Aewen's Corner: Interview with Nichola & Hugh of "My Korean Husband"

     This month for Aewen's Corner, we had the opportuntiy to interview Nichola and Hugh of the "My Korean Husband" blog!  Keep reading to find out their answers to our questions!

Please introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us a little bit about yourselves, what you do, and how you got started.
     We are a married couple, Nichola and Hugh. Hugh’s Korean name is Sunhong, but he prefers his English name. I’m Australian and he is Korean and we met in Sydney, Australia. We run a blog and YouTube channel called MyKoreanHusband. We make videos together and I make little comics about our life together.
The “My Korean Husband” blog and Youtube have been up and running for quite a few years now.  How do you come up with new ideas for content and what keeps you both motivated to continue running the blog/Youtube?
     The fantastic response we get from people is a good motivation, but also the feeling of doing something creative really fuels us. We draw inspiration from our own life and our cultural differences as well as suggestions and questions from our audience. We really want to show the positives of being in an intercultural relationship. We are passionate about our multicultural message so that motivates us.
One of my personal favorite series on the “My Korean Husband” Youtube page is Ask Korean Guys because Han and Hugh and their friends will answer questions about Korean culture in an entertaining and educational way.  Nichola, are you planning on filming any more Ask the Wives of Korean Guys videos?
I think once we move to Seoul, we are in the countryside at the moment, I can do more of those videos. Being in the same place with friends and having the time is always the biggest problem. I think it’s important to discuss what is expected as a daughter-in-law in Korea. Many women from all different countries find themselves in relationships with Korean men while they are in Korea, but don’t actually know what is involved in an international and intercultural marriage. Just dating and then actual marriage is so different in Korea, so the discussion around it is important as more and more people marry into Korean families.
Most of the videos on the channel are filmed together but if you, Hugh, could create a new series on the channel what would it be about?
     I do have another channel called Nicholalala which was originally just vlogging but I’m now branching out with other stuff on that one too. I’d love the time to do a gaming channel. Hugh is involved in motivational speaking and is passionate about encouraging the youth of Korea, so he’d want to do a channel about that and showing that there are different ways to live your life, not just what a conservative society says you should do.
When you both are not filming or keeping up the blog what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
     We can both lose many many hours just talking to each other. Especially if it’s topics we are passionate about. We love having big discussions. We love going to see movies together and eating great food.
In addition to Big Bang what other kpop groups are you both into and if you had to pick one kpop song to listen to on repeat for a week what song would it be?
     iKON has been my new love this year. They are also in YG Entertainment like BIGBANG and I’ve been following them from before they even debuted. I think in some ways they are slated to take over from BIGBANG as the big group from YG while BIGBANG does their military service. New generation YG artists. It’s been fascinating to see their training process and leading up to debut. So if I could only pick one song I think I’d pick iKON’s ‘Airplane’  Hugh is really into ZION T at the moment. He already listens to ZION T’s “No makeup” song on repeat!
Nichola, you’ve been creating very humorous comics of yours and Hugh’s life for the “My Korean Husband” blog.  On average how long does it take from original idea to finished product to create a comic and do you have a favorite or a few favorite life stories that you’ve turned into comics?  If so, what are they?
     The quickest time can be 1 hour, but if it’s a bigger comic it can take a lot more time. I save ideas for future episodes too. Editing, uploading and promoting all takes time too. I actually forget about most of them once I’ve done them and then every few months I’ll look back through comics and be like, “Oh yeah I remember that!” It’s great to have those little snapshots of our life. My favourite ones are usually the ones where Hugh has said something really really funny. He can be very clever and witty at unexpected times and in such an unassuming way so I’m glad I can capture that. Sometimes comics are about an obvious cultural difference and sometimes it’s just a funny moment in our lives.
What can fans of the “My Korean Husband” blog expect from you both in this new year?
     There will be a move to Seoul which will be a big change for us after living in the Korean countryside. We go to Seoul a lot, but living there will be very different. We will be able to document what it’s like for us to have such a big change. Hugh also has a new business which is an online store called Hey Eonni. One of our good friends started the store but is passing it over to Hugh, so he can build it bigger and better. International people can purchase Korean products that are difficult to buy. There is a mix of beauty products, stationery, Kpop merch and other Korean products. The funny thing is that the site’s name is ‘Hey Eonni’ and ‘eonni’ means older sister in Korean. So Hugh is stepping into the role of older sister for many international fans.  We will also have lots of collaborations and exciting videos coming up.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog or youtube channel?
     Firstly, it’s a lot of work so be prepared for that. That’s why most people let blogs just fade out, because in order to gain a following there is an awful lot of work. I think it’s important to be authentic to yourself and really know what is your story and message to the world. We are showing our lives as an intercultural couple and are trying to show all the positives of that. In Korea the word “multicultural family” still has negative connotations, so one of our goals is to change that mindset. In western countries like Australia there can be a lack of understanding of cultural differences and almost a fear of talking about them because we want to think everyone is the same- but of course culture affects everything. Hugh’s message has always been that he is a proud Korean man and proud of his heritage. But he is married to an Australian woman, so balancing Korean culture and Australian culture is an ongoing thing and part of why we document some of our lives. So your story has to be bigger than just being an interracial couple, (which is why we made the decision to not use tags like AMWF, Asian Male, White Female) and that’s why we also do a variety of things, not just videos. So my advice for couples that want to start YouTube is to find out what your bigger message to the world is and you don’t need to just fit into a niche, instead carve out your own place. If someone is starting a YouTube channel by themselves, the same thing applies. Don’t see it as a way to make lots of money, the majority of YouTubers aren’t rich, but instead see it as a great platform to show yourself and what your message is.
Where can listeners go to check out your work?
     I’m also a featured artist on LINE Webtoon with my Nicholalala series, which is a longer format scrolling webtoon that blends fantasy, imagination and Korean folklore. There is also a Nicholalala YouTube channel.
     Thank you to Nichola and Hugh for answering our questions and be sure to check out their work via the links above! We also asked Nichola and Hugh to provide a list of their current favorite kpop songs. Check out the playlist below!

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