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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The downfall of the music industry

A+treble+clef+with+TikTok+colors.+This+is+to+show+TikToks+influence+on+the+music+industry.
Angel Harper
A treble clef with TikTok colors. This is to show TikTok’s influence on the music industry.

As I scroll through TikTok, I feel my ears starting to bleed from the mediocre pop that is constantly on my feed. Each video only lasts 10 seconds, but it feels like an eternity.

Artists are losing the charm they once had.

Gone are the days when songs were at least three to four minutes long. Now everything is made for social media apps like TikTok, causing true artistry to slowly dwindle away.

As TikTok gains popularity so does the sounds on the app: creators can add audios to their videos to boost interaction. Most of the time only a small snippet of the song is used, usually the chorus, and if it’s catchy enough the song goes viral. But there lies the problem: only a small part of the song goes viral, causing people to only know that small part.

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In 2022, Steve Lacy released his sophomore album “Gemini Rights’’, with its lead single “Bad Habit” going viral on TikTok. Lacy was already a popular artist but this caused his fame to skyrocket and even earned him a Grammy for best progressive R&B album. Expectedly, with fame comes fans, and overnight, Lacy found himself with millions of new fans lining up to see him in concert. But when the concert happened, none of his “fans” knew the words to any of his songs except for the TikTok hooks.

An infographic displaying the decreasing length of songs throughout the decades. (Angel Harper)

This is what causes songs to become shorter. Record labels know that only a small snippet of their song will go viral so why make the song long? This is becoming a global problem because K-pop songs are becoming shorter as well.

K-pop has blown up these past few years with acts such as BTS and Blackpink slowly becoming household names. Record labels in South Korea are seeing how popular K-pop is becoming in the West because of TikTok and are beginning to shorten their songs to appeal to Western audiences on the app.

NewJeans is a group that is trending on TikTok with their catchy songs and cute aesthetics. But their songs only last two or sometimes three minutes if you’re lucky. This is due to TikTok shortening users attention spans, causing groups like NewJeans to shorten their songs. Their second EP “Get Up” is a perfect example of this, having six songs but being only 12 minutes long.

TikTok’s logo, purposely drawn messy to show the disastrous effects that TikTok has on the music industry. (Angel Harper)

TikTok is also just making anyone go viral, even people who have little to no talent. In the past, there was no social media so it was harder to gain a fanbase. Artists actually had to distinguish themselves by showing extreme talent and skill. But now, thanks to TikTok, all it takes for an artist to become famous is to either have a trending song or to be insanely attractive.

Artists like Ice Spice and groups like IVE are gaining popularity but it has little to do with their music or talent. Ice Spice started out as a meme who gained popularity because of her stunning looks and charming personality. However, her music leaves much to be desired, with mediocre lyrics and a generic beat.

Similarly, IVE is only popular because of their looks and members like Wonyoung and Yujin. As a group, they can’t sing that well and lack stage presence.

Music in general is just on a rapid decline. Record labels aren’t interested in making pop stars, they want someone who already has a following. One-hit wonders whose song went viral on TikTok are the only artists being signed to labels, even though they lack artistic skill.

But there is still hope for the music industry. TikTok mainly promotes talentless artists, but every once in a while a truly talented artist goes viral

Laufey became extremely popular because of TikTok but she has skill in the modern jazz genre. One good thing about TikTok is that it is making it easier to market artists to smaller audiences like modern jazz enjoyers.

Her new album “Bewitched” became insanely popular and rightfully so. Laufey has a beautiful voice with meaningful lyrics that pull at your heartstrings. This album is great even without all of the hype surrounding it on TikTok.

Creativity is still present in the music industry. Record labels just need to pursue those who actually have talent and passion.

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  • L

    Lillian SnellNov 6, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    It’s crazy to think about how the use of technology and apps like TikTok can have an effect on practically your entire life. Little scary!

    Reply
  • A

    Andrew LiuNov 6, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    Real

    Reply
  • D

    David RNov 6, 2023 at 11:53 am

    The graphic really opened my eyes on this problem. The Steve Lacy concert information shocked me because if a Grammy artist would you have a concert you would expect for people to know a lot of their songs, not just the tiktok clips.

    Reply
  • J

    Jonathan ChiribogaNov 6, 2023 at 11:44 am

    I agree, modern artists are emphasizing the releases of short and catchy singles rather than focusing on more concrete long term projects – which are more capable of lasting longer and adding to their legacy. Now I just see kids signing along to made-up audios that have surfaced on TikTok as opposed to songs that feature cool chord progressions and an immersive sound.

    Reply
  • E

    emay kongNov 6, 2023 at 11:42 am

    this story is very eye opening on how social media is affecting our everyday lives

    Reply
  • C

    Claire BNov 5, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Yesss agreed! We need longer songs that are great throughout the entire thing. Being able to keep the listener’s attention throughout the whole song is a part of the art.

    Reply