Meet Michael - his online journey started by creating and sharing content dedicated to art alongside offering useful tutorials, but the community soon recognized one of his greatest gifts – his voice.
You love creating content – regardless of whether it is voice overs, drawing, or playing music; you are covering it all. How did you get into all of this?
I am very susceptible to ideas, I can’t explain them very well but whenever I get an idea or become inspired by something, it knocks around in my head until I do something about it. I just have to see an image in my head, and I’ll try and create it in some way. It started with art, I’d often listen to music or see an artwork or person and suddenly be inspired by an image. In the process of making more and more artworks and essentially sharing my ideas, I started experimenting with new ways of communicating these and that’s slowly evolved into everything I do. Art then photography, videography and finally voice acting.
Your voice is something that your community instantly recognises. You are constantly communicating with your followers, and they ask you to create content by reading things they sent. What is the best request you’ve had from your community?
Sonnet 18. It’s quite obscure but I quite enjoyed making the video. Allowing the unpredictable British weather to play a role in my reading was brilliant. I wrestled with the sun to make the video and the resulting edit - I think was quite lovely to watch.
Besides creating content, you also share tutorials, useful tips & tricks with your community. How important is this to people who may have just started their journey in industry?
Very important. One of the things I want to do with my platform is encourage people to be creative in their own way. I’d like to give them the tools and know-how and I don’t refrain from answering any questions. My personal philosophy is that the more people that find genuine and creative ways of expressing themselves, the happier and more fulfilled they will be, even if there isn’t a monetary and social gain. And so, for those who have just started out expressing themselves in whatever way, they shouldn’t be held back and stumped by their lack of understanding of tools and techniques.
Can you share with us what is your go-to equipment you use every day?
HEADPHONES! Even if I’m not making a video or mixing vocals, I am definitely listening to music. I use the same headphones for everything - the ATH-M20x. Then there is my camera, one of, if not my most prized possession - the Sony a6600, I use it almost every day to record something. And if I’m recording myself speaking, my microphone the AT2020 is never unplugged from my set-up. Finally, the Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen to tie everything together.
How did you discover Audio-Technica products?
The first Audio-Technica product I got was the AT2020. At the time I used to play my guitar into my Scarlett Solo and record my voice using a USB microphone. During a call with a friend, I had to keep switching sound inputs to play guitar and then speak with them. Realizing that my Solo allowed XLR inputs, I made an impromptu trip to the music store to see if I could get a microphone. The store clerk recommended the microphone, and I took his word for the quality. I don’t regret that decision.
You are active across different platforms, on TikTok you surpassed 40k followers and they are all super-responsive to the content you share. Do you have any advice for artists who are about to start with their social media presence – what are the things they should be aware of?
Give, then take, then give again. Your audience, however small they may be, will give you ideas on what to create. I am not saying do everything they want you to do. However, if you can find a way to find inspiration from their feedback that merges with your own goal, play into those ideas. That’s one major factor in my growth. Almost all my videos have me catering to something the audience has said. Even if I don’t want to do “the Bridgerton monologue” I find out how to do it in my own way.
What do you do when you are not creating? Do you have any specific hobbies?
Ironically, creating is my hobby at this point. After my 9-5, I’m working on some creative project, maybe I’m working on my website or filming and editing another video or drawing something. I’m just fortunate that it’s all garnered some attention online. But I’d be doing the same thing even if no one was watching…but maybe I’d have some more sleep too.
What are your plans for the future? Is there something you can share with us?
I have a fear of the jinx. The idea is that when I say I’ll do something, it never actually happens. So just to be safe, I’ll say that my plans are just to get better at what I do, to really hone my skills, and to create the space and confidence for others to do what I do.
Instagram – First Room (@michaeleok)
TikTok - First Room (@michaeleok)
Website - https://michaeleok.com/