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Nicholas Fraser, the 'Why you always lying?' Vine star, never stopped creating content

Fraser — the creator of the classic Vine and meme "Why You Always Lying?" — recently sold a still from his video as an NFT for about $96,000.
Photo illustration of Nicholas Fraser.
NBC News; Photo Courtesy of Tyre Thwaites

This profile is part of NBC News’ series about former Vine stars, tied to the fifth anniversary of the platform’s death.

Anybody who was on the internet during summer 2015 will likely have a picture of Nicholas Fraser's face forever seared into their brain.

The iconic video still (and meme) was pulled from his 2015 classic “Why You Always Lying?” Vine, which was sung to the tune of R&B band Next’s 1997 single “Too Close.”

The image shows Fraser, clad in an unbuttoned shirt, wearing a side-eye glance and a devilish grin toward the camera — an expression that somehow perfectly distills the look of someone who catches another person in a lie.

"What made that Vine so successful, and so timeless, is the realness and the simplicity behind its message: Everyone knows someone who lies, and everybody in their life has lied," Fraser said. "You’re always going to be able to connect that song to somebody."

The inspiration for the song, Fraser explained, came while he was on his way to 7-Eleven to buy some donuts and gummy bears.

"It was Aug. 28, 2015, and I heard Next’s song play on Pandora," Fraser said. "I paused it and immediately just sang, 'Why you always lying?'"

That afternoon, Fraser found the instrumental music, penned his lyrics and recorded his remix.

"It felt like God just gave me a shot of creativity, and I just started spilling it out," he said.

Fraser said he got a “fresh cut” at the barbershop, scoured his closet for a '90s R&B outfit and asked his brother to film a 15-second clip of him singing his new track in the driveway of his family's home in Queens, New York.

It felt like God just gave me a shot of creativity, and I just started spilling it out.

Nicholas fraser, Former Vine star

A day after uploading the music video to his YouTube, Instagram and Twitter accounts, Fraser reposted a six-second snippet of his music video on Vine, where it went viral and spawned numerous remixes and parodies.

"It was so crazy. I remember I needed to get a new phone because my old one overheated from all the notifications," he said. "That's when I knew it was real."

Fraser added: "It's so mind-blowing to see people meme-ing my song and playing it everywhere, even today. That's just amazing, for everyone, from around the world, to resonate with something you put so much work into."

The 27-year-old content creator said the newfound fame only encouraged him to pursue other creative outlets, like filming, cooking and producing music.

Indeed, creative — and busy — a man he is.

In 2020, Fraser served as one of the executive producers for artist G Milano's "4 Seasons." After "several years of preparation," in May he launched a YouTube food series called the "BNFFTS (Benefits) Cooking Show," which turns regular pantry items into classic dishes. And in October, he sold his classic Vine meme as an NFT for what was then worth $96,000.

No matter the success, Fraser said he was always “humbled” by the fans who continue to reach out to him about his classic Vine.

“It’s truly a blessing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many times I go viral or how many people reach out to me. It’s just a blessing.”

When asked if he would ever create a TikTok account — frequently cited as the reincarnation of Vine — Fraser said he doesn’t intend to. However, he praised the social media app for bringing people from all walks of life together in a novel way.

“It’s like Vine set the foundation, but TikTok is expanding it even more,” he added. “It’s great to see people coming together and doing different challenges, and I love to see that togetherness in this crazy little world. It’s that togetherness, those little things, that matter to me most.”