Arts and Entertainment

Is Tik Tok Re-defining the Music Industry?

Back in the early-2010s, kids used to get their music from the radio, MTV, and whatever Nickelodeon’s TOP 10 was. It was difficult for newer artists to create a platform since the media focused on a lot of the same artists, such as Justin Bieber and Beyoncé. Now, there seems to be a correlation between “viral Tik Tok songs” and music that makes the “Top 100” chart.

Tik Tok is a social media app that allows creators to make 15 to 60-second videos. The videos can range from dances to comedy skits. When people think of Tik Tok, they immediately think of the popular creators who always come up on the “For You Page.” Some of these include Charli D’Amelio, Addison Easterling, and Loren Grey. These three popular creators are known for their dance skits and make viral routines to catchy songs. The choreography not only gets millions of views, and it often turns into a dance challenge. The songs that they perform to get stuck in the viewer’s heads because the dances are generally done to the catchiest part of the song. Needless to say, Tik Tok significantly catapults the music industry. 

A prime example of a song becoming famous from Tik Tok was Roxanne by Arizona Zervas. Before Tik Tok, if you said the name Arizona Zervas, everyone would have responded: Who? When he released the song, Roxanne, in October of 2019, it caught a little bit of attention, but not much. Once the hit made it to Tik Tok, the fame started to come. Within several weeks, it rose to #1 of the Spotify streaming charts. He was an unsigned artist, so this was an immediate effect of Tik Tok success. It even reached the Top 50 in the Billboard Charts. The app has a vast global platform, so the song made a significant impact in countries such as The UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and New Zealand. Zervas is projected to be worth around $5 million, and he signed with the prestigious Columbia Records in November. 

If you take a glance at iTunes Top 100 songs, you can already see viral Tik Tok songs surpassing mainstream artists’ newest hits. Dance Monkey, The Box, and Coronavirus are all in the Top 10. Coronavirus by iMarkkeyz isn’t even a song, it is just a local DJ who mixed Cardi B saying “Coronavirus” into a remix. However, because there is a challenge for it on Tik Tok, it is famous. 

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Viral Tik Tok dances courtesy of

It is crazy how a single app has this much of an effect on an industry that has been around since the beginning of time. Just like that, new artists can become old news. This is an essential message for individuals in the music industry. Marketing and getting your music to popular platforms is just as important as talent nowadays.

By: Julia Marotti, Co-Executive Junior Editor-In-Chief ‘21