Updated: Sep 12
The landscape of music and how we consume it has changed from 10, even 5 years ago. It's difficult to find a song that is more than 2 and a half minutes and usually even more difficult for that song to hold our interest after it has stopped trending on TikTok (cause that's what it's all about now, isn't it?).
At an event I attended recently, a question came up around marketing and TikTok; I sat up straight for this. I thought I was about to get a cheat code from the A&Rs on the panel but instead I got sound advice that sounded almost like...common sense?
The thing is, at the moment, TikTok seems like the top of the food chain when it comes to getting your content to a mass audience. A little like vine, you have a very limited (I'm talking seconds) amount of time to grab and hold someone's attention. You're there for a moment and then it's onto the next. So what we're left with is A LOT of 2 minute songs, usually with a dance routine and/or challenge of some kind. Everyone trying to shove themselves into the algorithm.
But what if your song is longer than 2 minutes? Builds slowly? What if you can't dance to it? What if you can dance to it but there's no challenge and you just want people to listen and enjoy? The advice given was to treat marketing and promo of any song as an extension of it. If you're making a power ballad then go with something that aligns with that. If your song is a dance song and fun then focus on that, if it's RnB, tap into that vibe and so on...
Because TikTok isn't the be and end all of making successful music. Think about what you want to resonate and go with that.
If you want to make quick music and hope to go viral, then by all means; make something catchy and repetitive and see what hits. Music that stands the test of time, however, has been around before TikTok and will be around long after the lustre of that has worn off. We still bump songs from way before we were born, our parents probably played it and we'll likely play music that we like for our kids. I wasn't born when Earth, Wind and Fire was around but I sing "September" like I, personally, was on Soul Train. We know artists and music from a time before us because their art still resonates and in so many cases, it has outlived them.
You don't have to be a super genius or play lots of instruments. Just create what YOU want to and let go of comparison. The rest will work itself out.