Freshman finds fame through TikTok
Freshman Liam Silk goes by @willyum420 on TikTok, an app where he has thousands of followers
March 7, 2019
Filed under Profiles
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Vine, YouTube, Instagram. The number of apps that can make a person go viral is long and growing by the day. For people like Liam Silk (’22), social media has been a way to share fun content with friends and gain thousands of followers. Silk goes by the username @willyum420 on TikTok (previously known as Musical.ly), an app reminiscent of Vine where users can lip sync and post videos. Silk currently has over 75 thousand followers and over one million combined likes on his videos, both of which are increasing rapidly.
Silk began posting videos about a month ago and has already become a rising star, with his most popular video, a clip of him lip syncing to a video by popular YouTuber Brandon Rogers, having over 200k likes. Despite his newfound fame, Silk only downloaded the app to laugh with his friends, not expecting his account to get as big as it has now.
“It actually started between my friends as a joke, because everyone was making fun of it [TikTok], but then I actually took it seriously,” Silk said.
Silk takes most of his inspiration for his videos from his friends and inside jokes, incorporating them into videos that easily reach over one thousand likes. Among these videos, Silk’s favorite is his first one, a recreation of the “Pretty Boy Swag” trend that swept Tiktok a few weeks ago. In the trend, users show a video of their face, then cut to a lookalike (this could be a celebrity, cartoon character, or even an inanimate object) with Soulja Boy’s “Pretty Boy Swag” playing in the background. Silk’s version compares him to the cartoon character Ben Ten, complete with the caption, “#basicwhiteboy”.
“[It’s my favorite because] my friends really liked it… and of course it’s not the popular one, but because it’s my first video and it shows how I grew from there,” Silk said.
However, Silk doesn’t let his TikTok success distract him from school and other activities. He tends to make videos whenever he has free time.
“It really just depends on my schedule with school,” Silk said. “I prioritize school first, but when I have free time or if I want to procrastinate, then I just do TikTok.”
As for his classmates, they are no stranger to his account. Silk describes people at school talking to him about the account “all the time.” Even outside of the app, he’s seen a change in how people perceive him.
“[People] talk to me more cautiously, I would say, they think about their words more,” Silk said.
Silk isn’t the first teenager to go viral on TikTok. Since the app’s release, it’s been making people recognizable left and right. But according to Silk, making a TikTok isn’t as hard as you’d think. For him, making one takes little preparation besides coming up with the idea, turning the camera on and just being himself.
“If you want to make videos as well, just be yourself, I didn’t plan on being this big of a person on this app,” Silk said. “It was only supposed to be between my friends and me, I mean I love it and I appreciate it, everyone’s giving me support, if you want to make TikToks, just go for it, don’t worry about any judgement.”
Anna Woodward is a sophomore and staff writer. When she's not writing stories, she enjoys listening to music, playing the piano and watching movies.