If you’re into pop culture, comic conventions, cosplay, or a regular among the nostalgic parks of Disney, the name ‘Leo Camacho’ has probably already passed through your ears once or twice. Best known for his uncanny likeness to Colin O’Donoghue (Hook; Once Upon a Time), and famed character appearance to Prince Eric, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Camacho has risen in the ranks of popularity among cosplayers and officials in the industry; causing him to become one of the most known costumers in the United States, and throughout the world.
Like many, I found Leo through the role he’s most known for when a friend introduced me to the ‘Part of Your World’ video he made in conjunction with the infamous Traci Hines — where he portrayed ‘Prince Eric,’ alongside her ‘Ariel’ in the fan film of the ages.
I was truly amazed at the surrealistic resemblance to the prince that graced televisions of hopeful princesses around the globe, in every child’s favorite nautical romance cartoon. Although his known character portrayal is impressive, Leo is truly one of the most inspirational, unique and creative individuals whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and through our discussion, I was able to dig deep and uncover the foundation on which he has built true dedication and passion.
In the prequels of his professional status, Leo was apart of the creation of a video game inspired project, appropriately titled ‘RadNerd,’ which at one point was of huge significance in his life, and what he refers to as the ‘true beginnings.’ Back in the day, before Facebook was a ‘thing,’ you may remember a popular social site called Myspace — that’s almost cryptic to think about, right? Leo explains that he began by starting a video game A cappella band called ‘Push Start,’ which was featured on Myspace music and at one point dominated his lifestyle — standing for everything he believed in. Initially, he began by putting together a well-produced band page that ended up gaining a high volume of followers and traffic, for which received an appreciative level of engagement and notoriety.
Soon after, Leo explained that his friends began to join in, which led to their appearance as guests on a radio show, opening for other bands, and eventually delivering him into the scene where he began rapping and touring.
He explained that at the time, G4, who was still engaged in the MySpace and pre-social media era, announced a competition in which they were looking for a media correspondent to assist them with a specific project— for which the same radio show that he previously appeared on suggested that he enter — and, so he did.
“All of the bands that I was associated with started asking all of their followers to vote for me, which helped.”
Thankfully, Leo was able to drastically increase his probability of success even further, explaining the fact that he served as a ‘LAN center rat,’ and frequented three separate centers, getting to know the community and slowly rising in the ranks of popularity.
“I was really well liked in that community, so I asked them if they could help me out. So, they made the home landing page for all of their computers, which users were forced to log into. Everyone who paid to log in would first see the landing page where they had to vote for me as a precursor that then allowed them to log in. This is crowdsourcing before it even existed.”
Camacho quickly climbed the ladder to success and went on to win the contest, which landed him a 15-minute hosting segment on, what was at the time, a significant streaming television channel in the era before YouTube became the mass media conglomerate of the internet. He was quickly inspired and influenced by his strong passion for correspondence, where he explains he then began co-hosting a show with his long time friend and partner, which led to the development of progression into a pre-show.
Eventually, he was handed the ropes to a fully syndicated hour-long program, which ended up being nominated for the first ever Streamy Awards, for best new show, going up against names like Kevin Polluck and Ashton Kutcher. It was obvious that Leo was in it to win it, from the beginning.
“It was a big deal for us. That was the RadNerd show.”
Take a glance at one of Leo’s first hosting gigs in this video (skip to 5:55 for the start of his segment):
Sadly, due to the confinements of adulthood, priorities, and responsibilities, the show ended up dissolving into an inactive state, as neither Camacho nor his partner had enough time to devote to production to the show — causing it to eventually be put on the back burner.
But, due to fate or some other coincidental factor, Leo admitted that recent discussions have been had, leading him to the possibility of hosting another show on the platform for a gaming company.
“Although we are not RadNerd anymore, it has once again come full circle and I am once again working with my partner and close past-friend, hosting and celebrating our passion for gaming, which is really cool,” he explained with enthusiastic energy and tone, “It’s cool how that launched my career, and here I am again, coming back to it at the peak of my new pursuit,” he pleasantly added.
While it remains unseen of what we can expect to see out of Leo in the coming months, we can only hope that once again he will resurrect the brilliance and creativity that emits from this ‘video game rap’ that we’ve just be reintroduced to, because we need more of it.
Say ‘hello’ to The Adventures of Duane & Brand0, and watch Leo Camacho take the stage in an epic rap battle for the ages, as he presents an incredibly unique and fresh approach to the musical composition of video game rap:
Though it’s unknown if he plans to develop any other songs, there’s only one desire that currently fills our minds — we’re going to need Leo to recreate the epic musical rap rendition “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” that’s seen in the live-action sequel of Jim Henson’s ‘TMNT: The Secret of the Ooze.’
Leave us a comment below and let us know if you’d also like to see Leo take on TMNT in a musical adaptation of the ages and encourage him to “Go Leo, Go Leo, Go!”