Over the last 4 years, the app ‘Tik Tok’ has taken over the social media world, completely changing the game and influencing the transfer of information and entertainment. The app is mostly used by teenagers, and its purpose began as a silly app to lip-sync to songs, but after the loss of Vine and the fall of Youtube, many creators began taking over the app, turning it into what we know it as today.
All of this is just dribble, things everyone already knew, the importance of this comes when discussing the growing influence that the app has on musicians. The app has influenced how current artists can promote their music and has changed the way new artists emerge into the industry, giving them free rein to get their music out there and shamelessly promote their talent. When scrolling through the app, probably one in every ten videos is going to be some sort of musician, ranging from enchanting covers of our favorite songs and snippets of their unreleased music to entice viewers to want more.
The app is also directly responsible for the insane record-breaking numbers seen for songs like “Driver’s License’ by Olivia Rodrigo and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. Thousands of Tik Tok users made videos with 15 seconds clips of these songs, jumping onto trends and just having fun, and because of that essentially forced the songs to be stuck in everyone’s heads. From there the songs exploded, breaking the charts and bringing fame to these previously not super well known artists. Lil Nas X has even accredited the record-breaking numbers seen with his first hit to Tik Tok, claiming that what started as a meme he created himself on the app (using the song) turned into a global trend.
Many popular artists have seen and clutched onto that potential, creating their own accounts for either just promoting their work or attempting to “relate” to their fanbase through funny videos and interactions with fans.
Between the sheer volume of users on Tik Tok and the progressively shrinking attention spans of the coming generations, promoting your music through short clips is the perfect way to draw in listeners. Most of us find it incredibly difficult nowadays to force ourselves to sit down and listen to new music, most songs range 3-4 minutes long and if we don’t like the first 30 seconds, we usually shut down the idea, not wanting to wait for the whole song for the prospect of it turning around. So, what better way to promote your music than posting the best 15 seconds of the song and letting your fans run with that.
Another way these artists have utilized the app is creating viral trends with their songs, or more so allowing their fans to do so and through the process build the hype for their song. Tik Tok is nonstop trends, with transition videos, P.O.V. videos, and so many more, you find that the videos quickly become repetitive as everyone is trying to get their two cents in on a trend. This nonstop exposure to the same 15 seconds of a song tends to get to viewers though, we find ourselves humming along to the familiar tune in public until eventually we cave and end up downloading the song.
This is how “Old Town Road” got its fame years ago, it all started with a silly trend that had that song in the background that blew up into the sensation we know today.
This ended up being repeated this past month with the release of Lil Nas X’s song “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” which sparked a whole new trend on the app and caused yet another hit for Lil Nas.
(Here is a compilation of that trend, look at those glow-ups!!!)
This is only one half of the way the music industry has changed since the evolution of Tik Tok, the other half being the amazing platform given to blossoming artists who want to test the waters of their career.
Sometimes it’s a small cover of a song going viral, or a snippet of an original you decided to post, but with something as simple as that many creators have gone from nobodies to some of the app’s top creators.
The most recent and most talked about up-and-coming artists are Nessa Barret and Jaden Hossler, who both started making random videos with their friends and eventually decided to use that fame to build their music careers. They were both recently guests on Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel to promote the release of their combined song ‘La Di Die’ and blew away fans with their on-stage talent and chemistry.
Their music is just part of the journey back into the early 2000’s grunge/rock phase, accompanied by rising artists like Lil Huddy and popular artists like Waterparks and Machine Gun Kelly (who featured Lil Huddy in his recent movie ‘Downfalls High’ and is now touring with Jaden Hossler, it all comes full circle here.)
These are just some of the bigger examples that I can think of, but the app has received a surge of aspiring artists displaying their music in any way they can. The talent is insane, and with a range of styles, from indie bands to folk artists to some of the most insane mashups you can think of.
Here are some of my favorite artists that I have discovered through Tik Tok:
-Eliza Mclamb, who just released her first EP through the support of her followers, her songwriting skills are unmatched. She started off writing songs about things fans simply suggested in the comments, with just her and her guitar she was able to gain over 300k followers and kickstart her career.
-David Hugo, he has quite a few singles out and each one beats the last. His voice reminds me of a Conan Gray meets Troye Sivan, and his songs hit you right where it hurts, but in the best way.
-Janna Jamison, who actually has a song coming out this week on top of the few that have already been released. She is one of the smaller artists I’ve recently found through Tik Tok, and besides her incredible talent and good vibes, her fame will most likely come from her being an absolute sweetheart.
-Paravi Das, who although she has no originals released yet (only ethereal covers like ‘Godspeed’ by Frank Ocean), I’m sure is going to be a household name in the next ten years. She is a student at UCLA who went viral for some funny videos, before dropping the bomb on everyone that she is also an incredibly talented singer. More recently she has earned a huge following due to her videos calling out certain scenarios and then immediately breaking into angelic covers of songs that apply (my favorite one will be included below.) Through all of this, she has gained 2.5 million followers, woah.