Are you an aspiring artist getting into video making? Having other successful and climbing creators to look towards will help you define your own style and provide plenty of pointers. And by following people who are likely to follow you back, you’ll increase your own numbers.
The TikTok musicians and singers you should follow include burgeoning stars, those just ahead of you who can point the way, potential peer collaborators, exciting innovators and those who can inspire in your particular genre, as well as some of the big hitters.
In this article, we’ll list the music-makers sure to spark your imagination and show you what you can achieve with a little time and know-how.
TikTok Musicians you should follow
If the digital sensation that is TikTok has passed you by, then as a musical artist, you’re missing out. While not exclusively about music-making, on-trend tracks are woven into its fabric. Whether it’s the latest dance craze, a funny snippet, or an ad hoc duet, you’ll find it’s crammed full of the latest tunes. And as with any social media platform, it’s good practice to look to others who’re getting it right, if you want to find your own success.
When it comes to the big names you may have noticed that duplicate, fake or fan accounts often appear in the artist’s name. So how can you identify the real deal? Well, like all the big social media setups, TikTok has a verification process in place. Look out for ticks and crowns – and where possible, try to earn your own.
Who should I follow on TikTok?
There are some big names that pretty much every singer on the app will want to follow. And that’s great, but in terms of personal advancement, it’s good to hone in on a more niche market. So to work out who you personally should follow, think about these questions?
- What is it I’m trying to achieve on TikTok?
- What kind of music do I make and who else is already doing it well on there?
- Am I looking to just have fun, or build a serious following? (If the former, concentrate purely on creators who make you smile. Otherwise, you’ll need to be a bit more strategic)
- Is there anyone I want to reach out to?
- Who is likely to follow me back?
- Who might prove useful for my own career? (Think collabs, promotions and shares)
This last one is really key. Part of the purpose of following is to get follows back snd boost your own numbers. But if you only follow famous people or users with millions of followers, that’s unlikely to work. So you’ll need a good mixture, including all your peers and mates.
Who should you follow on TikTok?
Let’s begin our rundown of the 17 different types of TikTokers we think you’ll be inspired by.
This 23-year-old UK singer-songwriter is also a YouTuber, gamer and TikTok ambassador. Talia Mar’s account provides a useful lesson in how to merge your music with other interests on the platform, feed your socials into one another and work with brands (the latter is particularly relevant if you want to makes cash from the app). She’s also prolific on Spotify, YouTube and Deezer.
Kavya Borra makes excellent use of the effects available on the TikTok app – both visual and audio. The 18-year-old often sings harmonies and duets with other singers too, making her an inspiring follow for those trying to work out some hot collabs. She’s also a charity campaigner and the Pari Ambassador for Girl Child Right to Sanitation.
Perhaps you’re an instrumentalist, rather than a singer – or both. Want to show off your skills on the keys? Check out Marvin Rose and see how he does it. Rose posts content on music and lifestyle and is also a model. He has over 5.6 million likes on TikTok and mixes up displays of epic piano skills with funny vids.
The platform’s global reach means that you can appeal to those from all over the world and engage with very many styles of music. With K-pop on the rise, it’s well worth adding Mia Rodriguez to your list. She also records mainstream pop and hip-hop.
Almost every creator on our list is under 25 and many are in their teens. But proving that the app isn’t just for young people, is 42-year-old Dad Jason Linton. He’s amassed over 5 million followers despite not fitting into the typical age demographic. And as a super positive TikToker, he’ll not only inspire you to succeed against the odds but will help you to stay happy too.
And it’s not only solo artists who are worth a watch. Although as getting together can be hard as a band at the moment, TikTokers do tend to have independent accounts and use tech to collaborate, instead of doing it in person. Cimorelli is a particularly unusual group, in that it’s an a capella setup, where all the members are sisters. So to see something particularly unique, or get a grip on how to make unaccompanied music videos work, check them out.
@cimorellibandDrivers license acoustic piano version! 🎶😭 What should we sing next!? #driverslicense #sisters #cover #singing♬ original sound – Cimorelli
TikTokers that make music
Do you write your own songs? TikTok is a great place to showcase original work. These are some of the creators to look out for, who are making their mark doing just that.
Composer of original pop songs, Cassidi’s first big hit titled Stupid Boys landed on Spotify in July of 2020. She cleverly works both platforms side by side to build fanbases on both (check out her bio to see how she does it).
Maddie Zahm was a contestant on American Idol two years ago but after being kicked off the show, took to TikTok to advance her career instead. Having now racked up over 156,000 followers, she’s a shining example of how perseverance, and refusal to accept defeat can pay off. Maddie uses videos to keep fans updated on things like her new releases.
Tyga may have a slimmed-down bio, with no links or promos, but that hasn’t stopped him raking in the likes. Instead of obvious plugging, he often uses his own tracks as backing for funny and behind the scenes videos. This is a good model if you’re after a more subtle marketing approach. But you’ll need to create some super appealing content to draw in fans if you want this to work. The rapper is all about making amusing content that’s geared to his genre.
If you have a great idea, TikTok may be just the place to float it. Abigail Barlow did just that, building a fan base with her beautiful tone and funky pop dance tunes. But now she’s taking the industry by storm and has used the app to launch and create Bridgerton the Musical. Abigail is a good one to follow if you’d like to see how to ace a more polished and stylised video.
@abigailbarlowwwAny mamas wanna sing Lady Violet for us? We’re all ears 😍 @emilythebear #bridgertonmusical♬ original sound – Abigail Barlow
We’ve talked about original music. But what about covers? After all, these are many artists’ bread and butter, with singers like Dua Lipa using them to attract the attention of record executives.
The 20-year-old South London BRIT School graduate has a brilliant line in entertaining covers (as well as her own originals). She also shows how it’s done in terms of lip-syncing. Cat Burns’ account has an authenticity about it, and as well as being amusing, is heartfelt. She’s also good at picking up on trends like The Snowman Challenge; this saw TikTok users attempting to sing a 40-second verse from Sia’s Snowman in just one breath. In her attempt, Cat is really honest about just how hard it is. TikTok users like to see artists being real in this way.
If you play and sing, watch John Tucker’s covers, some of which are self-accompanied on the guitar. He shows how to give the classics your own personality, much like you might hear in a Radio 1 Live Lounge session. The artists and bands Tucker cover songs range from John Lennon to Radiohead, Tracy Chapman, The Beatles and many more.
Nadine Magee primarily does covers and rewrites. Her clarity of tone is quite striking and rather than using lots of gimmicks, usually just sings to the camera, letting her vocals do the talking. One tech tool she does use, however, is a brilliant microphone. It’s often a good idea to invest in some decent recording equipment if you fancy making videos of yourself singing. Particularly if you perform a genre of music that benefits from a more produced sound.
This is the self-professed ‘CEO of drums’. Austin Ware uploads videos of himself playing remixes and covers on the drums in front of his 7.4 million followers. He’s big into using funky lighting – and paints. So watch him if you’d like some tips on getting anarchic and arty with your own TikTok. His account is an audio and visual feast.
Teenstar music artists on TikTok
If you have entered, or are considering entering Teenstar and use TikTok, it’ll be both useful and interesting to view some of those who’ve advanced their careers in the competition and gone on to become TikTokkers.
This 15-year-old singer hails from the Midlands. The award-winning artist’s accolades include the John Lewis Starquest 2017, Open Mic UK 2017, Teenstar 2018, Britain Does Variety 2018, and Semi-finalist in The Voice Kids 2019. Having just been named the Best Young Breakthrough Artist of 2020 by the National Entertainment Awards, Liam Price is one to watch.
The singer-songwriter from North Devon is described as “half lioness, half songbird”. Yazzy has over 14,000 followers on TikTok. Her debut album ‘Silly Boys, Breaking Hearts’ was released in 2015 when she was just 15. A previous finalist in Open Mic UK and Teenstar, she was soon after approached by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis and asked to support Paloma Faith at Glastonbury Extravaganza.
TeenStar 2020 Finalist Shane Brierley is one to follow for originals, covers, duets and more.
@shanebrierleymusicSay something – Brother and sister duet #singers #duett #lyrics #blowthisup #makemetiktokfamous #fypシ♬ original sound – shanebrierleymusic
Another singer-songwriter, Tara has performed on the BBC’s Introducing Live Lounge, BBC Radio Solent. She’s also been a support artist (for bands and singers including East 17, FIVE, Shalamar and Shola Ama). Tara Flanagan was a Grand Finalist at Open Mic UK. Proud of her Irish and Filipino descent, Tara performs annually at the London Barrio Fiesta, the biggest Filipino festival in Europe in front of 20,000 people, which is also broadcast on Filipino television.
Of course, there are thousands of artists to be discovered on this platform, spanning every genre and theme imaginable. Have fun TikTokking and you never know, you may be a musician to follow in future too. We’ll be providing lots more insight into the world of TikTok. So keep an eye on our advice page for more.
- Why is TikTok not recording my voice?
The most likely reason is that your mic’s not turned on. Check your settings (it could be that you hadn’t clicked on ‘allow’). Not having a mic option at all is a common problem with the Duet feature. If this happens, try checking for updates or re-installing the latest version of the app.
- What is TikTok’s most-used song?
TikTok has a music library. Creators can access this and use the tunes for their videos. Laxed [Siren Beat] by Jawsh 685 was last year’s most used number, followed by a Bagaikan Langit Cover, Lottery (Renegade) by K Camp, Savage by Megan Thee Stallion and Relationship by Young Thug feat. Future.
- What is the most popular TikTok dance?
Owned by a company called ByteDance, it’s no surprise that dance crazes are huge on the app. They lend themselves well to short clips, particularly if there’s a strong motif that can be copied. Recent popular dance includes Say So by Doja Cat, Cannibal by Kesha and Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers.
Which TikTok musicians do you follow? Are there any up and coming, or emergent stars you think are worth a watch? Let us a link in the comments below.