Exclusive Interview: YouTube star Relaxing ASMR

I am very excited to present an interview with one of my favorite ASMR content creators, Relaxing ASMR! Recently I wrote a post where I discussed my interests with ASMR and then had the opportunity to interview another talented ASMRtist, Emma WhispersRed ASMR. You can imagine my excitement when I received a reply from Relaxing ASMR who graciously agreed to also do an interview. I stayed consistent with the questions to help maintain the theme of the interviews while also providing the opportunity to see the different thoughts and perspectives of such talented content creators. Below is a transcript of our interview:

Mark: When did you first experience ASMR?

Relaxing ASMR: Hi Mark, thanks for this opportunity to talk about ASMR. Like most people that experience ASMR, my earliest memories of it are from childhood. One of my dad’s pastimes during the cold, snowy winters was making his own fishing lures, particularly the type known as jigs. I used to sit on a stool at his workbench and watch as he melted the lead and poured it into the molds. After the jig heads were cast, it was time to paint them, which many times I was allowed to participate in. Once the paint was dry, I would watch as he took colorful, fluffy, feathery materials and tied them to the jig. Sometimes he talked to me gently as he made these lures, and sometimes we both remained as silent as the snow falling outside the window, the only sound being the clinking and clacking of his jig-making tools.

Mark: What made you decide to create a YouTube channel devoted to ASMR?

Relaxing ASMR: Maybe it’s because of my childhood jig-tying memories, that I enjoy watching people sitting at a table, doing things that require mental focus, especially drawing and painting. Years ago, I used to watch Bob Ross paint his pictures every week on TV, but thanks to YouTube, I discovered a whole slew of art videos that gave me that same calming, relaxed feeling. Yanghaiying is probably the first video creator that I ever subscribed to on YouTube. At the time, ASMR wasn’t a term I was familiar with and I’m not even sure if Yanghaiying realized that many of her painting videos contained elements of this perceptual phenomenon called autonomous sensory meridian response, but what I do know is that thanks to YouTube, I no longer had to stumble upon ASMR inducing situations by chance.

Like many people, I used to listen to ASMR videos at bedtime using my smart phone, but, after my wife presented me with a new iPhone for Christmas 2011, I became amazed with the quality of its camera. So, on the day after Christmas, I created a simple drawing of a truck, and uploaded it to a new YouTube account, and that video is still there to this day. It was fun, so I made another video, then another, and a new hobby was born.

Mark: What is the most common request that you get from viewers?

Relaxing ASMR: That could be a tough question to answer because it seems like my subscribers, which by the way are the best on YouTube, seem to have such varying taste, but if I had to say, I guess it would be requests for more aquarium and baseball card videos.

Mark: Who are some of your favorite ASMRtists? Do you ever have contact with them or any other ASMRtists?

Relaxing ASMR: I liken ASMR channels in much the same way I do music, meaning that I have never been 100% all-in to every song created by any particular artist. Years ago, before the internet and downloadable music, we had to purchase an expensive album or CD just so we could enjoy seven out of fourteen songs. Thankfully, those days are gone and now we can buy our music à la carte. There are many ASMR channels that I frequent just for one out of perhaps a hundred videos, but if I had to name a couple of channels that have the greatest appeal to me, it would be DonnaASMR and ASMRrequest. I find the majority of Donna’s and Ally’s content to be quite agreeable to my taste. Of course I could name others that I enjoy but the list would double the length of this interview. As for contact with other ASMR content creators, no, not really. Once in a while I may ask a fellow content creator a question about YouTube or a technical question concerning video or audio, but that is about the extent of it.

Mark: Where do you see the world of ASMR going? Where would you like to see it go?

Relaxing ASMR: I can only speculate, but I imagine that ASMR will continue to slowly gain widespread public acknowledgement. Some people will tout ASMR as new and exciting, but just because we now have a fancy name for this age old “feeling”, there is no reason to think that ASMR hasn’t existed in a portion of the population since the days of cavemen. Thanks to the ASMR community on YouTube though, I imagine that more and more non-ASMR people are discovering through media reports, that there are people in the world, perhaps people even close to them, that experience ASMR; but, awareness is only just that…awareness. My hope is that, such awareness will result in recognition that ASMR videos can and often do offer health benefits, and this might result in ASMR videos being widely prescribed as some sort of holistic therapy. If the holistic angle takes hold and becomes common place, enter the large-scale commercialization of ASMR using over the top hype and mass marketing techniques, and I’m not sure how I’d feel about that aspect of ASMR’s newly found mainstream popularity. Can you imagine seeing TV infomercials for ASMR video sets and ASMR audio sets, promising more restful sleep, better moods, less depression, and a greater ability to focus, all for just three easy payments of $19.95? What about “The ASMR Channel” on your cable or satellite service? It’s an age-old truth that anything trending will be aggressively marketed. Only time will tell.

Mark: What’s the best way for our readers to stay up to date with your work and follow your ASMR activities?

Relaxing ASMR: Mark, folks can check out my YouTube channel, my Facebook page, or my Twitter feed.

I’d like to send a HUGE Thank You to Relaxing ASMR for his time and for such thoughtful answers to my questions. I truly enjoyed reading his perspective on the world of ASMR and learning about his experience in creating such great content. Also, for those of you who haven’t visited his channel yet, I highly recommend stopping by; you’ll be there, relaxing for a while. Finally, I know that he has been approached by much larger organizations than my blog for thoughts and comments, and the fact that he chose to share them here is an absolute honor!

Special Interview: YouTube star Emma (WhispersRed ASMR)

Several weeks ago I did an entire post on the phenomenon of “ASMR” and why I was such a fan. I decided that I wanted to take a deeper dive into the world of ASMR content creators and reached out to a few of my favorite ASMRtists to see if they would grant me an interview. I was very excited when I heard back from Emma, who has a huge following on YouTube with her WhispersRed ASMR channel (as of this writing, she has over 100k subscribers and 18 million video views). She graciously agreed to an interview and I sent my questions “across the pond” (Emma is from the UK). Below is a transcript of our interview:

Mark: When did you first experience ASMR?

Emma: There are many early ASMR experiences I remember but not a ‘first’ one. I just remember that the feeling has always been a part of my life. It’s something I have always enjoyed and I assumed that everyone felt it until I tried to explain it to others!

Mark: What made you decide to create a YouTube channel devoted to ASMR?

Emma: In November 2012 I searched on YouTube for relaxation videos and found many titled ASMR. Once realizing it was the name for the feeling I had experienced all of my life, everything changed. It started me on a path towards increased self-awareness and I shall always be grateful for that moment. The reason I started making videos was to become more involved in the ASMR community. In early 2014 I had begun joining groups on Facebook and started a group named ASMR UK (now ASMR UK & Ireland). I had met many people online and most of them seemed to have their own channels. Therefore I thought I could better connect with others by starting my own.

Mark: What is the most common request that you get from viewers?

Emma: There isn’t a particular most common request. Everyone’s triggers are so varied that the requests vary vastly too. I do notice though that most of the requests are for simple triggers rather than role-plays. This is wonderful for me because ASMR is so simple, I feel, and it reminds me that others feel that way too.

Mark: Who are some of your favorite ASMRtists? Do you ever have contact with them or any other ASMRtists?

Emma: There are so many really lovely ASMRtists on YouTube. I have a long list of people I watch regularly. My ‘go to’ creators for sleeping at the moment are ASMR Therapist, Deluca ASMR, Somni ASMR, Rhosgobel Rabbit, Wise Woman Whispers, Free Spirit ASMR & ASMR~inmylife. Then I regularly watch Gentlewhispering, WhispersUnicorn, Ardra Neala, ASMR Requests, Heather Feather, Dmitri Massage ASMR, Fairy Char, Accidentally Graceful & Sweet-Irish-Whispers all at different times of the day, sometimes day sometimes night. I discover new channels all the time and I’m pretty sure there will be someone left out in this list! There are so many amazing channels. I tend to watch one video each night in bed then have one playing in the background to fall asleep to. Reading that back I sound like a total addict, which I am! It’s important to change things up and keep the tingles fresh.

With regards to being in contact, I am the luckiest ASMR fan as everyone I watch on YouTube I connect with in some way. Whether it is messages on Facebook, emails, Skype calls or just the comments on videos. There are so many gentle, kind and loving people in the ASMR community that there is a friend around every corner.

Mark: Were do you see the world of ASMR going? Where would you like to see it go?

Emma: I basically see it going where I would like it to. It’s also wonderful to know I may be able to play a small part in that and help shape the future of ASMR. The tingly response is such a lovely feeling and the videos made to promote it are a fantastic therapy. The physical sensation is very dreamy and makes us feel very centered, it’s a big breath of fresh air to clear the mind and set us back on track. To be able to trigger this feeling before sleep is very useful for putting us in the state needed to attain a quality, uninterrupted night’s rest. I see ASMR and the videos becoming a recognized therapy and the videos used as treatment for various conditions such as Insomnia and Depression. Any situation requiring a level of focus or mind clearance can be helped using an ASMR video. I know of women already using videos to keep focused and calm during childbirth. In my opinion it won’t be too long before we see ASMR become scientifically proven to aid us in situations that people all over the world are already using it for.

I want to send a big THANK YOU to Emma for taking the time to give us her thoughts and reflections on the world of ASMR. If you haven’t had the chance yet to check out Emma’s YouTube channel, I highly recommend stopping by and enjoying her wonderful videos. You can also keep up with Emma on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ASMR: What is it and why am I a fan?

When I was a young boy I would often find myself mesmerized by a how-to painting program on PBS called “The Joy of Painting”. Its host was a uniquely recognizable figure, with a tall, skinny frame, a 1970’s style, and his most identifiable quality – a white man’s afro. The man was Bob Ross, and his basic, half-hour, instructional painting show became a regular addition to my Saturday afternoon viewing schedule. His soft voice, super-positive attitude, and the sound of his brushes sliding across the canvas had such a relaxing and calming effect. Some times I would get these little tingles at the base of my skull that would seem to flutter down my back as I slowly sank into an afternoon nap. I never had any idea of what these “tingles” were or truly thought much about them. I just knew that I liked the feeling and the calming nature of clearing my head and putting me at ease.

What I didn’t know then, that I found out in my mid-twenties, was that I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. What “The Joy of Painting” did for me when I was a kid, and now as an adult, was to calm my brain and give it a chance to rest. As I better understood my health, and the anxieties of adulthood grew exponentially, I searched out other Bob Ross style antidotes. It was this search that led me to ASMR.

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. What is it…well you’ll find an array of answers, but to me, I call it the “Bob Ross Effect”. I like my definition because, like ASMR, it’s as scientific of a definition as it is anecdotal. There is no overwhelming scientific body of evidence on ASMR one way or the other. It’s also not something that everyone can experience just as some “triggers” affect people in different ways. A trigger is the commonly used term for the sounds/actions/whatever that induces tingles or the experience of ASMR. What I do know for sure is that the phenomenon of ASMR is absolutely real. I’ve experienced it just like many others have. Is ASMR the right term, is it actually something else, is it all just in our mind (no pun intended)…maybe, but I’m not sure that an “official” answer is what the end goal should be. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see more scientific research on the topic, but at the end of the day, when I’m trying to shut my brain down and just need to chill and relax, that’s not what I’m concerned with. I’m concerned with the fact, that for me, there are avenues available for me to experience ASMR and drift off to sleep versus staring at the ceiling all night.

A note of caution, there are some who would argue that this is sexual in nature. For me, this argument is fairly ridiculous since the phenomenon is rooted in an inherently relaxed state and, for those who experience them, tingles, are not carnal in nature – in fact just the opposite. It’s a case where correlation does not equal causation. For example, I enjoy the calming sound of whispering and soft-spoken voice. Are there experiences and videos of a sexual nature that have whispering and soft-spoken voice in them…absolutely. Does the human body and brain act differently when it is preparing for sleep than it does when it is gearing up for a sexual experience…absolutely. While the vast majority of ASMR videos would never be confused with sexuality (crinkling paper, painting on canvas) I can see how it would be easy to misinterpret the meaning of some ASMR videos if taken out of context (whispering to the viewer). I actually hate to even spend time on this paragraph because taken in context this is absolutely a non-issue, but hey, there are also warning labels on chainsaws telling you not to touch the blade while it’s running, soooo….

The best way to figure out what ASMR is, what’s it about, and to see if it’s interesting to you is to check out some of the videos. Below are some of my favorite ASMRtists:

  1. Gentle Whispering
  2. Massage ASMR
  3. ASMR Requests
  4. Relaxing ASMR
  5. Whispers Red ASMR

There are many other people making ASMR videos, podcasts, albums, etc. so if you find that it might be something you’re interested in but the ones above aren’t for you, I encourage you to seek out others that might be more up your alley. Between YouTube and Google there is absolutely no shortage. Happy Tingles and Relaxing!