NU alum and Youtube’s second-most famous ASMRtist shares her insight on life as a professional Youtuber

Illustration by Aine Dougherty

Gibi makes people tingle. For a living.

Heading into her final year of college at NU, Gibi worked multiple jobs. She nannied for a local family, worked in the Fisk editing lab and walked dogs in her free time. Six months later, she quit her side hustles and gave up her search for a post-graduate job. She had a bigger project in the works.

Soon after, Gibi, now 24 became one of YouTube’s rising stars: she is the number two-rated ASMRtist, a video blogger who posts content that sparks autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) in its viewers — aka tingles.

Known for her elaborate role plays, complete with costumes, wigs, accents and props, as well as her soothing voice, Gibi has 1.7 million YouTube subscribers. NBN talked to Gibi about the art of the tingle.

NBN: How did you get involved in ASMR?

Gibi: I had been watching ASMR since sophomore year of high school. I never told anyone about it because it was kind of weird back then. No one had heard of it. I was super involved with YouTube as a viewer, and I knew that you could do it full time. I started my channel in June, right before senior year started.

Nobody at that time was posting normally; everyone was just sort of doing it. I got a posting schedule going and tried to monetize it and figure out what people wanted to see and how I could make it better. I did a combination of things that everyone has on their ASMR channels and things that I had. never seen before.

I just kept on social media. and tried to be as interactive as possible, and it just sort of took off. But it wasn’t like it blew up: it was a very steady incline over time.

What did your family and friends think about you getting into ASMR?

All around, you get a lot of confusion at first. Once you try to explain it, people usually want to just go and watch it for themselves. Most people think it’s really cool. I have good friends and a good family. They think it’s hilarious that I relax people because I’m very loud in real life. They know that whatever I’m doing is probably something quirky and interesting.

What are the biggest misconceptions surrounding ASMR?

People who don’t understand it just assume that it’s a fetish. It’s just not. Sexual ASMR definitely exists, but it’s just a modifier, like horror movies. Every horror movie is a movie, but not every movie is a horror movie.

I don’t know if this is a myth or not, but I don’t think that everyone can experience ASMR. Some people have it, some people don’t. And that’s probably why it’s misunderstood. But I do think that anyone can enjoy ASMR videos because they tend to be relaxing. Some stuff might be hit or miss, depending on if you actually get the tingles or not.

How do you know what will make a good ASMR object?

Oh, we gotta touch it, of course. If it’s something for sound, I will find things randomly either around the house or in stores. If it’s role play-based, I do a ton of Amazon shopping. I just did a camping video, so I just bought up a ton of cute camping stuff on Amazon and it was awesome. I like a lot of very cute props that you get to use your hands with a lot.

With so many subscribers and online fans, have you ever had any funny fan encounters?

I’ve gotten recognized by two TSA agents, which is hilarious. I went to a bar, and the bartender recognized me and made me take tequila shots with her. That was hysterical. She said that I was the only thing that made her sleep better than tequila.