This 16-year-old has the Internet in the palm of his hand. Keenan Cahill has become an unstoppable force in entertainment with his hilarious lip-syncing clips, attracting the likes of 50 Cent, David Guetta and Pauly D to record celebrity-endorsed clips with the Elmhurst, Illinois native. His most recent feat? Teaming with a few players from the San Francisco Giants for a rendition of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite.” Did we mention he’s only a freshman in high school?
YRB spoke with the YouTube sensation about how nervous he is to meet Katy Perry, what 50 Cent is really like when the camera isn’t rolling and his upcoming single.
YRB: It all started for you with Katy Perry tweeting your video link. Have you had a chance to meet her yet?
Keenan: No, but I’m trying to. Right now, we’re having a little difficulty. I have a surgery coming up this summer and we’re trying to get a date down and everything, but we’re scheduled to see her June 25th.
YRB: Are you nervous about meeting her?
Keenan: Yeah. I’m probably the most nervous I’ve ever been. I remember I texted Pauly D before I met Bruno Mars and he was like, “Oh, he’s cool.” And I told him about Katy Perry and he was like, “Don’t be nervous! She loves you so much! She’s such a sweetheart.” Now, I’m even more nervous.
YRB: What was it like shooting the “Down on You” video with 50 Cent?
Keenan: He was really cool. He walked in and he was really excited. He was actually a little nervous too. He said, “I’ve seen your videos before and loved them. I’m so excited to be here with you and everything.” We had a great time. He actually had to stop sometimes and retape it because he was laughing so hard.
YRB: You must get requests all the time from celebrities to do videos. Who’s reached out to you?
Keenan: I’ve done a new video with David Guetta who’s like a big music producer. He’s like a DJ. I just released “…” with Lil’ Jon. He wanted to do something with me and we did that. He was really nice. I’ve done something with Pauly D. I haven’t done a video with Britney Spears, but I did something for her. I’ve done a video with Jeremih, I’ve done a video with the San Francisco Giants. I’m sure there’s a lot others, but I can’t think of them right now.
YRB: How do you pick which videos you’ll do with a celebrity?
Keenan: Usually, if they’re a big celebrity… I heard Jennifer Aniston wanted to do a Smart Water commercial with me, which is kind of weird when you think how big she is and that she’s a fan of me and everything. But usually, I’m not that picky. I’ll do a video with a celebrity, whoever it is.
YRB: Who would you want to do a collaboration video with?
Keenan: Definitely Katy Perry. Hopefully, Justin Bieber, that’d be cool, since he’s from YouTube. He got real big off of YouTube, and I’m starting to get real big off of YouTube. That’d be really cool to see us collaborate or something like that.
YRB: You pick songs to cover from the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart. When you’re not making videos, what kind of stuff do you like to listen to?
Keenan: I listen to a lot, of course, of Katy Perry. I listen to my girl. I listen to Wiz Khalifa, a lot of the big names. David Guetta…
YRB: Tell me about working with the San Francisco Giants. What was that like?
Keenan: They were really nice. They were very supportive, actually, when I was there for their Spring practice game. They were playing against the L.A. Dodgers players and the Dodgers came over and were like, “Oh my gosh! I love your videos man!” It was a little weird, because I’m going to against their rivals.
YRB: Are you a big sports buff?
Keenan: I’m a big Cubs fan. I probably watch a lot more baseball than football. I’m not a crazy fan, but I’m definitely a big fan of the Cubs overall.
YRB: You seem pretty confident on camera. Have you gotten nervous in any videos or TV appearances?
Keenan: Chelsea Lately, I was pretty nervous. It’s a really big talk show and a lot of people were like, “He did really good for his first time on the talk show!” I’ve been in acting classes before, I’ve been on camera before. So I’m pretty comfortable, but I still get nervous once in a while.
YRB: You’re hanging with all these celebrities now. What does your family think of you having all of these famous friends?
Keenan: They like it. They’re very supportive of what I’m doing and everything. They’re happy I’m achieving my dream to be out there and to be noticed and everything. They think it’s pretty cool.
YRB: What about at school? Have attitudes towards you changed at all?
Keenan: No, actually, people still treat me the same. Only now, they’ll be like, “What are you doing this weekend?” Usually, I travel a lot on the weekend. They’re like “What’s the next trip? Who’s the next celebrity you’re gonna meet?” I’ll tell them. They treat me the same.
YRB: You lip-sync in all of your videos. Do you have a good singing voice?
Keenan: I mean, I made a single, which I think we’re going to put out in May or June. It’s called “Okay Today.” We’re going to put it out there to see what record labels want to sign me and who wants to collaborate. I’ve been in singing lessons before. I haven’t sung in a long time, but I guess it’s pretty good.
YRB: Is it a pop song?
Keenan: I guess it’d be pop, dance-sh music. Something that’s upbeat.