• 10.22.14

A Young Band Makes A Music Video Out Of A BuzzFeed Listicle

How a funny take on our Internet obsession turned into a whimsical vehicle for a rock duo’s new single about youthful angst.

A Young Band Makes A Music Video Out Of A BuzzFeed Listicle

Los Angeles music prodigies and brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei, collectively known as The Bots, are serving up a little tech-infused spoof with their new single, All I Really Want, from their new album Pink Palms.


The video is a scroll of a mock BuzzFeed thread–renamed BotsFeed–that matches silly GIFs to song lyrics, with interspersed Bots performance footage filmed by friends. The result is an engaging social commentary.

“I always read ‘listicles’–articles that are lists,” says Anaiah, 17.

“So we thought poking fun at a popular website might be something clever,” adds Mikaiah, 21.

(L-R) Mikaiah and Anaiah LeiPhoto: Rebecca Smeyne

The video concept grew from the brothers’ collaboration with New York music company, Fader Label, and Cornerstone Agency’s Madison Bullard and Jon Majer. The brothers helped select the GIFs and Cornerstone crafted the video using a BuzzFeed community post as a template.

“When it came back to us, we were like, ‘Wow!’ “ says Mikaiah.

The brothers grew up in Los Angeles in a multicultural family: mom is from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and dad is from Taiwan. Cultivating a mixture of garage/punk and blues–Mikaiah on guitar, bass, and lead vocals; Anaiah on drums and background vocals–they self-released their first album six years ago and have toured internationally. Pink Palms is their first full-length album for Fader.


While Mikaiah is surprised by the reaction to the video, Anaiah is a little more circumspect.

“People love the Internet, so we used it to our advantage,” he says.

Pink Palms is available on iTunes and Amazon. Catch upcoming shows here.

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.