Shea Durazzo by Norrel Blair

Shea Durazzo by Norrel Blair - Tank Top - Shirtless - Blue Jeans and Hat Outside

Shea Durazzo by Norrel Blair

HEYBOY x VTEEN Exclusive Interview

Photographer: Norrel Blair

Model : Shea Durazzo

Q) You have created quite the following for yourself online! What app would you say gave you the most success and which do you find was the most difficult to reach a new audience?

A) My Instagram is where I found a passion for creating content and posting pictures online. As I gained a following on my Instagram, it made me focus on becoming an influencer and content creator more seriously. It really wasn’t until TikTok came out that I really found a voice that I was comfortable with online. Dance and performance have always been a huge part of my life. I have been dancing since I was 13, so finding an app like TikTok that allowed me to showcase my passion was definitely inspiring. I started to put more effort into creating content on TikTok in 2019 and started steadily gaining traction for my dancing and “day in the life” type videos. It actually wasn’t until the start of quarantine when I really found my voice on TikTok. I started making silly dances and comedy videos with my baby sister, Nicolette. This is when my brand really started to grow on TikTok and the sibling duo of my sister and I became unstoppable. We found ourselves getting a lot closer as siblings and have gained up to 24 million views on some of our videos together. Finding success online with my sibling has been such a rewarding experience and has definitely helped me get through quarantine. However, as I’m growing up and coming into my own, it’s been difficult to distance myself from the sibling duo, and just become authentically “Shea”. Growing up as a queer artist, my 20s have taught me a lot, and I want my involvement on social media to reflect that change and growth. This year, one of my largest goals with my presence on TikTok and Instagram is to reach a newer and more mature audience and showcase the person I am becoming.

Q) Top 3 songs in your playlist right now!?

A) “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat and SZA, “We’re Good” by Dua Lipa, and “Talia” by King Princess. Also literally anything by Ariana Grande.

Q) Pop culture has always had a huge impact on the world; I would say now more so than ever because of the internet. What does pop culture mean to you and how does it play a part in your own life?

A) Pop culture has had such an important impact on my life, especially being an LGBTQ+ influencer. I think the shift between what pop culture was five years ago and what is considered pop culture today has such an influence on my daily life and career. The influence that TikTok has on the music industry, as well as the fashion industry, is truly insane. Now more than ever, with more people being online due to quarantine, pop culture is spreading faster and trends are becoming more accessible. As an influencer, I think it’s super important to stay in the know of what is current and relevant. As a gay man, I’ve always been super obsessed with pop culture, growing up to songs by Lady Gaga and following fashion trends from the late 2000s. Pop culture has shaped a lot of my aesthetic and personality, and I think that I can thank many of my pop icons for shaping me into who I am today. Pop is not only present in the artists I listen to, but has also influenced my fashion, the way I speak, and the path of my social media career. My favorite “pop culture” show right now is RuPaul’s Drag Race and I love quoting the show with my friends. Bringing drag into the mainstream has severely changed Pop Culture, and for the first time, LGBTQ+ pop icons are more prevalent than ever. My favorite queer artists are Kim Petras, Lil Nas X, and Trixie Mattel.

Q) What is one thing about yourself that your followers may not know and may find interesting?

A) One thing that a lot of my followers may not know about me is my involvement in the professional world. Being a full-time student at UCLA double majoring in Dance & Political Science, I take my education very seriously. I had the honour of working for who is now Vice President, Kamala Harris in 2019 in the Media department, and it was such a cool experience. Working in a professional environment such as a US Senate office taught me so much about my passions in life other than social media. To my followers, I come across as a fun and charismatic individual that just likes to have fun, but I have goals in my personal life that I want to accomplish

Q) Thinking about the future, even 30+ years into the future… What do you hope for most?

A) Going into 2020, I had such a clear idea of what I wanted my future to be. A lot of aspects of my life changed at the beginning of 2021 and a lot of what I had planned has been flipped upside down. 30 years from now I hope to be settled down in a relationship where I feel that I can grow as an individual and be supported by my partner. Professionally, I hope to either have my own entertainment law firm or be working in entertainment in some capacity. Social media is not the end game for me, but I think it can act as a great catalyst towards future goals. I would someday love to host a TV show of some sort or be representing talent on the legal side of entertainment. Within the next couple of years, I want to get all of my performance itches and desire to be involved in social media out of my system so that within the next 30 years I can take things a little bit more seriously and actually make real change in the world.

Q) Random Question! If you were given one superpower as a gift, which one would you ask for and why!?

A) I’m such a nerd but I would love to have the superpower of water bending based on the show “Avatar the Last Airbender”. I’m obsessed with the show and watched it over quarantine, and I think that it would be such a cool power to have, especially if I could blood-bend like the iconic character of Katara.