Hi there Wave Riders! Did you enjoy the first part of the interview with Youtubers BapMokja and Haeppy? Of course you did! So why not continue on and read part two of the conversation we had when we met up in Seoul!
So what go you into starting Youtube channel on Korean Culture in the first place?
BapMokja: Basically we had the channel and I wanted to do something to do about K-Pop… However I hate standard vlogging – I find the format so boring. We are honest in the reactions that we do; we don’t lie and we are over-zealous in the way we explain why we don’t like something – to the point where it almost comes off as being rude but we are open and honest about how we feel about something. When we began to do request videos and we were too honest, the backlash that followed actually made us realize that we should only react to groups we liked. So we decided to make it into a proper show; our target audience were university students and those who were older but also liked K-Pop. We bought a lot of high-quality cameras (about 5 of them) and went full out dynamic with our style of recording. We sometimes go back to the old style of K-pop variety shows , but the reaction videos were our first step into the world of Youtube in Korea.
Haeppy: When most people who come to Korea start up their own vlog, they don’t realise a lot of hard work (and luck) goes into creating a successful vlogging channel. We wanted to go for something that would entertain people with our lives here yet still inform them. However, we had to do a lot of research into our current and prospective target audience to think about what kind of channel we wanted to have. Yes, we both like K-Pop and a lot of people enjoy our reactions, but in terms of the general audience people don’t really care about what Reactioners do outside of their reactions. In the past we remembered the backlash of commenters from certain K-Pop fandoms taking comments that are not 100% positive about their bias group to personal – it even got to the point where we didn’t want to upload any more reactions because we were tired of the negativity and it ruins the experience of the fans who do enjoy all of our content. Now we aim to do a variety of things; inviting over Youtubers over to play games with us, variety show style skits and so on but all with a K-Pop core because that is what our audience started with… though over time our core audience has evolved to starting to want to see content from us that isn’t solely K-Pop orientated.
In terms of what came out last year, what was your favourite release/ MV?
Haeppy: Oh man, this is so difficult… not going to lie, the majority of my favourites are going to be girl groups. I think DalShabet‘s “Joker” was one of my favourite MVs to react to as it was most fun; when they started doing their moves I was like “YESSSS!!!” But for an MV as a whole, my favourite it would have to be either BTS’s “Dope” or EXO’s “Call Me Baby” which is really weird because in terms of what we react to in our videos, we don’t really do boy groups.
BapMokja: Well of course they are going to be girl groups. AOA‘s “Heart Attack” means a lot to me both song and MV wise [note: because he was in the MV!] but I agree with Haeppy, I think “Dope” was a good one for us to react to; for a boy group BTS are really good. Also “Call Me Baby” was a funny reaction to do as well – it was also the first EXO video I had ever watched!
What are the common mistakes you’ve seen that people make when choosing to move to Korea?
Haeppy: Yes, you can live in Korea and choose not learn the language, but its common sense to learn the language! If you are immigrating to another country you should really at least try learn the language if it is different from your own. If you are not Korean then you will always be deemed a foreigner, until Korea in itself becomes more diverse. As a country, the population is still around 97% homogeneous – foreigners stick out. If you are someone who doesn’t like to stand out and blend into the crowd you will find that very hard to do so here. We all have our own opinions for what’s right or wrong, we all want to be some form of activist, but it won’t happen in Korea.
Bapmokja: In all honesty, don’t come over to Korea to stay and then complain about it – a lot of people make that error when they first come here. Don’t come and try to change their traditions or laws just because in the country where you come from the laws and rules are different. Also, don’t come to Korea if you only like your own countries food and you’re not willing to try what’s available in Korea (like Kimchi) because you will have a hard time here! To spin it to a positive – come to Korea if you’re open and willing to adapt to a culture that may be incredibly different to your own. It’s a wonderful country to be in and very rewarding!
Well, that about wraps it up! Do you have anything to say to the readers of JaK? Something that they could look forward to?
BapMokja: Yes! Please look forward to some of the stuff we will be releasing; from something VERY big which would please absolutely everyone, to some of our smaller projects. Please share out to your friends what we do; we would be really appreciative of it! And of course, please give our YouTube channel some love!
Haeppy: To add to that – I hope you like our channel for us rather than simply for our reactions to your favourite idols and look out for our upcoming big projects (and we are talking VERY BIG projects!) We would love to have our fans share our work as it helps to support us and will allow us a larger outreach to get some big name stars to work with us in the future; so please give us a lot of support!
And that is it everyone! Many thanks to BapMokja and Haeppy for sitting down with JaK for this interview. Be sure to check them out on their Official Youtube channel for their Smashed Reactions, TwoPlusTwo activities and their Korean Survival Guide! And subscribe to follow them and see what these exciting big projects will be!