Linkin Park rapper/songwriter Mike Shinoda has joined an increasing number of musicians railing against industry pressure on artists to create 'engaging' social media content.
Singer-songwriter Halsey, who collaborated with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on last year's critically acclaimed If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power album, made headlines over the weekend when she claimed she was being prevented from releasing new music until she could create a 'viral' moment on TikTok.
“Basically, I have a song that I love that I want to release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me,” they wrote over a 29-second TikTok clip. “I’ve been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records and my record company is saying I can’t release [the song] unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”
British artists FKA Twigs and Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine are amongst the songwriters who have recently posted similar sentiments, with Twigs noting last week that “It’s true, all record labels ask for are TikToks and I got told off today for not making enough effort.” Back in March, Welch posted a TikTok with the caption: “The label are begging me for ‘low fi tik toks’ so here you go. pls send help.”
Now, Mike Shinoda has weighed in on the issue, Tweeting this week: "I’m tired of hearing musicians be told they’re not investing enough energy in social media content. Every artist I talk to right now has this feeling. They say they’re spending way too much time making little videos to support their careers, but wish they could spend more time making and playing music."
"How is a young artist expected to put in enough time to get great at their craft when they need to feed all these content channels?" he continues. "The time they spent generating mind numbing 'content' might have been at the expense of the best song they never wrote."
Rock music's standing on TikTok has exploded in recent years. In 2021, TikTok's UK Head Of Artist Partnerships, David Mogendorff, told Metal Hammer that in the previous year alone the genre produced "over 22 million video creations - a huge number", while the nu gen movement has grown stars like Cassyette and Mothica through the platform.