How TikTok is shaping modern music


When Drake released “Toosie Slide” last year, it wasn’t the first nor the last song containing the step-by-step details of a dance move. It was, however, one of the first such songs by a great artist in the TikTok era.

The song did what it was designed to do: become the fastest song to reach 1 billion views on the platform in 2020, according to TikTok’s first music report.

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We can never know what is going on behind the creative process of the songs, but there are aspects of the songs that make it obvious. Musicians who come up with new ways to use social media for their music are nothing new. However, TikTok is the first giant platform to have music pre-integrated into its DNA.

The advent of streaming services has brought about a massive change in the music industry, shortening songs to grab the listener’s attention, while ensuring payment for full streams of songs. Likewise, the effect of TikTok goes beyond promotion and communication for the music industry also infiltrating the creative process.

According to TikTok, 80% of platform users say they discover new music through the app, leaving no doubt that TikTok is leading one of the biggest changes in the music industry, revolutionizing all of them. aspects of the creative process to marketing.

There is a wide variety of music that governs TikTok, but the common elements are short musical sections or lyrics that are evocative, engaging and easy to perform. The production aspect usually contains catchy and simplistic chord progressions. A short bass or rhythm section that is easy to follow and dance to is a common staple. Some experts have called the phenomenon “the TikTok effect”.

Trevor Daniel, the musician behind the famous TikTok song “Falling”, explained how musicians are now looking for catchy sounds for social media, to blow them up.

Repetition breeds familiarity, which the platform uses to engage with audiences by promoting TikTok content that features certain songs that are gaining traction at that time. TikTok has a page itself where it suggests the trending songs of the week and promotes the video if a creator uses any of those songs. Landing on the trending page can mean millions of views for that song. Many of these songs came out as an accompaniment to a TikTok challenge, as was the case with viral songs like Doja Cat’s “Say So”.

Record companies actively reach out to TikTok influencers to use their artists’ songs on TikTok, guaranteeing millions of streams. This development pushes the ladder back into the hands of the label they can use to influence artists as independent musicians cannot afford expensive marketing programs. But smaller artists are also teaming up with smaller TikTok creators and coming up with creative ideas to merge the two worlds.

TikTok is here to stay, and we have yet to see the platform’s long-term effects on the music industry.


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