For every API-led blockbuster, there’s a multitude of API YouTubers who put out monthly or weekly videos, and whenever an API musician drops an album, rest assured that API TikTokers have somehow already come up with a viral dance trend to accompany it. With Asian Pacific American Heritage Month coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to spotlight some of these under-the-radar creators. Go ahead and give them a follow, and keep an eye out for other up-and-comers to watch in the future.
1.nickisnotgreen | YouTuber
Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Nick Green, also known by the moniker nickisnotgreen, is a video editor-turned-commentary and comedy YouTuber. His channel specializes in cleverly critiquing certain bigoted viewpoints or, more likely, other YouTube content. So, whether it’s criticizing a podcast hosted by five misogynistic, Christian “dudebros,” or documenting a weeklong venture into ventriloquism, nickisnotgreen does it all, making content for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Moreover, he also uses his platform to fundraise for causes he believes in—talking the talk and walking the walk. Check out his channel for weekly videos, especially if you’re in need of a comical takedown of an insufferable goon or two.
2. Mina Le | YouTuber, Model
Are you an avid Letterboxd user? Do you spend hours discussing how the latest period drama failed to incorporate proper color theory in its costume design? Or maybe you just like pretty vintage dresses? Mina Le is the content creator for you. Armed with a love of historical fashion and mass media, plus 973 thousand followers on YouTube, she’s a rising star for those obsessed with style and culture. Located in Brooklyn, the fashion connoisseur skillfully analyzes style from films, TV shows and even celebrity events. She covers an array of topics, from an in-depth look at the historical accuracy of Disney princesses to the rise and fall of Coachella fashion. Le also brings an environmentally conscious and thoughtful point of view to the over-saturated, consumer-based world of fashion, as most of her outfits are second-hand or thrifted, showing that you don’t need to follow the latest trends or constantly buy new clothes to be a style icon.
3. Radhia Rahman | YouTuber
If you’re interested in mellow, lifestyle content, check out Queens native Radhia Rahman, a Bengali American illustrator and YouTuber who makes longform vlogs documenting their daily life, outings and artistic endeavors. A typical Rahman vlog is split into sections, with adventures to restaurants, karaoke bars and the like dispersed between showcasing their meticulously-decorated NYC apartment and discussing the happenings in their life. For all the art-lovers out there, there are also glimpses of Rahman’s studio, where they create prints, pins and stationery. Although Rahman doesn’t post as regularly as some of the other creators on this list, whenever they do release a new video, you know a well-crafted, relaxing and utterly cute watch is in store.
4. Not Even Emily | YouTuber
Chances are, if you spent any time on the now-defunct video app Vine or watched any of the endless Vine compilations published on YouTube, you’ll recognize Emily Fan. Her quick-witted punchlines made her Vines a staple of the video app. But even after the app’s shutdown, Fan has continued to post content on her YouTube channel, Not Even Emily, and has also increased and updated the types of videos she posts. While Vine restrained her content to only a few seconds, audiences can now see her comedic chops in a longer commentary format on YouTube. Twice a month, viewers can watch new videos of Fan discussing topics like “Why Are Animated Characters Hot” or more serious subjects, like her own experiences with Asian fetishes. Regardless of the issue at hand, Fan brings her trademark sense of humor to her videos and brings a refreshing viewpoint to YouTube’s commentary genre.
5. poseandrepeat | TikToker, YouTuber
Bright, lively and colorful are three words viewers can use to describe poseandrepeat. Melbourne-born fashion TikToker Rubina Rasheed offers a great resource for those looking to add some pops of color to their wardrobe. In addition to posting outfits inspired by shows like “Euphoria” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” Rasheed also uploads tips on how to style classic pieces like blazers, platform shoes or a regular ol’ pair of denim jeans. Outside of social media, Rasheed recently collaborated with the fashion brand Label Rail to create an exclusive line on the website ASOS, showcasing Rasheed’s love of vibrant colors and cute patterns. So, if you’re in need of some fresh inspiration just in time for summer, be sure to check out poseandrepeat.
6. alohaitschelei | TikToker, YouTuber
Need a mix of everything, everywhere all at once? Hawaiian TikToker alohaitschelei posts a variety of content, from comedic videos to gym excursions, her vibrant personality shining through it all. Not only does Chelei shed light on relatable aspects of Hawaiian and Polynesian life with videos about culture and family, she also takes her followers through her gym routine—including leg, arm and back days. To round things out, Chelei also posts hula TikToks, rectifying another tradition that has been often misrepresented in modern media. Learn about culture, dancing and working out with Chelei!
7. nanatjdnn | TikToker, YouTuber
Move over, beauty YouTubers—that’s so 2019. Beauty TikTokers are here to take your place! With her versatile looks, from natural to the most intricate of eyeliner designs, Nana from nanatjdnn is here to impress. In her TikToks, she usually displays her bare face, then takes viewers through her makeup look of the day by holding up the products she’s using while applying them (of course, all set to the most popular TikTok music). When Nana isn’t showing off beautiful makeup transformations and accessible facial products, she also entertains by following the hippest of TikTok makeup trends, trying new contour techniques, applying blush under her eyes and more. In addition to being a makeup wiz, she has her own YouTube channel where she posts covers of K-pop songs, so the viewer gets the best of three worlds: makeup, music and K-pop.
8. americanbaron | Filmmaker
Between the dance videos, makeup tutorials and the occasional stream of internet drama, scrolling TikTok can be overwhelming. But there is one TikTok creator that provides some much needed introspection through his content: Baron Ryan. Better known by his username americanbaron, Ryan is a filmmaker who posts short films. Viewers can easily spot one of Ryan’s TikToks due to some signature elements, like using TikTok’s instant replay feature to create continuous loops in his content. Ryan also touches on contemplative topics like human nature, death and relationships in many of his short films. Ryan is a content creator that those interested in philosophical mind-bends and intricate filmmaking should keep an eye on.