Humans of EHS: Rachel Knappenberger

Junior Rachel Knappenberger garnered over 50,000 followers on social media platform, TikTok, following her viral video where she tries to break a glass with her voice. Photo by Victoria Rivera.

Rachel Knappenberger is yet another addition to the growing list of Emmaus High School students garnering attention on the infamous app TikTok. 

With over 58,000 followers and 2 million likes in total, it’s clear that the junior has amassed quite a following ever since she created the account in August. This all started when she posted a video on Nov. 5 that went viral.

“I just did it as a joke,” Knappenberger said. “But, somehow, that video went out of proportions… I just thought that it would be a stupid idea.”

The video shows Knappenberger comically attempting to break a glass by singing in various high pitches. The day that she posted it, the TikTok only received about 8,000 views. By the next night, the views had rocketed to around 80,000. It currently has 2.5 million views and 554,600 likes. 

When making the video, however, Knappenberger didn’t expect to receive the type of response that she did. The singer originally believed that the video would just be another one of her silly ideas and nothing much would come out of it. Although the response was unexpected, Knappenberger thinks there’s one main reason as to why so many people enjoyed the skit.

“I think it was just stupid and it was like spur of the moment,” Knappenberger said. “It kind of had like Vine-like qualities, so I think that kind of influenced why it did well.”

While many users on the app solely join to gain followers and find fame, this was not Knappenberger’s goal. The singer openly admits that although she always hoped to find fame, she hoped it would be through her musical talents and not a social media app.

“I want to go into like opera performance and such, and I was hoping to gain fame from that, but no fame is really bad fame, so I’m just okay with what happened and hoping that I can use it to benefit myself and promote myself through it,” Knappenberger said.

Although it may seem that having tens of thousands of followers on a popular app would affect a person, Knappenberger finds herself to be the same. However, there are some instances where she has been recognized while in public by fans of her or viewers of the viral video.

When most of her friends found out, they shared the same response as Knappenberger. 

“My friends are laughing about, I’m laughing about it,” the singer said. “They were really shocked with it. They couldn’t believe it.”

As for making each of her videos, Knappenberger hardly finds herself overwhelmed to complete them. Each TikTok generally takes about two minutes to make. The short nature of their production has a specific reason, according to the singer.

“I don’t want to overthink [making the videos] because TikTok is such a stupid app,” Knappenberger said. “Like in concept it’s stupid, because it’s just like mindlessly scrolling, so I wanted to come up with something that’s so stupid that people will stay on it and be like, ‘oh, that’s stupid,’ and then scroll again.”

As for her school life, it remains generally unaffected. Since the videos don’t take much time to make, Knappenberger still has time to complete her schoolwork and participate in the various musical clubs in the school. 

Knappenberger is part of Chorale, Acca Bella, Bella Voce, and Select Choir. The singer also starred in the school’s production of Les Misérables, West Side Story, Our Town, and Hamlet. For as long as she can remember, she has been completely in love with music and singing. 

“I’ve been singing since maybe about like second grade with a trained singer,” Knappenberger said. “And I’ve really taken it to the next level this past two years by getting two voice teachers and I’m really trying to like go to college for that and such.” 

As for Knappenberger’s TikTok page, it has continued to grow steadily since posting the original viral video along with her several newer additions.

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