Friday, June 21, 2013

Asia's First YouTube FanFest! (Day 2)

While my fellow student reporter Mirrah enjoyed Day 1 of the YouTube FanFest Powered by HP, I attended Day 2, which was just as exciting. The Fanfest promised fans an up-close-and-personal session with the stars, and that promise was certainly kept. We could hear screams from outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where the event was held. Lucky fans also managed to get some photos taken with the stars before the show.

We even spotted homegrown Singaporean rapper, Toh Yifan (better known as ‘Tzire’) at the event. What a promising start!

The show began with host Dominic Lau warmly welcoming the audience to Day 2 of the first-ever YouTube FanFest live in Singapore. After getting the audience fired up for an awesome show, Dominic brought in the first star of the night, guitarist and singer Joseph Vincent.

Joseph started the show by performing his originals, S.A.D. (Single Awareness Day), If You Stay, and Blue Skies. The 23 year-old Filipino-American managed to get the audience moving and singing along, albeit rather softly. At the end of his first song, girls started screaming to show their love and appreciation for Joseph.

The man started writing and composing music at the tender age of 16, and earned the title of “YouTube Artist of the Year” from Star Central magazine in Australia. It is hardly surprising, considering Joseph’s charismatic personality and great vocals.

After Joseph left the stage, our host Dominic was back on  stage and seemed very excited. As if his flustered walking and talking wasn’t obvious enough, he mimicked playing on an imaginary guitar and introduced us to Joe Perry, the lead guitarist from Aerosmith!

Surprise, surprise! Mr Joe Perry actually came on stage with an electric guitar strapped on, ready to wow the still star-struck audience. Hearing each note being played by the extraordinaire himself was amazing. It is special appearances like these that made the night hard to forget.

Next up, Simon and Martina from YouTube channel, EatYourKimchi, were up. The entertaining duo make videos about K-pop and Korean culture. It is no wonder screams and cheers reverberated all around the hall as they came on stage.

Dom proceeded to ask the duo about how they started and got them to explain the origins of their quotes “Oooh you so nasty!” and “Ey girl! Can I buy you a drink?”

The duo also played some never-before-seen footage of their interactions with famous K-pop groups and artistes such as Block B and Eric Nam.

The next group that came on, GAC, is a very talented mix of individuals consisting of Gamaliel, Audrey and Cantika from Indonesia. Performing a mix of Indonesian songs, they got the audience tapping to their great tempo, powerful vocals and insane beat boxing.

Then came the much anticipated Boyce Avenue. Waves of excitement and cheering filled the hall as countless fans waved and held up banners professing “We <3 avenue="" boyce="">
They strummed fine tunes consisting of their original “Every Breath” as well as with “On My Way”.  If you had been there, you would have been mesmerised by their distinct vocals. Silently, the audience listened, absorbing every beat and lyric of the songs.

Pretty awesome so far, right? Things got even better.  We were introduced to the next star, Ryan Higa. This popular Youtube star walked onto the stage composed and silent (while the female fans screamed loudly). Without making a noise, he used hand gestures to silence the screaming crowd. With an unusually small guitar strapped on, he was about to strum the first chord when he stopped…and said “Hi”. This sent the whole audience roaring into heaps of laughter and (even louder) screams.

Ryan got the crowd going strong with his signature quirky humor, even though the event was already going way past schedule.

To date, Ryan has over one billion channel views and over 8.5 million subscribers. His highest grossing video, Nice Guys, hit over 46 million views!  The King of YouTube, so to speak, remains humble and he was really appreciative of all his fans in Singapore. He spoke well of other YouTubers who have collaborated with him in the past.

Dominic proceeded to ask Ryan about the guitar he was holding. “Are you a musician?”. Ryan quickly cracked a few jokes and mentioned that his friend wrote a song. And what do you know, in a matter of seconds, Ryan introduced his good friend, Andrew Garcia on stage!

He then swiftly handed the guitar over to him and Andrew opened with his original, “Dumb”.

To top it all, Ryan brought out Wesley Chan from Wong Fu Productions to say hello.

Ending the show was a very beautiful lady known by her stage name, Little Boots. The electropop singer from UK performed a very smooth and calming song, “Motorway”, followed by another song, “Confusion”.

That marked the end of Day 2 and ultimately the end of YouTube FanFest Powered by HP. It was great to be able to enjoy the performances of the YouTube stars who once started out filming in front of an old camcorder. We hope you have enjoyed reading these articles and maybe, just maybe, one of you NYPians will be the next YouTube sensation.

Read about Day 1 of the YouTube FanFest yet? If not, check out Nur Mirrah Amit’s post here.


Khin Wai is an NYP Year 3 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

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