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‘Unconventional’ sensations who have gone viral…accidentally

The worldwide web has been an online space for everything WWW–wonderful, weird, and WTH, that is. This is proof of why seemingly ordinary people could go viral even for the most perplexing of reasons. The ever-evolving landscape of social media, specifically, could propel any situation—as simple as a pares overload review, a homemade recipe done right, or something simple like a cute puppy to an anxiety-triggering road rage—could be amplified into something positive, and cringe- or meme-worthy, depending on which side you’re on.

Although we are always glued to the internet and are so immersed in social media, some even for almost 24 hours, yet we still couldn’t figure out what exactly will go viral and what will not. While most people try their darn best to be seen or heard online, others simply turn into an overnight sensation by ‘accident.’

Is it magic or sheer luck? Perhaps. We don’t know.

Julie Ragbeer, X’s newest pop sensation

With the evolving landscape of social media and music, no one knows whose life will change—for better or worse—in a matter of 24 hours. For Julie Ragbeer, everything has unexpectedly been coming up roses. Looking back, the response to her debut album “Perplex” (which she released in 2023) was rather lukewarm, even with songs like ‘Fight Against Your Fleshy Lusts’ and ‘Mary Whiton Calkins’, which are likened to have Rihanna’s Anti-era vibe. Now, she is being discovered by people due to a post made by Pop Tingz, the prolific pop culture news X account (formerly Twitter)—something which she allegedly paid for.

The tweet that skyrocketed her to fame:

Because of the tweet, she and her album have spawned hundreds of memes, comments, and reactions from the “Ragbeer-verse,” and numbers suddenly turned in favor of this promising pop star, finding its audience through X (Twitter). Curious netizens undoubtedly took their time to check out what she has to offer and posted an avalanche of funny memes such as:


The eventful tweet on February 22 prodded savvy social media enthusiasts to look her up, only to find out that Ragbeer’s X account wasn’t even opened to the public at the time, had only 100 followers, and that her “bedroom pop” music was never heard of by most netizens, with streaming numbers of merely hundreds or in low thousands, to say the least. Following the controversial tweet, social media users took this opportunity to share their reactions about her album as well and found out that she is very engaging and authentic, even giving a track-by-track thread discussing her songs. They also noticed how the lyrics seemed to resonate deeply with almost everyone.

People say she has @ThePopTingz to thank for, as it has propelled this once anonymous girl’s career to new heights enough to reach the proverbial ‘gay twitter status’, but it was really her hard work that thrusted her own success, albeit, unexpectedly. Whether that tweet was paid or not, and even with the memes, Ragbeer—in her in one of her post—proved that she is enjoying the moment, and is focusing only on the light.

Shaira and her overnight hit sensation “Selos”

Photo Credit: Shaira

There is a novel sub-genre in Filipino pop music that has recently drawn the attention of Filipinos, especially those in the Southern part of the country, and it is known as the as Bangsamoro Pop (or B-pop), a rather upbeat type of Filipino music that has recently become viral, but for a not-so-good reason.

Shaira Abdullah Alimudin (a.k.a Shaira Moro or simply “Shaira”) is a girl from Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao. She used to be part of a band called Trigger and was enjoying a simple life, accepting singing gigs as a side hustle to finance her education. She then signed up with AHS Productions record label which released her song “Selos” in the early part of 2024. Soon, her song took the streaming platforms by storm, became a blaring staple in fiestas, pedicabs, jeepneys, and local community events, and became almost everyone’s LSS (last song syndrome), especially by the children who would even take to TikTok their versions of the viral dance moves that go with the beat, similar with the omnipresent “Budots.” Selos was, in fact, charted in Spotify PH’s Top 10 viral songs. She soon earned the moniker of social media’s “Queen of Bangsamoro Pop.”

The limelight soon dimmed as Filipinos on social media realized, that the more they listened and shoulder bopped to Shaira’s Selos, the more they observed that the melody is a direct derivative of Australian recording artist Lenka’s “Trouble is a Friend,” and Shaira (or her songwriter) merely dished out Filipino lyrics to make it more relatable to her target listeners going through the same emotions and quirks. Shaira’s record label soon admitted that Selos, indeed, borrowed the melody of Lenka’s hit song. Thus, despite its viral status, Selos was voluntarily taken down from streaming platforms in March this year (just months or weeks after it gained worldwide attention) over copyright issues.

Shaira’s other songs “Forever Single (Walang Jowa),” “Babaero Na Pakboy,” and “Machine Gun” were also allegedly imitative of Indonesian artists and their songs such as “Masij Mencintainya” (band: Papinka), “Lagi Syantik” (Siti Badriah), at “Uwiw Uwiw” (Cita Citata), respectively. After this, the copyright issue turned ugly and Shaira received lots of memes, bashing, and name-calling, which extended beyond the copyright issue. Some keyboard warriors even tagged her as the “Queen of copyright.”

But all B-pop fans are rejoicing now as Selos was re-released and is back on streaming platforms just this month after Lenka’s camp chose not to file a case and copyright concerns were settled and rectified. And while Selos’ begins with “Ang puso ko’y nagdurugo” (my heart is bleeding), the hijabi-clad Shaira and her fans are smiling now.

All-purpose Kween Yasmin


Kween Yasmin via iG
Photo Credit: Kween Yasmin

When asked why “All-purpose Kween,” Yasmin Marie Asistido, an internet sensation stanned by her generation simply raises her eyebrows and smiles, because she sings, dances, is into karate and acting, and can even deliver on-the-spot spoken poetry that could elicit jaw- and a mic drop—literally and figuratively…again, depending on which side you’re on. Remember the hilarious “Esophagus, esophagus”?

Asistido’s claim to fame was in 2018, when she filmed her senior high school field trip, while also providing the audio background, which was her amusing rendition of “Lalaking Manloloko,” originally entitled “Hayaan Mo Sila,” a popular hit by hip hop group Ex Batallion. This has currently 513,000 views on her YouTube. During the pandemic, she did live sessions and interacted with her “Yasminatics”s. However, she made everyone laugh when she got locked out of one of her virtual meet-and-greets. “Guys sorry, gawa ako new Zoom Link for meet and greet later. Kasi po yung host hindi po makapasok pati po ako. Haha. Dahil Puno na raw, 100 participants lang kasi available,” she posted on her FB page, and added that she should have entered the Zoom link before everyone else did. As this post went viral, Asistido—as she always is—wrote a song entitled “A Zoom to Remember.”

While this funny girl and internet royalty continues to conquer the online space, her bashers have only gotten bolder with negative comments, curses, and even threats. She doesn’t care about what people say though, about her clumsiness, craziness, and out-of-tune crooning, as she only focuses “kween thingz” like product endorsements, OOTDs, funny pictorials, all on her own terms. And Gen-Zs love her for being true to herself—cluelessness and quirks included.

Is there really genuine support for these accidental artists?

Currently, Julie Ragbeer has 21,000 listeners on Spotify monthly, and to date, she has 16.8K followers of her now-public X account. Shaira, on the other hand, has more than 374,000 followers on TikTok (with 4.1M likes), and 690,000 followers on FB, while Kween Yasmin has 119,000 Yasminatics on YouTube, more than 370,000 on Tiktok, and 485,000 on Facebook, to date.

I’m not sure if these viral queens on stan were expecting the ‘accidental’ turn of events, but the numbers don’t lie. And whether it will still hold true for them tomorrow or next year, what’s essential is, fate stepped in, and the universe conspired (despite an allegedly paid promotion, the copyright concerns, and somehow, a little amateurishness) and thrusted their careers into a newer and brighter path.

So, is it magic or sheer luck? I wouldn’t know because, sometimes, I don’t believe in both. But I do believe in destiny.


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