Introducing the dreamy Chinese-American twins Alex and Alan Chen Stokes. Content creators who are best known for their enormous social media following and amusing videos. As of 2022, their YouTube channel is ranked the 9th largest in the world in terms of viewership. Their content is comedic, entertaining and engaging.
For Schön!, the twins chat about where it all started, what they would do if they wouldn’t be content creators, what’s next for them and so much more.
Let’s start our interview with an intro to what you do best – creating content. Where did that journey start and what initially inspired you to start creating content on YouTube?
We posted our first video on YouTube when we were ten years old. Our mom got us a camera for our birthday, and we’d upload random clips on YouTube—just funny, silly skits. We really did it just to make our friends and family laugh… Then we took a little break from it, and would just upload something occasionally. It was mainly just YouTube at the time because we didn’t have phones.
Your YouTube channel is one of the most popular ones currently with being ranked the 9th largest and your content gaining 2.4 billion views – looking back on your journey, would you ever thought that would have been possible?
BOTH: Definitely not… Just seeing 1000 views back then was hard to believe… if you imagine 100 or 1000 people in a room watching your content that’s a lot… it seemed crazy! It’s definitely pretty wild how far we’ve come since then, and we’re really grateful for all of it.
Your social media journey dates back years and you’ve been through many ups and downs – the YouTube boom, the rise of Instagram and the introduction of TikTok. What is your key to creating relatable content for the fans?
BOTH: We started on Instagram and then transitioned to TikTok a bit, and still continued to post to YouTube. The key to creating relatable content was paying attention to what the audience was engaging with the most… we read the comments and we take into consideration what the viewers want. We really enjoy what we do, and we feel that the fans appreciate that.
With social media constantly shifting, which platform would you say is the one that represents creators the best and gives them the best possibility to grow and express themselves?
BOTH: We would say YouTube is definitely the platform that has the best potential to express yourself… it’s the most work. Longer form content is the best way to get to know someone… kind of like having a long conversation with someone… You learn a lot more about someone when you take time to get to know them.
What are your sources of inspiration when creating content and what is your favourite content to create?
BOTH: Our childhood… everything we do in our videos pretty much is brought to life from our childhood. We definitely had a lot of fun growing up. We draw from our friends and our family. Our favourite content is comedy; we just love watching our friends reactions.
How do you manage to stay on top of trends when they are constantly evolving?
Alex: Staying on top of trends is really hard… a lot are hit or miss—especially when you’re trying to be innovative. You could put a lot of work into something and then there may not be a huge return, or interest… It’s a lot easier for people to hop on trends while they’re happening… you really have to pay attention to what resonates most with your audience, and what they’re engaging with the most. That’s really how we stay on trend.
Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to other content creators?
BOTH: We definitely don’t compare ourselves to other content creators… it’s not us against someone else; it’s us against ourselves. Are we growing, are we doing different things, etc…
What helps you to stay grounded?
ALEX: The number one thing that has kept us grounded is thinking about it as a job.. it’s a job that comes with fans, but it’s really no different than anyone else’s when it comes to making a living. We don’t ever get cocky or arrogant about what we do—we’re just doing a job, and we’re grateful for everything that’s come from it. We’ve come from really humble means, and we truly are just thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given.
What is your definition of success?
ALAN: For me, it’s enjoying what I’m doing, being content with my life, and being happy.
What is an accomplishment that you are the proudest of so far?
ALEX: Hitting 10 million on YouTube. That was pretty incredible.
How is the dynamic between you two when you are creating together?
ALAN: The dynamic between me and Alex is great…we’re both super focused and we’re pretty much good at the same thing. Some things he’s better at and some things I’m better at… we divide the work and are able to say exactly what we want. We’re always on the same page so that’s nice.
If you wouldn’t make videos, what would you do?
BOTH: We would definitely want to be a Marine Biologist or work at a sanctuary with exotic animals. We’d love to have a wildlife sanctuary in the future… Animals are something we’re both super passionate about.
Tell me more about what’s next for you.
BOTH: We’re moving in about 2 months and we’ve been wanting to move for about a year now, and we’re finally going to move really soon. We’re really excited about that…
And lastly, what is something that you want to be remembered for?
BOTH: We would say making people laugh, and making their days better through our videos. We want people to have a positive experience when they’re watching the videos… We want people to feel entertained.
Catch Alex and Alan Stokes on Youtube.