Friday, September 7, 2012

everybody says "TeeHee!"

DIE-hard fans of Ryan Higa, who goes by his YouTube username Nigahiga, took over the Bentley Music Auditorium in Mutiara Damansara, Selangor last Sunday.
Fans swarmed the auditorium as early as possible just to grab the limited passes to meet the Internet sensation.

It was a little after 4pm when the doors to the auditorium opened, and fans poured in. The stage set up was very simple with only a cosy red sofa and a coffee table as props; therefore the audience’s attention was only focused on Higa.

The 22-year-old entertainer from Hawaii, the United States is well-known for his funny online rants and skits, and currently has 5.6 million subscribers on his YouTube account with over 1.2 billion video views.
Jin from JinnyboyTV hosting the Q&A session with Ryan Higa at Bentley Music Auditorium, on Sunday.

In 2006, Higa, together with Sean Fujiyoshi – his video partner during the early days – started uploading random videos of their rants under the name Nigahiga which, according to his website, Higa made up because it rhymed. Coincidentally, “niga” means rant in Japanese.

The showcase started with a special performance by Darren Ashley, who is also a member of local band Busco and the rising electro-pop musician got the crowd pumping to his electronic beats. Even though there was a technical glitch in the middle of his act, the hype from the energetic crowd did not fade away.

After the performance, the hostcalled upon a lucky fan to do the honour of introducing the star of the day, Higa, to come on stage. The crowd immediately went wild with screams of joy … mostly from the girls – obviously.

If you think Higa is hot in his videos, he is definitely 10 times hotter in real life. The charming YouTube star greeted his Malaysian fans with an endearing “Saya sayang padamu”, which invited even louder screams from the girls.

Fans got to use the #teeheekl hashtag during the Q&A session and some lucky ones even got their questions read out to Higa at the auditorium.

During the session, Higa also confirmed that he, as well as YTF (Yesterday, Today, Forever) crew will be returning to Malaysia during their Asian tour. “We are actually planing on starting an 
Asian tour as soon as we’re done with the East Coast tour in the United States,” he said.
The fact that Higa will be returning here just got the crowd to go wild again.

Higa proved that he was game for anything when he accepted a challenge to “voice” a lamp.
He did, in a hig-pitched and squeaky voice. That was really hilarious.

The fans also directed several other questions to their idol, and one of them even asked about his former partner Fujiyoshi.

“Sean is currently studying engineering in Oregon. We still meet every once in while but we rather just hang out than to do videos together,” he said.

The showcase also had a few surprise elements here and there, like when the host called upon Malaysian YouTuber Joseph Germani on stage.

 Ryan having a taste of our local delicacies. Looking on are Jin and fellow Malaysian Youtuber Joseph Germani.

Germani didn’t just come alone. He brought along some of our local food on stage for Higa to taste. The first dish that they made him try was nasi lemak.

When asked to rate the food on a one to 10 scale, Higa wanted to give it a 10 but felt that he had to give it an eight instead because of its spiciness.

The next item on the list was the roti canai, which Higa gave it a nine out of 10. He liked char kuey teow the best and he gave the dish full points.

As they say, a person does not fully experience Malaysia until they have tried the durian but Higa was reluctant to taste it because the smell was so overwhelming.

He admitted that backstage, he was thinking about what the foul smell could be even before the show had started.

After being convinced by the host who described the fruit to “smell like hell, but taste like heaven”, Higa was game in the end and did not disappoint his Malaysian fans.
However, the king of fruits was not given a rating.

The interview continued on and in the midst of it, Darren Ashley was invited on stage again to present an original love song for Higa, written specially for him.

The audience’s laughter was audible throughout the performance, and Higa seemed to be amused by the lyrics and appeared to enjoy the attention from the singer.

The highlight of the session was when Higa announced that he had a surprise for his fans.
He went backstage for an outfit change while Greg, his videographer, updated the crowd on what was going to happen.

It turned out that Higa wanted to shoot part of his new video in the auditorium, with the help of the audience. Filming was not allowed throughout the shoot because, well, it is going to be a surprise after all. The video will be uploaded soon on his channel, and we certainly cannot wait to check it out!

The Q&A session ended after a little more than an hour, and the event was followed by the meet-and-greet session with Higa, where excited fans got to take photographs with the star as well as get his autograph.

credits to : KELVIN YEE and PHYLLIS HO
alltherage@thestar.com.my

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