TikTok’s impact on the music industry has been widely debated over the last two years, and it seems the platform and its artists are starting to get the recognition they deserve.
On Tuesday, MTV announced its newest awards celebration, Trending: #VMAs, that will honour viral audio, dances, and creators/artists in the lead-up to the VMAs this Sunday.
The event will be hosted by TikTok star Quen Blackwell and take place on September 10th via TikTok live with performances from Denzel Dion, Boys World, Makayla Culpepper, and Justina Valentine. Fans can currently vote for their favourite sounds and creators on TikTok’s Discover page.
This year’s categories include Best Breakthrough Song, Best Comeback Song, Best Artist x Creator Collab, Best Audio Mashup and Best Viral Dance, though we’re certain this will expand in years to come.
It’s no surprise that the music industry has changed over the last 18 months.
With the COVID-19 pandemic came the rise of TikTok, the world’s fastest-growing social media platform ever. Unlike predecessor apps like YouTube and Instagram, TikTok’s influence has transcended the confines of the platform, seeping into mainstream culture and churning out some of music’s most recognizable songs.
What took traditional artists and choreographers years to achieve— like signing a record deal, building a cult following, and dancing alongside celebrities like J Lo— TikTok stars have done in a matter of months.
Australian artist Masked Wolf, whose song ‘Astronaut in the Ocean’ went viral earlier this year helping him become one of the world’s most-streamed artists, told Junkee that going viral on TikTok was “kind of like when you walk into a news agency and they tell you you’ve actually won the lottery.”
‘Astronaut in the Ocean’ is nominated Best Breakthrough Song.
“I saw it all from the start, because I was the one going to every single TikTok video thanking them for using my song,” he said of his song, which has been used nearly 20 million times on the app alone.
TikTok’s influence on the zeitgeist is unmatched, and it’s exciting to see platforms such as MTV bring gravity to the importance of digital culture.
You can watch MTV’s Trending: #VMAs awards on September 10th at 5pm ET on TikTok here.