Saturday, July 25, 2015

JemmaKuma x Cosmates Long Interview!

Today, we would like to interview YouTuber JemmaKuma, who won first prize (Gold Award) of The First Cosmates Video Contest, and who has also been on our store’s top page for over a month now.

You are back on our top page after winning the video contest last year. Tell us how you felt about it. Did you have any response?

I was super excited to be back on Cosmates’ top page! I never expected to be featured on it for a second time, so I felt very honored.

We were surprised to see you dance so well in "Viva Happy Dance Cover". You’re a girl of many talents, aren't you?

Thank you, I love dancing so much! I have a lot of interests and I’ve been blessed with the motivation to practice those interests, even in front of people, until they become talents. Dancing is one example of this. I would not say that they all came naturally, but rather the talents that I possess are a result of my hard work, and I worked hard simply because I enjoy doing it.

People are often jealous of other’s talents. You’ve done a lot behind your subscribers’ backs, haven’t you? By the way, many people are wondering, what happened to that microphone you flung during Viva Happy? :D

Some people may be jealous of me, but in the end I hope that my videos will inspire them to embrace their own talents and to follow their dreams as well! In "Viva Happy", I was dancing by the ocean on a large dock, so the microphone fell just beside me on the dock. It didn't go anywhere! I still have it in my room!

We love "Sweet Sailor Lookbook" so much, not only because your hairstyles and facial expressions were cute, but also the music was beautiful and the colors of your clothes matched those of the background. You put a lot of thought into it, such as the camera angles. We know it was not easy to make. Did you have any professional help?

Thank you so much! I did put a lot of thought into it because I wanted to make sure that it would the best that it could be! I don’t have professional help for any of my videos. I plan, film, and edit my videos all by myself. For Sweet Sailor Lookbook, I had my dad hold the camera while I directed him where to go and how I want the camera angle to look.

We think that Sweet Sailor Lookbook really looks as if professionals were involved. Your father seems to be a talented photographer! Did your father’s hobbies influence you in uploading videos to YouTube?

My father is a computer programmer and app developer. However, I came up with the idea of making a YouTube channel on my own. My parents actually didn’t want me making a YouTube at first, but I made one anyway. I made amateur videos in the beginning and as I got more followers, I wanted a more professional feel to my videos. My father was already familiar with the technical part of photography, so I taught him the artistic part of it in order to help me make my videos. Over the projects he’s helped me film I think he’s obtained a talent for it, but he hasn’t had much experience with photography otherwise.

Your winning film in the video contest, "Dress Up JemmaKuma", made its second appearance on our top page. We were so busy right after the contest, that we had no time to ask you about your thoughts on the video. Let us know how much effort you put into producing the video and what people said about it after you won first prize. We would love to hear stories and anything related to the making of the video.

It took me 7 hours to film the video and 7 days to edit it. I filmed from 12 am to 7 am, and fell asleep as soon as I was done, even with my pigtails still in! This was my first time doing an outfits video and it was more exhausting than I thought! It was a lot of work, but I am very happy with how it turned out! When I won first prize, people said, “This is the best idea for an outfits video ever!” and “This was so creative, no wonder you won!”. I was very flattered, I didn’t know what to say!

By the way, we heard that you also won the Karaoke Contest at Sakura-Con this year. We believe that you must have entered and won many other contests. Could you tell us a little bit about your previous winning experiences? What’s your secret?

Actually, I have just started to enter contests, so I don’t have many awards. Besides the Cosmates Video Contest and the Sakura-Con Karaoke Contest, I won a medal at a choir festival for a solo I did with my high school choir. My secret for entering contests is to always think of it as an opportunity to grow, rather than a test to see who’s better.

It seems as though Miku Hatsune is a very important character to you. How did you discover her and what made you like her so much?

I was going through cute anime theme songs on YouTube several years ago when I ran into a Miku Hatsune song. I instantly became obsessed with Vocaloid and fell in love with Miku’s voice and aesthetic. Later, I discovered that she isn’t from an anime, which means that she has no restrictions on how she should act. She is what people imagine her to be and that inspired me to make her my first cosplay!

It’s incredible that the quality of your first cosplay was so high. You seemed to fall in love with anime, such as “Lucky Star" before discovering Hatsune Miku. What anime made you interested in Japanese culture, specifically sailor fuku?

Thank you! I fell in love with anime way before discovering Hatsune Miku. I didn’t become interested in Japanese culture through anime, but rather I became interested in Japan as a whole through friends when I was 13. One friend showed me her anime drawings and chanted Japanese magical girl chants that I thought they were cute. Then a different friend convinced me to take after school Japanese classes with her. Through those classes I not only learned the language, but about the culture, the food, and the fashion (including sailor fuku), and I’ve been in love with Japan ever since!

Your videos have gotten so much attention, for example, "How to Cosplay Miku Hatsune", "Anime Voice Acting", and "Real Life Emoticons" all have over 100,000 hits, and you are still creating very popular videos. We cannot even imagine how exciting it must have been for you to have so many people watch what you do while still being in high school. How have you been handling this? Is it truly exciting?

It is very exciting for me! The more people who watch my videos, the more people I inspire. And the more people I inspire, the closer I am to achieving my dreams! At times it can be difficult juggling school work and YouTube, but I try my best to keep up with everything!

You show some of your illustrations in your video "Anime Voice Acting". Because we assumed that you would prefer to spend your free time out rather than staying at home, we were pleasantly surprised with how good you are at drawing. How do you feel, being so versatile?

Oh, no, my drawing skills really need practice, but thank you so much! I’m an artsy person as well as an outgoing one! I love to draw and it comes in handy when I need an illustration in one of my videos because I don’t have to hire a graphic artist! I have so many interests and hobbies and I am so glad that there are platforms such as YouTube that I can express my love for them.

You often seem like a different person depending on the video. Is it because of your love for acting? Or do you possess a variety of characters and they just appear naturally?

I am a multi-faceted person. I do enjoy acting, but that has nothing to do with my true personality. I have multiple sides to me, and each side comes out in different situations. I can be mature and I can be childish. I can be girly and I can be tomboyish. Some people may think that I am complex and odd, but to me I am just Jemma. I have many sides to me, and I think that makes a person more interesting. Someone who knows me well in real life won’t be surprised at all by this, but on YouTube it must be more obvious because you can flip through my videos and see the contrast of my composition much more. I might not always act like how people want me to, but I think it is important to love yourself and embrace every side of you! 

We are enjoying your multiple sides very much! Thank you for answering many questions today! Please continue to make great videos that we can enjoy!

I’m so glad you enjoy my videos! Thank you for interviewing me today and featuring me on your page once again! I am so honored to have had this opportunity with Cosmates. Thank you so much for supporting me and my dreams!

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