YTOTW: Makhonkit The Pianist Has 200,000 Fans And Met His Wife On YouTube. Not Bad Eh?
We've got to admit. We didn't know who 'Makhonkit' was until one of our colleagues told us about him
When we checked out his channel, we gawked at the fact that he not only plays the piano like a boss, but he plays covers by ear - he doesn't need the sheets.
Darian: Tell us what's your YouTube channel about, what kind of videos do you do?
Ray: I play piano covers of songs requested by my followers, usually billboard top hits.
Ray started his YouTube channel Makhonkit way back in 2006 and initially used it to share his Tae Kwon Do and piano recital piece easily.
Darian: When did you start your YouTube channel and how did it start?
Ray: My YouTube account was registered in 2006 when I needed to prove my age to access certain age restricted materials on YouTube. It has been dormant since until mid 2008 when I started putting in my Tae Kwon Do Team videos and one of my piano performance recorded by my friend. In late 2008, I started posting videos of myself playing my favourite tunes on the piano.
In 2008, he started posting piano covers of songs and over the years, his channel has amassed over 200,000 subscribers. This cover of Gangnam Style has 1.3 million views!
Ray was inactive on YouTube for awhile but good music and strong support from family and friends inspired him to continue making videos
Darian: What inspired you to make videos?
Ray: Good songs! I enjoy turning good music into piano versions. Strong support from my followers inspired me too.
Besides being super talented on the piano, Ray loves his martial arts. He does Tae Kwon Do and also speaks 6 different languages!
Darian: Tell us more about you! Your hobbies and maybe a secret talent?
Ray: I enjoy learning and performing martial arts (Tae Kwon Do) as much as music. On top of that, I love learning new languages and speaking them with native speakers. I currently speak Japanese and Korean apart from my main English, Malay, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
His cover of that hit "Let It Go" turned out to be his favourite video, as he got to work with his friends
Darian: Which was your favourite video to make and why?
Ray: Let It Go Piano Cover (ft. Ray Mak) This was made by my good friends from InYourFaceZeph parked under their YouTube Channel
After being inspired by his friends and family, Ray wants to pay it forward to aspiring YouTubers with this simple advice, "Dream. Believe. Do".
Darian: What would you say to someone who aspires to be a YouTuber?
Ray: Dream. Believe. Do.
Ray doesn't believe that making content is a 'chore'. He makes sure that there is a plan to follow each week so that he reaches his goal, be it in practicing or filming a video.
Darian: Do you feel making videos is a 'chore' now that you depend on it for content?
Ray: It has always been my passion to turn music into piano covers. I schedule my actions every week with utmost discipline, almost chore-like.
However, one of his biggest challenges now is the lack of proper equipment. He has an old laptop which makes editing videos difficult but he plans to get an upgrade soon.
Darian: What's the biggest challenge you currently face as a YouTuber?
Ray: I use a very old Centrino Laptop which can't even play 720p even though I'm uploading raw video files at Full HD. I wish to get a new computer soon and learn video editing.
And now the juicy part: he met the love of his life on YouTube (great!), and has also been stalked by people (not so great).
Darian: How has the YouTube journey been for you since you uploaded that first video?
Ray: I met my wife on YouTube. We are happily married. I've made a lot of friends, that I consider life long friends, in my own country as well as many other countries. YouTube connected us. Another crazy experience would be harassment from some followers, not in a good way. There were some who took stalking to the next level.
Watch Ray perform in the middle of a paddy field before he pops the question at the end:
For 2015, Ray aims to provide better content by making sure his videos are of standard. He also plans to work together with other local YouTubers on upcoming projects.
Darian: What's the one thing you want to achieve for 2015?
Ray: I wish to be able to make higher quality videos, as in better production quality by working closely with good friends.
Darian: Any future projects or videos that's coming up soon?
Ray: I'll be collaborating with Shawn Lee very soon and Joseph when he returns from Dubai. I'm also working on some Chinese songs with Prodigee Media. Not forgetting upcoming collaborations with InYourFaceZeph, KLGadgetGuy, Esmondsees and some of my other close friends.
Besides that, Ray also aims to*gain local support for his channel
Darian: One reason Malaysians should subscribe to your channel?
Ray: I'm a Malaysian too. I really wish to have support from friends from my home country, and I would greatly appreciate their support.