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Interview with Miss Manganese ASMR | by xtingles

13 min read

Jan 12, 2022

Sara AKA Miss Manganese ASMR is a British ASMRtist who is well known for her pink hair and chaotic approach to relaxation. Since starting her YouTube career in 2020, she’s become one of the go-to creators for the “fast & aggressive” ASMR sub-genre. Sara has built a loyal community of over 170k followers who find solace and peace of mind through her unique style of personal attention, visual triggers and soft-spoken tone.

Miss Manganese shared with us that one of the only states in which she is fully relaxed and at peace is being afloat in the sea. This was the inspiration for her first ever ASMR NFT “Siren’s Swimming Class”. In this interview, she talks about her journey as an artist, her thoughts on ASMR going mainstream, NFTs and more.

I’m good. Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to do this actually. I love talking about ASMR with people. I’ve done a few interviews and podcasts with some people who don’t know a lot about ASMR, understand ASMR, and I love seeing their minds change a bit and their understanding come into the light. And it’s really interesting to talk about it. For some people who don’t know much about it, and the science behind it, they just find it quite weird. And I love talking about and explaining it and bringing it into It’s well deserved light.

I’ll explain the physical feeling first. It’s like this rush of endorphins. And it’s so hard to explain it to people who have not felt it. It’s like getting a massage, but no one’s touching you. That euphoria that starts in the head and moves down the spine. And it’s really really relaxing. It can induce sleepiness. But a lot of the time people don’t even just use it for sleep, they use it for anxiety, or I’ve read as well, PTSD, trauma and loneliness. I think a lot of people don’t bring up the loneliness aspect. And I think the aspect of using ASMR for loneliness is very, very valid and normal and okay. For me, I’ve mainly used it for sleep. It’s helped me get to sleep for years. I’m kind of desensitized to it now, because I think if you use it so much, your body kind of gets used to it. And so I have to search far and wide to feel that euphoria again. But for me, I used to use it for years and years and years to go to sleep and it used to knock me out and it’s crazy how it works. It’s such a phenomenon to me. But I open up the video and about four or five minutes in I’m knocked out into a really deep sleep with my headphones in my ears and my phone in my hand. And it’s really special for me in that sense because no one no one likes insomnia, it can be a debilitating thing. And it’s helped me a lot in that respect.

Also I’ve heard that for people with sensory seeking brains like autism and ADHD, these very sensory heavy videos that are chaotic and unpredictable, can be really, really helpful. I know, because my thoughts, my brain, everything just goes really fast again and again. So I really enjoy these sensory heavy videos with a lot going on. And I get a lot of emails from people with ADHD or ADD, or these sorts of things, that say that this sort of chaotic style is so helpful for them. I love ASMR, it’s such a beautiful thing.

Because it works! Especially because it’s a physical feeling, it’s not all in my head, you can feel the effect it has on your body. And it seems so ironic that a sound or just even at the doctor, when the doctor told me to follow his finger, I find it so bizarre to me just watching something happen can cause such a physical feeling in my body. And I think it’s so beautiful.

Especially during the pandemic! Yes, I actually got a comment a few days ago, someone said they relied on ASMR so much during the pandemic to generate the brain chemicals that they were missing out from usual social interaction and connection, which kind of makes sense. And personal attention. You know, some people don’t even get tingles, and they watch ASMR just for that. Background noise. Just to feel like someone is there with you, especially during the pandemic, it’s just quite comforting. I don’t usually feel lonely, I think because I’m at university. And if anything, I feel too surrounded by too many people sometimes. I think that when I’m watching a video, and someone is staring into the camera, and just it sounds so creepy. But it feels like someone’s in the room with you. And it’s so comforting and quiet. It really does. And it doesn’t matter that it’s through your screen. If it physically makes you feel more comforted then why should we care if it’s through a screen or not?

Triggers would be what would cause the tingles. So “tingles” is a word used in the ASMR community to explain that tingling feeling that goes down your spine. And what would trigger a tingle is the trigger. There are so many out there, and there’s so many really niche ones as well. But I think the main ones are, for example, latex sounds, hair brushing sounds, tapping, page turning or typing on a keyboard. My favorite ones are latex gloves, but in the context of a doctor’s office, because that’s when I first discovered it. I was really, really, really young. And I would go and visit the doctor and even him just giving me personal attention, someone asking me questions, for example, you know, when you went to get glasses at the optometrist, and they said “is this better now? Is this better now? What does that say?” — And pointing at things and asking me to do things and then to follow their finger. It’s so crazy. Sends a rush of endorphins down my back. Triggers can be anything that causes you to feel that response. But it can be literally anything. I’ve had some custom video requests where some people get tingles from pulling something apart and putting it back together again. It’s very nice to have, you know, it can be literally anything but there are the more general and common ones like the sounds of a hairbrush.

As I got a bit older and life started to get a bit more complex and difficult, ASMR helped in a personal way. A few months ago I had a period where I had really bizarre crazy panic attacks and didn’t understand what was going on. And ASMR definitely aided in that. But that was the first time I’d ever used it for something other than sleep. Which I thought was really beautiful. And for the first time, I could finally see what the comments were about, you know? So I’ve only ever used it for sleep most of my life, until now. Towards the end, I started using it for my own anxiety issues, and it helped. I can’t explain how. That’s why I really can’t wait for more science to come out.

Chaotic ASMR definitely existed before me. Absolutely. But I think I got a bit frustrated because I was trying to find a specific style of ASMR that I knew would click with my brain. Because there’s a lot of ASMR I can’t watch, but there’s a really specific style, which is the way I do the videos now. It’s a really specific style that I wanted and just couldn’t find. There was never anything in my brain going “Okay, now I’m going to make ASMR”. But it was just during the first lockdown. I was really really bored and I was living with my sister in London. I can’t really pinpoint what happened but I just sat down and made a video. It’s still on my channel. It’s like a really bad fully vertical video. And I just uploaded it and I cannot for the life of me tell you what happened after that. The last year and a half has just been a blur. I remember doing a “cheers” at the dinner table when I got 100 subscribers with my family. And now I’m at 160,000. I don’t really understand what’s happening this past year. I just started because I just wanted to start making some chaotic ASMR that I just found really interesting. And then it worked out.

I understand the love or hate thing. That’s why it doesn’t offend me when people in the comments say “Oh, this is too fast”. I kindly tell them that fast ASMR is a genre of ASMR and not everyone likes it. For example, I can not, for the life of me, watch slow ASMR. It makes me anxious. And that’s why I think that what we are triggered by says a lot about how our minds work. Fast ASMR helps numb and dull the mind a bit when you are always thinking so much. It helps distract my mind.

I get it that some people don’t like the fast ASMR, but that just highlights how different we all are. And that’s beautiful in a way, I think, because if we enjoyed the same things and were built the same way it just wouldn’t be interesting.

It does create this sort of divide. Sometimes people try to compare both of them, that one’s better than the other. And for me, the comparison is so pointless. It’s so subjective. I get a lot of comments telling me to “slow down”, but this is a fast channel — I like fast ASMR and I don’t think I should have to change it. There’s so much out there for others to see.

I think it’s accidental, because think about it — for every video I upload I always look at the comments. Also I get e-mails and DMs saying “you helped me with this, you’ve helped me with that”… I feel very cringey saying I help people… But I’ve collected so much information and anecdotes about ASMR. It’s just helped to paint this massive picture. It’s all making more sense as I go along. It’s very interesting and it’s a journey for me as well, because I feel like I’ve lost my sensitization to it. Now I’m just focusing on it from a zoomed out perspective and how it affects other people. I’ve kind of given up for myself. So now I find how it affects other people interesting and just ASMR itself as a phenomenon.

If you think about it, ASMR is like a new dimension of work. If you listen to music and it resonates with you it creates that physical feeling, the goosebumps. That’s why I think ASMR is a really interesting platform to showcase your art, because it’s a new dimension of work that involves a physical feeling, physical enjoyment, a warming feeling. Everything is a bit more personal and connected. That’s why the NFT project is so interesting, because you’re bringing art into the world of ASMR. You can enjoy the art, the talent, the visual nature of it. Because now you can feel the art and it’s bringing in the physical sensation into what you’re trying to initially show and it makes everything more intense, but in a good way.

People undermine it! And there is something called synesthesia — the linking of two senses. Like, some musicians can see sounds as colors and stuff like that. And they say ASMR is synesthesia of touch and sound.

I do have a microphone, but I just struggled to use it. I do lo-fi ASMR. I can’t really make the intense, heavy sound ASMR. I haven’t got a studio, I’m always around something really loud. I’m just really not good with this sort of stuff at all. That’s the sort of stuff I’ve tried to make but it doesn’t resonate with me, which I hope I can try at some point. It just doesn’t work, I’m not gonna force myself. It just doesn’t feel right for me at the moment.

I don’t know if I should bring this up, but I’m not into very sexual ASMR, the NSFW stuff. I haven’t really fully explored everything I can do with ASMR, but I know for a fact that that’s something I wouldn’t be interested in going into.

Yes, and it doesn’t bother me. It’s as valid as anything else. We just spoke about how ASMR helps with loneliness. If some people want to view it in a sexual aspect that’s totally fine. We are all human.

You said that ASMR is blowing up a bit and I think what upsets me is that people see it as something lucrative — people who don’t even understand or watch ASMR, or are just thinking they will open up a Tik Tok account and tap on things and just make money, kind of exploiting ASMR. I don’t know, maybe I see it that way because I really really love and care about ASMR so much, and maybe I’m overreacting, I don’t know.

When I make a video there’s so much that runs through my head — where my arms are, where I’m looking, timing and a network of things in order to make every second good. For me, it’s such a complex and beautiful process. I think that some people might be exploiting it as it’s getting a bit more popular because they think it’s easy. But in my head, I never saw it as something easy.

Isn’t it? The ASMR community is one of the nicest communities I have ever, ever, ever been in. I get hate comments sometimes. A lot of people like to claim I’m on drugs and stuff all the time and I learned to laugh at these comments. They don’t affect me. But my point is that 99% of everyone that interacts with me is so so nice. And it blows my mind how this whole community can be so lovely, it’s beautiful.

Well, the thing is, I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer this question. I don’t like to organize myself or even think about what I’m doing next month, or where I’ll be. Even with my ASMR career, I’ve just juggled e-mails on the spot whilst travelling on trains. I’m still in university — who knows where I’ll be after that and if I’ll continue with another career path.

I hope the YouTube stays and keeps climbing and doesn’t fizzle out because I really enjoy doing that. But the thing is that you never know with YouTube. It’s not like there’s a contract and my job is secure. And next month the algorithm might not favor me and things might go down. So yeah, I don’t like to predict and I’m obviously just going to stay true to myself and see where it goes.

Because YouTube is hard to keep up for a very long time and I’m about to get much busier with university. I’m going to try my hardest. I want it to keep going. I’m just trying to keep it very realistic. So I love to just go with the flow, riding the wave and seeing what will happen.

Absolutely. This is another thing that strikes fear in me — you’ll see some channels with a million or 600,000 subscribers getting 20k views a video. You can rise, rise, rise, but what goes up must come down at some point, you can’t stay at the top forever. It gets very scary. You can hit that milestone, hit a million subscribers, but it doesn’t mean that you are now forever at the top, and forever get that revenue and stay up. You just never know what will happen with the algorithm.

I had heard about NFTs once before I was contacted by xtingles. It was just on Twitter, I’d seen some NFT art pieces being sold — not animation, just still art pieces. That’s the only time I’d ever heard of NFTs. I still don’t know a lot about them, which is why this is such an exciting journey for me. It’s so interesting and exciting because I’ve never really involved myself in this world of Tings.

Nothing specific, I’m just very grateful and glad to be on this journey. I’m so excited!

You can enjoy Sara’s first ASMR NFT “Siren’s Swimming Class” here.

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