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TikTok Off-App Campaign Shines a Light on Unsigned Artists

This week, TikTok has launched a first of its kind campaign dedicated to the music industry. Where TikTok campaigns are usually executed within the app, this one will feature a series of billboards and fly postering across London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, featuring QR codes which, when scanned, will take you to a special showcase of talented unsigned artists on TikTok.

If you want to see one of these billboards in person, they will be displayed throughout the month of August near iconic music venues such as Brixton Academy (London) and the O2 Apollo (Manchester). The aim of these billboards is to allow music fans to get first sight of the next generation of musical talent featured on TikTok. Although if you’re not able to head to any of these locations to scan the QR codes, the ‘Find the Unsigned’ page in-app will help people discover more about the featured artists, and listen to their music via a ‘Listen here’ tab.

TikTok has built a reputation for becoming a place to discover emerging and unsigned artists, giving them a platform to go viral or to find an audience interested in their niche. Liv Harland started busking on TikTok and scored a record deal, and Nathan Evans went from doing the postal rounds in Scotland to kickstarting a global revival of centuries-old Sea Shanties.

TikTok stated that 80% of the people who use the app say they discover new music on the platform and it is the number one place for music discovery – above any other digital platforms, streaming services, and friends.

Who will feature in the billboard campaign?

The campaign features artists from a range of musical genres, to really showcase the variety of talent on TikTok. From Pop, to Indie Alt, Rap, and Garage. Here are just some of the artists who will be featured in the campaign and in-app:

  • @flo55ie: Flossie writes songs from her London bedroom. Her Bedroom Demos EP has just been released on 02 July, starting with the track Moon River. She is known on TikTok for butterfly prawns.
  • @hellovicco: The 22-year-old rapper, who freestyles from his university bedroom, has over 320K followers on TikTok. V.I.C went viral with his covers of Dave’s Funky Friday and Location, Dixie D’Amelio’s Be Happy as well as his own Dear Mr. Prime Minister series.
  • @hereatlastofficial: With 2.5M followers on TikTok, Here At Last is a boy band that has risen to fame with no record label or reality TV show. They’re the One Direction of the TikTok generation.
  • @codyfrostmusic: Cody Frost has experienced a lot on the road to their new EP IT’S NOT REAL; from heady highs and crashing lows, despair and disillusionment, to self-care and catharsis.
  • @bonjouraidan: AIDÁN, a South London singer-songwriter, who was born to an Irish mum and Nigerian dad, writes and co-produces all of his songs which are soon to be released. He hopes to showcase his various influences within these tracks.
  • @whatswithorchid: Orchid’s brand of alternative garage pop is reflected in her upcoming project – five tracks of syrupy vocals over experimental production that ranges from bouncy to mournful. Her musical and rhythmic influences are strongly rooted in time spent in Ghana and Brazil, and a life-long love of Latin American music styles such as samba, reggaeton and baile funk.

Paul Hourican, Head of Music Operations UK at TikTok said: “Music is a central part of TikTok and every day our global community are discovering new sounds and genres, and helping artists build fanbases and achieve success.

TikTok is a platform that’s made for discovery, which makes it easy for people to hear artists for the first time. Our community is constantly championing new artists and we’ve seen some incredible examples of that in the past year – from Liv Harland and Emelie Hallett busking from their hometowns and the global community on TikTok, to Nathan Evans and A1 x J1 going from bedroom to billboard. TikTok is a platform that’s made for discovery, and this campaign is all about giving even more unsigned artists a voice and audience, both on and off TikTok.”

It will be intriguing to follow the success of an in-person TikTok campaign, for the first time ever, following the traction and the popularity that the musicians gain from having their faces on billboards in the UK’s most major cities. 

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