| Singapore | 19 May 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Youtube sensation Lilly Singh aka Superwoman, who is touring Malaysia and Singapore next week – feels that her work is overlooked due to her Indian background.
“People are intrigued that there’s a South Asian woman who is so outspoken…“But … many people, (in particular) the media, try to corner me into this niche and just identify me as this Indian woman. And they don’t even talk about what I do. They just talk about the fact that I have brown skin,” Lilly tells Singapore newspaper Today in a telephone interview.
At the same time, she admits that her Indian background — both her parents are from Punjab, India, but Singh was born and raised in Toronto — has been a boon.
Lilly, who shot to fame with her YouTube comedy channel Superwoman, will be in Kuala Lumpur on 23 May and Singapore the next day as part of her comedy tour ‘How To Be A Bawse’.
She is scheduled for a meet and greet along with a book signing session at the Plenary Hall at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Tuesday (23 May).
The 28 year-old started posting comedy skits and vlogs on YouTube in 2010 under the moniker IISuperwomanII. She shoots, writes, directs and stars in the videos, and has amassed a whopping 11 million followers (and 1.8 billion views). Her videos take social issues, as well as see her impersonating her Indian parents in clips such as Sh** Punjabi Mothers Say. One video starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson saw Singh and the star telling a dirty joke, the report said.
The numbers are testament to her success: Last year, Singh ranked third on the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid YouTube stars, raking in a reported US$7.5 million (S$10.4 million) through her various projects.
The digital powerhouse has landed bit roles in Hollywood films like Bad Moms and Ice Age: Collision Course, and even released her own lipstick with cosmetics brand Smashbox. She produced a feature-length film, A Trip To Unicorn Island (2016), which chronicles her first world tour.
Heck, she’s even had tea with former United States first lady Michelle Obama during filming for an episode of her #GirlLove series, an online movement against girl-on-girl hate, the same report added.
In an interview with Cleo, when asked about her first ever video to be uploaded on Youtube, she said:
“I made my first YouTube video in 2010, so close to 7 years ago. I wish you could have seen the amount of time I spent getting ready for it – doing my hair, my make up, picking out the perfect outfit. I stood in front of the camera and read off a piece of paper and it was the worst, most awkward, cringe worthy interview. It was horrifying to make but when I put it up, people watched it. I distinctly remember my view count being 70 for that video. But, I thought 70 people was a lot of people for a video that I randomly put out and from someone none of those viewers knew.
Asked if she did not commit herself to Youtube and as a comedian, where do you think you’d be today, she says: “Probably using my psychology degree in some form. Maybe a counsellor of some sort. I definitely wouldn’t be as happy as I am now though. I love entertaining people.”
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Singh’s venture into YouTube was hardly born from a desire to create a career as an online personality, she said. She “had no idea it would snowball to what it is”.
“I never even thought about it in terms of success. I just (started making videos) to be happy,” said Singh, who plans on dabbling more in music, television and film once she wraps up her book tour.
As for how one of the world’s biggest online personalities handles nasty comments and trolls on the web, and Singh, who holds a degree in psychology, is nonchalant. “I’ve gotten really good at learning how to focus on what deserves my attention,” she said.
“I always tell people that my job is 90 per cent psychology and 10 per cent actual work, because it’s all about understanding that people who leave (mean) comments are telling their story, not mine.”
Singh’s show at the Kallang Theatre is based on her book, How To Be A Bawse: A Guide To Conquering Life, which she is currently touring. She will perform what she calls “a comedic, motivational TED talk”.
“I want people to leave my show determined to go home and work hard and check off everything on their bucket list,” she said.
“When you think of happiness, confidence, self-esteem and making good impressions, you think these things are really natural… But all of those things require the type of work and dedication you put towards a (school or work) project,” she added.
“If you really want to be a certain way, it’s going to require an immense amount of work — and the book provides some practical guidelines.”
Singh was last in Singapore last September (2016) for It’s A Girl Thing — a female-centric event which aimed to promote positive personal development and raise awareness about issues like bullying. She was also here in 2015, and some 1,400 fans attended her A Trip To Unicorn Island show at the Kallang Theatre then.
“Singapore has some of my most dedicated fans,” Singh said.
“Nowhere else in the world have I ever landed at the airport and had that many people welcome me (with) a lot of screaming, a lot of crying, and a lot of hugs. It’s always interesting to me that my presence evokes such emotion from people… It’s a little confusing but also exciting.”
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Superwoman in Singapore for ‘It’s A Girl Thing’ (Asia Samachar, 11 Sept 2016)