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10 Asian American YouTubers Redefining Mainstream Media

In the last decade, Asian Americans have been able to break through and gain a remarkable following through their YouTube channels. Check out this list of the Asian YouTubers you should know!

Yuner Gao

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Racial tensions in the U.S. are rising one after another. The protest of Black Lives Matter is not over yet, and Asian Americans are being attacked mainly because of the pandemic.

In fact, it has always been difficult for Asian Americans to find a place in mainstream media.

Thanks to YouTube, minorities can quickly create, upload, and share content. It’s a perfect showcase for Asian American YouTubers in particular.

While many of the most influential YouTubers are based in America, major YouTubers are starting to emerge in Japan, South Korea, India, and other Asian countries.

YouTube, to some extent, has enhanced the influence of Asian pop culture.

These Asian American YouTubers try to take advantage of this platform. Some of them sing, some perform, some share food, some do funny experiments.

In short, they try all kinds of ways to show their talent.

With the efforts of these Asian YouTubers, people have also become aware of the beauty of Asian culture.

We’ve compiled a list of  10 Asian American YouTubers who have made significant contributions to Asian culture.

1. Kina Grannis

Kina Kasuya Grannis is a Japanese-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Grannis grew up in California. In 2007, she graduated with honors, majoring in psychology at the University of Southern California.

During her studies at the University of Southern California, she was elected to the Honor Society of American College Students.

In 2008, Grannis won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest and received a recording contract with Interscope Records.

In 2010, Grannis released an album, Stairwells, a music video, “In Your Arms,” and she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

As an enthusiastic supporter of cancer research, Grannis has participated in many charitable activities over the years and has actively raised funds.

2. David Choi

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Korean-American singer David Choi is an early YouTube celebrity. This musical genius, born in 1986, has attracted the attention of many netizens on YouTube with his musical talent.

He gained 1 million fans after uploading his original songs to the internet. From 2006 to 2007, he became the most famous pop singer on the platform.

Now, YouTube has been with him for over 10 years, and there are still many internet celebrities like him on YouTube.

His humorous song “YouTube, A Love Song” helped Choi start his singing career. The song appeared on the YouTube homepage in 2006 and has been viewed more than 2.8 million times.

The music videos of his singles “Won’t Even Start” and “That Girl” were also released on YouTube, and they have received more than 13 million views.

Related: Four Youtubers Who Abandoned Social Media To Take Care Of Their Mental Health

3. Wong Fu Productions

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As early as 2006, Asian Americans were able to break through and gain a remarkable following through their YouTube channels.

For example, Wong Fu Productions, founded by Asian American YouTubers in 2006, continuously features Asian American actors and actresses, telling stories about family, love, and the daily struggles of being a minority.

In 2015, Wong Fu released their first feature-length film, “Everything Before Us,” and just this month, they launched “Yappie.”

Just as Wong Fu revolutionized Asian American representation in film and television through YouTube, many other Asian American YouTubers have used this platform over the years to transform standards within their respective fields.

4. Ryan Higa

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Ryan Higa, better known as Nigahiga, is a Japanese-American. He has over 21 million subscribers on his channel — which is an amalgam of running jokes, sketch comedy, and parody videos.

Because of his growing fame, Higa was invited to star in a movie. In 2008, Los Angeles producer Richard Van Vleet offered to help; the final film, “Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure,” was directed by Richard Van Fleet, and the film was very popular. Since then, he has starred in many movies.

Being an Asian American YouTuber, Higa has extremely high requirements for the quality of his films. He has done a variety of films, including acting, singing, animation, and martial arts. He insists on not swearing in the film, making it very children friendly.

5. Jenn Im

Jennifer Im is a fashion designer. She is best known for her YouTube channel, formerly known as Clothescounters.com, which started in 2010. As of 2019, it has reached around 2.4 million subscribers.

Within fashion and beauty, Jenn Im empowers her viewers to discover their style through her own eclectic style, while also sharing about her travels, her favorite books, and even her insecurities.

In August 2017, Im launched Eggie, her own clothing brand, fulfilling a personal dream.

6. Freddie Wong

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Freddie Wong is a famous Asian American YouTuber. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a major in film, and he founded the YouTube channel.

Wong has become more and more popular since he won the Guitar Hero 2 competition for the track “Less Talk More Rokk,” in the World Series of Video Games in Dallas, in 2007.

If you often watch YouTube, you’re probably familiar with RocketJump. Wong, one of the main creators, has collaborated with YouTube to produce a series of high-quality special effects and plot videos.

With excellent creativity and superb video effects, Wong has so far achieved more than 382.39 million viewers and 2.21 million video subscribers worldwide.

Related: A New Home For Asian American Representation in Hollywood

7. Amy Lee

Amy Lee is a Korean-American girl who graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Amy Lee is committed to creating fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content on her YouTube channel.

At the age of 24, Lee has accumulated more than 310,000 subscribers and 130,000 Instagram followers, all of whom are attracted to her refreshing, unique style and personality.

In addition to the beauty content, Lee also has a column called “The AM with Amy,” which lets viewers get a closer look at her life.

On her youTube channel, she describes herself by saying, “My name is Amy and I am a 26-year-old trauma-informed student of life 🙂 I am currently on a mission to make intergenerational healing & mental health spaces accessible and affordable for all- especially to underserved communities.”

8. Emmy Cho

Emmy Cho, better known online as Tastemade, is a Chinese-American YouTuber born in California.

If you are a foodie, you should meet her. She is famous for posting food tasting videos on YouTube. So far, Tastemade has 1.6 million subscribers.

Although Cho is Asian American, she keeps receiving recipes from Germany and other parts of the world.

If you want to experience the world, you can send her your favorite recipe and share the most delicious and authentic tastes you know!

On her YouTube channel, she describes the channel by saying, “From quick recipes to original series, we’re uploading new videos every single day to share our favorite food, design inspiration, and travel stories from around the world. We’re also known to get a little quirky sometimes, so keep an eye out for surprises ;)”

Related: 6 South Asian Creators Whose Voices Are Changing Mainstream Media

9. Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan is a Vietnamese-American woman born in Boston, Massachusetts. She’s the founder and owner of EM cosmetics, a multimillion-dollar cosmetics brand.

In 2005, Phan opened a personal blog where she discusses different makeup tutorials, and since May 2007, she has been posting videos on YouTube.

BuzzFeed published two “How to Get Lady Gaga’s Eyes” makeup tutorials by Phan in 2009 and 2010. These tutorials quickly became popular and brought her more than 1 million subscribers.

In 2010, Lancôme made Phan their official video makeup artist because she showed some of their products in the video, making her the company’s first Vietnamese-American spokesperson.

In 2015, Phan was included in the 30 companies under 30 and Forbes 30 under 30 lists. In the same year, she raised 100 million U.S. dollars, making Ipsy more than 500 million U.S. dollars. In 2018, Phan established the company Thematic.

10. Kevin Wu 

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Kevin Wu is a Taiwanese-American YouTuber with the username of KevJumba or Kev. Wu was born in Houston.

His unexpected and funny way is impressive. He started uploading videos on YouTube in his second year of high school, and in 2008, Wu became a popular YouTuber.

His video describing tibia fractures received 450,000 views.

As Wu is also quite a caring person, he opened the JumbaFund channel on Youtube in 2009, and he donates the income to charity.

Final Thought on Asian Youtubers

Representation is crucial in validating personal narratives, especially for Asian Americans.

Yet, just as important as it is to discover the people whose stories resonate with your own experience, it is also extremely valuable for others to witness the multitude of narratives that exist around them.

These Asian American YouTubers have used their own power to promote Asian culture and try to make Asians a part of the American mainstream culture.

The Asian American community aspires not to be a racial enclave, but a visible identity within America, starting with representation in entertainment and media.

Through these YouTubers, native Americans also have a better understanding of Asian culture, which may also clear up a lot of misunderstandings.

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