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Interview with ReacttotheK


We recently talked with the creator of Youtube channel ReacttotheK,  who are known for their reactions to Kpop songs. We interviewed them about their personal interests, Youtube channel and future goals. If you haven’t seen their content before, you can see their Youtube here, and their Twitter here. [Date: December 12, 2022]

Who are your top 3 favourite artists?
My favorite Korean artists are Day6, AKMU and Lee Jin Ah

What are some of your current obsessions? (i.e TV shows, songs, movies etc)
My current TV Show obsession is a tie between NBC’s The Good Place and the K-Drama Inspector Koo. I discovered The Good Place in 2020 and am currently on my 25th watch-through of it, and discovered Inspector Koo in 2022 and have watched it 5 times since. I basically trade off in between the two: as soon as I finish The Good Place, I watch Inspector Koo! Both shows are completely different when it comes to plot, genre, and character personalities but they’re both hilarious and heart-warming and show that humans can change and learn to be better as long as you give them the chance. The Good Place has become my “comfort” show at this point- If i’m feeling stressed, anxious, sad, or lonely, I turn towards it, and even go on walks listening to it as if it’s a podcast. Inspector Koo is more of an engaging watch experience. Previous to The Good Place, BBC Sherlock was my favorite TV show and Inspector Koo fills the void in my heart that was created when Sherlock was taken down from Netflix. Inspector Koo does not feel at all like a typical cheesy K-Drama. It has clever writing, a plot-twist filled story, many powerful, intelligent female leads of all ages, a gay couple and many unique characters whose secrets slowly unfold until the very last episode. If anyone reading this loves BBC Sherlock, I’m convinced you’ll love Inspector Koo as well.
As for songs I’m obsessed with, recently DRIPPIN’s ‘The One’ has been on repeat. The song is an action-packed adventure with motivational guitar (mixed with Drum n Bass and EDM), powerful vocal lines and cool as heck dance breaks. The next song that I find myself going to everyday is Kep1er’s ‘We Fresh.’ That post-chorus chopped synth distorted drum vibe has me head-banging harder than any other song released this year.
Side obsession has been my family’s new puppy, Samwise. It’s been 10 years since our last pet and am absolutely head-over-heels thrilled to finally have a dog again (I have been begging my parents almost every month for the past 10 years)! We rescued him in June and he’s now 7 months old. We named him Sam after the LOTR character Samwise Gamgee because just like the hobbit, he’s food-obsessed (a little chubby), kind, loyal, brave and the biggest people pleaser.

Is there anyone you look up to when creating content?
While I look up to and am inspired by Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green)’s passion for sharing their knowledge with their audience about almost everything under and around the sun, when it comes to the specific kind of (“K-pop reaction content” I create, I don’t really look up to anyone in particular. Instead, I rely on friends, co-workers and viewers for motivation. I’ve been running into burn out a lot quite lately and my editor Colton has helped me get back on my feet when i’m blanking on what kind of edits to make. I recently was on a sort of 1/2 vacation 1/2 business trip to Seoul, South Korea and had many meetings with producers. Hearing their feedback on my content and how much they appreciate my channel’s focus on music motivates me to keep working producing reactions even though that kind of work had been becoming more stressful than fun. After my Korea trip I have started to see my channel in a different light, and because of how fun and helpful people in the music industry and fans see it as, I’m motivated to keep going strong.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
I think the biggest accomplishment we’ve achieved is the recognition we get from people who work in the k-pop music industry. First, my YouTube channel was just a hobby. I wanted to introduce music school classmates to a type of music I felt like I was alone in loving. Then thousands and thousands of people started tuning in, which was such a huge shock. I never would have thought the people who produce/manage the artists or write the music we react to would go to my channel to see if their song had been reacted to after its release. There are managements who prefer not to have their artists collaborating with YouTubers who prioritize collaborations with me because they respect and enjoy my content, and that’s so crazy to me. Each time I meet or hear of a new person in the music industry who watches my content, I consider the fact that we’ve reached them and created something interesting enough for them to enjoy as a huge accomplishment. (Learning that producing team MonoTree watches our content is the most recent “accomplishment” to celebrate. Thanks to fans messaging them with our videos, they watch and say they enjoy every time my team members go to break down a chord progression on the piano. Hwang Hyun gave a shout out to our pianist Kevin when we met up in Korea! Then they all followed me on my personal Instagram…wow T-T)

How do you balance creating content with work/school?
While dedicating basically ALL my free time to ReacttotheK when I was in school, running this YT channel became my part time job. I sacrificed meals and friendships to work on content. As a workaholic, I thrived and running ReacttotheK became my main passion. I realized ReacttotheK accomplished everything I had set out to do with my music performance major: to spread my love for music. So when I graduated in 2020, I decided to go full time running ReacttotheK. I rented an apartment near the school my musicians attend, and set up a mini studio. I now work 40+ hours a week: researching new songs to react to, writing the intro scripts for each reaction, organizing + producing film sessions, planning covers of songs, researching groups for collaborations and interviews, editing reactions, managing 7 part-time editors who work on content for both our YT and Patreon, running our social media, etc. Ever since the summer of 2020, content creating has been my full-time job 🙂

Describe yourself in 3 words
I have to admit, I asked my best friend to help me with this one. If I (and my bff) were to describe myself in 3 words, it would be: passionate, ambitious and creative

How do you handle disagreements over creative decisions?
While I have part-time editors working for me, I call all the big shots/manage ReacttotheK by myself. I tend to make decisions alone, so I have never come across a situation in which a work colleague of mine disagrees with my choices. Once in a while I approach my editing team to ask for their opinions, and I always value their opinions very highly. For example, we have an upcoming sponsored video I was thinking of titling it as different from our “classical musicians react” series title as possible, but my editor argued that the video will do better if we keep “classical musicians” as the first two words in the title! My plan is to run with his idea, and maybe switch between our two title ideas if things aren’t going good. Basically running a YouTube channel has been solo trial and error for 5+ years for me, and i’m grateful when someone on my team suggests something else we can try out 🙂

When it comes to choosing which songs my crew react to, the “end goal” of mine is always the same: to make a video that’s educational but entertaining to watch. Therefore, I chose the songs that have compositional choices that will cause my crew to have fun listening + have a lot to talk about. I’ve noticed myself and our viewers have no fun watching a reaction we’ve produced in which our reactors sit still and say nothing, or harshly critique a song. After 6 years of running this channel, I know my reactors’ musical pet peeves and biases, so I cater song choices to the group of people reacting as much as I can.

What are your plans for the future?
My plans are to continue doing what I love most. That’s currently creating k-pop and classical music related content for YouTube (reactions, interviews, covers, collaborations, etc)! As more and more doors of opportunity open for me as I continue down this road, I’m excited to see what they have in store for me and plan to walk through or peak in as many as possible 🙂

Do you have a message for your fans?
To ReacttotheK fans reading this interview, HI! It’s hard to put into words how thankful I am that we have a community as lovely, loving, eager to learn and patient as you all are. I’m able to work on ReacttotheK as my full time job now, hire editors, and give musicians gigs because of your support. Because of our growth, opportunities have been given to me that I had never dreamed of getting at the start of this channel. I can only hope to be able to continue providing you all with content that interests you, makes you laugh, and deepens your appreciation for your favorite songs for many years to come. Thank you for sticking with us on our journey!

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