Okay, I think we've waited long enough for this, and that is my opinion on TikTok stars and their rise to the music scene.
Before I begin, I want to deem the question - why are the women somehow the only ones facing backlash? Bryce Hall. Griffin Johnson. Tayler Holder. All males who have singles on Spotify, and yet somehow the only one that is even remotely discussed in Griffin's because it's a diss track to his now ex, Dixie D'Amelio.
Dixie's turn to music happened last summer with her debut single, "Be Happy." Which seemed apt for days when we were reliving the pandemic over and over and didn't exactly want to be happy either. She later remixed this track with blackbear and Lil Mosey. Later last year, she collaborated with former One Direction member Liam Payne to release Naughty LIst for the holidays. The collab was unexpected but the best for marketing. Liam's known to us former 1D fans, of course, but the TikTok demographic skews much further, and this single made for better reach. In response to Griffin's "Convenient," Dixie also released "One Day" with Wiz Khalifa, and her latest is "Roommates," which showcases her range much more.
I'm not explaining Dixie's musical journey to tell you to justify anything - I'm telling you because tons of industry names are choosing to align and work with her because she's exactly what you get - and talented. The whole discourse of who gets to enter the music industry is tired. I'm tired.
So this brings me to the latest - bad bleep, Addison Rae. As a girl who joined TikTok for fun, Addison first popped up on my page alongside Charli at the NBA All-Star game. I didn't get the hype at first, but now that it's been 14+ months of me scrolling my for your page, I get the allure.
And unless you've been under a rock, you'd know that Addison released her own single, "Obsessed." Everyone is talking about it - good or bad. Lately, on my feed, it's bad, and I can't help but wonder again, why can't women ever be successful in music? It's not just the men - women are doing it, too. As soon as I watched the "Obsessed" video, I thought Addison gave off Britney Spears vibes. The parallels write themselves - two small-town girls from Louisiana, honey blonde hair and sultry dance moves before 20.
Yes, before 20. It's all to say that yes, maybe these kids who got famous from dancing hit dances created mostly by Black creators shouldn't get to sing, but if you had the opportunity, wouldn't you? You don't get to decide someone's passions. You don't get to judge if this is a song they prepared a week ago or even eight months ago!
And Tik Tok is just like any other platform that creates rising pop stars. It's basically like the Disney model that created Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, etc. It's using a platform of celebrity to gain an audience for your music. Addison and Dixie are still really young, and their sound will develop and mature over time, just like any other artist.
It's just easier to pick about all of the details of Addison's video: her dance moves, the choreography, her outfit, the lyrics. And part of that stems from jealousy, she's seemed to effortlessly reach a level of success we all wish we had. It all comes back to that idea that women in music can't be successful not only because of misogyny but because we want to think there's no way SHE can do that. She's not a REAL artist. But who gets to decide that? I think time will definitely tell whether or not Tik Tok Influencers will be considered pop stars in their own right, but until then, I feel like we can't just knock them down for diversifying and trying.
"At 15 years old, I begged my mom to take me to Walmart to get Taylor Swift's debut deluxe album and I never turned back. This was my very first entry point to stan fandom. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee I was exposed to a ton of music - from rapping 3 6 Mafia to bopping to Justin Timberlake's solo discography. Now, in LA have a day job working in nonprofit development, but by night, I'm a full-fledged fangirl. I'll listen to generally any genre, but I'm a sucker for a good pop song. If you ever need someone to scream sing Carly Rae Jepsen's E·MO·TION with, I'm your girl. No, I still have not gotten over the One Direction hiatus. Please continue to respect my privacy. Twitter : samfonggg, Instagram : samantha_fong"