Interview with Milan Struyf, CubeHead
Milan Struyf, CubeHead, is a speedcuber, content creator, and all around cool guy. Known for his dynamic and fun-loving personality, CubeHead enjoys reviewing puzzles, doing creative challenges, and passing on his speedcubing knowledge. We got a chance to ask him a few questions about YouTube and his personal life outside cubing and awesome videos.
Q1: Yoooooooooo! Your greeting is super well known in our community for its amazing, positive energy. Where did it originate? Do you say “yoooooo” to people in real life?
Yooooooooooooo (you forgot a couple of o’s). It sure has become a part of the channel, which I never expected when I said it in my first video 😅. Here’s the story (you can watch a video retelling here): A few months before I started my channel, I went to a cubing competition in Amsterdam with my nephew and good friend Niels. Aside from having an amazing time at the competition, there is something that I remember even more vividly. After the competition, we were waiting for a metro to get back to our hotel. When it finally arrived, there was this guy who got out of the metro and greeted us with the famous “yooo”. He smiled, was super friendly and had the chillest vibe ever. After the encounter, we kept repeating that “yooo” over and over for days. When I started my channel a few weeks later and was thinking of ways to open my videos, I immediately thought of the moment we were waiting for that metro.
Q2: That’s an awesome story. How are you liking being a content creator? Is there a part of being a YouTuber you enjoy the most?
I’m loving it more and more each day, but it is something that I had to learn to love.
Sometimes it is so damn difficult to just sit down and prepare, shoot and edit because how awesome it seems to create videos. It’s something I had to take way more seriously than I initially expected. But once I started doing that, I started enjoying it even more, not less, to my surprise. Once you start diving deeper into the “content-creation-world”, you find out there is so much more to it that you would ever realize when you watch a simple YouTube video. I enjoy learning new things probably the most, and I still have tons to learn so I guess there’s fun times ahead. I expected receiving free cubes would be the most fun, but those boxes man…..I could already fill a room with them. But to give a short answer: content creation is more fun than anything I’ve ever done (and I’ve tried doing quite a lot lol).
Q3: It’s very cool to hear you’re always trying to learn new things. If you can say, what’s one new thing that you’re looking to do in your videos?
There isn’t “one thing” that I can currently think of, although something I’m really looking forward to is going outside again. I’d love to go to different places, even comps and shoot videos outside. Not only to bring more variety in my videos, but also to get some fresh air now and then. Let’s just hope things calm down as soon as possible 🤞.
Q4: For sure, we all miss going outside. When you were able to travel more freely outside, did you have a favorite place to go? How about a favorite place to compete?
My favorite place to go to has to be the gym 😅. I miss exercising so much. I do have a pull-up bar and some equipment here at home, but it’s just not the same. Aside from that I love drinking coffee in random places, visiting museums or going out with my girlfriend. Ah, just typing this hurts haha, but I guess we’ll appreciate it even more when it’s all normal again! My favorite competition I’ve been to has to be the world championship in Paris, because there hasn’t been anything of that size. I met a lot of people: Feliks, Chris Olson, Lucas Etter…People I probably won’t see again anytime soon (maybe again in World Championships 2021). Also I’ve only been to 9 competitions in total and none of them were at the exact same location. So… if I had to choose between them, Paris all the way. Talking about competing, I’d love to do more events ‘cause I only have 4 official events I just noticed. Oops.
Q5: I miss it too. I’ve been doing bodyweight exercises and riding a stationary bike at home. I hope that Worlds 2021 will be safe and accessible for all. Hey, don’t worry about the four official events. I actually have only done the exact same four events. Which ones are you most excited to do for the first time in competition?
Clock 100%. Haha no I don’t really know. It would be nice to be at least decent at most events (big cubes, blind, skewb) and be really good at the ones I enjoy most (currently 3x3, OH, 4x4). Something tells me I’d really enjoy blind events once I start diving deeper in that world, ‘cause solving a 3x3 is 10 seconds is pretty cool, but the flex of not needing any sight is on a whole other level. Gosh there are many events. How do people even have time to be good at everything?
Q6: I actually don’t know. Being a world class all-rounder is a huge time commitment. I spent a lot of time with Stanley Chapel over the summer and his knowledge of cubing is so deep it’s scary. When you were a beginner, did you have a favorite speedcuber?
Yeah, I’ve always been a big fan of Feliks (like the rest of the world). Not many people know this, but when Feliks started his CubeSkills, I was quite active on his site. I even mailed him sometimes and ended up Skyping with him. This was way before I started my channel and the call was so cringe (cause of me obviously 🙈). I recorded the call but the audio was missing so I ended up deleting it. It would’ve been so funny if I still had that recording now. But aside from Feliks I am a big fan of Bill Wang. I like his turning style and chill personality. Hope to meet him one day.
Q7: Feliks and Bill are legendary cubers for sure. We should do a get-together with Bill some time. I think you guys would get along really well. If you could hang out with Feliks and Bill, what activities would you like to do together?
I honestly don’t know, grab some food? Get a coffee? Play some chess? What do you do with people you don’t yet know haha. Although I imagine if I were to meet them, I’d be somewhere in America/Canada, and I’d love to sightsee some parks and other things in America. We don’t have them as big in Europe as you do.
Q8: Haha sure. I haven’t actually had the luxury of sitting down and meeting a new person in person in such a long time. If you’re ever in our part of the US, we should go for a hike. We have lots of mountains in our area. It’s most tranquil. Now that we’re talking about relaxing, what hobbies do you have outside of cubing? I noticed you mentioned chess. Do you play a lot?
Cubing is life. Haha honestly it kinda is hobby-wise. I recently have been reading quite a lot. Sometimes it just feels so peaceful to put your phone to the side for an hour or so and just read. But aside from that I don’t have that many hobbies that pop into my head right away. I like to see cubing and YouTube as my hobbies because I spend most of my free time on those. Oh yeah, petting my cat definitely has to be a hobby too. I love my cat.
About chess: a lot of things spark my interest, which is definitely the case with chess. I love to watch chess on YouTube and admire guys like Magnus. But honestly, I almost never play lol. I did recently buy a chessboard but I have no friends to play with (F’s in the chat).
Q9: F. For sure, it’s great to take a break from our screens sometimes to read a book or pet a cat. Let us know anytime if you want a game of chess. We have a few employees who play. Now this is a question I ask everyone. Can you tell us something about yourself that you think most people don’t know?
I might have mentioned this before in a livestream, but my granddad used to be a pretty good professional cyclist. Once he retired, he opened a bike shop, which my dad runs nowadays. I helped there as a bike mechanic ever since I was 14 years old. I still help on the weekends. How ‘bout you Phil? Is there something crazy we don’t know about you?
Q10: This isn’t super crazy, but I have a similar story with a family business. I started a violin shop with my dad over a decade ago. We build and repair violins. I used to also operate a teaching studio, so the students had a pretty cool full service thing going on. They’d get a lesson and we always helped them maintain their instruments before auditions and competitions. My aunt also teaches violin. Fun fact, she was speedcuber Dana Yi’s teacher for a number of years. Now for the last question, if you can describe your cubing style using three words, what would those words be?
“Pray for U-perm”. Honestly, I don’t think I have such a unique cubing style, although I like to do a lot of keyhole related stuff and spam PLL pretty fast. Wait, let me try again: keyhole, TPS, +2. Yeah, those damned +2’s…
Haha, I think you’re the only person to name something negative. Thanks so much for doing this interview with us. Good luck in your future videos!