How Cameron Henderson Lit Up The Internet With His Character Starrkeisha And Constructed His Own Viral Lane
Henderson is featured as part of Blavity's video series "Life After Going Viral."
This video is part of Blavity's newest series "Life After Going Viral."
In 2016, Cameron Henderson turned his Starrkeisha character into a cheer squad and blessed the world with the ultimate petty anthem. It’s hard to think it used to be a throwaway idea stuck to a piece of equipment.
“I wrote it down on a sticky note, and I set it on top of the speaker,” Henderson told Blavity. “It was there for maybe a month.”
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Henderson remembered the note during a spark of creativity when he needed an idea. He ran to a costume store to find a cheerleading outfit — and the rest is history.
YouTube | Random Structure TV
When he released the video in March 2016, he had about 170,000 YouTube subscribers. After the video went viral, he ended up with one million views, and currently, he’s approaching two million subscribers.
Like many YouTube creators and performers, Henderson does a number of skits. However, he's also sure to incorporate his love of music into his work.
"I’ve always been a music lover,” he said. “I actually consider music as the undertone of everything that I do. Typically with all my videos, you see some sort of musical element.”
His music-driven sketches have included Christmas carolers, a church choir and he's even featured the same characters in a video that chronicled the evolution of Black dance crazes.
YouTube | Random Structure TV
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To keep his content fresh, Henderson incorporates facets of pop culture into his videos.
“I really just wanted to create something that I knew people would like, so I use a lot of current songs — a lot of chants that I remember,” Henderson said. “Maybe it’s a subconscious rewrite from when I was a child, but just what I know people are familiar with.”
Clearly, Henderson has more to offer than his raw knack for performance, as he’s also very strategic with his content.
“I think more than anything, when it comes to going viral, it’s all about the timing," he shared with Blavity. "I think the main thing I did correct was put the video up at the right time."
Life after going viral has been good for Henderson. He’s making good money and gets to do what he loves. Still, there are drawbacks. Being approached by overzealous admirers can be a lot for the admitted introvert.
“Some people are cool; they’re really chill. They’re like, 'Hey, I love your videos!' That’s the perfect type of interaction for me. Some people start screaming, and then it gives me anxiety,” Henderson said.
Still, his fans are a huge motivator, and Henderson feels honored when people say his content has helped them through hard times. He also enjoys the creative process.
“I feel like whatever brings me joy at that moment is what I’m going to be involved in,” he said. “Right now, I just love the process of creating and turning nothing or just an idea into an actual tangible thing that can change the way people are feeling.”
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