MEXICO CITY – Calling themselves Los Polinesios (The Polynesians), Mexican siblings Rafa, Karen, and Lesslie have become an Internet sensation since posting their first video to YouTube five years ago.
They generate content for five different YouTube channels and have more than 20 million followers on social media, while a performance Friday night in Mexico City will mark the start of their first nationwide tour.
And it all began as a lark, as the siblings created and uploaded a video based on a humorous family episode.
“Then we uploaded another one” and the number of followers grew, 26-year-old Rafa told EFE.
The name Los Polinesios is itself based on a family inside joke, the oldest of the trio said.
One of the siblings’ great-grandfathers was a biologist who lived for a while in Polynesia, Rafa explained, and “when he returned to Mexico he would say: ‘I’ll teach you to do this in Polynesian style, or this is a Polynesian-style breakfast, or this is how Polynesians dance.’”
Another of the old man’s sayings provided the name for the original online channel, Platica Polinesia (Polynesian Chat).
Rafa recalls his great-grandpa saying: “This is the talk of Polynesians and you can’t know, because only the Polynesians can understand it.”
The siblings, according to Rafa, told themselves “only Polynesians could understand this.”
Los Polinesios has turned into a full-time job, Lesslie said.
The once-homemade videos have become “much more professional now, which requires a lot of time and energy, and that has changed our lives,” Rafa said.
The group uploads a new video every week on each channel, but the lead time for each segment is up to four months, allowing time for production, recording and editing.