YTOTW: Brian Soo, The YouTuber Who Makes Videos About Malaysia All The Way From The US
How did your YouTube channel come about?
Brian: My first video idea sparked when I was on my summer break after studying in the States for a year. I realised that our Malaysian accent is very different from other accents and had slight trouble conversing with the Americans in the States. You may think that a 2-minute vlog would take a short amount time to record, but it took me 3 hours of stuttering in front of the camera in my first video!
So what kind of videos do you do?
Brian: My channel is centered on making people laugh! I love it when people comment on how it made them laugh or how it relates to them. My content have generally been very Malaysian-centric but I am moving on to a more international audience so it can make more people happy!
Tell us more about you! Your hobbies and maybe a secret talent?
Brian: I am currently studying in the University of California, San Diego and I love making people happy! One of the reasons I keep creating content is because of the comments on how it made their day and helped them in a certain way. I love our Malaysian culture so much that I founded the first Malaysian club in my University. My hobby is going on photography trips and drinking coffee! My secret talent is that I can shoot stuff using my stomach. I could shoot rulers over tables when I was in secondary school! Also, I used to make very embarrassing cover videos and music videos. (I hope no one finds them).
Which was your favourite video to make and why?
Brian: My favourite video to make was definitely my most recent video. It was a 2-minute short film that was thought about and filmed in less than 3 hours. It’s called “Long Distance Relationship” and it has a pretty interesting twist to it at the end. We were on a time crunch filming this as it was for a film festival which was due the next day.
What's the one thing you guys want to achieve for 2015?
Brian: I would definitely want to improve the quality of my videos and try out different types of content and styles. Currently my videos are more of vlogs but I would definitely want to dabble into short films when I have the time! I would also want to reach a 100,000 subscribers by the end of the year!
How do you find inspiration for your videos? Is there a ritual or is it mostly through 'eureka' moments?
Brian: After getting great response from my first video, I was constantly on the lookout for other video ideas. The ideas come from everyday conversations to crowdsourcing from my Facebook friends. I even get ideas from lectures when the professor says something which sparks an idea. I usually work on my ideas when I’m in the shower, because the shower is the only time I can think without any distractions. I write down these ideas in my book and look at it some other time to review it and see if it's too ridiculous. After that, I just hit record and go on from there!
How do you plan to grow as a YouTuber, are you planning to venture into new areas? Collaborations? Movies? Series?
Brian: I definitely plan to do collaborations when I’m here in California. I would also want to collaborate with the Malaysian YouTubers when I'm back in Malaysia for my summer break. Also, I would be venturing into short films when I'm back in the States, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery here and the ang mohs (caucasians).
What would you say to someone who is aspiring to be a YouTuber?
Brian: Just grab that device with a camera and start shooting! You don't need a fancy camera to start making videos, just great ideas. You won't know how people think about it if they haven't seen it! Don't be discouraged when you don't get the expected views, just keep pushing out content.
What's the biggest challenge you currently face as a YouTuber?
Brian: Being an all-in-one. Doing the shooting, editing while studying isn't the easiest of tasks but it is still achievable with coffee!
Is it hard to be someone based in the US yet catering to Malaysians?
Brian: It's definitely more difficult in the sense that I am not able to film any Malaysian-only scenes such as our food and culture. That led me to making vlogs, but the distance from Malaysia also helped me realize how special Malaysia really is. It also helped me to see the difference between Malaysian culture and the US culture.
Is there a stark difference between an American YouTuber and a Malaysian one? (i.e, more creative, open, funnier etc?)
Brian: I feel that American YouTubers create content which are more universally acceptable. Malaysian content can only flourish in our own country and sometimes Singapore. With that said, I feel that us Malaysians have a lot of potential on improving our content so that it is universally acceptable and at the same time, include our special Malaysian-ness.
How has the YouTube journey been for you since you uploaded that first video? What was your craziest experience?
Brian: The journey has definitely been a pleasant ride thus far. Sometimes you don't get the expected views and it kinda makes you sad, but that shouldn't discourage you. In fact, it pushes me to upload more content to hit that sweet spot! I haven't had crazy experiences but I've had people emailing me and messaging me on Facebook on how it helped them for their school project. (No idea how my video on Malaysian Accents helped on their school project).
Any future projects or videos that's coming up soon?
Brian: Yes! I'm really excited to release a video which was done in 3 countries! I was approached by my friend who creates amazing music who's currently in the UK to make a music video. He collaborated with a girl from Malaysia while he was in the UK and the video is going to be shot in the US! Also stay tuned for a video which has something to do with Americans trying to speak Manglish!
One reason Malaysians should subscribe to your channel?
Brian: I address a lot of Malaysian issues and put them in bite sizes videos of 3 minutes or less! Also, I will be taking advantage of my tenure here in the States and collaborate with American YouTubers! Stay tuned!
So if you want to see more of Brian, why not check out his channel here?