A Sarnia guitarist racked up more than 150 million views on YouTube and was recently able to quit his dayjob to focus on his music full-time

For more than a decade, Cole Rolland has been building a fanbase for himself around the world by posting videos of himself on YouTube playing pop, metal or classical covers as well as his original music and this year he’s really hit some milestones. His videos have now been viewed more than 150 million times, he surpassed the 1 million subscriber mark. Chris dela Torre spoke to Rolland on Afternoon Drive. 7:25

Cole Rolland poses with the award presented to him by YouTube for reaching one million followers. (Submitted by: Cole Rolland)



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