- Written by Rosemary J. De Souza Rosemary J. De Souza
- Published: 02 February 2017 02 February 2017
Yuwen and Weiwen Choo were inspired to create their own YouTube channel, Yuuwii & Weiwen after their brother pursued YouTube to showcase his singing videos. Now, seven years after their first cover was released, the Calgary twins now have thousands of subscribers, more than half a million hits online, an original song and are looking to continue building their singing careers.
“That’s probably the earliest kind of recording of us together and singing,” Weiwen said. Yuwen and Weiwen's love of performing music began early on. When the twins were three years old, their grandparents videotaped them in their family home, as they sang to one of their favourite childhood songs.
“They would always be singing the theme song from Titanic, My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion,” their brother, Jian, said. “From there, I could tell that they really love music.”
“It is something we have always wanted to do our whole lives, there are some things you just can’t change in a person.” –Yuwen Choo
Jian started his own YouTube channel, jjanc, eight years ago, posting videos of himself singing as a hobby. “I had like, probably, one or two videos,” the 25-year-old said, noting that his sisters inspired him to pursue YouTube even further.
The twins released their first video three days after their brother posted his second video to his channel.
“I don’t know if we were trying to take inspiration from that or we just decided to do it one day on our own,” Weiwen said. “We may have felt more comfortable doing it because he had already done it before.”
In 2009, extra comfort with YouTube resulted in them uploading their first cover, Faded, by the Veronicas, a pop duo who just like Yuwen and Weiwen, are twins.
“We just really loved the Veronicas when we were younger,” Yuwen said. “We were very inspired by them.”
In their first published video, the young twins are singing to a karaoke track on a computer in their parent’s home office, rather than the usual behind-the-mic, piano-playing or music videography that the twins pull off today.
“We love music so much that we felt like, one day, we can try sharing it with people and see how they’d react to it,” Weiwen said about deciding to post the video. “We didn’t really have anywhere else to perform,” she said. “YouTube was the only place.”
Today, the twins post cover after cover, uploading video game streams and even doing Q&A videos for their fans.
“We did a lot of requests back in the day, but now it’s more of what we think we can make sound different and good,” Yuwen said. “We are not going to take a bunch of requests if we don’t think we can do it justice.”
“We try our best to make the songs our own,” she continued.
But the twins aren’t just concerned about giving each song an original take.
“We are perfectionists and we have to have every little thing sound [... ]as good as we can get it,” Yuwen said.
The efforts do pay off. These YouTubers have received more than half a million hits for songs by popular artists like Meghan Trainor, Paramore and John Legend.
A new direction
Last summer the twins took a step in a new direction releasing their first original single, Seasons, a song they worked with Guatemalan DJ, Alan Crown.
“Their harmonizing is just outstanding,” said Edmonton native, Trinni Dang, an avid subscriber of the twins since she discovered them back in 2013. “They put more personality into their music and hat stands out the most to me is the softness of the beat and how powerful they emit their voices throughout the song.”
Constant support from friends and family has always been a part of their YouTube career. The twins have continued to be committed to their fans and their ambitions. Yuwen said that their parents would show their videos to relatives, even sending videos to family friends. “They were always very proud of us, ” she said.
Yuwen and Weiwen are now fourth-year sociology students at the University of Calgary, but nearing the end of their degrees has presented difficulties for the twins.
“Now that we are in that point in our lives where we have to make a decision of what we want to do, and what we want to pursue,” Weiwen said, adding their parents want the pair to keep music as a hobby even though Weiwen explains it isn’t possible.
“When we first started performing live, that really made us realize how badly we wanted to do it for the rest of our lives,” Yuwen said.
The twins try to focus on singing during their spare time, but their parents have reminded them to focus on other activities, like school work, encouraging them to pursue law school.
“Eventually we decided that it would be in our best interest to just try it for them,” Weiwen said, speaking about the LSAT exams they took last summer. Nevertheless, the twins never lost sight of their ambition to become singers.
“It is something we have always wanted to do our whole lives,” Yuwen said. “There are some things you just can’t change in a person.”
As for right now, the twins are working on releasing several different covers, leaving their recently released single, Seasons, as the only original song in their channel.
“We want to make our original songs the best they can be, so we don’t want to rush,” Yuwen said. “I think once we are able to put all our time into music, which is after we graduate, then that will be when we will release our original music.”
“You can’t judge your success on someone else’s success or failure.” – Weiwen Choo
As for the struggles with continuing this career, the twins don’t hesitate to say that they are focused on what they love to do and that nothing can stop them.
“I think the most important thing is to just try,” she continued. “Even if you fail, it’s just a great feeling to know that you put everything that you had into trying to achieve this goal.”
“I really believe that hard work, dedication, and drive can get you places,” she ended.