No longer are the days of going viral and then disappearing until the next act comes around when creatives like Durell Smylie could be the blueprint for others to utilize their platforms to end up where the money resides.

No stranger to social media and using it to his advantage, Durell, a car salesman at Richards Honda in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana posted a video in an effort to boost his car sales. Not only did it work, but now he is the world’s latest viral sensation thanks to his catchy mantra, “Where the money resides!”

He sat down with AfroTech to talk about what it’s like being the latest viral sensation, his roots, and the vision he not only has for himself, but other creatives in the future to get their coins.

AfroTech: What’s the first thing that came to mind when the views steadily kept going up on the video that now has millions of views?

Durell: The first thing that came to mind was how am I going to get rich. How am I going to monetize off of this and I’m doing it!  I’m doing what I wanted to do.

AfroTech: We love us a good affirmation so you know “Where the money resides” is on our 2021 vision board. How has this new mantra manifested great things in your life?

Durell: It’s making my life comfortable. Now I’m waking up in the morning and getting paid to be myself and nothing is better than that. That’s what’s bringing me true happiness. I have a very peaceful mindset.

AfroTech: So, we’ve just got to know, what are your top three viral moments of all time?

Durell: Hmmm, I grew up when YouTube started to pop, if I had to choose three they’d be:

  • “Hide ya kids, hide ya wife”
  • “Ain’t nobody got time for that”
  • (Ooooh and my favorite (shoutout to my hometown, Baton Rouge!) — “If you can’t go to Bella Noches, where could you go?”

AfroTech: Ooooh, those are some of our faves too! I understand that you filed to have “Where the money resides” trademarked. What pushed you to make the move? How did you learn from the mistakes of viral sensations in the past?

Durell: I’ve seen great things happen, but I’ve also seen things that could have been avoided. I’ve seen mistakes, but I’ve also seen the success. The creator of “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” is a millionaire now all because of Apple posting her content without her permission!

AfroTech: You mentioned that the entire video was improv, so I’ve got to know, were you a theatre kid? We could definitely see you making some movies in the near future. Who are some people you’re dying to work with?

Durell: Yes! Shoutout to Heidi Fredrick, my theatre teacher in high school. She taught me everything that I know — especially improv — and that’s what all of my videos are.

I’m dying to be in “P-Valley!” I even want to be in one or two Tyler Perry movies, do some cartoon voice-overs. I want to do almost everything, specifically, I’d love to play the villain in something. I don’t know why, but I think that would be really cool.

AfroTech: So how do you plan to continue taking this viral moment to the next level and remaining where the money resides in 2021 and beyond?

Durell: I’m not going to limit myself to what I want to do. I’m going to continue to do shirts, continue to do the merchandise (huge shoutout to Coated by Carter, they created all of the original merch). I am going to do acting. I probably will even play around in the studio and do a rap song. Besides entertainment, I’m also all about ownership. I plan to own my own Honda dealership — of course providing the jingle!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Durell Smylie

AfroTech: Any advice for other content creators looking to do the same?

Durell: If it’s meant to happen, it’s going to happen. I feel like people don’t understand that when I went viral, I wasn’t looking to go viral at all. And when the moment comes, get a great lawyer (shoutout to The Biz Lawyer) and a great team. They will be behind you and guide you every step of the way (shoutout to my manager D-Dot)!