On Twitter, Justin Bieber is the king with 45 million followers. On Vine, it's a dude named Nicholas Megalis, a 24-year-old musician and comedian from Brooklyn, New York who has the biggest following on the Twitter-owned micro-video sharing network (2.9 million, at the time of posting.)
And now Megalis has just released a single, "Forget It in a Day," available now on iTunes, as well as a video for it.
"I love music videos, I've loved them since I was a kid, so it was important that I put out a video simultaneously," Megalis tells Billboard. "When I was a kid, I remember I used to run full speed off the school bus just to catch the tail end of Total Request Live on MTV. I've probably watched Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" twenty times."
"Forget It in a Day," is the first single off of an upcoming (currently untitled) record that he's recording this October. A body of work, he hopes, will allow him to eventually tour.
Megalis is extremely talented; he's perfected the art of making 6 second song hooks, and has some solid (and hilarious) raps that he creates all with a front facing cell phone camera. All the music in his Vines he composes himself.
Note: If you are watching this on a pc, there will be a slight hiccup when the video loops. On the mobile app, it loops continuously.
"I became obsessed," he explains. "I'm a singer/songwriter that's been working in music since I was 15, so Vine right off the bat was a no-brainer for me. I write jingles. Literally my first spot in New York City was living in a walk-in closet and to buy groceries, I was writing jingles for acne medication and pizza companies. This to me is just the next phase, a new vehicle to make art."
"Ya Gotta Ciabatta," is one of Megalis' early works:
On top of music, many of his Vines are sketches or simply ridiculous six-second vignettes.
Megalis' popularity has steadily grown over the past few months. He's one of the pioneers of Vine meetups, where popular users on Vine (like Marcus Johns and Rudy Mancuso, just to name a few) occasionally invite their followers to meet in public place and take pictures and Vines (of course).
Now, major players are beginning to take notice. Megalis was recently invited to Vine the red carpet at the VMAs where he met Ed Sheeran.
Here's Megalis at the "In the Family" film premiere talking to Tony Danza, then awkwardly photobombing 50 Cent.
Brands are also paying attention. Companies like Trident get Vine stars to create on-brand clips to re-Vine from their personal accounts. Here's and example that Megalis created with Rudy Mancuso.
Megalis is persistent in his convictions that projects like what he's done with Trident aren't commercials, but funded art projects.
"I'm so tired of the word content, it's a cold way to say something we created," he says. "The reason we call stuff content is because we don't put our heart into it. I think people who make content are afraid to call it art, and that's why we have to elevate things and just make art."
All in all, Nicholas Megalis' popularity has become lucrative enough for him to funnel money and efforts into this upcoming record.
"So far the response has overwhelmed me, and I'm humbled by the fact that people are digging into the stuff I'm making outside of Vine. As far as what's next on Vine, I wish I could tell you. Every single day is an incredible surprise."