Australian musician Matt Corby has spoken out against musicians using viral TikTok songs to launch their careers.
Despite TikTok’s recent privacy concerns, there’s no denying that going ‘viral’ on the app can lead to fame, huge pay checks and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It often seems like one viral TikTok song is all an artist needs to propel themselves into the spotlight.
TikTok has been credited with launching the careers of singers like Olivia Roderigo, while also benefitting well-known musicians. Songs that go viral on the app often end up topping the charts. Miley Cyrus’ single ‘Flowers’, for example, can attribute some of its success to TikTok. Songs like Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti-Hero’ have become TikTok staples, with thousands of videos featuring creators lip-syncing to the iconic line “it’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me”.
But not everyone is happy about TikTok’s ability to kick-start a musicians career. Australian artist Matt Corby has expressed his disdain for the app and musicians’ reliance on ‘viral’ content. The ARIA award-winning singer-songwriter told NCA news that he doesn’t think the trend of aspiring artists launching their careers on TikTok will last.
“Anything that is viral is so fleeting,” he said. “It needs to be backed up with hard work and craftsmanship”. Corby pointed out that it’s difficult for listeners to gain real meaning from the tiny snippets of songs they hear on the app. “Do you want to go and see a show of that? You don’t know yet. There’s not a lot of trust between the punter and the musician”.
Corby did acknowledge that TikTok could be a tool for record labels to find “a one-in-1000 talent”. However, he maintains that a lot of time and effort should go into developing an artist.
Matt Corby isn’t the only singer who has criticised musicians who use TikTok to market their music. Last year, FKA Twigs told fans that “all record labels ask for are TikToks and I got told off today for not making enough effort”. Similarly, Halsey alleged that her label was holding back a single release until they created a “viral moment”.