Out and About WRAL.com

“By day, Luke Reynolds is a father from Wake Forest who works at Cisco. But at night, he entertains thousands of people live on TikTok.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Reynolds tried his hand at performing live in a virtual reality environment with virtual reality social media platform AltSpaceVR.

“As a father of two girls, I’m at home. I can’t be in clubs at one in the morning, even play music. But I enjoyed that social interaction, so I got into social VR,” Reynolds said.

When the platform began to offer less creative flexibility, Reynolds sought a new framework to perform. While TikTok has been popular for several years, the social media platform launched its live capabilities in 2021.

“Ninety percent of people think of TikTok, they think of dance videos, and they think of short videos,” Reynolds said.

In December, Reynolds performed on TikTok LIVE for the first time.

“There was literally no one there,” Reynolds said. “There was nobody there, maybe my first five or six [live streams.]”

“I played music for an hour. Literally I saw people walk into the room and leave but no one stays.”

Short videos aren’t where Reynolds shines. He kept playing live, and eventually viewers started coming.

“I kept doing it. I started getting a bit of a following. It was a combination of a lot of different things that kept people coming back, but people were spending three hours in my room,” he said. said Reynolds.

The children go to bed, everyone goes to bed and I go upstairs. I play several hours depending on the sensations and how it goes. I go to bed around 2 a.m., wake up in the morning, get the kids ready for school…it all starts again.”

Eventually, Reynolds caught the eye of a talent agency that helped him capitalize on his TikTok success. He even recently had the chance to perform live at TikTok headquarters in California.

He also worked with a music producer in Raleigh to create his own single.

“It was crazy everyday – something new is happening. It’s something I’ve always wanted,” Reynolds said.

Performing on social media has also given Reynolds the opportunity to connect with fans around the world.

He is particularly proud when military personnel stationed in Japan said they were watching his live. The military had put Reynolds’ livestream on a projector on the aircraft carrier for about 25 people to watch.

“It gave me a really big jolt of energy, and I was like, OK, now I have to play more. They were asking for songs…and then the next day they came back and there were 150 people there,” says Reynolds.

The last time this group of military personnel looked, Reynolds said there were more than 1,000 people.

“Part of me – my brain – was like, I’m playing a [United Service Organization] To display. It’s the pinnacle… more than money or anything, as that’s what it’s all about,” Reynolds said.

“It’s been an incredibly crazy trip.”

You can watch Reynold live on TikTok at 10 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Kenneth T. Shippee