Vance County TikToker goes viral

Jan. 20—HENDERSON — Some people call him "the Druski of Henderson"; getting reposted by mammoth sports platforms like Overtime and House of Highlights, Vance County junior and TikToker, Adreyan Burton, just gained 50,000 followers in the last three days.

The Instagram page Overtime has 10 million followers and two days ago reposted Burton's recent video in which he pretends to skip class, walking through the halls of Vance County, using the vending machine, and even running routes on the practice field. The video that was reposted by Overtime was stitched with Nieka Richard, who pretended to be the principal at Burton's school who saw the video on her 'For You Page.'

Richard, a content creator based in California, pretended to be the Vance County principal, making up fake names while scolding Adreyan for skipping class after he asked to go to the bathroom in the video.

"She was hilarious," said Burton, "I didn't know who she was."

Burton said he woke up to his friend showing him the edit on Overtime. Burton's original video, posted two months ago, now has 21.7 million views on Tik Tok.

"People thought I actually got suspended, and I was going along with it to make it seem more real," he said.

"I know the internet — it's not as real as people think it is — so I was just going with the joke, and it's been going up ever since," said Burton.

Most people, especially users in the comment section, are still not in on the joke. Burton himself commented "I got suspended," and everyone ate it up.

Burton was acting too, going throughout his regular school day and editing the video together to make it appear as if he was skipping class.

Burton said he started studying Instagram three months ago to learn how to amass a following and increase his reach on social media. Extroverted, energetic, and popular, connecting with people is his strong suit. But through hashtags, YouTube videos interviews, and the algorithm, Burton has been able to expand quickly in a short amount of time.

He also has a clothing brand called 'Lucrative Souls,' with another page dedicated to it. He hasn't posted anything on that account yet, and it already has over 1,700 followers. He says he will be dropping his first line of apparel soon. Burton believes his ability to create a social media following can be transferrable to other opportunities.

Before recently he was not thinking about going to college. Burton said he is not huge on schoolwork (most of his videos are of him not doing homework) but he is interested in going to a university for the college experience. A university setting could also be another way to bolster his platform.

With over 100,000 followers on TikTok, Burton's next step is one million. While some people may not want to be included in viral videos on their way to class, most of the students and faculty are supportive of Burton's craft. Burton said in his community it is important to work towards building something, while also increasing your name recognition.

"They are proud of me because they see I'm doing something instead of being in the streets," said Burton. "Henderson is not a bad place, but it's not somewhere you want to stay at. It's a small, little city."

Burton wishes to go to Atlanta to be closer to the fashion scene and continue to bolster his platform. In a time when many people want to gain a huge following and market an apparel line, it can be difficult to stand out in a diluted market.

"Staying consistent, being yourself, and ignoring the hate" are the words of advice that Burton has for anyone trying to gain traction online. Burton posts nearly every day and often makes up ideas on the fly, garnering millions and millions of views.

"It's insane," said Burton. "But I just try to be myself."