On Sept. 2, Korea.net had a chat with Nalu about how her channel came about, and what she gained from her trip to Mexico this summer as a student ambassador for Korea University. She also shared with us what she thinks might be the secret to her popularity.
- What made you decide to come to Korea?
I arrived in Korea at the end of 2014. I always say my Korean trip was never planned. I was in university in Mexico, and during the final semester, I met some Korean friends and I liked their culture, the way they spoke, the way they partied. I had a Korean best friend who told me, "If you ever come to Korea, you can stay with me." The next semester, after she left, I wondered what if I were to go and try it. So I decided to take one semester off, and came to Korea with plans to see the country and learn the language for three months.
Once I got here, I met a director at a tech startup during a business networking event. When I told him about the opportunities in Latin America, he hired me for three months to work with them. I ended up working there for one year. After that year, I was about to renew my contract, but a friend reminded me I only had a few semesters left of school, and advised me to finish university. So I made the decision to transfer from the Mexican university to Korea University in Seoul. That's how I began my studies here.
- When and how did your YouTube channel come about?
I opened my YouTube channel in January 2015. My YouTube channel was going well, and I was collaborating with other companies on some projects, so I thought I could keep it as my part-time work while I continued studying.
- Was your YouTube channel called Latina Saram back in 2015? Was the concept there from the very start?
When I was in Mexico, I met so many fans of the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, and people who loved Korea, and because I studied business I saw an opportunity no one had yet tapped into. I saw so many young women who were into the concerts, the makeup, the dramas. In Mexico, where I was living, I heard from Latin Americans that there wasn't enough content to satisfy demand.
In Mexico, I didn't have the confidence, and I wasn't sure people wanted to watch a Latina talk about Korea in Spanish, so I waited until came to Korea and tried to convince some of my friends be in my videos. None of them wanted to do it, however, so I decided to just do it myself. Fortunately, it all went well.
- Your original target audience was fans of Korea in Mexico?
Not necessarily. Fans come from everywhere. It's now concentrated more in Mexico because Mexico is one of the biggest countries, besides Brazil, in Latin America.
- From which countries are most of your subscribers?
Mexico, then Peru, Chile, Colombia and the U.S. That's the top five. There's also Ecuador, Bolivia, Spain, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cuba; really from all over.
-Is this why all your videos are in Spanish?
The videos are for Spanish-speakers in general. I have fans from all over the world. These days I've started adding subtitles to some of the videos, but because I do everything, from filming to editing, sometimes I don't have time to edit all of them. I've added English subtitles, and Korean subtitles, too, in some videos, because I want to make them available to Korean viewers, too.
-Is your Korean fan base starting to build, too?
I have some. Some of them write to me. They're mostly Koreans that are learning Spanish, and they're the ones watching my videos. When I filmed a video at a university, I was surprised because I met a student from Korea University, who's a Spanish major, who knew about Latina Saram and he had watched all of my videos.