The social media star has garnered fans around the world — including celebrities like Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna — for his creative videos, signature blue hair, and being able to connect with his audience in a genuine nature. In a world where so many social media “influencers” don't have any actual influence, Rogers has found a way to turn his growing celebrity status into tangible business opportunities.
Recently, Rogers partnered with a couple of Houstonians to bring Baton Rouge's Krab Queenz Seafood to the Bayou City. Known for its buttery boiled seafood plates and elaborate daiquiris, Krab Queenz should satisfy Houstonians looking for a taste of Louisiana.
CultureMap caught up with Rogers about how he got started, Krab Queenz, what’s next, and more.
CultureMap: For those that may not have watched your videos, how did you get started? What was the motivation? What's something about you that people may not know?
Kwaylon Rogers: Everyone's favorite question, lol. Well, honestly I've always been a fan of Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry and I was also a class clown in school. One day I decided to try on one of my mom’s wigs and make a video. I posted it online and people went crazy. It went from there.
I didn't have a plan besides to make people feel good about laughing at the time. My current motivation right now is making sure my mom doesn't have to ever pay another bill.
CM: You've grown so much over the last few years, with almost 4 million followers on Instagram. Did you ever expect that type of response?
KR: Honestly, I didn't. I remember making the "Bring Down Three Notches” video as a Tyra Banks parody. I didn't think too much into it, but it ended up being a big deal. I woke up the next morning and everyone went crazy; I knew I had something then.
CM: You've been able to create cool projects with big names like Janet Jackson and Cardi B, what has that experience been like? What have been some of your most memorable moments along this journey?
KR: Janet Jackson was epic; definitely the top moment of my career. She was everything you would think she would be. She smelled like unicorns, roses and all of that good stuff. Her energy was so bomb. She was sweet. Shout out to Joey Harris, her SVP. He made it happen.
Cardi is my homegirl, and we had one of our first big bookings together. It's always good to share moments with people who love you. Other than those, Krab Queenz is a big moment for me. The fact that I have a restaurant is still a shocker to me. It was unexpected but a true blessing.
CM: Speaking of Krab Queenz, what inspired you to get into the restaurant business?
KR: I tasted the food, fell in love, and wanted to bring the taste to Houston. Nikki, who's one of my business partners in the restaurant, knows seafood and she has the original location in Baton Rouge. She and my other business partner Natasha Burton have helped in every aspect of the way. We felt like Houston was missing the flavor.
CM: What can people expect from KrabQueenz?
KR: People can expect a good time, great vibes, and good-as-hell food. Also, you never know who you're going to see in the restaurant. We wanted to create something special for Houston; I think Krab Queenz is it.
CM: A restaurant, millions of Instagram followers, a new show: what's next?
KR: Whats next for me? Lol…a lot.
If I can give you an exclusive, I'm getting ready to release my biggest video to date; it'll also launch my YouTube channel. I'm remaking Michael Jackson's iconic “Thriller” video. Of course I have "TiTi Do you Love Me" going on. It's doing so well and is Zeus Network’s biggest show. I’m also planning to open other restaurants in other cities.