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ASMR Decoded: An Interview with ASMRtist and Youtuber April

This week, I had the pleasure of getting in touch with April, the mind behind the YouTube channel April ASMR and @april.asmr on Instagram. She describes herself as a shy extrovert — someone who loves being out but is shy and reserved when she first meets others.

How I got to know April is a bit novel to me but is probably not all that uncommon in this day and age of social media. I stumbled upon her Instagram account by chance one day while scrolling through my Instagram Explore feed, and her videos piqued my interest. They resembled the popular eating broadcasts that I was a little more familiar with, where people film themselves eating while talking about their food and sharing interesting anecdotes from their lives. April’s videos were also of herself eating. She filmed herself eating sushi, spicy fire noodles, and very aesthetically-pleasing homemade meringue cookies (among others), but rarely did she speak in any of her videos. It was just her eating. I was curious, so I decided to contact her, and to my surprise she replied! So here, I am pleased to present to you all April: YouTuber, Instagrammer, and ASMRtist.

Michelle for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Hello, April! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what some of your hobbies and interests are?

April: Well I’m April, and I live on the East Coast. My interests include fashion and style, discovering new restaurants, and traveling. In my free time, I enjoy photography, dining out at pretty restaurants, making ASMR videos, and spending time with family and friends.

HC McGill: What is it like being an internet personality? What are some of the highlights?

April: Being an internet personality is interesting. My YouTube channel is quite small, but only 3 months ago I decided to be active on Instagram and I’ve gained a lot of attention on that platform. It’s fun! I am so happy when people tell me they love my videos because it helps their day, or it helps them sleep better, or that it helps their relationship with food. It’s pretty amazing that I’m able to help in that way. I’ve also gotten messages from young girls and boys saying that my videos have inspired them to create their own ASMR! They even send me their videos to ask me for my opinion, which I think is so sweet and adorable. I think my favourite part is the supportive community.

HC McGill: So, I’m a complete newcomer when it comes to ASMR. Could you tell me more about this internet trend? What exactly is ASMR?

April: ASMR stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”. It’s a tingling sensation that people experience as a response to certain sounds and/or visuals. I feel like we are constantly overstimulated these days, and what’s amazing about ASMR is that it can really calm you down and make you feel relaxed. I remember when I first discovered ASMR, there wasn’t much about it online. However, the ASMR trend is real now! I’ve seen big brands like Ikea and Pepsi come out with ASMR advertisements. I also noticed that W Magazine has ASMR videos featuring celebrities on their YouTube channel… how cool is that? I also wanted to note that there are different kinds of ASMR videos. Some examples include tapping, whispering, eating, softly speaking, and role play.

HC McGill: How did you discover ASMR?

April: I discovered the term ASMR on YouTube by accident. I used to watch a lot of makeup tutorials and realized I loved the sounds of their makeup products clicking together. I was also obsessed with a YouTube channel called RRcherrypie, because I was obsessed with the sounds that their video produced. That’s all I knew, until I accidentally found an ASMR video that explained what ASMR was all about, and I was so happy that this was finally a category!

HC McGill: What are some common misconceptions about ASMR?

April: A very common misconception is that ASMR is sexual or a fetish. I really wish people would stop associating ASMR as a sexual concept. It is not sexual at all!

HC McGill: How do people respond to the idea of ASMR? 

April: People either totally get it, or they think it’s really, really weird. If someone doesn’t feel the effects of ASMR videos, then I can understand how it might be a bit strange.

HC McGill: I had that experience too! I was worried that it might seem a bit strange, so before showing your account to my friends, I had difficulty trying to describe what was so intriguing about your videos. I just ended up saying, “she makes what she eats look really delicious.”

HC McGill: When did you start posting your own ASMR videos? What inspired you?

April: I started my YouTube channel in the summer of 2016. I actually started out as a mukbang / eating show channel where I talked in a normal voice, showing my whole face while eating, but being the shy person that I am, I was very uncomfortable in front of the camera. I found eating ASMR videos by YouTuber SassEsnacks and HungryCakes and wanted to make content similar to theirs — focusing on the eating sounds and food while showing the bottom half of their face. But to be completely honest, I was too scared of people thinking it was weird. There weren’t many videos like that on YouTube at the time and I was afraid of being embarrassed. I took a break from YouTube for 6 months and when I returned, I saw that there were so many ASMR (eating) videos online by many different creators. That really encouraged me to go ahead and switch my account to an ASMR eating channel. 

HC McGill: Why did you choose to center your online persona around food shows and eating ASMR in particular?

April: Since I was very young, I would watch Korean dramas with my parents and my favorite scenes were when families would eat at the dinner table. I loved watching them eat and the sound of them eating. Then during my teen years, I loved watching cooking shows only to see the judges taste the food. It’s strange because I can’t stand eating sounds in real life, but through a video I am obsessed! I’m not sure if it’s because I love food and I love to eat, but I just feel very satisfied watching/hearing people eat (through a screen).

HC McGill: How do you decide what to post? How do you come up with content for your Instagram account and YouTube channel?

April: Well, I can’t say what I do is the most creative thing in the world (haha), I’m basically eating in front of the camera. But since I’ve started making my content, I come up with content ideas from food blogs. I also watch other eating ASMRtists and if they’re eating something that looks delicious, I want to eat it too! I can’t speak for everyone, but I think many of us get inspiration from each other.

HC McGill: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me! Thanks for being so friendly and open to explaining the basics of ASMR to us. I’m sure that the rest of your followers and subscribers also appreciate you being so interactive with them!

 

All images are used with the permission of the interviewee. 

Videos are from April ASMR and Ikea USA

 

Michelle is a graduate student at McGill University studying the intersection between diet and cancer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sampling poutine restaurants, and taking pictures of flowers. 
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