It’s no secret that TikTok has been a huge contributor to the rising popularity of countless songs. The auditory component of the short form videos being shared are essential to the viral nature of the platform. Many avid users will associate specific tracks with the emerging trends and dances opposed to correlating them with the artist or origination; thus, influencing the source of “mainstream” taste in music.
Typically, what’s being shared on social media is dictated by what’s already trending, whereas TikTok has now pivoted to a place where it has become the determinant of such. With 100 million monthly users in the United States alone, the app has a massive audience that holds tremendous social power. Keep reading to learn more about how TikTok is impacting the music industry as a whole in unprecedented ways.
It’s easy to build a music career out of pre-existing fame, especially when you already have a cult following. Whether driven by an unfulfilled dream or increased wealth, depending on your fanbase for success may seem like an effortless route. However, it’s certainly one that hasn’t failed for many creators. TikTok star Bella Porch who garnered 71.1M followers through her quirky facial movements and innocent lip syncing has now released a sassy debut single, “Build a Bitch”, for Warner Records. Anything is possible when you’re the third-most-followed creator on an app with over 2 billion downloads.
✨You don’t get to pick and choose✨
Making a name for yourself can be an ambitious goal in this era of viral prodigies and endless talent. Nevertheless, you may just get lucky enough that the inexplicable TikTok algorithm will share your content with millions of people. Canadian music producer Tiago Garcia-Arenas managed to land himself a record deal with Epic Records after laying catchy sounds and his own voice against unique beats. Some of his releases include, “My Heart Went Oops”, “Muffins In The Freezer”, and “They Call Me Tiago”. These aren’t your typical chart toppers though, and probably wouldn’t have found the success they did without TikTok’s extraneous nature.
Giving those who aren’t typically in the spotlight a place to shine is one of the more genuinely impactful benefits of TikTok’s reach. Shina Novalinga, an Indigenous woman with a soulful voice has taken the stage to her 2 million followers through native throat singing. Her videos are shocking to many who have never been exposed to this form of music, redefining its meaning and making it exponentially more powerful in educating about the importance of these vocals in her Innu culture.
11 years ago, Mike Posner and Benny Blanco were just college students messing around when they released “Please Don’t Go”, and now it’s resurfaced with over 750,000 TikToks using the track as background audio. Old hits are getting exposed to a new audience and giving them another chance at the charts. This same occurrence was also experienced with Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 anthem, Dreams, after a user by the name of 420doggface208 blew up from featuring it in a video. The craziest part of this situation is that he was merely skateboarding while sipping on cranberry juice – and is now a modern icon. While there’s no definitive reason as to why these specific songs have been the lucky ones, they are a great display of leveraging music of the past to transform into timeless sensations.
If you see us driving around like this.. no you didn’t. #fyp #foryou
♬ Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner
In the most unexpected turn of events with no intelligible explanation, Nickelodeon cartoon characters, The Backyardigans, have risen to the number one spot on the music charts. A song called “Castaways” from a 2005 episode of the television show managed to surpass both Nicki Minaj and SZA on the Billboard Hot 100 singles for a short period of time after making its way to TikTok. Users have added the sound to almost 1 million miscellaneous videos, and that doesn’t even include the emerging remixes. This phenomenon is consistently occurring, and demonstrates the new era of social content that the platform boasts and how anything is possible these days.
As TikTok continues to grow and evolve with the world around us, it will be remarkably interesting to see the evolution of trends and the continuous impacts it has on the realm of music as it ceaselessly shapes the digital landscape.2