John Long rolled out of bed March 31 to a multitude of missed calls and voice mails.
It seems the Lee’s Summit West High School graduate had become an overnight local media darling after his parody video of the top-charting song ‘Royals’ by teenage artist Lorde went viral.
Sports talk radio stations in Kansas City and other area media outlets wanted a word with Long, now a freshmen majoring in marketing at Evangel University in Springfield.
“I think all of it must have happened overnight,” Long said April 1 via telephone from Springfield. “I don’t really know how to explain it. I was just waking up. It just happened.”
In an ode to his beloved Kansas City Royals baseball team, Long said the parody song – written by friend and fellow World Revival Church member Aaron Lage – was his way of supporting a team that has not made the postseason since wining the 1985 World Series over cross-state nemesis St. Louis.
Alas, that championship season was a decade before Long was even born.
“The overall goal is just to get fans back into the game,” Long said. “We’ve had a few rough years so we thought it was a good idea to make something that reminds people that we are still here and we’re still supporting the Royals.”
Despite frigid temperatures, Long said he and fellow Evangel student Aaron Durkalski made a trip to Kansas City in January to film the video and attend the Royals Fan Fest to get more footage.
After weeks of editing, the video was released March 30, a day before the real-life Royals lost 4-3 in Detroit on Opening Day.
“It’s pretty cool,” Long said of the attention the video has gotten since its release.
The limelight is nothing new to Long, a singer/songwriter and musician. Last August, Long competed as one of 10 finalists in the “American Idol”-style KC SuperStar competition.
Before competing for the title of KC Superstar 2013, Long auditioned for American Idol in Oklahoma City and made the list of talent that performed in front of celebrity judges including Randy Jackson and Keith Urban.
Despite those feats, Long remains grounded in his studies.
“I just kind of go with the flow,” he said. “I take whatever comes at me. I’m in school right now, but who knows what will happen in the future.”