TikTok – some love it, some hate it. However, we cannot deny how popular and influential the app has become. This has been very helpful to artists whose songs have become popular thanks to viral videos on the app.
It has also been very helpful for me. I am someone that keeps the same playlist on repeat, and it includes all my musical songs from high school until now. This means that I am not one to go out of my way to discover new music. So I appreciate situations like this one, where new music is being given to me to discover.
Mad At Disney – salem ilese
This is one very catchy song. Being a pop song, it can sound like all the other songs that are currently topping music charts, and while it does give me a vibes that seems to be a mixture of Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande, it also manages to stand out.
When I first discover a song, the first thing I do is look up the lyrics. That is how I stumbled across the backstory of this song. Salem Ilese was in a song writing session which took place soon after the remake of The Lion King came out, and one of the producers claimed that he was “mad at Disney” because he thought it was really bad. This made Ilese’s creative wheels turn and she came up with this song, which talks about all the illusions created by Disney films that end up shaping a little girl’s idea of love. All of which end up being shattered later in life when we all find out that love does not work out like it does in movies.
feel something – Bea Miller
Bea Miller is a singer from America who made her debut on the X Factor when she was thirteen. Although she did not win, it was the beginning of a fruitful career for her. She released two albums and eight EPs since then. She also toured with the likes of Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez before announcing her own tour in 2019.
The song “feel something” was initially released as a single. It became very popular when it appeared on TikTok as part of a song compilation. Since then it made a return on the “Top 40” charts.
The melody is what hooked me. The song is part of the futurepop genre, which means it keeps the beats found in electronic music, but there is a dream-like quality to it that sets it apart and gives it a grandiose vibe. The lyrics are my favourite thing about this song, and the reason it became one of my favourites. Although the melody is dreamy, the lyrics talk of pain; the absence of it and how we push it aside to get away, ultimately ending up devoid of feeling because it is always there, at the back of our mind, tainting our happiest moments as well.
Backyard Boy – Claire Rosinkranz
Here is a classic example of an indie artist that has shot to the top of the charts thanks to the app. The song is part of her debut EP, BeVerly Hills BoYfRiEnd, that was released independently this summer. Since discovering “Backyard Boy” I have listened to the whole EP, the songs on which describe what life is like for a Gen Z-er. Her rise to fame therefore comes as no surprise and achieving this through TikTok seems very befitting for the album.
“Backyard Boy” drew me in due to its lo-fi and alt-pop vibes. It’s a light-hearted, upbeat tune. It speaks of simple pleasures; there is a strong feeling of yearning amplified by the fact that we are currently experiencing a pandemic. The “cottage core” aesthetic of the song is translated very well into the music video.
Although I am still not sure how I feel about TikTok, I do enjoy how the creators on the app can help bring back old songs as well as popularise various artists, both indie as well as more well known. It keeps the industry on its toes; you can never know what song will catch on.