Attention Versus Authenticity: Musical Madness in the Age of TikTok

illustration of iphone and earbuds with tiktok logo on the screen

Social media has radically altered the music industry, providing new opportunities for promotion and fan engagement. This is nowhere more evident than on TikTok, which blew up over the last couple of years, becoming a go-to source for music discovery and a powerful driver of pop hits, new and old. Singer-songwriter Sawyer Rabin shares his experience as a new artist whose work is still developing, while a host of other users explain how they’ve fallen in love with independent musicians they found on TikTok.

We tracked what happens when TikTok songs go viral; Vox
Interview with Sawyer Rabin (@thisisabandname)

Featured Songs:
“Untitled Song in 5/4” by Sawyer Rabin
“Radiohead” by Alix Page
“Anything” Cover (Adrianne Lenker) by Searows

a young woman with long hair taking a selfie in what appears to be a dorm roomLaura Bott is a Media Studies major at the University of San Francisco. She is a KUSF DJ and a student ambassador for Goldenvoice. Laura loves to write and attend concerts. She grew up in San Jose, California.