TikTok has boomed in popularity because of its exciting video-making options, filters, and recorded music and voices. With the advent of TikTok, even people with no background in the entertainment industry have started gaining popularity with their impressive videos. This gave birth to TikTok influencers who have earned millions through their viral videos.
Keith Dorsey saw a gap in this emerging industry that needs to be filled. He notices that black people are struggling to immerse themselves in this market while white people are gaining more popularity. To help BIPOC creators, he created Collab Crew by bringing together highly talented TikTok creators.
What is Collab Crew?
One of the most popular social apps in the world, TikTok, has given rise to a completely different entertainment industry. It’s an industry where workers capitalize on viral videos. Note that these videos have now set trends in different industries like fashion. Now that young people can make huge amounts of money on viral videos, they’re cashing in on this facility.
Marcus Bolton, Theodore Wisseh, Khamyra Sykes, Oneil Rowe, Noah Webster, Cameron Lee, Kaelyn Castle, Tray Bills, Kaychelle Dabney, and Robert Dean III are among the most popular black influencers on TikTok and are now known as Collab Crew. These influencers had the idea to come up with a content-creating studio to help black folks and people of color excel in this emerging industry. They were inspired by the famous reality-based show on Netflix, “Hype House,” which shows the life of different content creators. The show allows the followers of famous influencers to see how they live and what steps they follow to create content. Since many people want to become popular and rely on TikTok as a primary source of income, the show is becoming one of the most popular ones on Netflix. However, the show has its dark sides as well, because there’s no filter, so viewers see a different side to influencers, including how they talk to others behind the camera.
The Collab Crew has redefined the idea of Netflix shows and come up with a functional, efficient, and amazing studio in a mansion. Like the Netflix show, the Collab Crew soon became famous among influencers and people around the globe. The primary reason for gaining tremendous popularity in just a few days is that the members collectively have 30 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Overview of Collab Crew Mansion
A Collab Crew is a collaboration of TikTok influencers aged 8 to 30 to develop a space where digital creators can come up with content. This studio is designed in a gray mansion in a quiet suburb of Atlanta. The members of the Collab Crew used to live in a mansion together and use the space to create individual and collaborative content to entertain their viewers. You used to find a Mercedes and Tesla parked in the driveway as well as a fantastic landscape outside the mansion. The most appealing part of this 8,500 sq foot mansion was the welcome mat that says “Black Excellence Lives Here.”
Furthermore, the studio gets funding from Snap’s 523 programs and Monster Energy, which offer to fund small emerging businesses and companies belonging to underrepresented groups in the country. Besides that, the Collab Crew also gets sponsorship deals that help them pay house bills and monthly rent. Due to having millions of followership, companies like Amazon Prime Video have signed a contract with Collab Crew to create advertising content for them. This means that Collab Crew will be able to make money in the future easily.
When it comes to the individual members, they have separate partnerships with different companies such as shoe brands and skin care products that help them create viral content and support their lifestyle. The support and sponsorship help the creators to create their own music videos and other creative content. Collab Crew’s members also recreate short skits on lifestyle issues and trending news, such as choreographing dance challenges and breakups.
Founder and CEO of Collab Crew
Though the heart of Collab Crew is its young and passionate influencers, this studio is founded by Keith Dorsey. Dorsey is the first individual to assemble a completely black collaborative studio and the largest black social media talent agency in the US, where influencers can create their content and learn from each other.
Dorsey might be the founder of the Collab Crew, but he allows the members to do their own thing. He doesn’t restrict influencers from following a particular path and tries to avoid making any suggestions for the content. However, Dorsey gets a percentage of Collab Crew’s deals, which is unknown to everyone.
The primary reason for supporting a studio of black influencers is that Dorsey believes that brown and black influencers earn much less than white influencers due to not getting the support and funding similar to their counterparts. He also says that many highly passionate and creative black-content producers don’t get the credit for their original content. For instance, Collab Crew member Oneil Rowe created a song named “Snappin.” According to TikTok, this song has been used in up to 32,000 videos on TikTok. Unfortunately, celebrities and creators haven’t given credit to the TikToker while using the song.
Dorsey believes that with the creation of the Collab Crew, black people’s talent and abilities will gain exposure and the audience will start supporting them. People will start to respect and support black influencers as much as their white counterparts.
Influencers Can Join Collab Studio ATL
Collab Crew initially had ten members who live in the mansion and test their content-creating abilities. However, people who want to join Collab Studio ATL can contact Collab Crew. This will give you an opportunity to create viral content in one of the most popular mansions in the US. The studio is designed to help creators with fewer resources to make TikTok their career path.
If you want to join the studio, you want to pay fees and complete an application process. But the Collab Crew members are hoping to reduce the charges in the future to help more black content creators. The application process, on the other hand, is easy and simple. This application helps to understand the abilities and needs of the creator or entrepreneur. It also helps understand what services you want to gain from the studio, whether you want to improve marketing, use of studio space, or need to use it to connect with potential brand partners.
One day of access to the workspace will cost you around $25. To work in a studio, you can expect to pay around $150 to $250 for an hour. There is also monthly membership that has fees between $85 and $250 based on how many days you will work in the mansion.
The collab members are hoping to create a sound stage and music studio in the mansion. Also, the group has taken inspiration from PROPEL Center, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, and Gathering Spot. Therefore, Collab Crew has aimed to incorporate different elements in the studio similar to the aforementioned companies and create a space that acts as a supportive platform for the black community.
How do Crew Members Create Content?
Through Crew members have the freedom to create whatever content they like, the group also attends regular meetings on Sundays to discuss new techniques and pop culture trends so that they can create better content. These regular meetings help content creators to plan for the coming week and create viral content. Each member discusses a unique concept for videos to get feedback from others. This open discussion helps influencers improve their content and gain more shares, likes, and followers.
Each creator makes videos for both the group and individual accounts on Mondays and Wednesdays. The best part is that they use simple phones to create quality content, proving that others can also become famous without investing in expensive digital cameras. To work with other creators and keep up with the social trends, the members participate in the weekly “Collab Thursday,” which is organized in different venues around Atlanta. On the remaining days, the collaborators work on their videos and engage with their followers.
The Collab Crew’s members are hoping to gain enough popularity and attention to break into the movie, TV, and music industry. They want to become pop stars, dancers, rappers, and comedians. Few of them also want to launch brands and start their own product line. But for now, members are entirely focusing on making this collaboration work.
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