With a billion users, TikTok has quickly become one of the biggest social media players in the game. It may not be for all musicians trying to promote their music, but for some it can be a passion. .
SaskMusic said it encourages musicians across the province to use social media platforms, and TikTok has become a much-talked-about tool.
“Our advice to artists is that if they’re comfortable on TikTok, and it’s something that feels authentic to them and that they can follow consistently as well, it’s definitely worth pursuing.” , said Lorena Kelly, acting executive. director of SaskMusic.
“There are a lot of discovery options for fans through TikTok, and as you know that can lead to other things like higher streams and concert attendance and just a bigger fan base in general. .”
However, she said artists shouldn’t expect to make money from the social media platform.
“Obviously when you’re talking about music uses, it’s often small clips of 15 or 32 seconds, so the royalties are really, really low,” Kelly said.
Still, she said SaskMusic has seen some local artists have “incredible success” on TikTok.
One such artist is pop and R&B musician Brian Mendoza from Regina. The 22-year-old has over 400,000 followers on his TikTok account.
Mendoza streams his performance live on the Twitch online service, then posts the content as videos on YouTube. This is where he makes money.
Then it cuts short snippets from the YouTube videos and uploads them to TikTok. Some of these videos have gone viral. Now, Mendoza sees the platform as integral to promoting his music and building a strong fanbase.
“It helps them get to know me a bit and then be like, ‘Oh, that’s such a short clip. I want to see more of this person. I want to see more of this.’ And so they’ll come across my other networks social,” Mendoza said.
TikTok viewers landing on its YouTube and Spotify accounts means more revenue for Mendoza.
“I want to explode in the music industry. So [TikTok] is kind of a way for me to keep sharing that,” Mendoza said.
Mental Health and Preparedness
Kelly said the SaskMusic team warns musicians that with the good side of TikTok also comes the bad.
“It can be very difficult to read things as an artist… to deal with praise and criticism at the same time. So I think you definitely have to ask yourself if you’re ready for everything that comes with any kind of social media engagement,” Kelly said.
Mendoza is very comfortable on the internet, but admits criticism can be harsh.
“You have to learn to adapt to whatever you do. But my advice is just download something, see how people like it, and you’ll grow out of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kelly said artists also need to be prepared for live performances and promotion.
“Of course, you’re always hoping for something to go viral. But on the back of that, it’s…have you done the work to prepare for that? Are you ready to go and do those performances? And have you put in the preparation time to be ready to go if someone calls you and says, ‘hey, can you do this big show?'”
An example of this kind of success is musician Regina Tesher, whose sudden viral success on TikTok landed him a record deal and eventually led him to a Top 40 Hit Songs With Mega-Artist Jason Derulo. A quick read of Instagram today shows Tesher traveling the world, most recently living in Dubai.
“So, you know, we always want them to not just prepare for a viral moment. There’s so much to prepare for their growth as an artist. So if they work hard and something takes off , yeah, we’re ready for that,” Kelly said.
Uplifting music fans
For alternative pop singer-songwriter Anna-Marie, TikTok isn’t about making money. La Neudorf, Sask., 23, said she just wanted to inspire and uplift her fans.
In March 2022, one of Anna-Marie’s videos reached one million views. She was delighted.
“For a while, I followed the same trends as other artists, like only posting about my music. But I feel like that changed in March.”
It was then that Anna-Marie discovered that she would finally get the life-changing eye surgery she so desperately wanted. It brought obvious joy to his TikTok content.
“The last few years in particular, I feel like there’s been so much negativity and division in the world, and I just wanted to inspire people. I just want to lift them up,” Anna-Marie said, which bears his stage name.
This is exactly what the young artist managed to do.
“I’ve been getting so many comments lately from people saying, ‘Oh my god, I love how positive and uplifting your content is.’ And people say I’m a little ray of sunshine on social networks.”
Anna-Marie’s TikTok content features her music, but it also features her sharing exciting personal news and stories about her musical journey.
Ultimately, music sharing platforms come and go, come and go. But for many Saskatchewan musicians, their concern for quality fan contact is what really matters.