Striking a Pose with Coverboys
by Kayla Marra
TikTok and YouTube sensation Coverboys are twin brothers EJ and AK from Houston, Texas. The brothers began posting covers of popular songs to their YouTube channel in 2015 and have only gone up from there!
In late 2019, the brothers posted a dancing video to their CoverboysOfficial TikTok account, which became amazingly popular. They then started posting covers on their TikTok, as well as their YouTube channel, and gained thousands of followers in a short period of time.
The twins just recently reached a million TikTok followers in just over a year! As well as the exciting news that EJ and AK and working on some new music to release, they will also be performing on VidCon’s Night of Awesomeness on Saturday, July 25th, hosted by the Merrell Twins!
We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with the boys about YouTube, TikTok, their inspirations, and much more via Zoom.
Hi! I’m Kayla with Pop Entertainment, it’s so nice to meet you!
Both: It’s nice to meet you, too!
Could you two introduce yourselves?
EJ: I’m EJ.
AK: I’m AK, and we’re Coverboys!
First and foremost, congratulations on reaching a million followers on TikTok in just over a year, that’s super exciting! How did you guys start doing TikTok, how did that come about?
EJ: Last summer we started TikTok. We did a dancing TikTok and it blew up, but we don’t dance so we couldn’t get that same engagement with our next videos. We weren’t into TikTok at the time, so we were like, “Well [what if] we post, and it goes viral?” We got 20K [followers] from the dance video and we started putting out singing videos and nothing was catching on [yet]. Then I spoke with my friend, who’s a singer on TikTok, and he gave me some advice as to what I should try and do. I took his advice and I was like, “Okay nobody on TikTok is making high-quality singing videos or covers. Let’s try that!” I brought my camera outside, found an angle, added a filter and all that, and it blew up.
AK: We were like, “Yeah let’s keep going!” After that, I started getting into the videos and we started making covers together. I think the biggest one that really propelled the account was the Rex Orange County one.
That came up on my For You page, that’s how I knew who you guys were! So, this Saturday you guys will be taking part in VidCon’s Night of Awesomeness. How have you both been preparing for the show? That’s super exciting!
AK: We just basically have been practicing the chords and everything for our song.
EJ: Even though I already know the chords. (Both laugh)
AK: We’ve definitely just been preparing vocally; you don’t want to mess up on any notes.
EJ: Yeah, that’s the biggest thing.
How did you guys get the opportunity to participate in this event?
EJ: Honestly, I don’t even know. We just need to thank TikTok!
AK: When we saw the email, we were just like “Oh my god, what is going on?” We’ve always wanted to be a part of VidCon.
EJ: [We wanted to take part] Since 2013, I think. We used to watch a bunch of YouTubers like FouseyTube, and those people. We were YouTubers at the time, so we would see them all go to VidCon and be like, “Yo, that’s crazy!” At the time, we made a promise to ourselves, we said, “We’re not going to VidCon unless we get invited.”
AK: (Laughs) Yeah!
EJ: This year we got invited and we were like, “Oh crap, it happened!” It came full circle.
This is your first VidCon?
That’s awesome! It kind of sucks that it’s not in-person, but it’s still awesome and it’s still VidCon! What are you looking forward to the most during the Night of Awesomeness?
AK: I think personally, seeing how the audience reacts to all the performances and all the acts.
EJ: I’m excited to see Avenue Beat. They had that cool “F 2020” song. I want to see that live!
AK: I can’t wait, actually. I’ve been telling all my friends.
EJ: I saw the promo and saw Avenue Beat and I was like, “Yo, what? That’s crazy.”
Personally, I’ve been spending way too much time on TikTok during quarantine. What have you two been doing to keep yourselves occupied?
AK: I’d say trying to write new music.
EJ: I play video games a lot.
AK: Oh yeah, he plays a lot of video games. (Laughs) We usually sit down at night to write songs and see what we can do. Basically, we’re just trying to write some new music to put out.
EJ: It’s hard during quarantine to find inspiration when you’re just held in one place. But I’m trying to get past that writer’s block and find something different.
Is there anything you’re looking forward to doing after quarantine?
EJ: Releasing more music.
AK: Releasing more music, traveling, seeing my friends more often.
EJ: I want to go thrifting!
AK: We want to go buy some clothes!
EJ: I feel like freedom is something that everybody wants.
AK: Traveling is the biggest thing. I would love to be in a different place right now.
Like I said, I’ve been on TikTok way too much during quarantine and I’ve seen your videos on my For You page a bunch. What really made you guys want to start making TikToks? Was it just that the one blew up and your friend pushed you to do it?
AK: To be honest, I think we were trying a lot of social media apps I would say, and we tried Musical.ly in the beginning. If we go back to Musical.ly before TikTok became a thing…
So, way back!
AK: (Laughs) Yeah, way back! We were doing everything normal Musers would do. We jumped from app to app, to YouNow, all these different apps also YouTube. But nothing really caught on. None of them had an algorithm like TikTok that would give you a bigger platform and a bigger audience. Whenever we figured out that TikTok is creating people and giving them an audience, we said that we were going to jump on and see what happens.
EJ: Yeah. We’ve been on a bunch of apps, some that aren’t even running now. We’ve been trying some different social media platforms. We didn’t know which one could blow up, which one could take us to that level. With TikTok, we weren’t expecting this. I just posted a video and it did good.
AK: This had way more views than YouTube!
EJ: We started again, and everything really blew up after 100K [followers]. The whole account just blew up.
AK: It just kept going from there. We made a list of songs that everybody wanted us to cover.
Have you always been into music?
AK: Yes, since a young age.
EJ: We used to, and still do, sing in church. Our dad had his own church and we would be the worship leaders.
AK: We would drum on plastic toys and make a band by ourselves. This was the Jonas Brothers era! We wanted to be just like them.
EJ: Then we started bringing it to YouTube, and then we just kept going.
What artists do you look up to for inspiration?
AK: Bazzi and Rex Orange County. Right now, I’m inspired by ROLE MODEL, he’s great. Also, Remi Wolf, she’s a great artist.
EJ: We watched Khalid before “Location” blew up and we were like, “This is crazy.” Then after Kylie Jenner posted the song, he took off.
EJ: Watching that inspired us to do something like that. That’s where we’re at right now.
Who usually chooses the songs for your videos? Do you alternate or does one person do more choosing than the other?
EJ: It depends on if a song is more relevant. We have a lot of different kinds of fans in our fanbase, like there’s One Direction fans and PrettyMuch fans. We get all these comments like, “Do this song by One Direction!” I think today we’re doing a One Direction song for the 10-year anniversary. We take advantage of those trends.
AK: We have a list and we’ll sit down like, “Alright, let’s choose between these five songs.” I don’t think either of us chooses over somebody, it’s mutual.
EJ: We come to an agreement and pick from there.
Out of all the covers you’ve done, do either of you have a favorite one?
EJ: I think mine would be “Chicago Freestyle” by Giveon and Drake. People really liked that one!
AK: I think mine would probably be “Best Song Ever” because I remember filming it and the takes that we did, we had to show more energy. I feel like that energy switch helped the video a lot.
EJ: Actually, I retract my statement, I think “Lovebug” by the Jonas Brothers is my favorite. That was the first one that blew up, in the 100K views type-sense. And then we did it again with both of us and it really went viral. It’s nostalgic for me.
You both have very distinct and artistic styles. Who do you draw fashion inspiration from?
Both: This guy Wisdom on TikTok!
EJ: I wish I could be on his level! His fashion is crazy! We look skater-ish, but we don’t skate. (Laughs)
AK: We have a skater look but we don’t skate at all.
EJ: I wanted to learn how to skate, but I don’t know if I have the time.
AK: I feel like there’s an artist that we’re missing.
I’m sensing Tyler the Creator vibes on the low, and some Frank Ocean.
EJ: (to AK) You forgot Tyler the Creator!
AK: Yes! Definitely Tyler the Creator.
Especially during the current social climate, we live in, I feel like this is important to talk about. You’ve both been very vocal about the current social justice movement going on, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. Through your Linktree in the Coverboys Instagram, you’ve provided places to donate, information about protests, and ways to be more educated. What do you think we as a country and a society can do to better ourselves and make a positive impact on the world?
AK: I think it comes down to just education and just learning about it. I feel like there are a lot of people that don’t know about it. If people don’t know about it and aren’t educated on the subject, then they can’t really go anywhere from there.
EJ: I’ve had a bunch of experiences with people, and because they haven’t lived through it, they don’t know anything of it, and it doesn’t exist. [We need to start] Taking away that mindset and having them learn, seeing other people’s viewpoints, and walking in their shoes for a bit will create a better society. I feel like that’s the one key. People just don’t know.
AK: You can’t have any reform if you don’t know what’s going on.
EJ: Exactly, if you’re not knowledgeable.
Yeah definitely I feel like keeping the conversation going to educate people, that’s the best you can do. Especially like this with technology and all these places to educate yourself. So definitely education and keeping the conversation going. Lastly, do you have any messages for your fans and followers?
AK: We love you guys! I think we’ve been slacking on the YouTube side.
EJ: We have videos coming, we have a lot of stuff to do. The One Direction cover is coming today! Other than that, thank you guys for 1 Million!
AK: We’ve already said thank you multiple times but we can’t stress that enough.
EJ: And watch us at VidCon!
Be sure to check out the Coverboys’ performance and many more at VidCon’s Night of Awesomeness on Saturday, June 25th!
Copyright ©2020 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 23, 2020.
Photo ©2020. Courtesy of VidCon. All rights reserved.