Tart, tangy YouTuber

Tart, tangy YouTuber

Lemon Sio has converted his talent for writing comical lyrics into a profession


Lemon Sio, also known as Gingerlemoncola, has more than 146,000 subscribers after joining the YouTube Partner Programme
Lemon Sio, also known as Gingerlemoncola, has more than 146,000 subscribers after joining the YouTube Partner Programme
Photo: May Tse/SCMP

If you search YouTube for gingerlemoncola, you'll find the channel of Lemon Sio Hing-fung. Established in July 2011, the channel, which started by offering music videos of songs with his rewritten lyrics, has more than 146,000 subscribers and has received more than 17.5 million hits.

And now the amazing 25-year-old artist from Kwun Tong is a full-time YouTuber.

He first used his talent to write nasty lyrics that made fun of his classmates and teachers in secondary school. After completing his diploma studies in accounting at the Institute of Vocational Education in Sha Tin in 2009, he held some clerical jobs.

But after two years, Sio realised his interest lay in creating material for entertainment.

He started his Youtube channel and uploaded the videos with his own lyrics to old songs in his spare time.

In early 2012, he began producing his own videos and left his clerical job for a subtitling job at an online television station. As his channel became more popular, he quit that job last year and joined the YouTube Partner Programme.

Local YouTube channels have blossomed in the past two years, and Sio's channel has been one of the leaders with original content.

Members who join the partner programme receive a share of the revenue from advertisements embedded by YouTube. That money can cover the cost of production and attract more people to join the new industry.

"During my peak period, I can produce a video clip - planning, filming and editing - in one day," Sio says. "My craziest experience was to complete the three stages overnight, in five to six hours."

It is difficult to categorise Sio's clips. They show mimicry, acting and singing, but he also has educational videos, such as one that teaches people how to do origami.

"I know how to boost my hit rates," Sio says. "It's true that videos showing pretty girls can get an overwhelming reception, but that's not my primary goal. I actually want my fans to be open to different types of production, and that's why I keep doing different things."

He told of one time when the fans made clear they want quality.

"I became lazy after making dozens of videos and once made a clip that was below par," he says. "My fans easily spotted it and heavily criticised me. I took the video down and learned I had to pay more attention to what I was doing."

Sio said people like his videos probably because of their encouraging messages.

"I'm not handsome, and I don't sing well, but I have the courage to perform with my guitar in videos. I don't take myself too seriously, and [people] can gain confidence after seeing that a person like me can gain popularity online."

Sio says his observations of everyday life inspire him in his productions.

"I rarely write a script for a video unless it's a drama. Usually I write down the theme of the video that I would like to produce, and then I'll rehearse if necessary," he says.

With the income he gets from the partner programme, as well as freelancing for other public relations events and projects, Sio says he makes a decent living as a full-time YouTube artist.

He has been invited to start up a project with a local media outlet in the near future. But in the long term, what he wants to do most is to go back to his creative roots.

"I want to write lyrics again. This time though, I want it to be lyrics for new songs, not doing parodies of existing music pieces," Sio says.

"It's hard to get opportunities to work for local singers or bands. But I think the popularity I've gained online and the network I've built in the past few years will help me to get there this time.

"Currently I am working with a local band. I just want to realise my dream of becoming a professional writer of lyrics. Of course, I will keep producing video clips on YouTube, too."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Tart, tangy YouTuber


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