Karin is also the ASMR artist known as “Singing ASMR” on YouTube.
My initial thought about her was that she might be confusing “frisson”, the chills due to music, with ASMR. I expected to hear someone singing in a typical voice, which is not commonly considered a usual trigger for ASMR.
But then I listened to one of her videos.
She sings very softly and gently, almost in a whisper voice. “ASMR lullabies” may be a great way to describe her style – her singing is likely to be soothing to children and adults alike. Her channel also includes videos of role plays, tappings, brushings, layered sounds, and more.
In my interview with Karin she shares how she came up with the idea of singing ASMR, insight about her most popular video, challenges with creating ASMR videos, ideas for ASMR research, and more.
Below are my questions in bold, her replies in italics, and links to her YouTube channel and other sites.
What are your favorite ASMR triggers and what does ASMR feel like to you when you experience it?
Karin, “My favorite triggers are personal attention in role plays with whispering or soft speaking, camera touching or harmoniously moving hands (tracing, hair brushing or plain movements etc.) and subtle sounds like crinkling or tapping (no plastic!). I also enjoy rain, cats purring and close mouth sounds.
When I feel ASMR, I stop thinking, feel hypnotized and a little tranced. I feel goose bumps along the sides of my body mostly – sometimes on my head, sometimes only in the legs and feet. Sometimes I have that relaxing feeling without goose bumps. Sometimes I can’t stand ASMR videos, but it’s only seldom that I get into such an annoyed state that I can’t stand the gentleness :-D”
How did you come up with the idea of singing ASMR?
Karin, “Being an ASMR fan for about two years, I once tried to film my cute and tingly Christmas decorations. But the upload from my cell phone never succeeded, so I forgot the idea to upload my own material for some time.
I kept it in mind though because I had the idea of recording cool sounds, building a whole sound database and maybe make an audio drama without any talking, just by sounds. I had my relatives buy me a professional recording device for Christmas that I knew a local radio station uses for interviews. But I found I was too lazy to record a lot of sounds and to learn to work with sound software. So the recorder rested in a drawer for about two years.
Then I often thought that this song “Little star” by Stina Nordenstam was sooo ASMR. So one day I finally tried recording it ASMR style. While researching how many ASMR channels are based on ear to ear singing I found out that there was no one that was still intact and uploading. So I started with my first video and fell in love with producing and communicating with ASMR enthusiasts. The next day, I felt I had to buy a camera! And now I’m kind of obsessed with all the ideas that are constantly coming to me for the next videos.”
How do you feel about your style being described as “lullabies for adults”?
Karin, “I think it’s great if it feels this way for my viewers. Adults definitely need lullabies, too. Because even if we have great, caring partners, no one can always be of (ASMR-style) service to the other that exact moment they need it.
So while my husband likes to read articles of all kinds before falling asleep, I prefer to watch ASMR and wear my “sleep phones” to feel close, safe and calm. This is so ideal for falling asleep and for sleeping well, and there are such nice, sympathetic, talented people out there who do great videos and can also entertain.
It’s so much better than watching brutal murder movies or TV series before falling asleep. And I’m happy that some people seem to find a strong trigger in my singing. I like it, too, especially the singing material that Olivia’s Kissper ASMR has done so far. Closeness is key. Or else it’s only regular singing, which is by far not as tingly.”
What kind of feedback have you received about your videos so far?
Karin, “Only nice, kind and positively excited feedback so far, it is awesome! And some nice song requests. I haven’t one single troll so far, and this is after three and a half weeks after starting out (91 subscribers today).
But if I keep doing this, someday a troll will come up. Then I will know I’ve “made it”, haha, just kidding. But I know that no one can tell me anything bad about me I didn’t know yet, so I’m still relaxed about that. Ask me again in a year ;)”
What is your most popular video and what do you think is so appealing about it?
Karin, “My most popular video so far is “You’re stuck in an elevator with me (ASMR Role Play) – and request singing ‘Starlight’ by Muse”. It might be the inventive idea of it that made it appealing. Or that I put it as a trailer on my channel might also be a factor.
I made the elevator music myself and was quite proud of it, but it’s not perfect. I’m always so excited to share that I forget my usual perfectionism. And I think people don’t need perfect ASMR videos anyways. Perfection wouldn’t be tingly, I think. It’s all about imperfection, the tiny personal things are what creates the closeness to the artists!”
What challenges have you encountered so far with creating and sharing ASMR videos?
Karin, “All kinds! The video setup alone and the multi-tasking skills one needs is immense for role plays or other videos when video and audio are recorded simultaneously. I’ve tried to make a doll brushing video and eventually gave up, cause it was not relaxing at all :-D. But I want to become better at that (uploaded a makeup role play already) and act better, so that I can calm people more despite my enthusiastic nature.
Also, I’m super lazy, so I get annoyed by audio and video software very quickly, because I think it all should work intuitively – which it doesn’t. So then I have to read stuff or watch videos about using the software. I constantly think of equipment that I should buy, like additional tripods, a better mic, better lights, a better computer. But you can’t buy it all at once, so I have to be more patient.
But I’m proud about everything I’ve already learned. Like removing background noise, increasing sound levels and synchronizing video and audio, using sound effects, etc.”
What ideas or plans do you have for future videos?
Karin, “I’d love to get into green screen production, so I can do cool role plays in cool places. I’ve already taken photos of some places. And I’ll definitely do videos with my kalimba (musical instrument) which I recently bought especially for my channel, and will buy another singing bowl for another video.
I want to have a routine to upload two singing videos in a row followed by a non-singing video, so that subscribers don’t expect singing and get disappointed. I basically want to try out just about everything in ASMR – at least those things I enjoy or understand – and also improve my singing stuff and do layering of voices one day. We’ll see if I really get there or if I lose the enthusiasm.”
On your website you have a link to the first peer-reviewed publication about ASMR, why did you decide to include this?
Karin, “Because I have heard about the data which Ilse “The Water Whispers” and Julie Young included in their book “The Idiot’s guide to ASMR”. The data suggests that ASMR is somehow linked to meditation and hypnosis (I’ll have to get that book ASAP). And I know there are loads and loads of studies which suggest that meditation can help with the immune system and psychical problems. I think ASMR can help people increase the amount of time in their day during which they feel really good and that this will be very beneficial for their health.
I also think that it’s important to explain ASMR to outsiders, that’s another reason I put this on my homepage. Cause we’re not freaks, we’ve just discovered how to feel tingles without being scalp massaged for real :-D. Or how to reproduce those nice childhood feelings of safety and well-being.”
If you could create any experiment to discover or prove one thing about ASMR, what would it be?
Karin, “A neuro-scan experiment that proves that the same brain areas are activated during ASMR and meditation or hypnosis. Maybe that already exists. In that case I would like scientists to prove the argument of that book (Idiot’s guide to ASMR) that anyone can have ASMR, if that is the case. Or at least that there is a percentage of the population similar to that of people who are able to be hypnotized.
Also, the cultural differences maybe would be interesting – on what continent they prefer what type of ASMR because of the different ways they lull little children to sleep. Child experiments on ASMR would be great! Maybe children of some specific ages all experience ASMR and some lose it as they grow up!”
Given the opportunity, what would you say to a room full of researchers and clinicians whom are trying to decide if putting the time and funding into ASMR research is worth the investment?
Karin, “If you find the key to reproducing that immense sense of well-being and feeling of being connected, the biology of ASMR, it will become a huge market. People are already paying huge amounts of money to those artists voluntarily. Also, the techniques the artists use could be used by many clinics and psychiatrists one day. The benefits could be a lot of money being saved in the medical field.”
Click HERE to visit Karin’s “Singing ASMR” YouTube channel
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