Local creative Tik Yuen identifies food and technology as two of the most transformative elements of his life. Meeting him at his recently launched Honest Pizzeria, there was a dynamic air around the young businessman.
The vlogger, lyricist, and musician is a superhero all rolled into on one. With a flourishing business, he wants to focus on their entrepreneurial endeavor and doesn’t want to let himself and his friends down. He considers his passion for vlogs a hobby and yet an ultimate expression of himself.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Hong Kong and raised in Macau. When I was 12 years old, I moved to Toronto and finished university. I moved back in 2007 to explore more opportunities. I studied economics in Canada and multimedia design and technology in Hong Kong for two more years.
You’re back in Macau, what career did you end up with?
I’ve always been inclined towards music since high school. After school, I’d hang out with friends and write songs. My interest in videos started a year or two ago. I had this kind of personality that’s appealing in videos so I tried it. I am charismatic and I think people like the act.
What is the inspiration for your videos?
Looking around and finding things that are interesting. Sometimes I have weird stuff on my mind. It may be a normal scenario but I see something out of it. I then think of what can I talk about, that can be entertaining for other people. I tackle social issues, cultural elements, and Macau-focused topics.
I want people to be able to relate to me. In my videos, I amplify a part of my personality and people are entertained when they watch it. I do my vlogs, I stand in front of the camera and edit all of it.
What about your music?
I write rap in Chinese and English. I write the lyrics. I spent time a long time ago making music and writing. Now I want to be doing 100% writing in lyrics and be the best in that.
How do you find the Macau system with their support for emerging artists?
It’s a hard industry and challenging one. There’s not a complete system yet for the creative side. I think it needs more support.
What can the government do to help more?
People are asking designers to do proposals for free. They should really value and see how important the creative value of any product is, and understand being creative is a natural asset that needs to be valued and appreciated.
Thinking needs research, planning everything, and doing whole design work—you can’t have that all for free.
Is this your first business venture?
This place is a business partnership with my friends. I have partners who have business backgrounds and we are all in this together. We are all learning at the same time about running the business.
How did you get involved with this pizza business? What was the dream behind it?
You don’t see a place like this in Macau. My friends and I studied abroad so we all had these kinds of pizzas from our various experiences. Macau is a diverse place but when it comes to food we thought there’s still something missing.
We thought we could do better so we try to be better. We had the idea and put it all together and so this business was born.
What are the challenges so far?
For me, a lot are new. Looking for suppliers and a few delays that we need to address and cope with.
What do you love about Macau and being here?
Macau is a relaxing place. It’s chilled out here. There are pros and cons like—everyone knows everyone. I do like the fact that there is a central closeness with everyone. Everyone knows someone who knows someone.
Any other tips to people venturing on the side of creatives like vlogging?
Just do it! I get unlikes and negative comments as well but if there are more who like it I don’t let it get me down. Don’t focus on the negative stuff. If you have 900+ likes versus 5 unlikes then you’re on the right track. If it’s the other way around then you have to think twice about it (laughs). People who care about you sometimes get hurt too with negative comments about you but that’s the fact of life.
Who inspires you?
My childhood heroes are all sports stars. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian football player, and Michael Jordan. Kevin Hart is a really good comedian. I like fighters too, like boxers. It’s inspiring to learn about someone’s life who started from down to up.