During most weekdays in New York’s Times Square, hundreds of teenagers and 20-somethings file into a line bearing tickets to the live taping of MTV’s TRL. They begin arriving some five hours before showtime for a chance to snag the spots in the studio that are closest to the celebrity guests.
Here, fans—a rapper from New Jersey, a college student from South America, and others—reveal why, in the era of live-streaming and round-the-clock social media access, they want to experience the show from the studio floor.
My friend comes to TRL a lot.It’s my second time. It inspires me and it’s just a lot of fun to come here. The studio is just so much fun. Everyone was dancing, everyone was in a good mood, and it was just a really good vibe.
I’m actually a musician myself, so I just like being around MTV, music, anyone really in the industry. I have some covers up on YouTube, and my EP should be coming out later this year. I’m in school studying to become a psychologist, too. School and music—they are both the hustle. We’re doing it all in my world. I love it.
Edison Romain (edisonromain)
I came to TRL because my friend invited me to it. I thought it’d be a pretty cool experience. I’m actually an artist myself, a rap artist. I do hip hop, a little of everything honestly. I don’t want to just say that genre specifically. Yeah, a little bit of everything. My favorite artist? Drake is gold. From the melodies to all around style, he’s always switching it up.
How’d I get this name? Ha, that’s a good question. My parents. I didn’t have a choice.
Nikko Andryan (CamiSorianoc)
My mates and I were walking by. We saw the line and thought, “this might be really, really great.” So, we’re checking it out. I’m looking forward to it. I’m just here [in the States] until Sunday. In Indonesia, I’m a corporate worker.
25, New York City
23, the Bronx
My name is John but I go by the name 500 John. I’m a photographer. I’m from the city. I love my city.
I’m Stephanie but they call me slim. We’re here together. We’re best friends. We watch TV, we watch TRL.
We’re all about the music. We saw TRL and she was like “we should try to get on that.I also shoot fashion shows. We’re all about fashion. I love the industry.
My friend brought me in today. I always wanted to come, but she made me come today. I’ve seen the original TRL. That was dope.
I listen to rap, R&B and pop. I’m an artist myself, I’m a rapper, so right now my favorite is Meek Mill. I rap mostly about life. Aside from music, I play a lot of sports. Mostly basketball, football, tennis, and soccer.
I follow DC Young Fly [on social media]. I think that’s about it. And the other guy, Jacob.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.