TikTok impacts modern music


2019 Rolling Loud New York / Steve Ferdman / Getty Images North America / CC BY

Travis Scott is among the rappers whose fans are often negatively affected by TikTok supposedly ruining songs.

The extremely popular social media app TikTok has had a negative and positive effect on music, as it brings attention to unknown artists but also over-popularizes songs as well.

The app uses “sounds” that play over the user’s video that is often a song, and if this video blows up, people tend to replicate the video, making the “sound” used in the video get more views.

This has two outcomes. One is that the artist gets much more attention and gains some traction, like Arizona Zervas, whose hit song “ROXANNE” blew up on TikTok and continued to be the number one song in the country in the weeks following.

(Arizona Zervas performed at the Echo for his very first Los Angeles show / Carl Pocket / spacelandpresents.com / CC-BY)
Arizona Zervas, an artist who’s breakthrough song “ROXANNE” blew up on TikTok. 

“TikTok hasn’t introduced me to music, but it’s pretty obvious it has helped artists like Don Toliver and Arizona Zervas because it helped them get into the mainstream scene. So many artists are benefitting from this since TikTok is one of the biggest social media apps right now. Any song that is used in a video that blows up instantly gets fans as millions of people are listening to it,” Carlmont sophomore Adrian Gonzalez said.

“I think TikTok has affected smaller rap artists positively because all people need to hear is fifteen seconds of your song for it to blow up,” said Trevor Douglis, a Carlmont junior.

The other outcome, which can be seen as negative, is that already popular songs start to become overused and overplayed. For the artist, this is great. More views equal more money, but some fans hate when their favorite song gets too popular. Some popular songs that TikTok has supposedly ruined are songs like “Toosie Slide” by Drake, “Blueberry Faygo” by Lil Mosey, and “OUT WEST (feat. Young Thug)” by JACK BOYS, Travis Scott, and Young Thug.

“I think TikTok ruins almost as many songs as they introduce to people. It’s just because people hear the same sound nonstop when scrolling through their feed [on TikTok], so they get tired of it and stop listening to the song,” Carlmont sophomore Maia Kirkbride said.

“Big artists are negatively affected because it always ruins the best fifteen seconds of a song. Hearing the main hook of a song nonstop on TikTok really just makes you get tired of listening to the whole thing,” Douglis said.

Meanwhile, some people aren’t affected by the mainstream nature TikTok brings to the songs.

“I don’t really believe in TikTok ruining songs because it only takes a few seconds of a song. If you only like a song because fewer people listen to it, you enjoy the song for its exclusivity, not the way it sounds,” Carlmont junior Josh Graves said.

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