If someone had told me two years ago that I would be finding the majority of my favorite music artists on TikTok, or the former Musically, I would have laughed in their face. Fast forward to today, however, and my music library is packed with songs of all varieties, written by singers I never would have found if not for my “For You” page. And the common denominator between all my TikTok downloads is that not only is the melody beautiful, but the lyrics are real.
The last two decades have brought many new styles of music, along with a range of artists bringing components to the music industry that people never knew existed before. That being said, with all the new, people began to forget the old, meaningful lyrics, with heart and soul behind them. For example, one of the most popular songs on the radio in 1990 was “Praying For Time”, which George Michael describes as his way of figuring out “why people can’t be good to one another”. Fast forward to 2020 and one of the most popular songs on the radio is “Intentions” by Justin Bieber, which is about loving his wife. Don’t get me wrong, this message is sweet. But it also has been heard a million times and is a relatively easy song to write.
However, there are a lot of small artists on TikTok who are doing what George Michael did, conquering issues and concepts that weigh people down in society. For example, Sara Kays is a relatively popular singer, especially on the app. But instead of pumping out the same general message with a heavy amount of autotune, every one of her songs addresses issues that are hard for people to talk about. For example, in her song “No Matter The Season,” Kays sings about body dysmorphia and her own personal struggle with it. She also wrote the song “Chosen Last” based on a TikTok comment about someone who feels as though they’re never good enough to be anyone’s first choice.
Kays happens to be popular enough to be producing albums on Apple Music, but a lot of smaller artists tend to get their start on Spotify. TikTok allows them to endorse their music, and expose the public to what they feel so passionately about. It’s because of TikTok that I’ve had the opportunity to hear songs about things I’ve never had the courage to admit to myself before or wasn’t feeling validated on. I’ve also had the opportunity to hear these extraordinarily talented artists producing music that is a thousand times better than some of the songs I hear on the radio.
TikTok has done a lot of good for people by reminding them that they are not alone. TikTok’s music artists are just another example of the app’s ability to spread that message. TikTok is promoting the realest of musicians and their creations, and I can only hope that they continue to boost these small creators and support their careers as they attempt to inspire the world and revolutionize the music industry.