Matt Corby Says That Musicians Finding Success On TikTok Is A 'Fleeting' Trend

27 March 2023 | 9:44 am | Mary Varvaris

“Do you want to go and see a show of that? You don’t know yet; there’s not a lot of trust between the punter and the musician.”

(Sources: Supplied)

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Matt Corby isn’t fond of the TikTok road to fame. Having the beginning of his musical career starting on Australian Idol, the Brother singer then hustled to separate himself from the reality singing competition by releasing fascinating records and putting on a great live show.

While finding fame on television isn’t the conventional way of becoming a successful singer, it looks like Corby thinks the music industry has taken things too far, with the rise of TikTok hugely contributing to young musicians’ careers.

In a recent interview with NCA Newswire, Corby revealed his thoughts on TikTok fame, calling the trend of musicians finding success (including signing record deals and topping the charts) on the app “fleeting”.

He elaborated, “I mean, anything that is viral is so fleeting, right? It needs to be backed up with hard work and craftsmanship.”

Corby then discussed the viral nature of TikTok songs, lamenting the lack of connection that comes from the app’s users casually scrolling through and hearing ten seconds of a song.

“Do you want to go and see a show of that? You don’t know yet; there’s not a lot of trust between the punter and the musician,” he said.

“You get no real experience of an artist with them editing a video of themselves singing a song. It’s a great way, if you’re a record label, to maybe find a one-in-1000 talent, that’s kind of cool.

“But then there’s still so much hard work that needs to be done developing that artist and connecting them with the right people and putting out the right records and getting them lined up and getting them playing shows.”

Corby isn’t the only artist who sees the cons of TikTok.

Last year, The Music unleashed an investigation into the rise of digital burnout among artists.

In May 2022, US musician Halsey took to TikTok to explain that the release of their latest song had been halted by their record label, who claim that “a viral moment on TikTok” is needed to accompany (and thereby promote) its arrival.

“Basically, I have a song that I love that I wanna release ASAP,” Halsey explained to fans. “But my record label won’t let me.” 

“My record company is saying that I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on tiktok,” they added. “Everything is marketing. I just want to release music, man. And I deserve better tbh.”

Artists such as Charli XCX, Florence Welch, and FKA Twigs have all gone public with their disdain for the machine in which they’re forced to operate. 

While Welch took to TikTok to cheekily explain how her label had been “begging” for “low fi tik toks”, FKA Twigs has been noted as having almost changed her persona entirely, going from that of a nearly reclusive, genre-defying enigma to that of an ever-present social media fixture to appease her record label.

“All record labels ask for are TikToks, and I got told off today for not making enough effort,” the artist shared in a since-deleted video. It’s clear that much like the increasing pressures any worker would feel in their day-to-day job, the need to be constantly engaging and marketing yourself on social media is beginning to lead to increased burnout in the digital age for creatives and doesn’t really help the artists finding listeners on TikTok.

Matt Corby’s newest album, Everything’s Fine, is out now.