Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by deejaymich2
Eat Your Kimchi: Anything but nasty
If you’re on YouTube often, you might have caught a video or two about them discussing the latest K-pop/indie music videos, or envied them as they embarked on the streets of Seoul with food recommendations (complete with tantalising music accompanying their salivate-worthy food shots). You might have seen their interviews with MBLAQ, Wonder Girls or B.A.P, or their parodies of PSY‘s ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’. Yes, I’m talking about none other than Canadian husband and wife vlogger duo Simon and Martina Stawski, more commonly known as Eat Your Kimchi.
Their claim to fame? The witty and fun-loving pair know a lot more about K-pop than some Koreans do. And even with a loyal fan-base here and other parts of the world, the couple remains down-to-earth – a fact we found out when they attended this year’s YouTube FanFest held at Ritz-Carlton.
I have been a big fan of Eat Your Kimchi since I chanced upon some of their Kpop Music Monday videos back in 2010, so naturally I was looking forward to seeing them. I was happy that they did not disappoint me one bit.
Their group press conference was accompanied by Joseph Vincent and The Viral Fever – all YouTube personalities but doing very different things. Eat Your Kimchi, being the outspoken vloggers they are, kept the atmosphere cheery throughout.
So, where did the name ‘Eat Your Kimchi’ come from? Martina testified that both of them love kimchi, then explained that the inspiration came from kids not eating their veggies when they are young, leading to parents always saying, ‘eat your veggies, they’re good for you!’. So the name basically means that ‘Eat Your Kimchi’ is good for you, and you should get your dose of it daily.
Their popularity in Singapore is no secret, but they definitely did not expect such a huge turnout at the airport (Martina said she really needed to use the washroom then but she never got to). Their reaction to the screaming?
“We looked behind us and there was one guy, and the guy looked behind him… We turned and we didn’t know what was going then we saw the signs.” So they did their trademark roll-down-your-sexy-window move, and they got their confirmation.
On to a more serious note: the purpose of their YouTube channel is to present a different, unrepresented side of Korea through the eyes of Westerners, because they feel that the other aspects of the country that are usually depicted through the traditional media are not as exciting. Let’s face it, things like, “come to Korea and climb a mountain, visit a temple and eat traditional food, wear a hanbok” are definitely not as contemporary as compared to going to quaint cafes, or checking out Hongdae’s nightlife… for their intended demographic, at least.
What’s interesting though, is that only 4% of their audience are Koreans, and sometimes when they tell their Korean friends what they want to make a video on, their friends find it stupid. However, Eat Your Kimchi also mentioned that they have been stopped by some locals there telling them that they enjoy watching the foreign perspective on their own country.
Simon and Martina talk about lots of things and they have new videos almost everyday except Tuesdays and Fridays, and they really enjoy doing all these segments. Martina especially enjoys Kpop Music Monday and Korean Indie Music Playlist. While Simon really enjoys making skits for their music video review segment (he added that Martina comes up with one too many sometimes), he also enjoys TL;DR (which stands for ‘Too Long, Didn’t Read’, coined when one is too lazy to read a full article and wants a summary) because he likes that they are actually talking to each other and debating their views more effectively instead of speaking to the camera one by one.
During their Music Monday episodes, the Stawskis have come out with alternative names for a few groups – Bilasa for B1A4 and Batoost for BEAST. It might have sparked some unhappiness among a handful of fans, but Cube Entertainment apparently really likes the name. They also mentioned that some artistes have told them that they do not like their own songs, but of course we’re not going to know who.
Having to deal with social media very frequently, it might not come as a surprise that they are not the only computer-savvy ones in their family, as their parents are also on social media often. Martina’s mum in particular sometimes goes on Tumblr and tells the couple when she sees unpleasant remarks about them. Be kind, everyone!
At the end of the press conference, the artists stood together for a photo call, but not without Eat Your Kimchi prompting the rest to do ‘Asian poses’. And from their wacky poses for the cameras, it seems like they have mastered the art of fan-service from all the K-pop artistes. They also gladly obliged to take photos with those present, even staying till as long as they could until they got ‘scolded’.
Later on, during the showcase, they received a rousing response from the crowd when they stepped on stage. The couple talked about the jokes they have made (‘Soy Un Dorito‘ and ‘Mordney present‘, anyone?) making the Nasties present really excited. They also screened some unreleased behind-the-scenes footage, including shots from their interviews with uBeat, Eric Nam and Block B, complete with a derp face-off from the 7-member group. Check out those interviews, now released, on their site here.
While Martina dominated the mic, Simon seemed a bit more nervous and was more than happy to take a backseat. She also demonstrated their trademark roll-down-your-sexy-window move and went over to emcee with Dominic Lau, making him break into laughter. It was also a joy hearing the crowd sing along to the ‘Taeman’ song and their parody of B.A.P’s ‘Power’. I couldn’t get enough of them, and was pretty bummed when they left the stage after less than twenty minutes. But fret not, if you couldn’t get enough of their spunk, their whole set is uploaded onto YouTube FanFest’s channel here.
It is also gratifying to know that Eat Your Kimchi enjoyed their stay here – check out the vlogs that they made during their stay here on their channel. We sure hope they come back soon, maybe with their Pekingese Spudgy and their Scottish Fold kitten Dr. Meemersworth this time!