ASMR Interviewed: Heather Feather

Heather Feather is a creator of videos that purposely trigger ASMR, which is described as a pleasant, tingly sensation in the scalp that extend down the back and out through the limbs. You can learn more about ASMR here. You can find Heather Feather’s videos here.

You’re widely known as the person who first introduced the “sk” trigger within the community. What’s the story behind that, and how does it make you feel to see it blow up as big as it has?

I generally won’t use triggers in my videos that I’ve never responded to. An example of this would be Styrofoam — I can’t stand the sound of it, so I won’t work with it. I incorporate triggers that I have experienced in real life, and I see if those same triggers work for other people. An example of a successful experiment using a real life trigger would be what is known as “SK” in our community. It was a sound my mom used to make in my ears when I was little because it tickled the heck out of me. I tried it in the beginning of 2013 in a video called  10 Triggers To Make You Tingle, and it sort of caught on like wild fire. I was still a relatively new channel then, and it was a new experience for me to have so many people responding to an experimental sound. It’s easily one of the most requested triggers I get asked for, and it has become a sort of staple in the ASMR genre. If you search “SK ASMR” on Youtube, some 23,000 results come up now. It’s a trip to see so many people making videos using a sound that my mom used to make to play with me as a child. I feel grateful that I can not only share parts of my history with people, but have those contribute to helping people.

My mom is also responsible for “Omnomnom,” and that’s sort of become a popular trigger as well. I have joked with her that even though Bob Ross was the first ASMRtist, she might have been the second. I think it makes her feel good to be a part of something that she herself doesn’t experience. I love her.

Very well said! You and your mother are inspiring thousands! That must feel good. So, you’re also known for creating very elaborate roleplays. What keeps you motivated for these complex projects? How are you inspired?

Hahaha thanks!

I love telling stories. When I was bored in high school, I used to write books for myself to read. As you get older, it becomes harder and harder to have those kinds of moments for yourself. One of my favorite aspects of ASMR content creation is the freedom it allows. There is no set way to to do anything. You can sit in front of a camera and chat, you read books, you can tap on objects, you can play pretend, you can design video games, you can form elaborate immersive mini movies, and even full length films. It’s so much fun, and I have never been free to be as creative as I want in the way that making ASMR videos allows. I get to play with toys, bring worlds and stories to life that only existed in my head before this, and talk about the things I love with an audience of amazing people. I make ASMR videos for other people, but I also make them for myself. It’s easy to stay motivated and inspired when you are surrounded by people who motivate and inspire you. The ASMR community does that for me.

You are an intensely creative person, it seems. Which of your videos was the most challenging to put together? And which one is your favorite?

The ones with visual effects are more time consuming than sound assortments, but my “Top 120 Binaural Triggers” video was a BEAST to finish. I truly don’t know how long it took to complete that monster, but I am so glad I did it because people really seem to enjoy it. I am most proud of the role plays that I was the most afraid to put out. I get pretty nervous before releasing each video. I am always worried about letting people down, or having something not work. There have been some experimental role plays that I thought “you may have missed the mark, Heather.” Those are the videos that I am most proud of.  Candy Queen, Brain Pause, Sleep Police, Apothecary Plume, It’s Dangerous To Go Alone, and After The Battle all were nearly scrapped at some point. It was through the encouragement of others, or my mean stubborn streak that brought them to fruition. I am also tremendously proud of “Let me Tell You A Story.” I wrote it specifically for my channel, and the response to it has been so meaningful. It’s currently being made into a children’s book, and I get so excited when I think about parents reading it to their children at bedtime.

 That is incredible! Your hard work is really paying off. When will the book be published?

I don’t know! I am working very closely with Josh McMahon (the artist illustrating the scenes), and we are making sure that everything is perfect before we release. He is hand drawing the pictures, and it’s been a really awesome experience to go through with him, and see someone so talented bring worlds I imagined to life.

How do you plan to be distributing it? Amazon? Out in book stores? This is exciting news!

As of now, it will be on Amazon, and possibly some other sites. I also want to make audio versions of the story for people to listen to. It would be my dream come true to one day hold a print copy in my hand — but that’s a long way away. It would be awesome, but I don’t let myself think of it because then my heart will fall in love with the idea, and if I can’t make it happen, I don’t want to let my heart down. I really like thinking of a parent and child sharing those special moments reading together. My mom used to read with me when I was little, and I loved that.

There is a way to do that sooner if you like. 

Now, back to ASMR. I remember hearing about an incident with copyright bots who kept flagging some of your videos, and that it eventually led to you having to reupload an incomplete version. Could you tell us that story?

Oh wow! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Ugh that was awful. I worked for months on a video called “After The Battle.” In the beginning of the video, I used stock footage — footage specifically chosen because it was explicitly Free Use material. Two days before Christmas, I received a notification that said “that said “matched third party content.” I knew a mistake had been made — but I didn’t know that false copyright flagging was a way that companies stole advertising money from smaller channels. After researching video hijacking, and finding out that this is something thousands of YouTubers experience, I went to war for my video and channel. I made I don’t know how many phone calls, I made it clear that I wasn’t going away, and both claims were retracted in 9ish hours. I thought I had won, but in two months that my video was up, I had to go to battle 4 times. It was exhausting to have to keep defending my channel when I had done nothing wrong. It was frustrating to see how easy it was for big networks to leech off of my hard work. So I took down my original, and I reuploaded it without the stock footage. I hated that I had to remove my content, but I felt it was necessary for my channel’s well being.

That sounds incredibly frustrating. I don’t understand people who would rather spend time cheating people, when they can use that “creativity” to creating something decent on their own. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

You’ve been in the ASMR game for a while now. How has your involvement changed your personal life?

Making ASMR videos definitely changes your real life. I have much less time to do other things, because I am always working on my channel. I get an average of 4 hours of sleep a night. I don’t go out as much as I used to. I miss the sun sometimes, haha. You definitely make sacrifices for your channel, but they don’t feel like sacrifices if it’s for something you love — and I truly love making ASMR videos with all my heart. I am so lucky to have a family and friends that understand how passionate I am about my channel and the ASMR community, so my social circle has been amazingly supportive. Now that I am working with PixelWhipt and delving into VR with ASMRrequests, I am learning to navigate how to do more without having more time. But again, it’s worth it if you love what you’re doing, and I can’t wait to make the most immersive content possible for everyone.

That’s exactly how I feel about this site, and my videos as well. It doesn’t even feel like work. It’s all passion and near obsession with what you’re doing.

What advice would you give to people just starting to make ASMR videos?

I would say to do what you love, and don’t worry about trying to please everyone. Appeasing everyone is an impossible task. If you try to cater to every demand, it doesn’t feel fun or fulfilling anymore—it feels like work. Do what makes you happy, and an audience that enjoys your happiness will find you. For me, having an ASMR channel isn’t about subs or views — it’s about loving what you do, helping others, and being on a journey with the right people.Also never give out your personal info. Ever. Seriously, don’t do it.

Very well said. To finish it up, of course we have to ask — what are your favorite triggers and who are your favorite ASMRtists?

 I am probably the easiest person in the world to trigger…I am triggered by so many things, it’s almost impossible at this point to list them all.  I watch all different kinds of ASMR videos—I find the more variety, the better. I love role plays, I eat them up like candy.  I prefer a soft spoken voice over a whisper.  I REALLY love perfume spray sounds, but perfume is so expensive, that it’s hard to find ASMR perfume role plays that have those sounds.

I don’t have a favorite ASMRtist.  I am subbed to over 400 content creators because my trigger tastes change with my moods.  I have never experienced “trigger immunity,” and I think that is probably due to me watching so many different artists.  One of the reasons I love the ASMR corner of YouTube is because of its diversity.  How can you not love a place where so many people are catering to the same feeling in so many different ways?

Great answer! Well, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I’m sure everyone is going to love it.

My pleasure!  Thanks very much for talking with me!

Where to Find Heather Feather

Heather Feather’s channel can be found here. If you make ASMR videos and wish to be interviewed, just send us a message with your ASMR channel, your email address, and when a good time to talk would be. 

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