How 24kGoldn hustled his way to 1.6m fans on TikTok
Isolation does have its upsides.
For American rapper 24kGoldn, the downtime has proven to be the ideal chance to work on new music and entertain a growing audience of 1.6 million on rising social platform TikTok.
To put that figure in perspective, the 19-year-old has as many followers as the video-sharing app has Australian users, according to a February report from Roy Morgan.
That data reflects what the music industry has touted for some time: TikTok is now an increasingly important part of how younger generations discover and share music.
24kGoldn didn’t need his label to school him on that fact, he was an early adopter of the social network and used the platform to convince his A&R that ‘City of Angels’ was a hit.
“The label were not having it,” he tells TMN. “I told the label this was ‘the one’, but nobody really believed me at first. I blew it up myself on TikTok, it’s my biggest song now.
“It’s a great way to gain fans that might not have heard of you before.”
Real name Golden Landis Von Jones, 24kGoldn set to work making videos and collaborating with other influencers on the platform. There are now over 300,000 videos made to ‘City of Angels’, leading to radio A-list rotation on top-ratings stations in the US and UK.
TikTok is providing a platform for artists to break through into the mainstream consciousness and Aussie radio have already taken cues from several tracks unearthed on the platform.
At one minute and 52 seconds, ‘City of Angels’ is already a bonafide radio earworm abroad with hitmakers Radio 1 and Capital in London eating it up. Australian fans are catching on too, it’s jumped to #21 on Spotify locally and #25 on the ARIA Singles Charts.
“Everyone from grandmas to teenager are using it now. Once I saw that it could blow my songs up, I become really interested in the culture and community of the app.
“I’ve got more than 1.6 million followers on TikTok now. That’s more than I have on every other platform, combined,” he tells TMN from his home in San Francisco.
Less than a year ago, the rapper, songwriter and bedroom producer was in college, studying for a career in the finance world, before his music began to take on a life of its own.
His debut project is EP Dropped Outta College, released in Australia by Sony Music, is an accurate portrayal of his real-life story from college dropout to chart climber.
When asked to unpack his secrets to success on TikTok, 24kGoldn switched hats from musician to mogul: “I can’t give away all the sauce for free.” But then he buckled.
“Making video consistently and not being afraid to reach out to other people, because most TikTok users are just regular people that are really good at making these funny videos.
“I just collaborated with a lot of people, that was a big part of my strategy.”
I’m not the person who likes to be on their phone or social media all day, I like to be in the present moment as much as possible. I feel like doing a TikTok, then I’ll do a TikTok.
He’s connected with top users like 15-year-old “it girl” Charli D’Amelio, which clocked 3.6 million likes, and Candy Ken, in a video that has produced over 8.4 million views.
“There’s a lot of artists whose songs have blown up on TikTok, but they themselves have not blown up on TikTok. Some people are more serious and don’t like to joke as much – so if that’s you, keep doing your thing – but this works for me.