Asia Pacific Blog
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Jason Chen on YouTube fans in Singapore and Thailand
Friday, June 5, 2015
This post is part of a regular series of interviews with people across Asia-Pacific who use the Internet to create, connect and grow.
, a YouTube creator based in California., shares some highlights from his trips to Singapore and Thailand with YouTube FanFest.
How would you describe your channel in a sentence?
A land where music is both language blind and colorblind. Lol.
You started your channel nearly a decade ago in 2006. What was the inspiration that drove you to start uploading and why did you choose YouTube?
I started my YouTube channel in 2006, but didn't really post anything until 2008. My inspiration to start uploading onto YouTube was...fascination. It blew my mind that people were becoming overnight celebrities by posting videos shot on webcams in their dorm rooms. The barrier to entry was a laptop! I had one, so I put videos up for fun and wanted to see what would happen.
What was your breakthrough moment?
I feel like I could give many answers for this question, but I'll say it's the moment I stopped doing it for "fun." Things were very different in 2010, there wasn't a plethora of successful YouTuber careers like there is now. I grew up in a very traditional Asian household and got a job as an accountant during the peak of unemployment, so my decision to try to pursue music as a career was, in my mind, my breakthrough moment.
How has your community of fans evolved over the years?
I'd say it's branching out more and more toward Asia. Initially it was a lot of high school kids (it probably still is), but as YouTube's popularity spread into Southeast Asia I've definitely noticed significant spikes in fans out there.
Tell us about how you interact with fans. Any memorable fan meeting moments that you can share with us?
I'm a chameleon when it comes to interacting with fans. I feed off of their energy levels and attitude. Some people are super excited and want to chat, and some are quiet and just want a picture. I also have to be cautious of religious/cultural boundaries when it comes to interacting with fans. My ultimate goal is to make them feel comfortable! All fan moments are memorable in their own way, but what really gets to me is a loyal fan. This one girl I met in Malaysia had polaroids from every show she had watched me at, and she came out to every single show!
This was your first time joining YouTube FanFest and you performed at both Singapore and Thailand shows within a few days of each other. What did it feel like to be on stage in front of fans from these two countries for the first time?
Exciting! It's always such a rush when I travel to a new place for the first time. It was also a really different dynamic because I had the opportunity to share the stage with so many other international and local YouTubers. I was blown away, the response I got really exceeded my expectations. Sometimes things feel stagnant when I'm stuck in a studio, doing covers with writer's block. Events like these really rejuvenate me and give me a sense of accomplishment. Thanks YouTube and Branded!
What’s different about your fans in Asia?
As a whole they're way more excited and enthusiastic. The best crowds to perform to are always out in Asia (at least in my experience). And I feed off of their energy so I perform better as well!
That's the billion-dollar question. For now, I’m trying to do more Chinese content so I can do more stuff out in Asia. And obviously continuing to write songs for the next album and planning for music videos and collaborations. Hopefully some will be with local creators I met abroad this time around ;)
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