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TikTok’s major impact in Nigeria’s music space

Can you take music away from TikTok? That would be like trying to take the legs off a table.

TikTok and music are an inseparable pair and because of this, we’d like to look deeper into the influence of TikTok on Nigerian music. TikTok has reached a staggering 1.5 billion members. Whether it’s a comedy, relationship advice, or some dance moves, TikTok has got you, but in this article, we are going to focus on the role that TikTok has played in the Nigerian music industry

Influence of TikTok on Nigeria’s music:

  • Changing the way Nigerian music is consumed
    TikTok has changed the Nigerian music industry. It has revolutionized the way Nigerians consume music. Before TikTok, music consumption by Nigerian music was a one-way street. The artists dished out the song and the fans listened with little to no interaction. But ever since the creation of TikTok, more fans are now able to interact with the songs from their favorite superstars through activities like lip-syncing and dance videos. Now, with TikTok, Nigerian music has become something that you can participate in. Lip syncing, dance videos, and comedy videos are some of the various ways through which TikTokers have been able to express themselves with the Nigerian music that they love.
  • Boosting the success rate of songs
    There has been proof that songs that go viral on TikTok have a higher chance of attaining charting success and increased streams. The stats have pinned it on a number claiming that around 67% of users have gone to seek a song out on streaming platforms after seeing it on TikTok. Think about it. How many times have you gone to check out a new song on Spotify or other streaming platforms simply because you heard it from TikTok? I’m guessing if you are an avid TikToker, your answer is “several times”. If you notice, even the YouTube videos of many Nigerian songs are filled with plenty of people who came there straight from TikTok. TikTok means more money for the artists involved.  Songs like ‘Finesse’, ‘Bandana’, and ‘Machala’ are quite popular on TikTok. It’s not magic if you look at it critically; it’s just a game of numbers. With about 1.5 billion potential views, TikTok stands as a powerful platform where Nigerian tunes can gain a wider audience. Simply put, TikTok has been proven to boost the commercial value of Nigerian songs.
  • Leverage for underground artists
    TikTok has served as a platform for upcoming artists to come into the limelight. Budding Nigerian artists have found fame through TikTok. A good example would be Ckay who sang ‘Love Nwantiti’. The song became a viral sensation on TikTok and other social platforms and soon spread to become mainstream. Obviously, the fact that the song is pleasant to listen to helps in no small way, but we can’t deny the influence of TikTok in taking its success rate up a notch and also making CKay well-known globally. The song peaked on The US Afrobeats Songs (Billboard) at number 1 while it scooped up the 26th position on The US Billboard Hot 100.
    I like to think that it would have been a more difficult affair for the song to attain such heights without TikTok especially as it was coming from a relatively unknown singer. You can’t tell me that the millions of views it got from TikTok didn’t contribute to its massive success. Because of TikTok, previously unknown artists can now blow up at any moment as long as their songs are accepted by the TikTok community. More upcoming artists are now realizing the influence of TikTok and they are now using the app for promotions and to build a growing fan base.
  • Putting the power back in the hands of the artists
    Gone are the days when record labels had complete autonomy of promotion over the artist signed to their label. Before TikTok, all budding musicians who struggled to become famous would have to keep hustling and working to get their songs out to the public until one day luck shined on them and a record label owner noticed and signed them in. These days, that pattern is not the only way that Nigerian artists can “blow”. Even artists who seemed to have already made it had to always rely on their labels to do all the promotions and help them grow their brand. With TikTok, it doesn’t have to be that way, the power has now been put into the hands of Nigerian artists. Music acts who want to grow an audience or simply promote their songs can now do so just with the click of a button and the upload of a post on TikTok.

Contrary to popular belief, TikTok is beneficial for all artists whether they are still struggling or established. Let’s take Olivia Rodrigo’s song as a case study. Even though she is already a very established singer, TikTok helped to blow up her recent song ‘Driver’s License’. With the posts from well-known creators and other TikTok users, the songs trended massively and got pushed to number one. Eventually, the song gained widespread acceptance and topped charts on Spotify and Apple Music.

Conclusion

Because of TikTok, the Nigerian music industry has never been the same. The app is essentially taking away all the long roads to fame. With just a click of a button, you could have the whole world raving over your song unlike before when the process was much harder and more strenuous. TikTok has no doubt made a huge positive impact on the careers of the artists who create the song and the fans who listen. Now, fans can interact with their favorite sounds through TikTok in ways that we never knew to be possible before. I can imagine how grateful the artists whose careers have been positively impacted are. I know there are still some skeptics who may feel that TikTok is somewhat overhyped, but whether you like it or not, TikTok has changed the Nigerian music space.

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