Remember Starbucks Drake Hands? The story goes that a girl went to Starbucks, the barista bugged her for her phone number and a couple of hours later, sent her a video selfie with flirty hand gestures to the soundtrack of Drake's single "Hold on We're Coming Home." Hence, #starbucksdrakehands was born and everyone from a grandma to a dog to Larry King was doing the Starbucks Drake Hands move on Instagram.
Brody Ryan, the man who started it all, is back in the limelight one month later with a new rap song, appropriately titled "15 Seconds of Fame." It's pretty clear what Ryan is talking about in his song. The first verse starts with: "Who would have the thought / The man with the Starbuck hands / Would land a hundred grand in fans / In just a few weeks?"
Metro spoke with Ryan about his new song and what it's like to be the man behind Starbucks Drake Hands. Interestingly, Ryan said he never met Piper Kennedy, the woman who received the video, at Starbucks. "I've never worked at Starbucks in my life," said Ryan. In fact, Ryan said the two met on Tinder, a dating app. Ryan explained that the two hit it off on Tinder and then started texting each other when suddenly, Kennedy stopped answering his texts. He talked with his friends about what to do and two weeks later, they decided to create a "video voicemail."
"We were just doing it for laughs," said Ryan. "Just something to get a reaction, whether it made her laugh or continue not to reach out — we didn't really care. It was just funny and for our amusement." Ryan didn't hear back but about two weeks later, he found out the video had gone viral. "I texted her as a joke, 'Oh, thank you for this,' and she called me right away and apologized and she said, 'Oh, it's so funny how we met at Starbucks,' and I'm sitting here like, I don't understand," said Ryan.
He said after reading stories about the origin of #starbucksdrakehands he read that he was supposedly a barista at Starbucks, and then just a guy in line at the coffee shop. Ryan said, "Usually, I walk down to 7-Eleven and get my coffee in the morning — there's no reason why I'd go to Starbucks in the morning." He added that maybe Kennedy was embarrassed about using Tinder and that's why she said they met at Starbucks.
When Metro asked Ryan if he disliked Starbucks, he answered, "No, it's not that. I typically don't even drink my whole cup of coffee. I just get a small cup at 7-Eleven," he said. "That's when I found out the video had gone viral. I was eating a doughnut and I choked on the powder when I found out." Consequently, Ryan used a photo of himself with doughnut powder on his face to accompany the song.
Ryan admitted that he was embarrassed about the video going viral. "Heck yeah," he said. "This is something you sent to get a reaction from one person — you weren't ready to take on the entire world. My video probably had a 0.1 percent chance of getting as big as it did but I guess with the timing of Drake's song and everything it blew up. I was thinking, 'I'm 30 years old, how does this affect my career?'" Ryan was so overwhelmed he quit his part-time job as a waiter.
Ryan and Kennedy's conflicting accounts of what happened led several talk shows to drop their appearances, according to Ryan. He also said that a representative from Kennedy's management company told him he was an "opportunist talentless loser" who was using Kennedy, but he added that people from the same company told him he made her "a household name just by flirting with her."
Ryan has been stopped on the street by people who recognized him from the viral video, and a group of girls once came to a restaurant where he worked to look for him, but he was not on shift at the time.
For now, Ryan is taking his fame in stride and trying to carry it over to his music. "I was dormant for a while and not really producing music," he said. "I was looking for an opportunity and I saw a way to spin this in my favor and do what I like to do."
You can check out more of Ryan's music on his website: BrodyRyan.com
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark