If you’ve never heard of Sway House, chances are you have a mortgage. The collab house of TikTok influencers— told you—is a tricked-out, 7,800- square-foot mansion in Bel Air occupied by a kegger of young men with boy-band good looks, testosterone in their veins, and dollar signs in their eyes. Their mission? To make content. Marking a new entry into the reality entertainment genre, the members of Sway House document the choreographed dance numbers and ribald dorm room hijinks that have made TikTok the social media platform of the moment. Prone to Twitter feuds and dissing fellow influencers, uploads to the @theswayla channel regularly bring in over one million views. If you were to mock up a pop culture family tree, Sway House would be the Gen Z problem child of The Real World, Jackass, and Meekus from Zoolander.
Founded in January of this year by TalentX Entertainment, each of the original Sway House members—Kio Cyr, 20; Quinton Griggs, 18; Bryce Hall, 21; Jaden Hossler, 19; Griffin Johnson, 21; Anthony Reeves, 18; and Josh Richards, 18—is a social media star in his own right, and part of a wave of young people who have put higher learning on hold to recreate the college experience without the college. In these so-called “collab houses”—Hype House, Clubhouse, and Drip Crib among them— content creators and aspiring social media stars join forces to combine and collect as many eyeballs as possible.
In the past few months, the members of Sway House have experienced some turbulence. Hossler, along with Richards, left in May after a mid-pandemic, cross-country road trip led to his arrest on drug charges (the duo cited a desire to focus on their careers as the reason behind their conscious disentanglement). Meanwhile, in June, The New York Times published an account detailing a posh neighborhood up in arms over the Animal House–style antics that have overtaken their once-quiet streets.
All of this, of course, brings more attention to Sway House, which is exactly the point. If there’s any question as to the longevity of Sway House’s popularity, and that of other TikTok communities like it, it has less to do with infighting and unflattering headlines than it does geopolitics. With President Trump strongly considering banning the China-owned TikTok over “privacy concerns,” the platform may soon be a thing of the past. But, fear not. For those who can’t get enough of these guys, the Sway House has its own YouTube channel.
“I’m definitely the most interesting person in the room at all times.”
“I’m new here. I literally moved in today, but I’ve already built a bond with these guys that is just, like, I can tell it will last lifetimes.”
“The best looking guy in the house? Honestly, you could ask a million people and you’d get a million different answers.”
“I’m more sensitive than most of the guys. I play it off like stuff doesn’t actually hurt my feelings, but, yeah, some things do.”
“A lot of people think we don’t own any shirts.”
This article appears in the September 2020 issue of Interview Magazine. Subscribe here.
Talent: Noah Beck, Blake Gray, Quinton Griggs, Bryce, and Griffin Johnson
Grooming: Chris McMillan for Drunk Elephant NYC at Chris McMillan Salon.
Executive Production: Conor Lucas
Production: Luke Peterson
Lighting Technician: Sam Massey.
Fashion Assistants: Ashling Massoumi and Jake Obermeyer.
Grooming Assistant: Skevo Zembillas.
Special Thanks: Collins Slovaara.