Who is he: Aiken Chia
Role: Content Creator
Age: 33

If you’re like us and love watching other people eat while you’re eating your breakfast/lunch/dinner, the odds are good you’d have stumbled upon one of Aiken Chia’s videos. The content creator made the move in 2021 to start his own YouTube channel while simultaneously branching out into other genres like travel and short-form storytelling. Here’s what he had to say about his new ventures in the content space.

1. What are your other hobbies besides eating & creating videos?

This is so sad but I had to ask myself why I don’t have any hobbies! Without the business, I would still go out to explore new places and dishes to eat and share the experience on social media so I would say traveling for now.

I’ve been to Seoul, Batam, Maldives, Melbourne, Tokyo, New Zealand, and I’m headed back to Seoul at the end of the year!

Aiken Chia with luggage
Image credit: Aiken Chia

 2. What is your favourite TV/Netflix show? 

I watch a lot of food and travel shows (I guess it’s really my hobby). I consume a lot more content on YouTube actually, as I love to see what other creators are up to!

3. What is your favourite hidden foodie spot in Singapore?

I really don’t have one favourite. I eat according to my mood and cravings! But if I were to pick, I’m always looking for strong flavours, so Chinatown has been really fun to explore recently, along with Chander Road in Little India.

4. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My Mom’s cooking, she can make anything good! Steamed minced pork, any stir-fried vegetables, with a soup. She’s Cantonese so you can bet she’s a great soup-maker!

5. What are three words people use to describe you?

Hopefully, it’ll be generous and genuine. But probably extroverted, humorous, and creative?

6. What are three words you use to describe yourself?

Resilient, passionate, sensitive. 

Aiken Chia
Image credit: Aiken Chia

7. Who are other YouTubers or content creators that inspire you?

On a local level, my peers like Daniel Tamago, Ben Kheng, Annette Lee, Drea Chong, Mongabong, Shawneydepp, MissTamChiak, DanielFoodDiary. I’m also friends with Krison who’s quite a new and solid men’s style creator/vlogger and it’s been great to connect creators of the next gen to learn and also to teach! 

8. What’s the most memorable moment of your career?

We featured my favourite Pad Thai stall in Phuket and a year later when I visited, the owner had expanded and took up the space beside, doubling in size. She kept thanking me when I visited but I couldn’t even believe that it was because of our video but she said that she asked a lot of their new customers where they were from and they answered Singapore and Malaysia and cited our video.

That showed me that what we did was not just entertainment, but could create a meaningful and positive social impact.

9. Which organic video are you the proudest of?

Definitely the vlog that started my channel. We just came out of a really tumultuous year and it took Char and I to do this again. We documented what it was like to start a company and our new YouTube channel. I got quite emotional when staring at our incorporation documents and got to show a side of myself that I haven’t before.

10. Which client ad are you proudest of?

It’ll have to be 8 Hacks to Try At Jewel Changi Airport!

I remembered them writing in and asking if I had any ideas for an upcoming campaign. I only submitted one idea, and seeing it come alive from my Google Docs to having my face and video link on all the digital signages in Jewel was an amazing experience.

11. How do you think your personality differs on-screen and off?

On-screen, I definitely am an amplified version of myself but I do feel like I have overcome a lot in life and have a lot more depth to show and offer, which is why we’re taking our time now to create a new series that is a lot deeper than just food recommendations or entertainment. 

Aiken at Jewel Changi Airport
Image credit: Aiken Chia

12. Do you have advice for those who aspire to be content creators?

My number one advice would always be that your character is the most important. Who you are off-camera, off-screen needs a lot more work than the “work” itself. It is the foundation that holds the talent and giftings.

You could be the most talented but if you have no character, it’ll all crumble. I don’t even need to cite examples of that in this industry, we have got too many.

13. Has anyone ever come up to you about your videos?

Yes! And it’s always so nice to meet my viewers and thank them for their support. They all relate to me like I’m their friend and I really love that. They’ll share with me from their heart, or make jokes. It’s been an amazing experience. 

14. What is one fun fact your viewers don’t know about you?

Nothing major I can think of. My life as a creator is quite an open book. Maybe that my pet peeve is when people throw bones or shells on the table when we’re eating, haha!

Aiken Chia
Image credit: Aiken Chia

15. What job do you think you’d be in if you weren’t a content creator?

I studied psychology for my diploma and degree and still have a keen interest in these topics till now. I hope to be a psychologist!

16. What is the toughest thing about being a content creator?

The toughest is also the most fulfilling – the fact that we have to wear many hats at once. Director, host, producer, hair-and-makeup, runner, copywriter, editor, and the list goes on.

17. Which was your favourite content creator collaboration?

How to choose! As of now, my videos with Chiara from Eatbook! I’ve always loved hosting with her, it’s very easy and fun!

18. What was one challenge you faced starting your own channel?

Self-doubt. Wondering if I could really do this on my own. This would be the first time in my entire career I’m independent as I’ve always been attached to an agency or some platform. I’m so glad we made the jump because the autonomy has been amazing! 

19. What was the hardest piece of constructive criticism you had to hear to improve as a creator?

That I came across or was being inauthentic at some points in my career. I won’t deny that but I have learned to be kind to myself knowing that I had to manage many people and their expectations of me and my work.

I currently want to focus on being authentic, as well as creating content that is centered around food and travel for short-form content. I’d also like to make deeper and more meaningful videos on YouTube.

Aiken in Melbourne
Image credit: Aiken Chia

20. Any interesting projects that you’re currently working on?

My team and I are on a break now because we have had a busy year. We need time to slow down and get creative again. But we are working on a new series that centers around story-telling, and people sharing about overcoming adversity. I asked myself what kind of content I would feel fulfilled making – and I want to go deep, meaningful, and real.

Related links:
Aiken Chia’s Instagram
Aiken Chia’s YouTube

This post is part of our larger feature on content creators. If you’d like to be featured, or have a nominee in mind, please drop us a note at group@thesmartlocal.com.

Cover image credit: Aiken Chia


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