Preeti Nair might not look like your average social media star, but the 24-year-old has captured the Internet’s attention for her razor-sharp wit and larger-than-life personality. Better known by her online moniker Preetipls, the local Internet personality’s claim to fame are her parody and funny rap videos, in which she skewers everything from Chinese New Year to marriage proposal videos.

The Ngee Ann Poly mass comm grad first found overnight fame in 2016 with her video spoofing influencer Saffron Sharpe’s ‘fashion police’ vids. These days, when the full-time content creator’s not busy making localicious YouTube videos that pack a funny punch, she’s part-timing as a 987FM deejay hosting the Hot 20 Countdown on weeknights.

Preeti is currently taking a temporary break from the airwaves to flex her comedic chops in the fourth edition of Dream Academy’s live stand-up comedy show Happy Ever Laughter, which sees 12 of Singapore’s best comedians battling to out-funny one another. Preetipls will be up against Kumar in the 120-min-show, which has comedy veterans facing off with newcomers.

“Since they put me up against Kumar, everyone already expects me to fail,” jokes Preeti. “So if I go on stage and do well, people will think that I’m actually not bad. So it works in my favour.” Other notable names in the show include Irene Ang, Selena Tan, Koh Chieng Mun, Suhaimi Yusof, Alaric Tay and Fakkah Fuzz

8 DAYS: How did you come up with the moniker Preetipls? 
My mum was always saying, “Preeti, please do this” or “Preeti, please do that” when she was yelling at me to get stuff done. I was like, “Does she even realise she’s saying ‘Pretty please’?” It was a genius light-bulb moment. I was like, “Why didn’t I think of this earlier? This name is perfect!” (Laughs)

You started off making hilarious comedy videos online and now you’ll be taking part in your first live stand-up comedy show Happy Ever Laughter. How did you come to realise you could be funny for a living? 
Honestly, it happened by accident. I was always cracking jokes and doing funny things around my friends. But making comedy videos was never something that I thought of doing. But after my first parody video [went viral], I thought, “Wow! I can actually [turn this into a career]!” The character that I created on the spot just for that parody video worked out. So I started to build on it and came up with a full-fledged character — Preetipls who’s “Singapore’s Top Everything”. 

How has your life changed since you found online fame? 
I’ve become way more confident. Previously, I never thought that I’d even be in front of the camera and [making comedy videos]. And the fact that I’m able to go up on stage and do stand-up comedy — that’s insane. Two years ago, I’d never have believed you if you had told me that I’d be doing what I’m doing now. So it has definitely boosted my self-esteem. But obviously, there’s a lot of negativity that also comes along with it, so it’s definitely made me a stronger person. 

How do you respond to haters? 
I usually “like” their comments. (Laughs) I don’t ever bother replying. Sometimes, other people would reply and argue [on my behalf]. So there’s no need for me to say anything ’cos my supporters are standing up for me. [The hateful comments] are usually about my physical appearance. It used to affect me a lot. I used to not be able to wear sleeveless clothes. But one day, I just decided to no longer care what people said, and to dress however I want and do whatever I want. 

What’s the most common misconception people have of you? 
I think people need to get that Preetipls is a character that I portray who is a very exaggerated version of myself. So I’m not like a very snarky and very mean person. I’ve gotten comments from people telling me that they’re so afraid to come say ‘hi’ or that they are scared that I’m a b****. (Laughs)

Despite you sometimes putting across things in a snarky way in your online videos, they serve as some sort of social commentary. 
When I touch on controversial issues, I just want to get people talking about them ’cos a lot of times, we have a lot of opinions about things, but no one talks about them. So the purpose of my videos are really to get people talking about all these hard issues, but not necessarily having to agree with me.

When it comes to telling jokes, what is off-limits for you? 
Nothing is off-limits until I have to sign an MDA [content] regulation [form]. (Laughs) 

Happy Ever Laughter runs till July 29 at the Capitol Theatre. Tix from Sistic. Tune in to the Hot 20 Countdown with Charmian and Preetipls on 987FM, on weekdays, 8pm-12am.

Scroll through the online gallery to see Pretti’s Top 3 favourite videos on her YouTube channel.