The most viewed artists on Tik Tok of 2020 happen to be the most famous musicians. Not surprising. The List includes Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Pop Smoke, DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, Melanie Martinez, Don Toliver, Dua Lipa, 24kGoldn, and Lil Uzi Vert.
Although not the most famous, these new artists made their mark on the platform:
24kGoldn, Flo Milli, ppcocaine, The Kid Laroi, Avenue Beat, Curtis Waters, Tate McRae, Natalie Taylor, and Corpse.
According to the video-sharing social networking service 70 artists that have broken on the platform have received major label deals, including Claire Rosinkranz, Dixie D’Amelio, Powfu, Priscilla Block and Tai Verdes
The biggest genre on the platform by far is Hip Hop/ Rap followed by Pop, Electronic and R&B.
Elise Eriksen arrives with the chill-pop track track Less. It’s a mid tempo song that’s fun and quirky that has mix of BENEE and Julia Michaels. In fact, the track was co-written by Julia Michaels & features Shoffy. Originally from Norway, Elise moved to New York City before hunkering down in Los Angeles. Her craft of writing songs may point to the fact that she is the daughter of Mikkel Eriksen who makes up the Stargatesongwriting duo that wrote massive hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. You learn a thing or two growing up with mega artists and songwriters. Elise also just released music video for the track on YouTube that you can view here. ‘Less’ speaks about things that are meaningful, but I wanted it to feel upbeat and fun because it has been such a tough year,” says Elise. Check out the track on KOAR’s Indie Invaders.
The 1960’s and 70’s brought us great protest songs. The Vietnam War was a dominant musical theme in the ’60s and ’70s. Antiwar songs was the centerpiece at the Woodstock festival in 1969. Music can change the world and it did. Music was the most powerful means of voicing opposition. Artists were protesting against a war and rallied for international peace.
But with all the divisiness today, where are the protest songs? Today, a protest more or less looks like a cringeworthy rant on social media from laymen.
In 60’s and 70’s there was a red line between the artist class and the ruling class. Today, the creative community have aligned themselves with the political class which also includes the big tech billionaires who run Facebook, Google, Twitter and Youtube.
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins notes, “I mean, there’s friction against one political party, but there doesn’t really seem to be a counterculture, which is kind of strange.”
Where is the friction and the divide? Nobody is raging against the machine. Has the machine become too powerful to rage against? I don’t know, but let it face the music – a proven enemy!
Check out Fire To My Brain by Nashville based Renn. He has a collection of indie folk songs that landed on Spotify’s Cinematic Indie Folk playlist, but his latest track is straight up commercial electro pop. Think of an updated version of Imagine Dragons. Before heading to Nashville, RENN resided in Wilmington, NC and immersed himself with poets and songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, David Gray, and Ray LaMontagne. Give it a stream. Give it a listen.
Why are artists selling off song catalogues? For a few reasons. Global music sales hit an all time low in 2013. Then Spotify arrived on the scene that catapulted classic songs to almost a 153% increase. Streaming has accounted for nearly 80% of the music market.
Right now, music publishing is at its peak. It’s the right time for well known established artists to sell their rights when deals are being doing at 20 times value. Also, deals are being done quickly with Joe Biden aiming to significantly raise capital gains tax for composers whose songs sell for more than $1m.
Stevie Nicks, Barry Manilow, Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, the Killers and Imagine Dragons have sold their rights. Everyone knows that Bob Dylan sold his songs for hundreds of millions.
It’s also worth mentioning that the pandemic has fueled these deals as live gigs and tours have come to a halt. This is a billion-dollar market that is off the table.
Entertainment is a winner takes all market and the legendary artists are seeing the highest deals.
Other songwriters have a different perspective. Legendary songwriter Diane Warren says she would never sell off her catalogue. She said it would be like selling her soul which is not for sale. Warren notes, “The money being offered is insane but there is no amount of money that could ever make me do that. It’s like selling your kids or something. It’s so weird since someone like Dylan doesn’t need the money.”
Will artist regret selling off their most prized possession? That’s the big unknown.