Text: Lester Hio
Video creator and singer-songwriter
Singing and performing aren't new professions. However, what is new is having the creative freedom to bypass a studio and film whatever one wants and sharing it on a platform with hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Self-described “video creator and singer-songwriter” Annette Lee, 29, relishes how she is able to connect instantly to her audiences and share her creative ideas.
Famously known for her persona of “Sue-Ann” in the many short comedic sketches on comedy website SGAG, Annette originally envisioned herself behind the camera instead of fronting her popular series of comedic skits. She left the company in 2020 after four years to pursue her own blend of music and comedy video content.
“Being an independent content creator means I can be more flexible and take more creative risks with the videos I’m putting out,” said Annette.
Being an online content creator has become one of the hottest new careers in the past decade – one that wouldn’t have been possible without platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, all of which she uses to share her comedy skits, short video content, and original music with hundreds of thousands of viewers.
The filmmaking graduate from the School of Art, Design and Media now juggles between creating music, filming music videos with other local singers like Benjamin Kheng, and uploading 30-second skits on TikTok, all with her signature brand of observational and uniquely Singaporean humour.
“A lot of my ideas come from observing people – many times, real life and what people do is much funnier than shows out there,” said Annette, whose musical tribute to caifan , a coffeeshop staple, went viral with more than a million views on YouTube.
The life of a content creator is not all glitz and glamour as an actor. Some short 30-second videos, for instance, could take hours to shoot, complete with costume changes.
And there is the constant pressure to deliver content that resonates with the audience and draw more eyeballs. “I’ve found that the best way to manage this is the 1 – 1 video ratio rule: one video for my audience, and one video for myself,” she said.
“This way, I give my fans the content they enjoy, but also have the chance to try new things. If I don’t do stuff for myself, I wouldn’t know what new content they might like and widen the kind of creative stories I put out,” she said.
This article first appeared in issue 2 of U, the NTU alumni magazine.