Student Becomes Star: Local TikTok User Planned His Success

Photo courtesy of Quran Stenline

Junior business marketing major Quran Stenline is learning to how to maintain his fame. After rising to stardom seemingly overnight due to a TikTok video, he is already making plans on how to keep his upward trajectory going.  

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, he soon moved to Dallas where he spent a majority of his childhood. After recognizing his interest in social media, at the age of 18 he moved to Houston for more opportunities, and attended Sam Houston State University for an education.

“I was going to do sports, but then I decided to stay on social media side,” Stenline said. “I wanted to pursue social media marketing, so I just stayed here at Sam Houston.”

Growing up, Stenline was heavily involved in sports. Commonly known as “Q,” Stenline attended Sachse High School in Sachse, Texas where he participated in football and track and field. Throughout his middle and high school years, Stenline spent his time pursuing acting and modeling.

“I started acting when I was in middle school, but I wasn’t serious about it,” Stenline said. “I acted on Disney Channel in seventh grade, but after that I fell off from it. Then I got into theater in high school and fell off again my junior year, and now I’m picking back up on everything I left off.”

Although he received scholarships for sports, he still decided to pursue his social media dreams. With this being the end goal, Stenline created his own YouTube channel and from there his popularity began to grow. It was at that moment he decided that being an influencer to the lives of many was what he wanted to do.

At the age of 20, with a rise in all of his newfound fame, Stenline hired a team to assist him in juggling his various social media platforms and with their help, Stenline began the journey of a lifetime.

“I got a team in October,” Stenline said. “When I started saying, ‘I can’t handle all of this by myself’’ – because it was a whole lot to handle at one time for one person.”

In December 2019, Stenline appeared in a video that went viral on Twitter in a matter of 24 hours. Around the same time, Stenline became well known on the app, TikTok. His TikTok followers round in at about 1.9 million and his Instagram followers are not far behind. It’s not all fun and games though. Stenline realizes the algorithm behind each social media outlet.

“I was like, I need some type of debut to get back on everyone’s timelines so, what can I do,” Stenline said. “Twitter is all about current- if you want to go viral, do something cringey.”

After much consideration, he posted a video that was viewed by millions of viewers in a short amount of time. It was that video which skyrocketed him into stardom.

“I was thinking, if I just do the little light skin ‘aha’ then it’s going to definitely be something funny, intriguing; people will hate it, love it and people will laugh at it,” Stenline said. “I was like, let me try it out, and with my good brains, it blew up.”

Stenline plans to finish pursuing his degree and graduate SHSU in the spring of 2021. His friends and family keep him grounded, but it’s hard to keep up with all the new opportunities life presents him with. Still, he prioritizes education.

“I can’t drop out,” Stenline said. “I’m way too late in it. I love Sam Houston, but right now I have an opportunity to move to California, but I can’t take it because I’m in school.”

Stenline said he relates his platform to that of his mogul icon, Will Smith, and shares that he aspires to have as great of an impact on the lives of his audience as Smith does.

“Eventually, I want to be global where if you hear the name ‘Q’, you know his representation and what he’s trying to represent and everything like that,” Stenline said. “Kind of like Will Smith; everybody loves Will Smith. Will Smith is a good person. You look at Will Smith and you think ‘that guy is a good guy.’”

Stenline plans to continue making videos and hopes to one day create his own business. In the next five years, viewers can expect to see growth in his social media platforms, with a desire to spread love and positivity through his brand, merchandise and perhaps even a TV show.

“I continuously want to keep growing and expanding,” Stenline said. “Eventually, I just want to open up my own business to where we’re spreading positivity and love throughout my merchandise and my message.”

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