Taryn Southern is an award-winning artist and storyteller whose work explores the intersection of emerging technology and storytelling.
Originally from Kansas, Taryn’s first foray into entertainment began at 17-years old when she competed in the semifinals of American Idol. In 2007, after obtaining degrees in journalism and anthropology, Taryn uploaded her first video onto YouTube. Ten years and 750 million views later, this pioneering YouTuber had produced more than 1500 internet videos, sold series to networks like MTV, DirecTV and Maker Studios, acted in sitcoms on FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Comedy Central, hosted shows for Discovery Channel, Vh1, G4, Facebook, and Yahoo, and produced digital campaigns for companies like Marriott, Today Show, Snapchat, and ATTN (see below for more details.)
In 2016, Taryn began leveraging her skillsets and interests as an early content creator, influencer, and strategist to help high-growth, emerging tech companies tell better stories. With her unique blend of experience across digital and traditional media, she's since crafted dozens of compelling, headline-worthy experiments, films and social campaigns in areas like artificial intelligence, VR neurotech, biotech, and longevity.
Some of these projects include:
- Taryn’s directorial debut I AM HUMAN, a sci-fi documentary following three of the first real-world “cyborgs,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019.
- The world’s first solo pop album composed with artificial intelligence, I AM AI, which hit the Top 100 US radio charts (Mediabase) and ignited a global conversation around the possibilities of human/AI creative collaboration.
- An award-winning Google VR series, which was nominated for Best Interactive at the Streamy Awards and featured in Ayzenberg’s XR Gallery.
- Social campaigns and videos for companies in the following areas: consumer VR (Oculus, HTC VIVE), neurotechnology (Kernel), egg freezing (Extend Fertility), personalized genomics (Invitae), and AI (Amper, AIVA.)
From biotech to blockchain, Taryn’s work has been featured in publications like Vanity Fair, Fast Company, Wired, and Forbes and she has been a guest contributor for Business Insider and TechCrunch. In addition, she regularly speaks at companies (Deloitte, YouTube and Google) and conferences (VidCon, Google’s AI Summit, The NY Times AI Conference, Web Summit, The Next Web, and Near Future Festival)
Named one of the Top 20 Women in VR, Taryn is a three-time Streamy Award nominee, an AT&T Film Award Winner, featured in Ford’s national “She’s Got Drive” campaign and Best Female Influencer nominee for The Crypto Awards. She currently sits on the board of the National Academy of Medicine’s Longevity Challenge, which aims to award breakthroughs in longevity science, and serves as an active investor/advisor in emerging tech companies like Cue (consumer biotech) and Tubular (data insights.)
Based in Los Angeles, Taryn is currently developing two unscripted series based NY Times best-selling books and hosting a podcast exploring the apex of human potential. She signed a development deal with National Geographic in 2020.
As a child, Taryn always had an interest in technology and music. She composed her first piece of music with computer software when she was ten years old. Soon thereafter, she starred in the pre-broadway musical Jane Eyre as Young Jane, and released her first LP "Hello World" in high school, recorded in a friend's basement.
In 2007, Taryn uploaded her first comedic music video to YouTube. The song went viral, and Taryn continued making videos - writing, producing, and/or starring in more than 1500 videos over the course of a decade.
Over that time, she also guest starred on more than a dozen TV shows (New Girl, Rules of Engagement, The League), and hosted series and specials such as the The American Music Awards Live, The Grammy’s Red Carpet Live, The X Factor Pre-Show, Discovery Channel's Shark After Dark, and her own weekend summer countdown show for Sirius XM's "The Pulse."
As a producer/host, Taryn's first breakout multimedia endeavor was Project MyWorld, a 2007 television series where she traveled the globe to meet her 50,000+ MySpace friends. Soon after, she established herself as an early content creator YouTube, accumulating more than 750 million views across her online content and 500,000 subscribers. Since that time, Taryn has been a host/correspondent for numerous networks including Discovery Channel, NBC, MTV, G4, Vh1, Conde Naste and The Today Show to educate the public around new and emerging ideas.
As a writer, she sold her first scripted comedy pilot, Private High Musical, to MTV. In 2013, her song “Crush” on the Mediabase Top 200 radio charts and featured as a new and noteworthy artist by Billboard. Her second album, Flashback Friday, an ode to her favorite 80's songs, earned more than two million streams on YouTube.
In 2013, she founded digital production + consulting company Happy Cat Media, which advised dozens of companies on digital media strategies, production and influencer campaigns for companies like Snapchat, Marriott, Maker Studios, Focus Features, ATTN, and more.
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