It’s no laughing matter how Phei Yong has risen to the top of his game.
With over half a million subscribers on his YouTube channel, the profile of Chan Phei Yong (fondly known as Phei Yong to his fans) is rising fast. His boyish good looks, fun-loving persona and humorous videos on his social media platform (with 555K followers on Instagram) make Phei Yong a bonafide influencer.
Now everyone wants a piece of him, even Hollywood. In the recent “Men In Black International” movie starring Chris Hemsworth, Phei Yong has a cameo. By the way, this is not his only encounter with Hemsworth. Phei Yong holds the distinction of being one of very few people to interview Hemsworth and Avengers costar Tom Holland to promote their Marvel movies.
Before Phei Yong was thrust into the spotlight, the Malaysian has worked steadily as a radio DJ in MY FM since winning a deejaying competition in 2015. To further cement his star status, Phei Yong was recently announced as a “friend” of luxury timepiece brand Bell & Ross.
He may only be 25, but Phei Yong shows an uncanny shrewdness towards entrepreneurship. In an exclusive Q&A, he opens up about his recent accomplishments and future goals.
What have you accomplished in the past year?
I’ve got six major dreams in my life; surprisingly I’ve managed to accomplish two of them at the same time in August. Since I’m a big fan of timepieces, one of my dream is to collaborate with a luxury watch brand so I’m honoured to be chosen as the “Friend of Bell & Ross”. Secondly, I am grateful to be selected as brand ambassador of travel agency Golden Destinations, following in the footsteps of well-known personalities Jack Lim, Siow Hui Mei and Jason Yeoh.
What is the significance of a watch to you?
I have been a fan of timepieces since young. When I was eight, I received my very first watch from my dad as a reward for improved academic results. That was really cool as I was the only one who had a watch among my friends! For me, a watch is like one of my body organs, I cannot live without it. I strongly recommend Bell & Ross as the best choice for entry level consumers to luxury watches. The reason why I love this brand is because the design of the watches is fashionable, creative and edgy; it matches perfectly with my image.
You’ve interviewed Avengers stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland; what was that like?
You know, I’m a Chinese speaking DJ and my English is poor, but they were surprisingly patient. In fact, they had been interviewed from morning till evening for three consecutive days by media, content creators and YouTubers from all over the world. I also found out that Holland is a watch lover, like me. Our interview session was delayed, which resulted in me having an extra 30 minutes to chat with Holland about watches. I also feel very lucky to be invited to appear in “Men In Black International”, even though it was just for a few seconds. I got to be in the same scene with Chris Hemsworth!
As a senior in the field, what’s your advice for those who want to become a YouTuber?
Do it with courage! Time and tide waits for no man; you’ll miss the opportunity if you’re still stalling. I started working as a radio DJ in MY FM four years ago, then created my YouTube channel two years later. I found that YouTube is another way of sharing your thoughts as well as spreading happiness to the audience. As a YouTuber or content creator, the most important thing is to have “social responsibility”. YouTube is like a double-edged sword, it’s a platform where you can have your freedom of speech, but it can cause negativity if you misuse them. This is what I’ve learned from being a DJ; you should always be alert of the Do’s and Don’ts, and avoid any controversial remarks. On top of that, be mentally prepared for haters or bad comments from anonymous people. If you’re not ready for that, I would advise you not to try it as cyberbullying exists, and it is a pertinent issue.
How do you maintain your uniqueness and stand out in the crowd?
I believe in this mantra: “Content is always the king!” Nowadays, it’s very easy to become popular or go viral as if you have any sensational or negative content. Do think twice before you start a career as a YouTuber, ask yourself if you want to maintain the sustainability of your channel. To be honest, 70% of my videos are sponsored content or product placement. Everybody asks me how I could manage to get so many sponsorships, it’s because I love to do something that others have not done before; content is all about being creative. You can survive by earning YouTube advertising fees but if you want to live a better life, you should depend on sponsored content. In addition, you should have a very clear position for your channel, like my channel is all about funny, humorous and interesting content!
What are your thoughts on the Slash Generation?
Today’s world is an era of technological explosion, thanks to the Internet and social media. The millennials or Gen Y
and Z are no longer like the Gen X. Working as a “slash gen” will definitely be a common phenomenon; everyone is going to have a few jobs or several incomes in the future. For example I’m working as a YouTuber and radio DJ as well as a producer.
How do you manage your time?
As a YouTuber, DJ and founder of a production house, time management is really important to me. You should know your own strength and weakness. For instance, I focus more on content producing, whereas the technical jobs as well as the coordination with clients are managed by my sister and my team.
What are your goals for 2020?
One of my biggest goals is to start the very first Chinese stand-up comedy show in Malaysia. To ensure the best quality, it will require a lot of investment. My mentors are Harith Iskander in Malaysia and Kumar in Singapore, and my ultimate goal is to host my stand-up comedy show in a stadium. The very first criteria is to have a strong personal image which is recognised by everyone, and I’m exploring on improving that currently. Hopefully, my dream can come true very soon!