Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 6/9/2021- Mikaila Murphy was working as an essential worker at Target. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she realized just how much she was capable of doing on social media. She took the leap of faith to focus on her brand full-time and recently reached over 10 million TikTok followers. “I posted my first viral video. I was dancing in public and it had over 900,000 likes. That pushed me to over 100,000 followers and I realized this might be my way out of college and actually starting the lifestyle I wanted.” Mikaila is more than just a social media personality; her talent transcends the digital world as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, singer, model, and actress. She has danced for stars such as Andy Grammer, Jordan Sparks, and Big Sean, and she has won numerous dance and choreography awards. She also currently has two singles out, and is working with producers in Los Angeles on new music. Murphy has been cast in several movies, such as Gifted Hands, Flipped, and The Irish Men. The confidence she has in herself and her capabilities have created limitless potential.
Tell us about your background.
So I actually started dancing around the age of three and it’s because of my grandpa. He and I used to dance around my family room watching Shirley Temple together while both of my parents were at work. This led to him telling my mom that she needed to get me into dance class. So I took my first tap class at the age of three and the rest is history. I continued dancing and started competing with dance at the age of nine. I quit competition dance going into my senior year so that I could get more involved with the Detroit dance community where I started learning how to dance in heels and do more hip-hop styles and become more industry trained. I then continued dancing in college. I was going for my BFA as a dance major but dropped out before my junior year started to move to LA to continue dancing and social media. I’ve been dancing my entire life and it has given me a deeper love for the entertainment industry as a whole. I started singing and modeling a little bit and as I got deeper into social media, my modeling opportunities increased because my whole job revolves around photoshoots and promoting brands. I started acting in the third grade. I was an extra in the movies Gifted Hands, Stone, Flipped, and Irishman but then they cut the funding for movies in Michigan and I was told I wouldn’t really get jobs unless my family moved to LA but none of us were ready for that giant move.
When did you have that AHA! Moment?
My AHA! moment that led to a successful Tik-Tok journey was when I posted my first viral video. I was dancing in public and it had over 900,000 likes. That pushed me to over 100,000 followers and I realized this might be my way out of college and actually starting the lifestyle I wanted. I loved dance but I was always so scared of how I would actually be able to make a living and make good connections being from Michigan. That one viral video encouraged me to keep posting consistently.
How did you organically build your brand? What advice do you have for others?
I organically built my brand just by simply posting content that I love posting. I never allow myself to feel pressured by my audience. I post what I want to post and if people don’t like it that’s OK because there are always people that will like it and appreciate what I do. I built my brand around women’s confidence, body positivity, and self-love because learning how to be confident and loving myself has led me to be where I am today and I want other people to be encouraged and inspired to be the same way. Loving yourself unapologetically will take you so far in life. I love making people feel good about themselves.
The advice that I have for others is to love yourself and do what you want to do and do what you are passionate about. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise, your dreams are very possible as long as you put in work. I was never the most talented dancer but I was always the hardest worker in every room I walked into. Consistency is 100% key when it comes to social media so make sure you stay at it and you can’t get discouraged if the content doesn’t blow up, it might take 1000 posts for one to do semi-decent.
What do you enjoy most about social media?
The thing that I enjoy most about social media is being able to spread my message to so many people. It feels so good knowing that I am able to inspire so many people.
Tell us about your two singles.
I’ve always wanted to get into music but I’ve never been fully confident in my voice. As I started my confidence journey on TikTok I decided I might as well take a shot in the dark and start singing and I fell in love with it. The two songs I wrote are very personal to me because it’s based on my own feelings and personal experiences. I literally wrote the second song as I was sitting in my room and knew that the guy I was talking to was cheating on me at that exact moment. It feels really good to turn pain into art and beauty. Those two songs were a very good start but they definitely are not the sound that I’m going for so currently I am working with a couple of producers to get back into making music but making sure it’s the way I want them to be. It’s definitely a long process and I’m very impatient so this time I’m trying not to rush, it’s been over a year and I’ve been planning a lot so hopefully the comeback will be strong!
What lessons have you learned by promoting your brand on social media?
The lessons that I have learned while Promoting my brand on social media is that no matter what you do, there will always be a hater and typically that routes from their own insecurities so you can’t take things personally!! It has taught me how to be a stronger person mentally!
What’s next for you?
I have so many exciting things coming up for me next. I can’t give away too many details but just know there will be new music coming out, a possible clothing brand, a lot more content, and possible shows! I am so excited to be on this journey with everyone and share my passions with the world.