It’s only been two days, but Provo resident Keith Allen’s latest YouTube video has already collected 66,000 views, a number that’s growing by the hour.
The popularity could be due to the great lyrics, or the fantastic videography. It could also be from the spot-on costuming or the smooth dance moves. I’d chalk it up to the awesome vocals and high quality, but really, it’s probably because Keith Allen struck genius when he came up with the concept for “Talk Nerdy to Me.”
A parody of the popular Jason Derulo song “Talk Dirty,” Allen’s “Talk Nerdy to Me” gives ample credit to every aspect of nerddom, making absolutely sure there’s something even the least of nerds could relate to. From “Star Wars” references to comic books, “Twilight” to role-playing and video games, Allen’s song spans the genres.
“I really wrote it to try to get to the full spectrum of nerds,” he said. “There’s stuff that’s diehard, that only several nerds will get but not everyone. Then there’s others like 'Star Wars' and 'Harry Potter.' I tried to write it so everybody could relate to it at least a little bit.”
The whole concept for the song started back in February, when the thought to do the parody first crossed Allen’s mind. It didn’t come to fruition, though, until after all the right pieces fell into place.
“I just kind of sat on (the idea) for a couple weeks,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this would be fun to do, but I’d need the right people to do it with.’”
Allen said he had the music and rapping experience, but didn’t want to do the singing. His friend Keith Evans, however, would be a perfect fit. Allen said he met Keith while working on the musical “In the Heights” at the Hale Center Theater Orem, and knew his skills would be a perfect fit for the concept he wanted to pull off. As soon as he found out Evans was game, the hard work putting together the lyrics and the video began.
“This video is totally unlike the other stuff I’ve done,” Allen said. “I kind of wanted to do this the best quality I could. I wanted people to listen and think, ‘Oh, I want this song.’ I didn’t just want it to be a YouTube video that you record on a phone and throw up online. I wanted to have high quality audio and to have the whole song mix well. If it’s not a good song, there’s no point in doing the video.”
Once Evans was enlisted in the planning, the pair transformed Allen’s room into an at-home recording studio and got busy. It only took Allen five or so hours in one night to get the lyrics down once the project was moving forward, but the actual recording, compilation and fine tuning took several weeks. As soon as it was ready, they set to work on filming.
With a song that covers everything from pop culture icons to 8-bit games, COD (Call of Duty), WOW (World of Warcraft) and EVE (that’s right, I know my nerd acronyms), it’s safe to say Allen had quite the challenge to face in preparing for filming. Several costumes were borrowed from the Hale Center Theater Orem, while others came attached to friends willing to participate in the video -- his real key to success.
“This really came together because of the awesome people that were like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s do that,’” he said. “I had the idea, set it all up and kind of made it happen on tech side of things, but it never would have (come together) if my friends weren’t willing to dance, sing and work with my schedule.”
For Allen, the finished product has been the most exciting part.
“It’s cool to see my vision come to reality,” he said. “This was just an idea … I was amazed at how (it all) came together, each element.”
Allen created a new YouTube channel, K-Face Rules, just for the video, and said he’s looking forward to what projects the future might hold. Though it might be awhile until the next fantastic parody comes, you can get your nerd on watching his latest video above, or check out one of his older videos here.