With over 1 million followers, Nicholas Philmon is the newest gift of TikTok. Nicholas isn’t afraid to express himself whether that be through music, fashion, makeup and TikToks. With only an iPhone and his passion, Nicholas manages to write, record, mix, produce, distribute and upload his music, blessing our ears. And let’s be real, while he only exclusively shops at Goodwill, he sure looks great in a dress.
Originally what was deemed to be a second account, Nicholas started posting his random thoughts. Fast forward to September 2020, the account went from 97K to 800K followers. Now, Nicholas has over 1 million followers and over 50 million likes. Prior to Nicholas, the 2x speed videos barely came to fruition but has now become a popular trend amongst creators thanks to him.
There was no one viral video.
My videos went from getting 100k likes to 200k likes to eventually, 300k likes. Then, I posted the Cinderella one and that was the first one to get over a 1 million likes I think. The first video that went really ‘viral’ was the first one I made in 2x mode, it got about 700k likes. After that, every video I made in 2x mode did really well. It felt crazy.
Everything has happened so fast that he doesn’t feel famous.
I haven’t comprehended anything. I still feel like a no one. There are TikTokkers that have been reaching out, following me back and DM’ing me like “OMG you’re so funny”. And in my mind, they’re the funny person to me.
At school, there’ve been a lot of girls that haven’t talked to me since 8th grade start telling me they love me. And I’ll be like… Okay. Some of the teachers and coaches, even ones I don’t have as teachers, have asked me “aren’t you TikTok famous now?” and I always say “no” because in my mind I’m not. They even know how many followers I have and it’s so confusing to me.
He loves his following.
My favourite thing about TikTok, and it’s different for everyone, but I love my following. I like how fresh everyone is. I can post anything and they’ll enjoy it. It doesn’t matter what I post and I know they’ll enjoy it. A lot of people go viral for reasons that aren’t them or when they’re in front of a tweet and the video goes viral. I’m glad that didn’t happen to me. They’re following me because of me and that’s my favourite thing about my TikTok. But in general, I love the age range. Some apps are more tailored for specific ages but TikTok has such a variety.
Relatable experiences inspire him the most.
I have no idea how I’m so “funny”. To me, the only thing I’ve made that’s made me laugh is Harry Potter one. That video sent me. It obviously wasn’t supposed to happen. My ideas stem from things that actually happen to me, so for the hair in my mouth one, there was actually a hair in my mouth. I thought it was relatable but no one ever talks about it because it’s not funny. When anything relatable happens to me whether it’s funny or not, I do the most I can to make it funny. Sometimes I come up with a sketch idea and I’ll just do it so many times that it’ll turn into something else, that’s usually what happens.
For example, a lot of the teacher videos are like that. I had the idea of me falling asleep in class but then it turned into how cold it was in class. It was originally I’m sleeping but then I wake up because it’s so cold. With the Cinderella one, I have no idea how I came up with that.
This is his current favourite clothing item.
His love for drag queen goes beyond makeup and wigs.
I love drag queens, I’ve watched every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race multiple times. I love all the winners and people there. I’m not a long-time fan, I only started watching in April but I’m a big fan.
All of his heels, dresses, and entire wardrobe is from Goodwill.
I get everything from Goodwill. Literally everything. It’s the only place. If I went to the mall and saw something for $20, even if it was Gucci, I don’t care how nice it is. I’m not going to pay $20 for a shirt when I can get it at Goodwill for $5. I get everything from Goodwill.
My inspiration comes from whatever I see and what I can do with it. In my brain, it’s all about the silhouette of my body. I try to make the most of what I get. I’ve seen some negative comments about wearing a dress, it was a slur, I’m sure you can guess which one but there are so many positive comments that I don’t pay attention to the hate.
Music is the dream end goal.
I’ve been making music since 2018, I never posted any of it but I’d make it for myself. Whenever my older account of mine on TikTok, I’d release a song. I came out with Out Of It and Ride On. Then everything blew up and then I released Treating Me Right.
Everything is self-produced, mixed, written, recorded by Nicholas.
I kind of just learned the features on all the apps – Garage Band especially. Everything is made on my phone, I don’t have a computer. I have a keyboard where I’ll write my songs. The writing process is weird though, kind of like my TikToks. I come up with a beat, some chords and then I’ll just sing my thoughts. At first they won’t make any sense at all but when I listen to them back I think, oh it actually means this.
When I listen to Treating Me Right, I have no idea how it happened, I don’t think I could do it again. For the music video, I just made it with my phone and edited myself. I put my music over it and then I posted it. That song actually took 4 months to make because every time I was done I thought it sounded horrible. I’d think the bass needed to be different, I’d add something new or alter how I sound. It took ages to perfect. But the song that I just made that will come out soon took 3 days to make and it’s perfect.
Lyrics just come to him.
The first song I wrote was on a ukulele, I was 14 years old and that was kind of how I started. For all of my songs, I basically write about things that have happened to me. I’ve written enough songs to fill two albums. But they’re never coming out because they’re bad but they’re there.
With Ride On specifically, that was inspired by, well taken from, the Sound Of Music. There’s a song that ends in “To ride on” and I thought it was ride on like my song but it’s actually “write on”. Then I was like oh, but ride on is cool. So that’s how that one happened.
His music is an ode to Mac Miller.
All I think of is Mac Miller. His music is so good. I love him so much, he’s everything. If you listen to Treating Me Right closely, it’s Self Care. His song goes like:
And mine goes:
“I went back in time, but you’re still on my mind”. I changed it obviously but I drew heaps of inspiration from him. That whole song is based off of Self Care. The next song is also inspired by Mac Miller.
Marching band ignited his music career.
I’ve been in marching band since I was in 6th grade. I play the trumpet. It’s so hard, it’s a lot of work. I also used to do musical theatre since I was 6 years old and I love shows, I love performing. I quit this year though but I did it for 11 years.
Big things are coming
I’m in the process of trying to make merch, it’d be off the Hair in my mouth TikTok. It’d be in a vintage style with a tongue and a finger pulling the hair off. I also want to go to Playlist Live. Oh, I also have a new song coming out soon.
Interviewed by Anna Lowe