How Louis Teru “Giggle” became a sensation at the age of 52

Four or five times a week on these days, some old friends would call Louis Teru and say, “My daughter keeps coming home and singing your rap” or “My wife was practicing your rap in Pilates class.” As he walks through elementary school, Mr. Terrus has the feeling that he is being watched, which is evidenced when he hears the child behind him shout, “Don’t waste my money.”

His agent makes dozens of requests for personal speeches and invitations. Mr. Terum, a 52-year-old British-American documentary filmmaker, with a bookish, somewhat anxious demeanor, rejected all of them, especially because, as he said in a video interview from his London home, “I’m not trying. To make him a rapper. “

But to some extent, he already has: Mr. Teru is the man behind “Jiggle Jiggle”, a sensation on TikTok and YouTube where he has been broadcast hundreds of millions of times. He delivers the rap with an unmistakable voice that traces his Oxford education and gives a fun tone to the lines: “My money is not spinning, it is folding, I want to see you shake, shake, definitely.”

For Mr. Terus, the son of American author Paul Terus, and the cousin of actor Justin Terus, the whole episode was weird and a little disturbing. “I’m glad people are enjoying rap,” he said. “At the same time, there is a part of me that has some mixed feelings. The bitter thing is to experience a moment of viral breakthrough through something that, at first glance, seems to me at once and so does not correspond to what I am actually doing in my work. But we are here. ”

The story of how the father of three middle-aged children conquered youth culture with novelty rap is “a confusing example of the 21st century’s strangeness in the world we live in,” said Mr. Terum.

“Jiggle Jiggle” was pregnant for years before it became all the rage. It all started in 2000 when Mr. Teru was hosting “Louis Teru’s Weird Holidays”, a BBC Two series in which he talked about different subcultures. For the third and final episode of the season, he traveled to South America, where he met a number of rappers, including on the Master P. show, he decided to do the rap himself, but he only had a few. Strings: “Jiggle Jiggle / I love when you spin / It makes me dribble / I like the violin?”

She enrolled Reese & Bigalow, a rap duo in Jackson, Miss., To help her get in shape. Bigalow cleared the opening lines and combined the word “jiggle” with the word “jingle” to make the sound of coins in his pocket. Reese asked what kind of car he was driving. His response – the Fiat Tipo – led to the line: “I ride in my Fiat / you really have to look at it / six feet-two compactly / no worries, but thankfully, the seats are back.”

“Reese & Bigalow performed a real quality in rap,” said Mr. Terum. “Elements that make him special, I could never write about myself. At the risk of over-analyzing it, his genius part of my mind was saying, “My money is not wasted, He folds. “There was something very satisfying about these words.”

She filmed herself performing a song on New Orleans hip-hop station Q93, and BBC viewers witnessed her rap debut when the episode aired in the fall of 2000. It could have been Jiggle Jiggle – but Louis Theroux’s “Weird Weekends” took on new life in 2016 when Netflix licensed the show and started streaming it on Netflix UK. The rap episode was becoming a favorite, and when Mr. Teru was advertised for a new project, interviewers inevitably asked him about a hip-hop attack.

In February of this year, during the propaganda of the new show “Louis Terus Forbidden America”, Mr. Teru sat down for an interview on the popular web talk show “Chicken Shop Date”, hosted by London comedian Amelia Dimoldenberg.

“Can you remember any rap you did?” Asked Ms. Dimoldenberg, which prompted Mr. Teru to begin his own rhythms, which he described as “my slightly cloudy and dry English transmission.”

“What happened next is the most mystical part,” he added.

Luke Conibear and Isaac McKelvey, a pair of DJ producers in Manchester, England known as the Duke & Jones, removed the audio from “Chicken Shop Date” and put it on a backup track with a simple rhythm. They then uploaded the song to a YouTube account where it has 12 million views.

But “Jiggle Jiggle” has become a phenomenon, thanks in large part to Jess Qualter and Brooke Blewitt, 21-year-old alumni of Laine Theater Arts, College of Performing Arts in Surrey, England. In April, two friends were making pasta in their shared apartment when they heard a song and hurriedly performed choreographic moves for the track – basketball dribbling, wheel spinning – and the dance “Jiggle Jiggle” was born.

Wearing hooded t-shirts and shadows (the clothes were chosen because there was no makeup, the women said in an interview), Ms. Cavalter and Ms. Blevitt filmed a 27-second video where they performed a routine. It exploded after Ms. Qualter posted it on TikTok. Copycat videos soon emerged from TikTok users around the world.

“It all happened in a way that I did not know about,” said Mr. Terum. I received an email: “Hey, the remix you made on Chicken Shop Date is going viral and doing some weird things on TikTok. I say, “Okay, that’s funny and weird.”

She emerged from TikTok and entered the mainstream last month when Shakira performed the dance “Jiggle Jiggle” on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Snoop Dogg, Megan T. Stallion and Rita Ora have revealed themselves in the dance. Actors from Downton Abbey were spinning on the red carpet.

“Anthony Hopkins did something yesterday,” Mr. Terum said. “There will be a lot if we call it dance. It’s more convulsive. But he does Something. ”

The whole episode was weird for her three children, especially her 14-year-old son, who is very interested in TikTok. “Why is my father, the ugliest guy in the world, on TikTok everywhere?” Mr. Terum said, voting for his son.

“I left my stand throughout his term,” he continued. “I think that made him very confused and a little upset.”

Ms. Qualter and Ms. Blevitt alike find Shakira and others dancing to their movements surrealistically. “I almost forgot we invented it,” said Ms. Cavalter. “It does not seem to have happened. It has over 60 million views. “We see the number on the screen, but I do not see the people behind it.”

After Duke & Jones’ original remix went viral – that is, the one in which the vocal track “Chicken Shop Date” was taken – the DJ producer’s duo asked Mr. Teru to re-do the vocals in the recording studio. That way, instead of being another TikTok ear worm, Jiggle Jiggle could be made available on Spotify, iTunes and other platforms, and its creators could get some exposure and profit from it.

In addition to Mr. Thero, the official release features five composers: Duke and Jones; Reese & Bigalow; And 81-year-old hitmaker Neil Diamond. Mr. Diamond became a member of the crew when his crew signed “Jiggle Jiggle”, which echoes his 1967 song “Red Red Wine” in the part where Mr. Terus’ auto-tuned voice sings the words “red, red wine.” The song hit the Spotify viral charts worldwide last month.

Does it mean real money?

“I sincerely hope that we will all be able to detect this phenomenon. “Or maybe some folds,” said Mr. Terum. “So far, that’s been more the end of the jig.”

In his documentary filmmaking career, Mr. Terum has explored the world of male porn stars, the Church of Scientology, right-wing militia groups, and opioid addicts. In the BBC new series, Forbidden America, Mr Teru discusses the impact of social media on the entertainment industry and politics. Years before the Netflix hit show on Joseph Maldonado Passage, better known as The King of the Tiger, Mr. Terum made a film about him. American documentary John Wilson, creator and star of HBO’s “How to With John Wilson”, referred to him as an influence.

Now his works are obscured, at least temporarily, by “Jiggle Jiggle.” And like many who go viral, Mr. Teru finds himself trying to figure out what happened and figure out what to do with this newly discovered cultural capital.

“It’s not that I have a catalog and now I can publish rap fragments of my other news,” he said. “Obviously, I am not going to tour him. Come see Mr. Jiggle himself. It will be a 20-second concert. “

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