Niana Guerrero lets us in on getting nominated for another KCA, feeling the pressure, her crosswalk collab with SB19, and more.
Niana Guerrero has come a long way from being known as just that girl who danced in the car with her older brother. While the viral moment undoubtedly got her name on the map, she’s a powerhouse in her own right. Whether it be on Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok, Niana can be found near or at the top of the most followed list in the Philippines. And a peek into her often viral content proves why that is so.
Her charming personality that can make you feel like you are friends combined with her insane talent for dancing is a recipe for success. All that and more is why she earned another nomination for the Kids Choice Awards, this time for Favorite Asian Creator.
FAVORITE ASIAN CREATOR
“I first found out about the [KCA] nomination, I was jumping, that’s for sure,” shares Niana in an interview with NYLON Manila. While this isn’t the first time Niana has been nominated for a KCA, she won her first award in 2019, the nomination feels extra special because of its scope. “This is not like only in the Philippines. It’s actually all over Asia. So, I think it’s such an honor.”
The moment is the latest achievement for this 17-year-old social media star. If Niana got 10 pesos for every achievement or internet-breaking moment she’s had in her career, it would probably be enough to buy a kilo of onions. In just the past few months, Niana, along with her brother Ranz Kyle, got a star on the Eastwood Walk of Fame, was on everyone’s TikTok FYP for her Wednesday video and became the first Filipino to be included on TikTok’s Discover list. And she did all that before she turns 18 the next year.
Despite her success though, Niana still feels taken aback by her career. “I didn’t even expect to have any of these kinds of achievements in the first place. So, I’m like, ‘Whoa’ because I remember years ago, I would get an award and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it. I have an award.’ Moments like this still surprise me every time.”
With that being said, she does recognize the impact she has with having a large platform. In particular, she knows that young kids, teens, and even families look up to her. “I guess there’s pressure sometimes. I mean, it’s hard because people sometimes expect a lot from you. A lot of these kids and families look up to me, so I have to set a good example.” Still, don’t expect Niana Guerrero to contort herself to meet the expectations of others.
At the end of the day, Niana is a 17-year-old teen who loves dancing, not a product people can project their ideas onto. “There’s always a point where people get pressured. So, I tell myself to not really think about what other people think. I just have to be me. That’s all.” What you see on social media from Niana Guerrero is what you get.
OWNING THE FYP
When scrolling through Niana’s TikTok account, she makes every dance she does look easy. As the most followed Philippine-based creator on TikTok, Niana bodying the latest dance challenge is just a regular Tuesday afternoon. But while she does make it look easy, the behind-the-scenes work isn’t always so. Filming a TikTok video can be a lengthy process.
“You know, a lot of people think that it’s just one take, but sometimes it nearly takes me 25 to 30 takes to do a normal TikTok video. Maybe because if I miss a beat or like a certain detail in the move, I just do it again, and again, retake and retake until I get satisfied. Sometimes when I get lucky, it’s just one. It depends.”
As for how she determines what to post, Niana turns to her FYP for help, and what she feels is worth doing. “I think that it’s really important to keep track of what’s trending and what’s not. And yeah, I just choose any dance that I feel like doing and just add my flavor into it and then I’m good to go.”
But believe it or not, despite scoring numerous viral videos, getting the world to dance with her popular dance challenges, and being associated with global trends, Niana doesn’t feel that there’s a key to making a great video. Like many of us, the TikTok superstar is at the whims of the platform’s algorithm. “I feel like there is no like secret at all…You just have to get a good idea and if you think it’s a good idea, then go for it.”
Speaking of the algorithm, what videos pop up on the FYP on someone like Niana Guerrero? “There’s a lot of relatable comedy videos. I love comedy videos, especially at night when I can’t sleep, I just try to laugh at the content. If not comedy videos, dance videos for sure.” She also singles out Australia-based Filipino creator Angelo Marasigan, who has made a following in the millions thanks to, among other things, his viral impression of the Kardashians, as one of her favorite creators as of the moment.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. And while Niana Guerrero is no child, she does have a team to help her achieve her creative vision. If you’ve seen her YouTube videos, then you probably saw some of the members of Team Niana. It’s this team that the social media star credits with how she often isn’t overwhelmed with all her responsibilities, whether it be as a top influencer, daughter, sister, or student.
“We always prioritize free time and rest days for each [of us]. And I feel like that’s important when you’re doing a lot of things, you know, to take a break and to pause for a bit. And once it’s time to do work, then we work.”
At just 17 years old, Niana has a lot on her plate, enough to overwhelm most adults. But what makes her thrive is that she doesn’t subscribe to 100% hustle culture. She knows when to rest, do her own thing, and get on with her work responsibilities. It’s a mindset most of us can take to heart. Inevitably though, succeeding in a world where people are constantly finding the next new thing can be challenging.
Niana admits that dealing with creative blocks is one of the hardest things she and her team deal with. But they do have their workarounds for when they need to wrack their brain for new ideas. “We gather up with the whole team and just throw different ideas at each other until we come up with a good one. And we also have a creative team with that so it makes things easier.”
TO BIGGER MOMENTS
It’s this kind of creative thinking that has helped birth some of Niana’s most iconic moments, such as her internet-breaking collaborations with fellow creators. And while she speaks fondly of all her collaborations, the one that holds a special place in her heart was when she worked with SB19 in 2022. When photos of Niana at the group’s dance studio made their rounds on Twitter, fans went into a meltdown with the manifestation of this hoped-for collab.
It reached greater heights when Niana and SB19 literally stopped traffic in BGC for their crosswalk concert. “I think one of my favorite collaborations for sure is the one with SB19 and the crosswalk concert. That was just really interesting to me because that’s one of our biggest things we ever produced. It’s just crazy that I got to perform with SB19 in the crosswalk with their songs.”
According to Niana, she and the group have been in talks for a while about working together. But it was only when she got the idea of doing the crosswalk concert was when things fell into place. “SB19 and I were talking about doing a collab for a very, very long time. Last year around, I forgot what month, but it just hit me that maybe we should do a crosswalk concert with SB19. I think that’d be very, very interesting. So, I reached out to them. And then from there, we just talked about it.”
With all that Niana Guerrero has achieved in her life, you would think that she’s done it all. But the dancing prodigy still has a lot left on her bucket list. For now, she hopes to focus on simpler things; improve her guitar skills and get that driver’s license before she turns 18. “I’ve been practicing and I’ve been going to driving school.”
As for what she hopes to achieve this 2023, at the top of her list is something many Gen Z can relate to, sleeping early. And the KCA-nominated star is also looking to get those revenge travel miles. “Travel more to different countries that I’ve never been to and just explore beautiful places.” Her top destination? “Everyone’s in Japan. So, I want to experience that, too.”
Continue Reading: 8 Ranz And Niana Vlogs That Made Them YouTube Sensations