TikTok creates a platform for aspiring artists


10 years ago, ranting and raving about TikTok meant that you were referring to the hit song by Ke$ha of the same name. These days, another TikTok has taken over and it has captivated audiences of all ages. Although the app, formally known as Musical.ly, has existed for roughly 6 years now, it was not until 2018 that it saw a rise in popularity. Now it is one of the most downloaded applications in the United States, amassing an estimated 200 million downloads. 

Since its release, TikTok has greatly influenced popular music and has changed the music industry forever. Aspiring singers, rappers, and musicians no longer need an agent or a record label to give them a chance, rather they need just one song to take off on the app. It continuously acts as an unusual catapult to fame for many of its users. The app allows users to create whatever content they would like, and these videos often feature songs as the main utensil. If one user decides to use just a small portion of a song for a lip sync video, they could unintentionally start a trend and skyrocket the artist’s total listens overnight. That has been the case for a few underground or otherwise unknown artists. 

Musician Mxmtoon saw a sudden rise in popularity when her song, “Falling for U,” went viral on TikTok along with “Prom Dress.” The former was used to create what viewers would refer to as “aesthetically pleasing” videos, which are quite popular on the app. At the time the 20-year-old singer made videos in her bedroom for a small audience but now has garnered over 6 million listeners on Spotify. Another artist who already had a foot in the door was able to march right through thanks to TikTok. Singer Doja Cat is a viral-song-veteran these days. Pioneered by the track, “MOOO!,” many of her songs are used regularly because they contain humorous and enticing lyrics. Cat has gained almost 40 million listeners on Spotify and her song “Say So” hit #1 on the Billboard charts in 2020. 

In this streaming era, TikTok has enabled people to express themselves and ultimately take hold of their destiny. It continues to create new trends and influence, not just music, but pop culture in general. The video-making platform has shown itself to be a force used to make (or break) careers.