PUBLISHED: 17:10 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:50 24 September 2020
The Jet House
From his Harold Hill bedroom, a teenage magician became a social media sensation. Now, living in the Costa Blanca, he has co-founded Europe’s biggest TikTok house.
Former Havering College student Charlie Davis, 18, started posting tricks on the video-sharing social network and has gone from zero to 1.3 million followers in a year.
Living in a Spanish villa with 10 other “content creators” or TikTok stars, they make videos for a living.
For Charlie it all started with some magic and some bartered lunch money.
He explains: “My friend showed me a trick at school and I really liked it. He said: ‘if you give me your lunch money I’ll teach you how I did it’.”
So Drapers’ Brookside pupil Charlie went hungry for the day, and from there threw himself into learning more from books and making friends with other magicians in the area.
By the time he was 16, he was performing in clubs and pubs four or fives times a week.
He started posting videos of his tricks on TikTok and amassed a large following very quickly.
He said: “If I was going round a restaurant I’d probably be performing in front of a few hundred people max, but on TikTok I could get millions of views, so it really has helped me in terms of growing what I want to do.”
Ready to take it to the next level, while still at school he started plotting the new TikTok house, calling it the Jet House, with fellow TikTok star Nick Murray, from Stevenage, whom he met though the platform.
Their plan was to create a house in sunny Spain with others with significant audiences to make content together.
This year has seen a trend of “TikTok houses” springing up, with a handful in Europe and the USA.
The UK’s first house, Byte House, opened up in April in London. It is home to six of the country’s TikTok stars with the biggest followings.
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The Jet House, however, has a combined following of 10 million, which at the moment is the biggest for such a house in Europe.
The residents, from across the UK, who perform a range of talents from dance to comedy, have all built up their TikTok empires in their own right, with followers of up to two million.
“No-one [else] has really done anything where they’ve got UK creators and flown them abroad – we wanted the house to be unique in that way,” Charlie says.
Charlie and Nick sent out feelers to lots of creators, to get an idea of the interest for the project.
Swamped with responses, they decided to hold auditions and received “hundreds, if not thousands of entries”.
They whittled it down to 10 and the residents moved in a month ago.
But this is not just a bunch of 18 to 21-year-olds filming their selfies. The team have content meetings every morning to decide what they are going to put up.
They are also contracted for nine months to participate in YouTube and TikTok videos, a Gen-Z version of an artist’s residency.
But what brings in the real money?
Charlie says that their main source of income is from the work they do with commercial brands.
Between them, they work with companies such as Krispy Kreme, Oreo, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, making videos and posting them on their channels to their many viewers.
What could be next?
Charlie said: “I see us expanding this massively in the future, and making it bigger and bigger; it’s going so well, I see it lasting for a long time”.
And for Charlie: “I would love to do a Netflix show doing street magic, things like Dynamo.
“I’d love that to be the next step for me: that and growing the Jet House.”
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