Kanye West follows only one – but who is Steven of Coventry?

Making friends on Twitter can often be a thankless task.

You might be the 21st century's Oscar Wilde, with an acerbic wit of such magnitude that you can distil the world into razor-sharp aphorisms of just 140 characters. But unless you have people "following" you, no one will even know you exist.

But every so often someone gets lucky through the medium of a whopping celebrity endorsement. That's exactly what happened this weekend to Steven Holmes from Coventry, who saw his Twitter followers jump from just 60 to more than 1,200 people in the space of a few hours.

What could have provoked such a sudden outpouring of amicability? Look no further than Kanye West, who has kept an uncharacteristically low profile since his embarrassing faux pas at the MTV awards in New York last September. Midway through Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video, the American hip-hop star jumped on to the stage to tell the young country singer that Beyoncé should have won instead.

Mr West has a new album to publicise, and what better way than to sign up with Twitter for the first time? (So far he has racked up 350,000 followers in just four days).

But the famously outspoken singer has also taken time out to indulge in a little cyber-altruism by making Mr Holmes his first – and so far only – Twitter friend.

That has, in turn, made Mr Holmes a very popular person (and a punching bag for a select number of furious Kanye West fans who are outraged he was chosen instead of them).

Exactly why Mr West picked Mr Holmes is a mystery. When the man from Coventry tweeted back to his newly found friend, "Holy s**t bro, thx for following!" the rap star replied: "You are the chosen one dun dun dun dun," but gave no further clues.

Like all prophets who have had fame thrust upon them, Mr Holmes is now trying to adjust to the demands of his new audience.

"I feel pressure to say amusing and witty tweets now that @kanyewest is following," was an update at 7am on Saturday morning from a man whose tweets over the previous few hours had included the information that his iTunes wasn't working properly, that the sound quality of Spotify was often "craaaaap", and that it was raining.

Mr West soon moved to shore up his friend, replying: "Tweet strong young man tweet strong!!!"

Since acquiring his new followers, Mr Holmes has treated them to pearls of wisdom such as: "If abuse is love then I've never felt more loved", "feeling hungover and I wasn't even drunk last night," and the news that he had the band Kasabian playing on his stereo at 2:18pm yesterday. He declined a request by The Independent yesterday for an interview, saying things had got "just too weird".

But if fame is something Mr Holmes may take a while to get used to, for Mr West the oxygen of publicity is what keeps his highly successful career going – despite a rather public downfall last year after the Taylor Swift incident. Following his rant against MTV's judges (Beyoncé made it up to Taylor Swift by bringing her back on stage after she won an award) West went on The Jay Leno Show to make a tearful apology, and said he would take some time off.

But now it looks as though the 33-year-old rapper, who is already a prominent blogger, is back to generate as much publicity as possible before his album's launch, and has chosen social networking as the way to do it.

Last week the singer went on a whirlwind tour of "surprise visits" to staff at the offices of Twitter and Facebook, and at the headquarters of magazines Rolling Stone and XXL.

All of which is rather surprising, considering that last year the rapper launched a blistering attack on Twitter when he discovered that a number of impostors were pretending to be him.

"Don't have a f****** Twitter," he wrote on his blog. "Why would I use Twitter??? I only blog five per cent of what I'm up to in the first place. I'm actually slow delivering content because I'm too busy actually busy being creative most of the time, and if I'm not and I'm just laying on a beach I wouldn't tell the world. Everything that Twitter offers, I need less of."

Clearly the rap star's views have changed now that he has got his own Twitter account. Not that Mr Holmes will mind.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape