TikTok is a social media video sharing platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It’s an app that has taken the world by storm and has been downloaded 2 billion times through various app stores. According to Omnicore Agency stats of TikTok, there are over 800 million active users with an average of 1 billion views per day. The average user spends 46 minutes on TikTok a day, which is highly likely that the average number has risen for UK nationals in the most recent lockdown, because what else have you got to do?
The Tiktok algorithm on 3 main things, this includes user interaction, video information and the device settings. The User interaction refers to the individual like-ability of another users account, therefore the more you engage with a particular account’s content the more you will see from them. Video information refers to the hashtags used to categorise the type of content, so the more you like a video with the hashtag ‘music playlist’, the more content you will get on your feed with similar/same hashtags. Finally your device/account settings refers to the location and language preference, this optimises the user experience of the app.
So why should you promote your music on it?
TikTok has become the easiest platform to go viral on, the algorithm allows your content to be viewed by such a vast audience in a small space of time. It isn’t like Facebook or Instagram, where the only posts that are shown to users are the the accounts who already have a huge following and user engagement. TikTok shows all videos regardless.
It is easy to interact with your following/fans directly through commenting and/or creating a complete separate comment reply video. Direct user interaction will create lifelong super-fan’s, and will encourage them to come to your shows after the Pandemic has exited the door.
41% of it’s user’s are between 16-24, this is the audience that you will most likely seek as a new artist, as these are the people that are most likely to stream your music on alternate platforms.
TikTok is available in 150 different markets, with a total of 75 different languages. Meaning your music can be viewed around the globe by… many, many people.
Creating your own 15-60 second video’s allows users to not only hear your music, but also understand who you are as a person. You can add personal charm, love, and humour to everything you do, to build that rapport, trust and intimacy with your following.
Earning money which is probably one of the most important factors of a struggling musician. Enables you to earn money through your TikTok content. Live streams allows you to receive donations from your users. Promote your merchandise on your platforms. Direct people to your various streaming accounts. If you become a frequent and consistent content creator, TikTok has made a creator fund which pays and incentivises it’s users to keep creating content.
A&R Music managers are using TikTok to find new talent before anyone else does, TikTok will get you noticed.
If these points aren’t enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will. TikTok is highly likely to take over platforms like Facebook and Instagram this year. You should jump in and start already.
Interview with upcoming artist Lula of the unsigned band Lulalong gives an enticing insight into her music, her background and her values.
Lulalong is a London based artist, originally from Barcelona, Catalonia. Known for her signature pink hair and catchy melodies. She has her favourite song of all time ‘How soon is now’ by the Smith’s tattooed on her arm.When she was 18 she bought a one way ticket to London and never looked back. Her music career began from a very young age. She started by playing piano at 4 years old which intrigued her to study classical music until the age of 15. Her teenage years introduced her to music that steered her away from the classical composition that she was used to. Like many of us 90’s babies with an inner rebel ready to come out, she spent her days listening to strong female artists like Avril Lavigne and Blondie. She says “I decided Classical music wasn’t for me, I didn’t want to sit down peacefully, I wanted to play rock and jump around a stage like there was no tomorrow”. This led her to start performing live gigs in the bustling city of Barcelona by the time she was 16.
Lulalong is an active member of the LGBT community identifying herself as queer. A lot of her music is written about women “I want my listeners to be comfortable with who they are and their sexuality”. According the Human Dignity Trust there are still many countries across the world that criminalise same sex couples. The map shows that there are 72 jurisdictions that criminalise male same sex couples, 44 jurisdictions of female same sex couples and 11 jurisdictions that have the death penalty. I think by having bands like Lulalong, who aren’t afraid to release songs on being LGBT, is admirable. It works towards building a world without hate and normalising love for all. Being a part of LGBT community myself I have seen first hand what inbuilt homophobia can do to a person. Quite frankly, life is too short to not embrace who you are. The more love we spread, the better the world will be.
I feel that in this day and age, portraying strong female musicians is vital. The music industry lacks female representation still. Especially the type that go against the norms of society. So many female mainstream artists are confined to a box. Having to dress a certain way, sing a certain way and go against their own values and beliefs in order to achieve success. Therefore, we need to take it upon ourselves to widen this box and give credit to artists that excel at rebelling against the tide of normality.
Lula gives an in-depth answer to her worries and challenges in the music industry as a woman. “I hate how women are seen as too old from a very very young age in the music world. The biggest female pop stars all started from an insanely young age. Only a few start a career when they’re older because the music industry doesn’t see it as commercially viable, whereas when it comes to men, age doesn’t matter that much. I’m only twenty-two years old and already feel like I’m getting too old to be an upcoming musician, which is heartbreaking because it shouldn’t be like that. The only way to overcome this is saying ‘F#!k it!’ and go for it anyway, not caring about the music industry standards.Although it is getting better, women are still seen as a pretty face who don’t know about the music business including behind-the-scenes (producing, engineering, etc). The amount of times I get to a venue and the sound engineer talks to my bandmates (who are men) instead of me is hilarious; the same with contracts and deals. They try and explain everything in a very simple way so I can understand it. I overcome this by politely confronting them, making them aware I understand the music jargon and how the industry works.”
Lula writes all of her own songs, and makes sure to write any little idea that pops into her head down, whether it’s on her phone, an audio recording or a restaurant napkin. Her creative process includes taking these ideas and jamming with the rest of the band to find a badass arrangement. The other members of the band include guitarists Umar Ganai and Calum Lockie. As well as the bassist Kieran Fergusson and drummer Tosh Mihalev.
I asked Lula which are her favourite songs that she’s released so far, she said “I feel a strong connection to all my songs, since they all come from real life experiences. As much as I love to play Goddess live, I think my favourite one is Black Vespa. It’s one of my most personal songs, the lyrics tell the story of someone I dated and it went wrong. The bridge of the song features that girl’s voice. FUN FACT! After releasing the song I sent it to that girl, and she is now my girlfriend! Winning!“ What a love story.
Her musical influences growing up were very vast. “I listened to loads of different music growing up. From Catalan pop like the band Manel, the famous Avril Lavigne (especially her album ‘The Best Damn Thing’), my dad’s rock influences like The Chameleons. I remember going on road trips with my family singing the words to Manu Chao’s album ‘Proxima estacion: esperanza’ to the top of our lungs. As you can see, I had influences from loads of different genres, cultures, languages and eras; and I think this shows in my music, I do rock music but you can easily hear those influences.”
You can hear these cultural music influences in her song ‘I made Mona Lisa smile’, where she sings in Spanish. I lived in Barcelona for a short while, and it’s amongst one of my favourite cities. The lifestyle is chilled, the parties are insane and the alcoholic beverages are mostly alcohol mixed with a tiny amount of soda. There has been an ongoing movement in Barcelona to try to gain independence from Spain to become the country of Catalonia. The first Catalan Independence party was formed back in 1922, but the unrest dates back to the mid 19th century. If you ask a local whether they are Spanish, their instant reaction is no. I love Spanish music, the language itself is sexy and mysterious. . It always adds 10 points for me when an artist can switch languages. It also boosts Lulalong’s appeal to a wider market.
Go check out her EP Lover’s I don’t love and engross yourself in her music. Give her a follow on her social media accounts (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to keep up to date with her new projects and releases planned for the future. Also check out her merchandise shop and help support artists through this pandemic. Because we sure as hell know that Boris isn’t.