“Watch Me” was originally recorded as a 15-second Instagram video. Did you think it would get this big after you recorded a full version of the song?
Yeah, I knew that it was a banger because everybody already liked it. In the video, which I recorded on my phone, somebody was beating on the desk at school. I took that same beat to [producer] Bolo and he went off of that and made a different beat. Once the audience gives you feedback, that’s how you know.
The track refers to two popular dances, the Whip and the Nae Nae. Are you an experienced dancer?
No, I never took dance classes. I want to; there’s still some stuff I need to learn. But it’s easy creating your own stuff because you can find out what everybody likes and then just put it together.
You’re about to start your senior year in high school. Have your classmates been treating you differently?
I know all the girls are going to be my fans. I want to go to college for business. I’ve got to find out what’s going to be the best place for me. But I’m going to go to class and I ain’t going to be late.
Watch Silento show off his moves with Billboard staffer Jason Lipshutz in the “Watch Me” episode of So You Know You Can’t Dance below.
Listen to “Watch Me,” and more music from artists in this issue, in the Spotify playlist below:
This story originally appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of Billboard.