A Little Chat With… The Guy Who Does The Nekci Menij Show
This summer, anyone who, like us, enjoys spending their time surfing the internet for pop related videos, may have been introduced to Medoner, Brinty, Rhenna, Bayonse and, the girl who brought them all together, Nekci Menij.
Now usually we don’t pay an awful lot of attention to homemade popstar parodies, because they tend to be extremely hit-and-miss, but this one surprised us by being actually funny , and having ‘hit’ written all over it.
We weren’t the only ones to think so: merely 3 months after the first episode got posted the show got well over half a million views. And it’s just getting started!
More than enough reason for us to sit down with David, the creator of the show, and have a little chat about the show’s success, the Nekci Menij language, the upcoming second season and Natile Bosengwhut.
Hello David, first of all: congratulations on producing the best thing the internet has offered us since Rebecca Black !
That might not be a great compliment, but I choose to take it as one, so thanks a lot!
Now, we all know that Rebecca’s success story started when her parents paid some shoddy company a few thousand dollars to write their daughter a questionable song, but to most of us The Nekci Menij Show just came up out of nowhere.
What made you come up with the idea?
Well, it’s obviously linked to the Dolan meme. Me and my friend Amy really found that funny, it was a running joke, and we both love Nicki Minaj.
So in her birthday card I included a Dolan-faced Nicki picture, with the caption ‘my naem is oneka u can cal me nekci.’ That was the original drawing of Nekci.
Then one day in the shower I suddenly thought of the names Brinty and Rhenna and thought it would be funny to make videos about them. I made the first video as a surprise for my friends. It was a bit of a private joke, so I was not expecting more than 4 people to find it funny.
Someone slightly underestimated Nekci there! When did you start to realize that the show had a little more appeal than that?
After episode 2 I made Nekci a Twitter and then ones for other characters started popping up… I spent a few hours just constantly tweeting them all and I was just amazed people had used my characters and added this whole new dimension.
Then when I did episode 3 it suddenly got really popular. I think it was a good standalone one that didn’t require any previous knowledge. It spread a lot on Tumblr, more than any of the others…
So those ‘Nekci’ Twitter profiles aren’t all yours? Which of them are official, just the Nekci one?
Yes just Nekci! I’ve spoken to a lot of the people who run the biggest ones like Gags, Rhenna and Bayonse and they’re really great. If you look at how much they tweet though you’ll realise even I don’t have that much time!
Did other people also help you with the writing and animating of the show, or do you do that all by yourself?
It’s been me doing everything since the beginning really, although I’ve had some general ideas from other people. Another friend came up with the name Shitsinger for example. (laughs)
That’s quite impressive (the work, not the joke). How much work goes into the average episode?
It’s been getting more and more with each episode. The most recent episodes had about 15 to 20 hours work put into them. Originally I only intended to do two episodes, but because of the demand I decided to go with a 10 episode series. I wrote a few episodes ahead, but eventually I started to get delayed and I just had to write as I went along, finish them ASAP and get them out, then start again on a new one.
Considering you do it all alone I think you put out the new episodes at quite an astonishing pace!
Well, with things like this I figured the hype dies down quickly as a rule, so I didn’t want to waste the momentum. So far I’ve done very well.
With that kind of pressure, were there ever any moments it all started to feel more like a job than a hobby?
Yeah, it does once it reaches the Photoshop stage. The show’s episodes are effectively stop motion, with all the frames being made in Photoshop, and the last few episodes had 300 to 500 frames, so that takes hours and hours.
Also, I’ve had a fair bit of writer’s block. It’s very hard to be funny on demand. I now have a set of notes with random jokes for use in the new season. Up till now I just tried to do it all in one go, which was really hard. As I’m writing, I feel I can’t go more than 2 lines without a joke, or it’s getting dull.
I suppose the success raised the bar as well?
Definitely, it’s like anything, people are always going to have a preference for the older ones they first loved, so you have to change it up quickly to keep them impressed.
It must be odd to start off making something for your friends and suddenly have the world watching. If you had known Nekci would become such a success, would you have done anything differently with the early episodes?
Yeah, a bit. It’s a little frustrating at this stage. I have the connection to Dolan which causes some people to just ignore it, although it’s really a fusion of some very different styles to that. Also, I chose to use copyrighted materials in order to make the references funnier, using the artists’ real songs. Right now that makes it very difficult to make any money from the show, which at this stage would help a lot because its getting hard to justify the amount of work I want to put in. I was going to have a DVD of the first season but I realised today I can’t do that, which is annoying because a lot of people wanted to buy it and it could have easily made me £200. I could take the copyrighted bits out, but that would compromise the show a lot. I think it would kill the precision humour, and I’d rather have it the best it can be.
It is a shame though, cause the demand definitely seems there. I’ve seen people print their own ‘rhenna pls’ and ‘LVU medoner’ shirts and all.
Haha, yes, I encourage that because at the moment I have no feasible means of profiting from any merchandise. It means a lot to see people paying to support the show though, even if its very indirect.
The show makes fun of pretty much every big popstar out there, so there’s bound to be some fans who don’t appreciate that. Have you received a lot of negative or angry comments?
Much less than I expected actually! There are some comments on YouTube from fans who don’t QUITE understand it, but other people always do the explaining for me. Some people didn’t like the references to Adole's weight and things that are a little more personal, but I felt they had to be there.
You didn’t really come up with those though. The show is basically taking all of the usual comments those artists get..
…and making a joke of them effectively!
Because most criticism these artists get in real life is ridiculous in my opinion. Which is why everyone gets in a dig at everyone else and the constant fighting between the characters comes across as entirely pointless.
We were wondering if the show was more about celebrating ‘stan culture’ or parodying it, but it definitely seems to lean more towards the latter..
I love the pop stan culture of course, but everyone needs constant reminders that it’s all just lighthearted! The whole premise of the show is kind of positive: it’s just making light of éverything, which I think is healthy. There are people who say they like the show because they love a certain artist, and then there’s others that love the show because they hate that same artist, which is great in a way. There’s literally got to be something for everyone, I work to that model.
The show doesn’t seem to favour any popstar over the others. Do you really like them equally or are you just doing a great job of hiding your preferences?
By most people’s standards I practically love everyone, but my preference in real life isn’t what it looks like from the show. I try to make sure it’s totally unbiased mostly.
Say you could get one of the real artists to do a guest stint as their character’s voice for one episode, then who would your first choice be?
Nicki would be really funny if she did one of her crazy voices, but somehow hearing Lady Gaga voice Gags would be such a contrast to her current voice that I think it would be hilarious!
Is there any ‘Nekci’ quote you’d love to hear the actual artist say?
Hmmm… it’s hard, everything would be brilliant really! Perhaps hearing Madonna say ‘no i dont keisha’. That would be pretty great!
Speaking of quotes, let’s talk about the language of the Nekci universe: does a lot of thought go into these characters’ names and sayings or does it come naturally to you? Maybe even so much that you’ve started talking like Nekci yourself ?
Well, it’s hard to say words like album now!
Between me and my friends we just use the nekci versions of some things.
But working on the names and things is an art really. Some people just put a lot of Zs in things, I find you have to make things sound like another word. When writing it’s going to come out differently with a voice sometimes, so you have to think about the phonetics.
I actually read them in Medoner’s voice in my head to test them, and if I laugh I’m keeping them!
If I’d give you a few names right now, would you be able to Nekcify them on the spot?
Let’s just give it a shot! Taylor Swift..
Oh I did her actually! Someone wanted to run an account so I made them a pic and official name. She’s called Trayler Swuft. I also did Retar Ore and Krely Roolind for that person. Eventually Krely started making cameos on the show.
She’s on my list, let me check her!
I’ve written Kayile Manog. ‘Kayile’ will come out very weird on the translators though.
Hmmm, this is hard!
I’ll say Arlexand Broke, although if they said ‘Arlexand’ quite slowly it would be pretty odd.
Just because it’s such a wonderful name as it is: Natalie Bassingthwaighte
She was in the Rogue Traders. And has possibly the most impossible name ever.
I thought about her the other day. She would be called Pizy Loat.
What a random person to think about.
Haha, well she isn’t likely to be in it, but she has been requested… like, once…
What’s the silliest request you got?
Erm.. Carly Rae Jepsen, over and over and over again.
Does she even have a real life personality yet?
Well… no. (laughs)
How do you determine who goes on the show and who doesn’t?
Since you’re British yourself, can we expect to see Nuhdeen Coyle and Syphilis Bextor anytime soon?
Syphilis Bextor, oh my god!
I personally love her. But the show’s really about the high profile relationships these people have in real life. It gives me a lot to parody, so that’s how I choose.
So it’s not just about including the most popular artists who will get you the most viewers?
To some extent, but if it won’t be funny, it won’t work no matter how many fans they have.
I included Lana Del Rey and Marina And The Diamonds because they were very popular requests but they were difficult to work with.
At first brinty was too. I gave her an audition effectively in episode 9, so if she wasn’t funny I was going to fire her, but she managed to throw some decent shade.
Nekci herself also is hard to deal with at times, she has less airtime at the moment.
Have there been any artists you wanted to include but didn’t because you couldn’t come up with a good name, face or joke for them?
Yeah, some have been delayed. Voices have been an issue with some, like Cheryl Cole. But now I have solved most of those problems in preparation for season 2. She will simply have a scottish accent.
I’m sure she’ll love that.
Let’s talk season 2!
Is there anything you can tell about what’s coming up? Will there be 10 episodes again? Will we get more music videos? Commercials? A Necki Movie? A christmas charity single?
I will aim for another 10 episodes, and I hope to get started making them soon.
I’ll produce a couple before they start being shown because i will be going back to university and I won’t have so much time to make them.
There will be new characters every episode as always, I have enough of those for 10 episodes. Nekci, Brinty, Rhenna, Medoner, Bayonse, Kety and Xtine are fixtures really. They will all feature throughout the season.
There will be more songs and music videos. There also will be halloween and christmas specials.
Yay! Can you spill anything yet about upcoming storylines?
I will tell you the talent shows are going to feature more prominently, as brinty has her new job to go to. Theres a lot of people involved with X Factor, The Voice and American Idol so theres a lot to parody, I will have to be selective.
Do you reckon after season 2 there will be a season 3? Are you in this for the long run, or do you prefer to go out on a peak?
I’m thinking season 2 will be the end.
I think by that time I will have run out of things to do without becoming unfunny. I would probably make the effort to carry on but I’m fairly sure I won’t have any ideas left for it, and it will be a good time to end. The second season might be a little slower to come out, so I expect it will end around the end of the year, beginning of 2013. After that I will do more specials whenever I have a good idea, until nobody cares.
I can do as many more special videos as I like, but making the full episodes is definitely harder. I Am Yuo Ledear was a lot of work but definitely easier and more fun to make than episodes 9 and 10.
Well, we look forward to all the Nekci that’s yet to come!
One more thing, before we forget: when we told people we were going to interview you the number one question almost everyone wanted us to ask you was: ‘can I have his phone number?’
Oh my god!
So, can they?
Yeah, maybe I will slip it in somewhere. Into a video.
‘Nekci might call me maybe.’
You’ll slip your number into the show?
Nah, not really. (laughs)
Well, either way, thanks for the interview!
#Nekci Menij  #Nicki Minaj  #The Nekci Menij Show  #X Factor  #Lady Gaga  #Bayonse  #Gags  #Beyoncé  #Rhenna  #Britney Spears  #Brinty  #Rihanna  #Katy Perry  #Adole  #Parodies  #Interviews
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