Nathalie Rodriguez

Paul Russell‘s viral hit “Lil Boo Thang” is climbing the Billboard charts — and oddly enough, it blew up online after he vowed to stop using social media to promote his music.

“I’d told myself I was going to post a lot on social media to promote my music, but it hadn’t been working,” he tells ABC Audio. “So then I decided, forget the promo stuff … I’m just gonna make stuff that, you know, is never going to come out, but it’ll just be fun content.”

But being stressed about “all of the promo stuff,” he says, meant he put on some music to chill out. And the rest, as they say, is history.

“‘Best of My Love‘ came on,” he says, referring to the 1970s #1 hit that “Lil Boo Thang” is based on. “And I was like, ‘Y’know what? I could get the instrumental and just, you know, play around with that and see if there’s anything fun that comes out of it.’ And, you know, that’s what ended up being the little 20-second clip [that went viral].”

Paul thinks the song is a hit because it appeals to fans of all ages. “It’s cool having people who liked the original song also like my song,” he says. “You don’t want them to be like, ‘Man, you ruined it! I’m so mad!’ But people have been super receptive, so I’m loving it.”

Thanks to “Lil Boo Thang,” Paul will appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a couple weeks. In December he’ll play his first-ever live shows. Is he glad this song is the one that ended up bringing him success?

“I am,” he says. “Because I think it’s a very happy song, in a time when there’s not that much happy music. I’m glad this one worked.” 

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