How Sydney’s Take Two Captured 2M TikTok Followers With Tunes and Storytelling
TikTok comes easy for some.
As Pink Floyd makes an improbable arrival on TikTok, and Halsey and others complain of pressure from their record labels to interact with the streamer, an Australian sibling duo is quietly racking up impressive numbers.
Take Two, twins Brandon and Jordan Abou-Ghaida, have accumulated 2.1 million followers on TikTok, moving them into the Top 30 Australian creators and Top 10 Australian musicians on the short-video streaming platform.
Though TikTok remains a mystery for many of us who’ve aged out of triple j, the brothers have apparently cracked the code with music, tales and prep work.
Based in south-west Sydney, the siblings turned lockdown into a second life as they filmed and uploaded conversations with Harper, their five-year-old neighbour Harper through a gap in the fence.
Those chats touched a nerve with TikTok users, as combined views tick past 170 million.
The bros have been producing and releasing music since they were 16 and, in 2017, they were runners-up on Sharespace, Sony Music Australia’s collaborative music series on YouTube.
“Music is very, very central to their approach,” explains music industry veteran Gavin Parry, who has managed the act since January 2020.
The strategy has been to grow the group’s network of TikTok and 111,000-plus Instagram followers “through a very innovative storyline,” Parry tells TMN, “and then use those platforms to assist where appropriate with their already existing and established music careers.”
The latest viral video has a different spin. The siblings dropped “Yeah Whatever,” which is reportedly impacting iTunes in Australia and the U.K., and is lifted from the forthcoming album, When I Grow Up.
Due out this August, When I Grow Up is the follow-up to Mind Like Mine from September 2020, which cracked the Top 10 on the Australian Artist Albums Chart (No. 10) and Top 40 on the all-genre ARIA Chart (at No. 36), with distribution via Better Noise.
“Given the enormous marketing platform the twins have built, we feel it will far exceed the last album,” notes Parry, who served for 20-plus years with Sony Music and is now partner in creative consultancy Palisady Asia Pacific.
“Yeah Whatever” and its parent album are released through Take Two Records, the label formed and owned by Brandon and Jordan, while the act’s team is negotiating for distribution on the new album.
Like most factors in their storytelling, Take Two are hands-on with the album. They’re writing, recording and producing the new LP, with production assistance from staff at Palisady Asia Pacific.
As the new release enters its final phase, Take Two are considering a range of collaborators and feature artists for the key singles.
“The boys have been creating video content now for 10 years,” notes Parry, “and have an amazing insight to what will and won’t work for the general public.”
There’s also “significant demand” for live performances, and the group and their support team is working though the approach given their limitations due to a significant shoulder injury Brandon suffered when he fell from scaffolding five years ago.
Take Two’s viral videos are no fluke. “They’re great storytellers and often have a creative direction planned out months in advance,” explains Parry. “It’s a credit to their commitment to content creation and the quality of production.”