TikTok’s Influence in the Music Industry

As most of us are likely aware, TikTok has taken the social media scene by storm. Not only has it become a major platform for teenagers and adults alike, but it has also heavily influenced pop music. This is likely due to the videos that make up TikTok--videos that often have music playing in the background. I find it really interesting and surprising that many pop singers’ careers soared through the roof because of their exposure on a social media platform. 

woman filming vertical video of woman throwing confetti Photo by Amanda Vick from Unsplash For example, singer and rapper Doja Cat--although she was popular with her single “Mooo!” which was released in 2018, it wasn’t until her song “Say So” fully launched her into the pop scene. As of today, “Say So” has garnered multiple nominations and widespread critical reception. And, despite it being released a year ago, it still plays on the radio today. Surprisingly enough, this song gained popularity after it was used in a dance created by Haley Sharpe (@yodelinghaley on TikTok). Doja Cat showed her gratitude toward Haley by including her in her music video for the song. 

In addition, it isn’t unusual to see popular TikTok users release songs that chart highly despite any prior singing experience. Content creators such as Dixie D’Amelio and Addison Rae have released singles that have been played on the radio and earned multiple nominations as well. 

Spotify on iPhone Photo by Fixelgraphy from Unsplash Through this perspective, TikTok’s power over the music industry shows how technologically dependent our society has become that it even controls what music we listen to. For me, I spend most of the free time that I have on TikTok, and I’ve gotten some amazing music recommendations thanks to it. But at the same time, it makes me a bit uneasy at how easy it is for non-POC TikTok users to easily release music even though they lack experience (and maybe even talent). 

However, TikTok’s influence over the music industry has led to some wholesome moments--for example, the rediscovery and appreciation of 90s music. Thanks to TikTok, I’ve been playing “More Than a Woman” and “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” nonstop these days. 

Crowd in a concert Photo by Kaleb Nimz from Unsplash One notable event that’s occurred regards Miki Matsubara, a Japanese singer who was a well-known singer in the late 80s. Unfortunately, her career was short-lived as she passed away from cervical cancer when she was 44. However, her city-pop song “Mayonaka no Door - Stay with Me” has been rediscovered by a completely new generation through TikTok videos, garnering respect and admiration for the singer. Her legacy now lives on in a completely new century, whether it be through making covers or listening to her discography. 

Despite our society’s attachment to technology, there is a silver lining: our tastes in music grow and develop as we explore music in different genres and even languages.