New TikTok Series Boosts Berklee Artists
If you still think of TikTok as “that dance-craze social media thing,” as opposed to a booming frontier for breaking new artists’ careers in music, it’s time to change your tune. And even if TikTok was still just about dances, music would still play a critical role to the platform's popularity. Bella Poarch, whose head-bobbing videos are among TikTok’s most viewed of all time, wouldn’t have gone viral if not for her use of British grime rapper Millie B.’s “Soph Aspin Send” (popularly known as “M to the B”), for example.
While it can seem like just the latest social media trend, TikTok has actually become fertile ground for new talent and for conducting music business, a combination well-suited for the Berklee community. In the last year, Berklee artists have achieved viral success, produced a song that led to a record deal, and even affected social change by calling out a pancake company.
"[TikTok] gives us a unique space to express ourselves the way we want and to test various forms of content.”
Marlon Solomon, a double major in music business/management and music production and engineering, saw the potential for using the platform as a way to promote all the Berklee talent he’s witnessed on campus, and created Feature Friday, a series that highlights two to three new tracks by Berklee artists each week through the institution’s official TikTok account. A self-described “TikTok stan,” Solomon says that the platform “gives us a unique space to express ourselves the way we want and to test various forms of content.”
Every song featured on Solomon’s series is collected on an accompanying Feature Friday playlist on Spotify, allowing new fans of the song to head to the music-streaming service directly from TikTok to hear the tracks in full—and in so doing, help boost the artist’s profile on both platforms. To date, the playlist has featured over 50 Berklee musicians, with the list growing by the week. “Working on this playlist has been awesome and has opened my eyes to so many artists at Berklee that I didn't know,” Solomon said. “Going forward, I'm excited to feature even more genres, more songs, and hopefully show some of the music that our students behind the scenes—producers, mixing engineers, and arrangers—have helped to create."
Listen to the Feature Friday playlist: