Identical Triplets Stay Grounded While Influence Goes Viral
Walking into a room with Zalen, Kaleb and Malek Belizaire is a treat. It’s like hitting the lottery, in fact. Published statistics vary, but walking the Earth as identical triplets could be as rare as 1 in 200 million.
The brothers, graduates of Eau Gallie High School who turned 21 on Aug. 31, said they realized in elementary school that friends treated them a little differently. But in a good way.
“Everywhere we went, we got questions — are they identical, are they triplets, it was our normal,” said mom, Nicole Rubino. “There were times where I’d go out by myself, and people would say, ‘Oh, that’s the triplets’ mom.’”
They had no way to know that early mini fame would blossom years later into something massive — during the pandemic of 2020, nonetheless.
In 2017, the brothers started making YouTube videos that would get a few thousand views. They graduated with their associates degrees from Eastern Florida State College, then went to University of Central Florida for a year. Senior year of high school, a video showing some baby photos was shared to another Instagram account and went viral with 1 million views. They started posting videos to TikTok in 2019, and that hometown fame went worldwide in 2020.
Now, the full-time influencers live for free in a creator house (more on that later) and post videos to their 4.8 million followers on TikTok and 126,000 followers on Instagram. The videos are the type of short-form peek into their lives that users of the platforms can’t get enough of, and are unique to their cool personalities.
Most popular seem to be when fans ask them questions like, “So can your face locks open each other’s phones?” (The answer is yes.)
It’s nothing for their TikTok videos to get a few hundred thousands likes, but one of the most popular by far was mere 8-second video showing images of them as babies. That one went ballistic with almost 8 million views.
Making a Living
Not everyone claiming in their social media bios that they’re influencers these days really is. But the brothers certainly are leaving their imprint on the world by entertaining, delighting and entrepreneuring. They’ve built their Driplets brand — you can find them on TikTok as @dripletss and Instagram as @dripletsofficial — where they link you through to their merch store.
One can purchase sweatshirts, shirts, stickers, pillows, socks and even face masks with the Driplets logo, and they have a separate website that sells “My Favorite Hoodie” sweatshirts.
The word Driplets comes from combining triplets and the word drip, which is slang for a person’s sense of style. When EverythingBrevard met with the brothers, they each dressed differently, but they wear the same thing in many of their public outings, especially if they film one of their attempts to fool an unsuspecting store worker. Gets them every time. (Who expects there to be three of them!?)
Being true influencers comes with perks. Besides being recognized — yes, girls have screamed when randomly bumping into and recognizing them — the brothers live for free.
Their management team has arranged for them to live in what’s called a creator house, where they can focus on making videos and building that brand while not having to worry about expenses. They spent six months in Miami and currently are in Orlando.
“We do what we love and add to our knowledge of social strategy,” Zalen said.
The Driplets look forward to getting out more post-pandemic. If their appearance at the YouTubers vs. TikTokers amateur boxing event in Miami in June is an indication — they were “swarmed” — that will make for some good content and keep attracting new brands.
Timing is good for the Driplets, who are taking advantage of the shifting viewing and consumer habits of the younger generations. Brands big and small are increasingly turning to influencers to pitch products.
Zalen shared the aha moment of the interview: “We looked up at actors on Disney and now kids are looking at us.”
Despite millions of fans worldwide anxiously awaiting their next video, Zalen, Malek and Kaleb have level heads.
“They’re each others’ best friends,” Nicole said. “They’re inseparable.”
The Driplets are enjoying the process of being influencers while keeping close ties to family. They started working out with older brother, Marquel, and younger sister, Monet, shoots and appears in many of their videos.
It was a treat when Nicole, who owns Nicole Michelle Photography and Boudoir by Nicole Michelle, was hired to shoot photos and video when the boys booked a campaign with Champs Sports. When the content appeared in Times Square, the boys took off to New York City to make sure they captured the moment in person.
But long before appearing in Times Square or getting swarmed at boxing matches, they were adored by their Brevard community. People have been asking to take photos with the triplets since they were small. It’s a novelty they understand and are now capitalizing on. But always with feet on the ground.
“They are so nice and respectful,” Nicole said. “I love watching (them interact with fans), they’re super nice about it. Makes me feel that I’ve raised them right.”
Nicole said she’s been able to tell them apart from day one, but after looking at their photos and videos, think you can?
“You have to know us, some people can pick it up quick, some still don’t know,” Malek said.
DRIPLETS FUN FACTS:
Have three cars between them
All have the same tattoo that says, “Love Yourz,” a song title from J. Cole
Not all the same height, but close
Birth order: Malek, Kaleb, Zalen, each 1 minute apart
Cambridge and higher learning, AP classes
Graduated dual enrollment with associates degrees from Eastern Florida State College
Were Eagle Scouts
Their faces can unlock each other’s phones.
Driplets merchandise: driplets.creator-spring.com