ASMR has become increasingly popular, especially within the last year. Hop on Twitch and it won’t take you long to find someone creating soothing sounds into a mic to help you relax. Streamlabs talked with MaryJleeee, one of the most popular ASMR live streamers on Twitch to get her take on what makes ASMR resonate with so many people and why people enjoy listening to it.
The full interview is transcribed below.
Streamlabs: What does ASMR stand for?
MaryJLeeee: ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. It’s pretty much just sleepy time sounds. That’s what I always tell everyone. The main purpose is to induce relaxation to help people unwind and distress. I get a lot of people with insomnia who come in just to help them listen to something before they go to sleep.
Streamlabs: How did you get into ASMR
MaryJLeeee: When I saw it I think my reaction was pretty much the same as everyone else’s. It was kind of just like, what the heck is this? It’s like the weirdest thing. The person that I was watching had a mic with ears on it and it just looks wrong, you know? But it was one of those things that I found myself continuing to come back to. At first glance it was weird, but as I kept listening, it kind of helped me understand why people listen to it. And then I decided, you know what, I’m really good at putting babies and animals to sleep. I’ve just always been good at that since I was little. So I thought that I could try to make ASMR fit my own style and maybe I could help other people. So yeah, I constructed my own makeshift bootleg. mic and I started doing it at the end of 2017, but I went full time with ASMR last February. So February, 2018
Streamlabs: Did you ever think you’d be live streaming full time?
Never. I feel like when everyone starts, going full time is the dream. It was kind of like, Oh man, I would die to have a thousand subs, you know what I mean? Like, last year before gifted subs were coming out, it was a hustle. It definitely was not expected.
Streamlabs: Is there a difference between someone who is good at ASMR, vs someone who isn’t?
MaryJLeee: Well, that’s a hard question because ASMR has such a wide range of people who do it. Even like magazines, like The W do celebrity ASMR and it’s just whispering. I don’t know if there’s a difference between someone who’s good at ASMR and bad. I think being able to whisper for a long time is really important. I know a lot of people who aren’t good whisperers by nature. I didn’t realize it was a skill. I think the purpose behind why people do ASMR is really important because you can almost feel it through them. ASMR is kind of like music, sometimes you can feel it through the person’s emotion. The same goes for ASMR. I think the intention is really important.
Streamlabs: Is doing ASMR live particularly different than posting it on YouTube?
MaryJLeee: The way that ASMR is done on Twitch is definitely way different than on YouTube. On YouTube, it’s more like looking into the camera. They don’t really use mics that you can see. It’s more about the personal attention aspect of it. Which is really interesting because I do sound focused ASMR, trying to get people to not focus on what they’re seeing or what I’m doing, but more on what they’re hearing and trying to help them relax.
Streamlabs: What advice do you have for new streamers in the ASMR space?
MaryJLeeee: I would definitely just say stay strong and don’t forget to upload on Youtube. I know ASMR started off really small and it’s grown so fast over the last year. I think it’s easy for streamers in this space to feel kind of unseen. But I think reaching out to people who you admire or people that you’d like to work with, building relationships in the community with other streamers is really important. I think a lot of streamers are afraid to reach out and stuff. I know I’ve definitely been in that position, but being willing to build genuine friendships within the space is really helpful. And just remember how important your intention is when you’re doing ASMR.
Streamlabs: Do you enjoy listening to ASMR yourself?
MaryJLeeee: I do. I mostly listen to my own ASMR just because I’m always hanging out at my channel or editing my videos or something. But I watch other people’s ASMR to get ideas and inspiration and just to help relax.
Streamlabs: What is the hardest thing about doing ASMR?
MaryJLeee: Probably the back pain from holding your arms up for so long and when you’re like bending down to whisper and stuff. When I stream more than three or four hours I definitely start to feel it. I’ve been standing up more because my chiropractor said I was going to be a hunchback.
Streamlabs: What are your future goals or aspirations?
MaryJLeeee: My goals are definitely to spread ASMR to the normie community if that makes sense. I think the people who are always online and know everything that’s going on on YouTube and the Internet are very familiar with what ASMR is. But I feel like the everyday people who aren’t really as plugged in as we are really haven’t heard of ASMR. So I think being able to share and spread the benefits of ASMR and being able to change people’s perspectives of how it could be helpful to them. I’m trying to open up their minds because ASMR is kind of a weird thing to accept unless you feel like you need it for something. A lot of people who discover it have had insomnia for so long that they were just like kind of willing to try anything. I think there are a lot more people out there who could use ASMR to their benefit. Being able to spread ASMR is definitely one of my biggest goals.
Streamlabs: Outside of live streaming what are some hobbies you enjoy doing?
MaryJLeeee: I haven’t really explored any of my hobbies recently, but before streaming took over my life, I used to live by the ocean in New Jersey. I love the water and ocean even though I’m a pretty bad swimmer. I used to go scuba diving and free diving a lot. I used to spearfish with my friends. I did a lot of rock climbing and fishing. I liked to spend a lot of time outside. I’m just hanging out in the sun with my little puppy reading books and stuff.