The man behind TikTok Sensation explains the backstory

  • A group of Orthodox Jewish tweens called the “Miami Boys Choir” has gone viral on TikTok.
  • Chananya Begun, the son of the group’s founder, launched the TikTok account for the group in June.
  • Begun told Insider that he wanted to further his father’s legacy and do something “wonderful” for him.

A group of young Jewish singers known as the Miami Boys Choir has been a household name for decades within the Orthodox Jewish community, according to many people who grew up listening to them. But in recent weeks, they have become a viral sensation around the world.

The choir, which has released more than 30 albums, mostly composed by founder Yerachmiel Begun, blew up on TikTok after Yerachmiel’s son Chananya, 34, posted a clip of a 2007 rendition of the Hebrew song. of the choir, “Yerushalayim”, which has accumulated 8.8 million views on the platform.

Commenters said they fell in love with the catchy tune and said they had been listening to it “on repeat” after discovering it on the platform.

The four soloists in the video, now adults in their 20s, became TikTok sensations as thousands of viewers dueted from the original clip and rated each of the soloists. One member, David Herskowitz, now 27, created his own TikTok account and posted a handful of Miami Boys Choir-themed videos.

Behind the story of a music group finding success with a new audience that has never heard of them before is a personal story of a son who simply wanted to honor his father’s work, Chananya said.

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He told Insider that he created the group’s TikTok account because, at 66, his father wasn’t particularly interested in exploring opportunities on the platform. He had always hoped it would go viral, but the huge success of the song still surprised him.

Chananya’s perseverance and passion for the song that helped her go viral

Formed in Miami Beach, Florida in 1977 and directed by Yerachmiel, the Miami Boys Choir is made up of Jewish boys who sing a variety of original songs that they have performed live across the United States.

It took some convincing for Chananya before his father jumped on the idea of ​​opening a TikTok account, the 34-year-old told Insider, as TikTok “wasn’t really his world or thing,” but Chananya saw an opportunity after spotting a pattern for talented young kids that is going viral on the platform.

Chananya, who has his own day job as the founder of a creative arts organization, said he had less work to do during the summer months and decided to open a TikTok account for the group on a voluntary basis.

He uploaded the 2007 clip of the choir’s performance of “Yerushalayim” on August 16, which he said got about 20,000 views overnight.

An image of Chananya Begun

Chananya Begun, 34, opened the Miami Boys Choir’s TikTok account in June.

Chananya began

Realizing that the video did relatively well compared to previous posts, he decided to upload the clip again a few days later and it went massively viral. It’s common for creators to repost the same video multiple times on TikTok to increase the chances of it reaching viewers through the platform’s algorithm.

“It was only the second video to go viral after I reposted it. Thank God I did that,” he said.

The clip, which was subtitled “Four Miami Soloists in 40 Seconds,” showed four children taking turns singing the song while the rest of the choir, dressed in colorful shirts and standing in formation, performed a choreographed dance around them. .

Chananya said she was happy to see that “Yerushalayim” was the post that launched the group’s viral hit on TikTok because the song has always held a special place in her heart.

He told Insider that it is the only song released by the Miami Boys Choir that he had a hand in writing, as he wrote the trumpet and saxophone intros for the song.

“The fact that the one that really went viral was the one that I was involved with was such a nice thing to add to the mix,” he said.

Chananya said she hopes to honor her father’s legacy and message by sharing his music on TikTok.

Chananya, who is not officially affiliated with the choir, said he was happy to volunteer his time setting up the TikTok account to help his father. “I wanted to do something for my dad. It had the potential to be really wonderful for him,” he told Insider.

“I wanted to do something to further my father’s legacy. My father has worked really hard all these years and he’s still working hard, so for me, I felt like if I could do something that would really blow this thing up, I wanted to do it,” Chananya said. .

According to Chananya, her father was shocked to learn how viral her group had become on TikTok. “He and the rest of the family are still trying to figure it out,” he said.

Chananya said she hopes that as she continues to post videos about the choir, her father’s message of promoting “genuinity and excellence” through performance continues to spread.

“From a religious perspective, we talk about art as an imitation of God, who creates and gives out of love. So if we imitate him and combine that with being great on stage, I really think that could change the world and have a very big impact.” positive”. That is exactly what he did this time,” she said.

For more stories like this, check out Insider’s digital culture team coverage here.

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