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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

TikTok proves important to music industry

By Jolin Hoang | Staff Writer

   All it takes for a song to go viral is to hear 15-seconds of it in a video that appears on users’ For You pages. Music that blows up on TikTok gives smaller artists a chance for success. 

   Many songs that have been soundtracks to viral dance challenges on TikTok end up topping the charts. A big part of this is due to TikTok’s algorithm, which pushes content personalized to each user. 

    TikTok’s algorithm is influenced by certain hashtags that are used, location, music choices, and the videos that users have interacted with. For example, if a user likes videos with pop music, the algorithm will begin recommending more videos with similar songs. In this way, more and more people are able to discover new music using the app.

   Due to TikTok’s unique algorithm, countless small creators have had their music career take off. The platform allows them to promote their music and makes it easy for others to hear their work. 

   Producer Joshua Stylah or Jawsh 685, is someone who has benefited from using TikTok as a platform to forward his music. He uploaded an instrumental track called Laxen Siren Beat Loop, and its links to his Polynesian roots inspired a cultural dance challenge. People from all around the world were celebrating their heritage by uploading videos of themselves dancing to his song in their traditional clothing on TikTok.

   Stylah’s instrumental track rapidly rose in popularity and got millions of hits. It caught the attention of American singer-songwriter Jason Derulo, who sang over Stylah’s track to produce his song “Savage Love.” Derulo’s song became the United Kingdom’s second-biggest selling song of the summer, according to the Official Charts company. 

   The attention from new fans and the loads of labels wanting to sign Stylah gave him a chance to make a career out of music. He signed a deal with Columbia Records and he has a management team that works with him to set beats to upload onto TikTok. 

   “It’s been crazy seeing my music out there,” Stylah told BBC News. 

   Artists such as Montero Lamar Hill, better known as Lil Nas X, an American rapper, have made the most out of TikTok’s ability to bring songs to virality. In 2019, Hill’s song “Old Town Road” blew up after Michael Pelchat, a user on TikTok, used a snippet of his song in a video of him transforming into a cowboy. After that, more than three million videos have been made using “Old Town Road,” and Hill’s song was the number one track in America for seven weeks straight.

   As of now, Hill has won two Grammy Awards and has had multiple Billboard hits. If it were not for TikTok’s algorithm boosting certain videos onto For You pages, Hill would have never achieved his current success and fame. 

   TikTok has allowed so many of today’s well-known artists like Girl in Red, Arctic Monkeys, Ant Saunders, Flo Milli, Kaash Paige, Dixie D’Amelio, and many more the platform for new audiences to discover their music. Without it, many songs that people currently listen to, such as Blueberry Faygo, Yellow Hearts, and Mr Loverman never would have been discovered. 

   Without TikTok, the world’s favorite small artists might still be sitting in their rooms, with only faraway dreams of making it big one day.

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TikTok proves important to music industry