When TikTok first appeared on the scene as the newest social media platform, I was pretty disinterested in it. As a millennial that has been on the social media rollercoaster since Facebook's heydays and has now comfortably settled on Twitter as my primary source of escapism and Instagram for the aesthetics, I didn’t really want to learn how to use a new platform. Then the pandemic hit.
Just over a year and a half on, TikTok has grown to become an avenue for great success for various content creators. TikTok doesn’t only work for the people creating the visuals though. Earlier this year, a friend who worked in the music industry tweeted about a sure way to make a song a hit: get ‘cis/trans women, the gays and they/dems to like you and you are fine’.
There was a lot of backlash on Twitter but TikTok content really proves this theory. Unfortunately, straight men are usually not the ones joining challenges etc. but the inclusive nature of TikTok means that it is an ideal space for minority identities to share their creativity. This in turn helps to promote the music attached to the videos and they also go viral. Quite a number of musicians have benefited from this in the past couple of months including Bruno Mars and Doja Cat, but more importantly, sidelined identities tend to veer towards niche music, so it is the less globally known acts that I am most happy to see trend.
Here are some of the artists from West Africa benefiting from this phenomenon.