“To be really clear: I’m not coming off YouTube,” former American Idol semi-finalist/current YouTube star Todrick Hall told journalists of his new MTV series, Todrick, today at Summer TV Press Tour 2015. In October, MTV ordered eight episodes of the reality series documenting Hall and his team as they race to make weekly music videos.

One journalist had wondered why Hall would exit YouTube to go to MTV, given the number of people getting rich making YouTube videos, and noting last week’s exit of MTV programming chief Susanne Daniels to become VP for YouTube Originals.

“I really don’t want to come off YouTube” Hall said, saying that would “make me lose my street cred.” His fans “need to see me as a YouTub-er,” which he called, “my brand.”  MTV is “so awesome” its execs fully understood that concept, and he is working “hand in hand” with the Viacom cable network, and with radio, to further his career, adding he hopes each feeds off the other and that, though he’s not rich yet, he hopes to get there soon.

When he came to Los Angeles and competed on the ninth editio of American Idol, he naively thought “whoever comes out with the most brilliant concept, or sings best is going to win,” he admitted this morning. But Idol producers disabused the young singers of that idea, explaining, “it’s not a talent competition, it’s a television show and people have to fall in love with you as a person.” Hall said he ultimately failed to make it through to win because he was too afraid to be himself and “to give the princess wave.”  But, his experience on that show “put a lot of the fight in me to come back and re-represent myself… to let audiences see the real me” via YouTube.

Hall is exec producing with Scooter Braun and Danny Rose. Also executive producing are former MTV programming president Brian Graden, Danny Salles, Louis Curren and Gauray Misra for Brian Graden Media.