TikTok has transformed music fans into co-creators

TikTok has transformed music fans into co-creators

Long gone are the days when music fans passively listened to the songs of their favorite artists. Now, with platforms like TikTok, audiences are remixing and transforming music in novel ways. AÅ

The most recent example is Skepta’s ‘Take Me Back’. Released over seven years ago, the song has begun to resurface as fans have swapped the traditional Grime beat with a softer, indie-like cadence. And while it feels like songs from two different artists, fans have clearly taken a liking to it. In less than a month, the sound has gone viral with over 990,000 views. 

But this is not an isolated trend. Before this, fans had been remixing songs by speeding them or slowing them down. Notably, songs like Pink Pantheress’ ‘Boy’s a Liar’ have been sped up, attracting over 6.8 million views.

On apps like TikTok, everyone is a creator. The app has democratised content creation in ways that older platforms like Facebook and Twitter failed to do. So, this means that even the most passive of activities like listening to music has been turned into a sort of collaborative exercise.

And it seems like with the proliferation of AI, the trend is only going to get stronger. At the beginning of 2023, Roberto Nickson created an AI-generated verse in the style of Kanye West with the ‘song’ tricking many. With technology and platforms like TikTok at the feet of audiences, the line between consumers and creators is increasingly blurred.

Yet this trend does not come without its problems. Some people dismissed the Skepta remix as ‘disrespecting’ the original and likewise, many criticized the AI trend as being ‘so wrong and so bad for the industry’. So, while tech has empowered audiences to become more creative and dynamic, it is possible that this shift will threaten the orthodoxy of the music industry. 

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