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The content incubator

She is a content creator, storyteller, cosplayer and gamer, with a burgeoning passion and unequivocal love for the internet and pop culture at large.

On her YouTube channel Just Add Joy, which she co-hosts with her friend Nabil, Abigail Goh channels her curiosity for the truth to weave together a fabric of human stories: niche, uniquely, compelling narratives of different perspectives.

The 25-year-old is also heavily influenced by intersectional ideas of what anime, manga, cartoons and video games could bring.

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In her videos, she discusses various topics, including censorship laws and how a photo of Winnie the Pooh became one of the most banned images on the internet, supernatural tales from Malaysia, Slender Man gameplay, and others.

Goh has a double degree in Communication and Entrepreneurship, and interned under renowned comic book writer Stan Lee. She now works as a strategist associate at a leading advertising agency, adding: “When I’m not doing that, I create content for Just Add Joy on YouTube.”

What is Just Add Joy about?

“I’d like to go against the grain to find things that are not as relevant and under the radar.

“One of the documentary series called Tempatan Tales focuses on interesting stories, even the ones we typically ignore. It’s crucial to cover these stories, especially today when everyone is chasing after the latest and newest things. I don’t find it necessary to hear the original story, but rather other parts that I think are far more interesting.

“An example would be Tintoy Chuo, he’s one of the founders of Fusion Wayang Kulit. When everyone else spotlights him as a saviour of the arts and culture, we, however, wanted to portray him showing a level of responsibility towards heritage art.

“There is also another series called Good Afternoon No One, it’s just us talking to no one about everything that we care about.”

What does being a content creator mean?

“I don’t think I’ve earned the honourable stripes of a content creator [yet].

“To many people, it’s either producing mainstream or niche content right? I want to make niche content that is a little offbeat, I like appealing to nerds because I’m an extremely nerdy person myself; I’m into cosplay and gaming.

“I like making stuff that is reflective of the internet and pop culture, even sub-cultures, and that is what brings me joy. I just want to make content that makes sense and hopefully resonates with others.”

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But is the need to appeal to a wider audience a concern to you?

“It’s not about becoming a sell-out, it’s about making content and information digestible for other people. I just want to focus on making compelling stories, [whether] niche or not, I hope they break through for people to find them interesting.

“Just like [YouTube channel] Great Big Story, you’d never think about the learning chalk that mathematicians are so obsessed with, yet that still made its way into the mainstream.

“That is exactly what I want to do. Create content for everyone to enjoy regardless of their walk of life.”

What got you into cosplay?

“I grew up loving comic books, anime and manga. I got into this hobby at age 12 just because I thought it was plain fun, and I met a bunch of really cool people from different walks of life, we’ve become such good friends through Naruto, One Piece and Bleach. It really is a community, just like sneaker fans and automotive enthusiasts.

“Cosplay isn’t really an expensive hobby to get into, but it varies. Buying sneakers and different car parts are equally, if not more, expensive.

“A lot of the cosplayers DIY their costumes. I wish I had the time and determination, but I’m really lazy so I just buy something from Taobao and modify it later.”

What do you think of TikTok?

“Before TikTok, I was using Musical.ly and Vine. Honestly, I can’t judge, I was even lip-syncing on Musical.ly, [and] the videos will never ever see the light of day because I’ve completely erased them all.

“Content creation evolves with time, and when there are so many different forms of content out there, YouTube isn’t going to be the only platform that works, there is also IG TV and Snapchat. TikTok is just another continuation of how we make short-form content. It’s phenomenal to see how people can cram so much into 15 seconds or less.

“I remember there was a time where cam-girls were utilising Snapchat as a new platform to do what they do, and I thought it was actually really brilliant and innovative.”

Do you feel pressured to create content yet feel that you might be judged for it?

“As I go along in this journey to try to be seen by more people – like this very interview, for instance – I ask myself do I have to censor certain things to appeal to a wider audience, because I tend to cuss and swear too much, or look and dress a certain way? Essentially, should I change?

“I struggle with that all the time. Now, I’ve come to realise that I don’t actually give a hoot, and if I ever second guess myself when posting something, I’ll forcibly make myself post it no matter how stupid it is.

“I don’t want to have my social media feed looking refined and properly curated. I want it to reflect who I am as a person, I want to have a certain level of truth to myself. I’m not going to restrict myself just to make someone else a little more comfortable.”

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