Name: Annette Lee
Annette Lee first burst onto the scene as part of SGAG back in 2016. Her stint with the company lasted a little over 4.5 years before we branched out to pursue her career as a Musician and a content creator. Annette now operates independently, writing, directing, acting and producing her own video content.
1. Apart from creating videos and singing, do you have other hobbies?
I love hiking, trying out fun new activities with friends. I sometimes even do tourist activities in Singapore, because I love new experiences.
The last touristy activity I did was to visit the botanical gardens! Love that’s it’s a UNESCO world heritage site and it’s free. I actually go rather often – sometimes in the evenings after it rains, it can be really cool and refreshing taking a walk there.
I brought my dog there, and there is a dog-friendly cafe there too. Other than that, I will be going with some friends to the Sentosa Luge next week too! Been years since I’ve done so I’m excited.
2. What is your favourite foodie spot?
My personal favourite place is Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee which is amazing. You must buy the dry bak chor mee – large portion. I also love going to this cafe called Grids Coffee, the food is really good, I sometimes work there.
3. What is your favourite movie, and why?
I have so many fav movies too. My latest 2 fav movies would be “Parasite”, and recently, “Don’t Look Up”. I love movies that discuss society and the human condition with a tinge of dark humour.
4. What is your favourite song, and why?
I can’t pin down my favourite song of all time, but I’ll probably go with Michael Learns to Rock’s “Sleeping Child” because my dad played that for me to sleep growing up. My other fav songs are mostly songs the ones I can sing my heart out to in a karaoke.
5. Three words people use to describe you
Man, this is such a hard question. I feel like I’d probably need to actually ask other people for this. But I’m going to give you some of the top 3 words i see my in my comment section ok – funny, talented, chio (very flattering *flips hair*)
6. Three words you use to describe yourself
Not 3 separate words but: always seeking improvement.
7. What’s the last TV/Netflix show you watched?
Outrun by Running Man on Disney+!
8. Who are content creators that inspire you?
I grew up with Ryan Higa and he will always be the YouTuber that has influenced me the most. I feel like you can see some of it in my work, like parody music videos etc.
I also grew up with other Asian-American YouTubers like Wong Fu Productions and kevjumba, and I’ll always remember them having influences on my work. Recently one of my fav content creators has been this american TikToker called Caitlin Reily, she’s hilarious and has great writing.
Another creator who is a friend across the border is also Soimjenn whose work is always super creative, and I love watching her videos.
9. What’s the most memorable moment in your career?
MV with golden retrievers
My most memorable moment would most likely be filming a music video with 10 golden retrievers in a room (hahaha), or when I went overseas to record my very first EP.
10. Which project/accomplishment are you proudest of? Any outstanding campaigns you loved working on?
New episodes for Asian Billionaires drop every Friday, 6pm (GMT +8) on YouTube
I’ll say I’m always most proud of whatever is my most recent successful project because I always strive to have my next work be better than the one before. So the latest one right now is my new web-series Asian Billionaires that launched on the 11th of March!
The one before this was The Cai Fan Song and it’ll always have a special place in my heart.
I think a specific client campaign that I enjoyed and always will, is the SCDF rap. I found it really meaningful because it’s a campaign that helps save lives, and it’s also very heartwarming that so many people know the rap! I always get comments, especially on TikTok, saying they love the 1777 song, so I love that even long after the ad campaign, it’s a catchy jingle that has such a lasting impact.
I also recently did this series of livestreams called the MCCY downstairs fest which was very memorable, where me and Chow, together with other local musicians, did livestream performances in heartland locations, including at a void deck in Bishan. Was quite an experience to perform while hearing your neighbourhood cat meowing haha super fun!
11. Which video did you regret publishing the most, and why?
I’ve never actually regretted publishing a video really. Maybe they don’t do as well as I expect, which I appreciate because I learn lessons from the failure, but I never feel any regret.
12. How do you think your personality differs on-screen and off?
I’d like to think I’m a lot more serious. I’m also pretty introverted. I might seem talkative on-screen but I’m really not the life-of-the-party kinda person. In fact, chances are, I don’t even show up at the party. I’m just at home chilling with my dog lol.
13. Do you have advice for those who aspire to be content creators?
Don’t close your mind off to things you feel like you “cannot do”. I used to think I can’t design (which I still by my own standards think I’m not great, so if I have any complex design work, I still engage a professional) but when I decided to try and pick up the basics, I was able to do things like create thumbnails for my own youtube videos, or choose fonts for my videos.
This was really useful because it turned out to be a one-inch tall barrier – it wasn’t hard to pick up – and made my content creation process much faster. I’ve seen the same for other creators who used to think they can’t edit videos, but once they opened their mind to giving it a shot, they realised how it was easier than expected, and how much faster it makes their process too.
That said, while you diversify, understand what is your core expertise. It’s debatable whether a jack of all trades or a master of one is better off, but if you’re a master of one who is also a jack of a few other trades, you’ll really be a force to be reckoned with.
14. How do you deal with haters?
These days I don’t reply to haters. If there are comments that hope to discuss a certain topic, I might still try to reply because it does clarify things. And I like that they bothered to start a conversation instead of jumping to conclusions. But if it’s just a straight-up hate comment I just ignore it.
15. Has anyone ever confronted you / praised you / come up to you IRL about your videos?
Confronted me no, hahaha, but yeah most people come up to me and say really nice things, and it’s very heartwarming to know they enjoy my content.
16. What is one fun fact your viewers don’t know about you?
I have a phobia of kiwi fruits – I ate a bad one when I was 7 and it swelled up my whole mouth till I fell sick for 2 weeks. Since then I’ve never eaten another one again.
17. Could you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind Asian Billionaires?
I’d been thinking a lot about the Singaporean identity in recent years, and I think ever since Crazy Rich Asians was released, the Singaporean identity almost started to cement into being ‘that one rich country’. I felt that there was some truth to it, but we were also so much more than that.
So I was inspired to write a story that began in front of this backdrop of Singapore that was known by the world – i.e. the wealthy class, and from there reveal more of the aspects of the Singaporean identity.
I also recalled how a few years ago, CNA published an article about the class divide in Singapore being the biggest divide (over race and religion), because many children mention not having friends across different social classes. But I’m thankful that I personally grew up knowing friends and family from across all social classes, as well as hearing stories from their counterparts – enough for me to identify the differences as well as similarities between these families, so I thought it’d be very fun to write the story of a rich family that everyone, no matter where you’re from, can identify with.
Watch Asian Billionaires here.
18. Do you see yourself moving in the direction of film in the future?
I think the funny thing is that I’d always been moving in the direction of film (it was my major back in Uni) and I just moved towards it while also simultaneously moving towards other goals like music.
Since I graduated, making my own web-series has always been my dream. And from creating sponsored videos, or creating my own music videos, I’ve finally reached this goal, and it’s definitely the biggest passion project I’ve worked on.
I have goals set for my music as well, such as having my own concert (which I’m holding on 16th April) and dropping a full-length album one day.
19. Which local celebrity or content creator do you want to collaborate with in the future?
I’d love to collaborate with local musician Gentle Bones, I’ve been a fan for a long time. And as for YouTuber, I’ll say Sneaky Sushii. He went to art school like me though he didn’t complete it, and I think we’d have a lot to talk about about the media/art industry in singapore.
20. Any current social issues you think deserves a greater spotlight right now?
I’ll say accessibility to mental health discussions and treatments. Especially with the rise of social media and people being cooped up at home during the pandemic I think it’s more pressing issue than ever. I visit schools every now and then and I try to discuss mental health a little too, but I’m glad it’s slowly becoming a part of the curriculum too like health education.
Annette’s YouTube channel
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