Are we about to see Ocean Alley's five-year-old banger 'Confidence' become the next global viral hit?
Northern beaches psychedelic rockers Ocean Alley are having a viral moment on TikTok as their 2018 Hottest 100-topping hit, Confidence, picks up speed… quite literally.
On November 1, TikTok user Alyx, known for his sped-up versions of songs, posted a cracking snippet of Chipmunk-style Confidence, showing that with added speed came added swagger.
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Other TikTok users obviously agreed, and fast forward just two weeks later, and over 22,000 users have chosen to use the track in their own videos. Co-opted by the “behind every girl with incredible music taste” trend and then spinning out into countless other user-generated pieces, the song is on its way to being this year’s Love You So (don’t worry if you don’t understand. It’s a TikTok thing).
So, what happens once a song goes viral, and what does it REALLY mean for a band? It’s a fascinating case study that we can all see happening in real-time while cheering on an Aussie band we can watch the rest of the world discover.
The important statistic is what a 30-second sped-up viral video sync actually means for music discovery, and streams of their actual songs and early indications are good for the band. Confidence is now at #2 on Spotify’s Viral Hits - USA playlist (not to mention viral charting in the UK, Ireland and Canada) and has been added to Spotify’s Big on the Internet and Australia’s Front Left playlist. The track is yet to have a similar impact on Apple and Amazon, but with Spotify leading the way, you can already see the cut-through starting to happen.
Prior to the TikTok trend, Ocean Alley were increasing by around 200 followers a day. However, from November 1, the numbers have taken off, now rising by more than 2000 per day. Monthly listeners are rising at the rate of 11,000+ per day, a statistic that was flat up until the TikTok trend and is about to soar past 2 million.
The graphs are showing exponential growth across Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Shazam and Soundcloud.
Of course, Ocean Alley are already pretty damn huge here in Australia. Confidence is already four times platinum in Australia, and the band is in the process of finishing up a massive local tour in which they’ve sold over 47,000 tickets, including selling out the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney in just four minutes.
The viral success shows yet another international path to success for bands that didn’t exist a decade ago. This week, Troye Sivan was nominated for a Grammy. We saw artists like Dom Dolla and Genesis Owusu forging truly international careers celebrated at a successful ARIA Awards. We have already covered the remarkable global success of Vance Joy. Australian artists are rising above the commentary and just getting on with success in 2023.
We can lament that it takes a sped-up TikTok to do it, or we can celebrate that a sped-up TikTok did it. Whatever your take, either way, for a young artist looking for a career in 2023, it sure does beat begging a radio gatekeeper and spending your money on a CD pressing.