Jalaiah Harmon on TikTok, Renegade and Michelle Obama


For Selection’s Energy of Younger Hollywood concern, we interviewed TikTok stars about their lives in quarantine.

At 14, Jalaiah Harmon created essentially the most viral dance the web had ever seen. The one downside? No one knew she made it. After a profile in The New York Occasions, she lastly obtained the credit score she deserved.  In an interview with Selection, Harmon (and her mother, Stefanie Harmon) talk about how her life has modified and what she’s planning on doing subsequent.

What occurred with Renegade?

Jalaiah: I made the dance at some point and I requested this lady if she wished to do it with me as a collab. Then I despatched her my video and she recreated the video, however I discovered the track off of someone else’s web page. So after that, we each posted the video, made the caption. We posted it on Instagram and nowhere else–not TikTok, Dubsmash. It didn’t go viral after that. Then, I began seeing the dance on TikTok and I simply noticed individuals doing it with out giving me any credit score. I attempted to remark underneath individuals’s posts saying it was me, however no person would consider me as a result of I wasn’t actually that well-known on TikTok. When Charli [D’Amelio] and everyone else began doing it, it grew to become extra viral and individuals began to know what the dance was, however they didn’t know who created it. Then the worldwide head of content material at Dubsmash reached out to me and requested me if I created the dance and I mentioned sure. She mentioned she had a journalist write an article about me and in regards to the credit score that I wanted for the dance. Then Taylor [Lorenz] got here to my home and she interviewed me for The New York Times. Then article got here out and that’s how everyone began to know who made the dance.

Her Mother: They introduced validity to her declare. When she’s like, “Mother, someone from The New York Occasions needs to speak to me, I’m like,  ‘What? How are you aware that is legit?’” And I mentioned, “Yeah, you can provide her my quantity.”

How did you provide you with the dance?

Jalaiah: I’m formally skilled so I simply discovered a track and I created strikes to go along with the beats and the phrases. I used to make dances on a regular basis. I nonetheless do. So it was simply regular for me. It was simply one other dance that I had created at some point. However I didn’t comprehend it was going to go viral.

How did you navigate the onslaught of publicity after your profile in The New York Occasions?

Jalaiah: I wasn’t actually prepared for it, however I needed to get used to it. I used to be nonetheless studying as a result of I didn’t think about myself well-known, however all of the alternatives began coming to me. Individuals are recognizing me in public, even with the masks.

How did you clarify every thing going on to your mother?

Jalaiah: I informed my mother that I created the dance after we have been on trip and lots of people have been doing it and it was going viral, however no person knew it was me. She was identical to, “Make one other dance.” And I used to be like, “It’s not straightforward.” I don’t know if that one would go viral.

How did your pals react to Renegade?

Jalaiah: They have been excited for me. They have been blissful that I obtained my credit score. They have been very supportive of me. However earlier than that, they did attempt to get the phrase out by commenting on different individuals’s posts and ensuring that they knew who it was. It wouldn’t work, however they tried.

Earlier than all of this, what did you need to be once you grew up?

Jalaiah: I wished to be an expert dancer and now extra alternatives are developing for me. I get to bounce at Dance 411 now.

Her Mother: Dance 411 is a very fashionable dance studio right here in Atlanta. Lots of people, even celebrities, come to the studio to get choreography finished. She began following dancers who went there and mentioned, “I need to go there.” I used to be like, initially, after we get off of labor and faculty at 5 o’clock, I’m not driving all the best way into the town. It was only a mother being a mother. Now I can’t see her not going there. In order that was like one dream fulfilled that we may test off on account of this.

When you may collaborate with anybody, who would it not be?

Jalaiah: Once I develop up, I do need to be an expert choreographer and personal my very own studio ultimately. I believe I want to collab with Missy Elliott, like in one in all her music movies.

What would you do if TikTok was banned?

Jalaiah: I’d be type of disillusioned as a result of I do have extra followers on that than I do on my Instagram. I assume I may inform individuals to comply with my Instagram. I do know different individuals would in all probability be disillusioned if TikTok will get banned as a result of, you realize, that’s what they do.

Her Mother: I imply, apparently it’s so much simpler to achieve followers on TikTok than Instagram. You bought to struggle for it on Instagram. You actually obtained to curate a web page.

Jalaiah: Instagram is extra skilled to me. TikTok, you are able to do no matter you need.

Who’s your greatest celeb fan?

Jalaiah: Michelle Obama. She tweeted the NBA All-Stars video.

Her Mother: Her staff additionally reached out perhaps a pair months after for her guide tour for Jalaiah to be a part of that promo marketing campaign. We’re simply ready patiently to see if she needs to hang around with the fam.



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