We’re back! Another month, another opportunity to create viral content and put yourself and your music on the map. As discussed in Part 1 of this series, having a viral music moment can catapult your career to the next level. But how exactly are people creating viral content these days? What’s working and what isn’t? In Part 2 of our “How To Go Viral With Your Music”, we’ll explore how to build your platform with creator Liam Benayon, and suggest some more trends for all you budding content creators out there to try. This month’s theme is: collaboration.
Building a Platform
If making music content doesn’t feel aligned with you or your branding, or if you want to try your hand at multiple types of content creation, you can always focus on making more generalized viral content to build your platform. Although general viral content may not directly boost your Spotify streams, it can still build awareness of you as an artist or individual. Having more eyes on you never hurts when you’re trying to push a project of any kind.
Speaking of building a platform, Liam Benayon is a Toronto-born, LA-based artist and producer with a handful of viral videos that have amassed millions of views and hundreds of thousands of likes, drawing major attention to his profile. However, for the most part, the videos with the largest amount of views have not been music-related. RAC asked him a few questions about his experience with his viral content and how it translates to his music career.
RAC: In terms of your viral TikTok videos, why do you think these specific videos went viral? Do you ever *have a feeling* content could go viral before you post it?
Liam: I would say I never have any idea when a video will go viral. I think these ones went viral because they were either funny or relatable to a lot of people, or just kind of basic. Like, I didn’t even come up with the airplane wifi one, I just stole it from somebody else and remade it. Some things just work because they’re super relatable. The same thing can be applied to music, like how mainstream music is palatable and everyone can relate to it. But comedy stuff just does really well. I think maybe my comedic timing is good. I’m funny, I guess (laughs). People wanna laugh.
RAC: Do you think it’s harder to have music content go viral than it is to have content about something else go viral?
Liam: Yes, 100%, it’s very hard to make music content go viral because people don’t want to see you promote yourself for some reason. Some music content goes viral because the song is just so spectacular and people love it so much, or sometimes you need a gimmick, and sometimes neither thing works.
RAC: Does your viral content seep over into your music content/music career? And why do you think that is?
Liam: My viral content never seeps over to my music, point blank period. Like I could literally have a video with 3 million views of my haircut or the church sign or whatever, and then a video of my song right next to it and it has no streams, no listens, nothing. [The audience is unfortunately usually] not interested in you as a person or as an artist, they just think that one video you made was funny.
RAC: In the age of overconsumption, will viral content continue to hold as much importance? What do you think the future of viral content looks like?
Liam: I feel like virality over the course of history has shown itself in different ways, like maybe in the 80s virality looked like MTV playing a music video non-stop on rotation because people kept requesting it. Now we’re maybe more directly in control of what content goes viral. If it doesn’t look like this in 5 years, it’ll look like something else. That kind of chain effect just continues and that’s how we get viral content. I think there will always be virality in some form or another, especially within media and music and whatnot.
Trends to Try
Even if for Liam, his audience hasn’t completely translated into his music career yet, he is still gaining an army of followers who clearly relate to his content and think he is entertaining, which is so valuable. With that in mind, here are some current collaborative trends creators are currently using to grow their platforms that you can try too!
Collaborate with bigger artists
Collaborating with other creators can really boost your online presence and get new eyes on your content. Including artists that have notoriety or acclaim in your video will boost your engagement for obvious reasons, but even collaborating with someone at the same career stage as you can make a video more engaging simply by having another person of interest on-screen.
In this video, Liam invited his friend Bonnie McKee to listen and react to his latest release. Bonnie’s writing credits include “Teenage Dream”, “Roar”, and “California Girls” by Katy Perry, “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, “Hold It Against Me” by Britney Spears, amongst many more. She also has a solo career, and is most known for her song “American Girl” released in 2013. By including a pop icon in his video, Liam has the opportunity to attract some of Bonnie McKee’s fanbase to his own music catalogue and social accounts. Bonnie herself even proclaims “I wish I wrote this,” in the video, giving it her seal of approval. This just goes to show that if you know an artist with a large following, there’s no harm in asking them to collaborate or pop on screen for a short video with you!
Stitch or duet a video that’s already going viral
The same goes for stitching or dueting a larger artist’s video on TikTok. You don’t even have to know a larger artist personally to collaborate with them by stitching or dueting their videos. There are so many opportunities to grow your audience by simply paying attention to other creators who are going viral, and putting your own spin on what’s already trending.
If you’re on musictok, you’ve probably seen Naomi Turner. She creates viral music content by singing a harmony to a popular song, with the idea that other creators will duet the video and sing the main melody.
Create your own trend or series
Yes, we’re still on the collaboration train, because the opportunities for collaboration are endless. Take Connor Price and his “Spin the Globe” series, for example. In the viral video series, Price spins his globe in his home studio, and wherever his finger lands is the country where he finds the next artist to collaborate with. He has since worked with artists from Zambia, Netherlands, Japan and more on collab tracks, which make up his “Spin The Globe” album. The series went so viral, that the album has amassed over 280 million streams on Spotify alone, and the TikTok videos are all in the millions of views.
— Final Thoughts —
The music and content creation industries are a grind, but it can be much more fun when the experience is shared with other creatives. Whether you ask a friend to react to your new song on camera, find someone halfway across the world to hop on a track with you, or put yourself out there by adding your own flare to someone else’s content, there are so many ways to collaborate and opportunities for viral content in the interim. Get original with your content this month and try stitching, dueting, creating your own trend, or including another artist in your music content!
Written by Maya Malkin
Illustration by Yihong Guo