How the K3 Sisters Band Turned Their Harry Potter Fandom Into TikTok Gold
If you're a Harry Potter fan on TikTok, you've probably stumbled upon the videos of the creative and incredibly talented K3 Sisters Band, best known for hilarious HP-themed comedy videos as well as beautiful music inspired by the series.
The band, made up of sisters Kaylen, Kelsey and Kristen Kassab, has more than 1.5 million TikTok followers, and has had their videos viewed a quarter of a billion times. Clearly, they have something special going on, and their new anti-bullying anthem "Queen Bellatrix" is going absolutely viral.
(Image Courtesy of the K3 Sisters Band)
We were curious to find out what went into the track and what it's been like to find such success with their fandom-inspired videos on TikTok, and we got the chance to ask all about it in the interview below.
Name: Kaylen Michelle Kassab
Birthday: Sept. 5
Hogwarts house: Gryffindor
Name: Kelsey Rose Kassab
Birthday: June 19
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Hogwarts house: Hufflepuff
Name: Kristen Victoria Kassab
Birthday: Dec. 29
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Hogwarts house: Slytherin
Sweety High: What was the songwriting process behind "Queen Bellatrix"?
Kristen: I was hurting badly after an internet bully and her followers posted mean things about me. A month later, I saw sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson of the band Heart sing their song "Barracuda" about how they were bullied, and went into my bedroom and began writing an edgy song which showcased the bully Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter "getting what she deserved" because she was so mean to everyone. The words to the verses and chorus literally poured out of my pencil, and the tune as well. Turns out this song became a weird way of explosively releasing my pain at being bullied without hurting or striking out at a real person.
(Image Courtesy of the K3 Sisters Band)
SH: Why is the track so meaningful to the three of you?
Kaylen: "Queen Bellatrix" is our most requested song since we've been live streaming our concerts on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook during this COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, the three of us sing three-part harmony, but on this one, Kristen sings a solo while I get to support her by rocking out on electric guitar. Every time we perform it, I get a warm buzz inside when I hear her crazy vocal intensity, and see her wild gestures often in a Bellatrix-like costume because I know this song has brought her healing.
Kelsey: Every once in a while, a song we write is so personal that when we perform it for our fans and friends it triggers deep emotions that might not be visible to your audience and fans. "Queen Bellatrix" is one of those songs, and since all three of us love the Harry Potter movies, it is a thrill to envision ourselves somehow in that magical universe.
SH: How has Harry Potter become a huge part of the band's identity?
Kelsey: We grew up watching the Harry Potter movies, and loved going to Universal Studios in Orlando where we lost ourselves in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter riding the rides, drinking butterbeer and singing the songs that were featured in the movies, such as "Double Trouble," sung during the Frog Choir scene in the third movie, Prisoner of Azkaban.
Kaylen: On a whim, we decided to sing our version of "Double Trouble" and post it on TikTok, and our followers loved it! So we began to do more TikToks singing songs from the movies, acting in original Harry Potter-themed skits, and inventing dances in Harry Potter costumes. The huge, international Harry Potter fandom went wild, and our Harry Potter TikToks exploded with millions of views, likes and shares.
Kristen: Then, we began posting the same videos on Facebook, and Instagram and made YouTube video compilations of our Harry Potter TikToks, which caused our other social media accounts to receive millions of views as well.
(Image Courtesy of the K3 Sisters Band)
SH: Where did the name the K3 Sisters Band come from?
Kristen: It happened on a flight in 2009 from DisneyWorld back home to Dallas while we were bored, goofing around, drawing designs and dreaming about our next performances to pass the time. We suddenly came up with the idea of calling ourselves the K3 Sisters Band because all of our names start with the letter K.
Kelsey: Yes. And, later on in the flight our dad scribbled a logo on a pad with the letter K, turned into a sideways heart plus the words "Sisters Band," and colored it in. We instantly loved it, and to this day we perform as the K3 Sisters Band, and that same logo is our official logo with the addition of three gold stars that represent the three of us.
Kaylen: And, we still have that original piece of paper with the logo that dad created on the plane trip home!
SH: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
Kaylen: It's shocking to some people when they find out how wide and deep our musical influences range. Because our dad grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s where he began his musical career listening to the likes of Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead; Bob Dylan, Donovan; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Neil Young and The Beatles, we heard this music playing as we were growing up, and we still love them all! Especially the singer-songwriters of the 1970s.
Kelsey: At the same time, we were rocking out to the Jonas Brothers, Cheetah Girls, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Five Seconds of Summer and Twenty One Pilots, to name a few more modern artists. At first, we covered many of their songs in our concerts at Six Flags Over Texas, Great Wolf Lodge and city festivals. But when we began writing our own songs, we reached back to those singer-songwriters of the '60s and '70s and fused it with the more modern artists to create our original sound.
Kristen: When people try to put us in a particular genre or category, it is almost impossible because we are such a wide combination of styles and genres. Lately, we're hearing the phrase "a band that defies description" being used to describe us, and we take it as a compliment.
SH: What has it been like making such a huge name for yourselves on TikTok?
Kristen: It's been like a magical mystery tour, to quote The Beatles! I was the one who introduced the band to TikTok as I began experimenting with cosplaying anime characters on the app. Over a year later we started a band account, and in a few months our views and followers blew up like crazy.
Kaylen: We're super excited to interact with young people from all over the world thanks to our exploding TikTok account. At the same time, we're always refocusing ourselves on the fact that we're a full-time band, and not simply social media stars. Keeping a healthy balance requires discipline, and that's not easy at times.
Kelsey: We always wanted to develop an international reach with our original songs, but the satisfaction of seeing our music appreciated in such a big way is directly due to our dancing, skits and comedy on TikTok which always points to our content as a working family band.
SH: What do you think it is about TikTok that's allowed you to succeed in such an impactful way?
Kaylen: That's a difficult question to answer because millions of young and not so young people are trying to figure out how to get a lot of followers on TikTok and other social media apps. In our case, one thing is that we tried to connect with fans of Heathers, Stranger Things, Charlie's Angels and most importantly the Harry Potter fandom, which is one of the fastest-growing worldwide communities. By creating high-quality content for these loyal groups, we got their attention, and so far have kept it!
Kristen: We want to be more than just a quick laugh for people, so we create content that has a lasting impact, and at the same time is fun and charming to view over and over. Because of that, and unlike a lot of other TikTok accounts, we continue to get a huge number of views on older posts when people discover us on the For You page.
Kelsey: I think it's also the fact that we were producing high-quality videos and working with high-end movie editing programs before TikTok entered our lives. So, the special effect features on TikTok were easy for us to use as we storyboarded, and then created great short videos. And, because as fate would have it, the three of us plus our mom represent all four of the Harry Potter houses, we are super relatable to all Harry Potter fans who each tend to relate to one particular house. It's all about the sense of community.
SH: What's it like to be in a band with your sisters? What are the benefits and challenges of that arrangement?
Kaylen: It's the best of all worlds! Because we love what we do and do it together we have become best friends.
Kelsey: The truth is that when you are in the entertainment business full-time like we are, you have to make a number of sacrifices. One of those is having a lot of friends and doing the kind of things that "normal" kids do as they are growing up. That reality has been and continues to be a challenge for all of us.
Kristen: We share incredible successes and backstage anxieties with each other constantly. That "fog of war" experience always draws you close to the others with you. But let me tell you, it's not all roses and chocolate. Lots of times we fight, quarrel and storm off. But, we always have a band and family meeting when we cool down, discuss why it happened, make up, and move on with the understanding that we'll try not to let it happen again.
(Image Courtesy of the K3 Sisters Band)
SH: What is the "#k3motto" and what do you think we can all learn from it?
Kaylen: The K3 Motto is "I will always believe in myself and celebrate my life and the lives of others. I will respect the music and customs of others as long as they are not harmful to anyone. I will stand against bullying of any kind and choose love over hate." We believe that if more people could live by this motto, we could love one another more, and avoid a lot of senseless fighting and conflict in our world.
Kelsey: As part of our homeschooling, we studied all the world religions to some degree or another. So along with our dad, we tried to create a short motto that encapsulated all the world religions into a short statement that you could live by in any culture or country. At first, we had a three-page document, but cut it down to these three parts which have impacted thousands of our peers across the globe.
Kristen: Our motto is not something that we "own." It is the positive side of the universe revealing itself in a few words to those who will truly reflect and change their ways. There is plenty of good in this world, and we have devoted ourselves, our music, and our content to making the world a better place in which to live. When tough situations rise up in our face, we almost always quote a part of this motto to each other as a way of staying centered and right actions.
SH: What do you think sets you apart from the other musical artists out there today?
Kelsey: We highly value the authenticity of performing live without auto-tuned mics, back up loops or tracks, or hidden side musicians. Everything you see and hear on our live shows or on our recordings now is the five of us switching instruments like mad because we are all multi-instrumentalists. We got this from studying lots of singer-songwriters and musicians of the past. We are unafraid to be totally transparent to our fans as we perform, and they get it.
Kristen: Making mistakes is part of the journey of every musician or singer. To cover up all your mistakes in the recording studio is not who you really are and leads to incredible anxiety when you have to go out on stage without the "safety net" in place. Making mistakes is not something that a star on a major record label can tolerate, but we don't worry about it. We celebrate the improvisation and spontaneous creativity that often follows a "mistake," which turns out to sometimes be an incredibly creative and fascinating rabbit hole!
Kaylen: I think the fact that we now write all of the songs we perform, record them live, create our own music videos and short films, set up and run our own sound with wireless equipment right from the stage whether big or small puts us into a unique category of rising talent. Also, as "a band that defies description," we offer our audiences such a wildly different variety of songs and content on our TikTok, YouTube, Instagram/Reels, Facebook accounts and on our website that people from all over the planet keep coming back for more with great anticipation. We want to keep serving up our unique, yet evolving brand of entertainment for the next twenty years or more!
Are you as Harry Potter-obsessed as the K3 Sisters Band? Click HERE to find the Hogwarts house that best suits you, based on your zodiac sign.