TikTok is used for more than just sea shanties and teenagers showing off. It’s a haven for new musicians, and plenty of the next generation are posting tracks on there and reaching audiences of thousands, even millions. Remember when Myspace came along and changed the game for bands, gaining fans and cutting out the A&R middleman? TikTok is now doing the same, with comment sections flooded with pleas to upload onto Spotify. It’s also a place for successful, well known artists to reach new fans or show another side of them to their current audience.
Here are ten artists you should be following on TikTok, from the brand new to the old guard.
A rockstar in the making, Cassyete is equal parts blonde mullet, eyeliner and brutal deathgrowl. She’s been getting noticed for performing heavy covers and showing off her screaming skills on TikTok. Cassyette was also chosen to play with Yungblud for his Weird Time Of Life virtual tour which won her a load of new fans. Last year she showed off a different side with her stripped back cover of Dolly Parton's Jolene, complete with raspy rock vocals (you can find that on Spotify if you're interested). One of her most liked TikToks is a metal cover of US rapper Ashnikko which has bagged more than 2.2 million likes.
#duet with @kikiwongo 💜🖤😈 inspired by @vennatheythem @ashnikko #daisy #metalcover #deathscream♬ original sound - cassyette
YukoEXE seemed to appear out of nowhere just before Christmas, with a cover of Hayloft’s Mother Mother. It’s since clocked up more than 12 million views, and nearly 3 million likes. They’re actually a duo, but Yuko is the visible face (and voice) of the pairing. She’s since posted covers of Nirvana, Bring Me The Horizon, Owl City and more, including some anime requests too. Alternating between cute clean vocals and brutal screaming, YukoEXE are ones to watch. They’ve also posted their first original song on Spotify and YouTube, Bombshell.
YukoEXE have actually been banned by TikTok – and had their account permanently deleted – in recent days, for reasons neither they, nor their fans, understand. But you can still find them on Instagram, and a variety of other platforms. In the mean time, you can check out this compilation mix of their TikTok videos below.
3. Kim Dracula
He’s been winning over fans with his trap metal original songs as well as some surprising covers. Kim Dracula now has nearly 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and his cover of Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi has more than 13 million plays. He’s the perfect example of how powerful a platform TikTok can be. Kim Dracula posted a video celebrating when he hit over a million plays, and he was wearing an Immortal t-shirt too — what’s not to love? Yes, he gives Dani Filth a run for his money in the gurning and the theatrical stakes, but whatever he’s doing, it’s working.
This is only the beginning ❤️ #paparazzi #kimdracula #covers #kimdrac♬ Paparazzi - Kim Dracula
In case anyone is doubting her metal credentials, Ashnikko teamed up with Employed To Serve last year to rework her song Cry, to release a metal version of it. Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes has also declared her “the coolest person alive”. Self-professed as bubblepunk pop, she enjoys pushing boundaries and her songs regularly go viral on TikTok. Bold and in your face, she doesn’t stick to one genre and knows how to push people’s buttons.
when anyone slightly raises their voice at me♬ original sound - ashnikko
5. Corpse Husband
Corpse Husband, A.K.A Corpse, is one of the biggest success stories to come from TikTok to date, yet nobody knows what he looks like. He mostly posts videos of his hands, but his BDSM-themed ode to e-girls has definitely captured people’s imaginations, and it’s been used in nearly 300,000 videos. He has very low voice, and has so far racked up streaming numbers most established bands could only dream of. E-GIRLS ARE RUINING MY LIFE! has more than 83 million streams so far on Spotify. The follow-up, Cat Girls Are Ruining My Life has a mere 26 million. He’s the artist parents are terrified of hearing from their teenager’s bedrooms.
YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY LMAO #corpse_husband #corpsehusband #onlyhands♬ E-GIRLS ARE RUINING MY LIFE! - CORPSE & Savage Ga$p
6. Palaye Royale
Known primarily for getting themselves in scrapes with security while on tour, Palaye Royale have found a new way to keep themselves busy while they can’t play shows and are veritable TikTok veterans now. The band have posted recent clips confirming they’re making a new record and a documentary, so seem to be putting their time to good use. Videos include everything from promo clips, to wandering around a supermarket, or spoof cooking videos set to the Tiger King song.
Tonight Is The Night I Die #palayeroyale #tonightisthenightidie #musicvideo #fyp♬ Tonight Is The Night I Die - Palaye Royale
7. Josh Dun
If you’re missing gigs, get yourself over to Josh Dun’s TikTok. The Twenty One Pilots star has posted loads of live footage on there, and he also regularly films himself playing to tunes of all genres that have gone viral on the app. Some of his reaction videos are also hilarious – and relatable when he clearly doesn’t understand what’s going on in the latest dance trends, as anyone over 30 on there can attest to.
a #sick vid that i took of me playing drums to post on @tiktok♬ original sound - joshua dun
8. Awsten from Waterparks
Many musicians use TikTok just to push their songs, but Awsten Knight of Waterparks is genuinely creative and funny. One of his most watched videos involved creating a beat from hitting a “golden sock bowl” and then making it into music. He also shares tutorials of how to play their songs. More than anything though, Awsten enjoys using the most ridiculous filters he can find. It’s a bit like when your parents first learnt how to use Zoom or Snapchat.
gold sock bowl type beat [deleted at 60,000,000,000 views 😨]♬ original sound - awstenknight
He’s undoubtedly the voice of a generation, whether you like him or not. Yungblud has been sharing behind-the-scenes TikToks of his promo videos, including the likes of him in a tennis skirt for Cotton Candy or painting himself gold from head to toe. He also posted some sweet celebratory videos for his album hitting number one. Yungblud isn’t afraid to get involved with the latest trends though — including wearing a French maid’s outfit. Boundaries are there to be pushed and while it might not make sense to everyone, his fans adore him for it.
🖤💀🖤 @machinegunkelly #bhc #fyp♬ acting like that (feat. Machine Gun Kelly) - YUNGBLUD
10. Rick Astley
2020 reached peak ridiculousness when Rick Astley arrived. He lured everyone into a false sense of security by posting a video of him cleaning wheelie bins with a jet washer set to the sounds of Dua Lipa. He then royally rickrolled everyone on their For You Page, just when they thought the coast was clear. If that wasn’t brilliant enough, he’s now gone and posted a video playing along to Slipknot, complete with a trench coat, sunglasses and a guitar. Yes, Rick Astley and Slipknot. TikTok truly is for everyone.
On this last day of Christmas, I bring you, Slipknot! #slipknot #ricktok #rickastley #fyp♬ Duality - Slipknot