It was morning in late March, when Aino Morko got a message from a friend that his new desire behind my butterflies had started to spread in Tiktok. Morko, or singer-songwriter plush toy, was just leaving Seinäjoki, where he had been at a gig Vestan as a heater.
After the message, Morko downloaded the social media video application Tiktok to his phone and went to watch it. When Morko remembers those moments in a café in Helsinki, he laughs in confusion.
“A hundred videos had been made of it. It was so weird, so weird. I looked at them all morning and wondered what this was. When I got on the train, there had been two hundred videos. Then it took an hour, three hundred. ”
In the videos, the chorus plays in the background as users describe their facial “reactions” to the song. The reactions are agitated. Users swallow their tears in front of the camera. “But I’m not getting butterflies anymore” is sung in a song whose narrator goes through the feelings of the ending romance.
Over the weekend, the 20-year-old artist set a Spotify record. I want my butterflies behind me collected more than 125,000 listeners in one Friday, which is a record number of one day in Finland this year.
That after that, Morko was so on his bike that he had to remove the Tiktok app from his phone.
“I hadn’t used Tiktok before, so I didn’t know how Tiktok behaved. Information moves too fast there, my brain gets stuck browsing it. ”
Before the Tiktok hit, the softener was unknown to the general public. The artist, who performs emotional and unpretentiously intimate pop songs, released his first song last year, had been visited by a rapper son alien babyand ranked second in the YleX Breakthrough vote. His debut EP far away from home he published in early March.
Echoes can be heard in the plush music Billie from EilishAbout the Ruusut electro pop band and the Finnish blow. In the ghostly image of the album cover, the artist is wearing a white dress that has already become a kind of trademark in a rural landscape.
Morko says she has been singing all her life. As a child, he studied cello at a music school and at the age of 13, he won The Voice Kids in the program.
Morko wrote his first soft songs alone at home in the autumn of 2019. The singer, who moved to Helsinki last year, attended high school at the time and lived in Oulu.
“Writing songs in Finnish was interesting. I didn’t have any plans for a career as a musician. ”
He uploaded one song video to his Instagram account. A Sony manager who noticed it contacted Morko and asked if there were any more songs. Carrot had, more songs.
Then there was a coronavirus pandemic. Morko had just got a sound card and a mic, and suddenly he also had time. Carrots began to work as a producer Topi Kilpisen with whom he knew through mutual friends.
As an artist’s name the plush was selected because it was the name of Morko’s Instagram account.
“I thought about it for a long time, but I ended up with it. My guys already called me soft and soft. It’s not an alter ego, it’s me. ”
The names of the artist as well as his songs are written in lower case. The style can be combined with an internet art mentality that goes above the aesthetics and is not unnecessarily formal.
Now the plush toy is making its upcoming album and preparing for the festival summer. The first gig of its own is due at the end of May.
“That Tiktok thing, record making, gigs… So many things seem to happen at once, I’m not going to keep up.”
Especially the Tiktok app, popular with young people, is now increasingly determining which songs become hits.
Its algorithm shows the user similar content to what this has looked at before. However, the process is faster than on Facebook or Instagram, for example. Tiktok also differs from these in that its algorithm does not care about the interests of the user’s friends.
Users select songs for their videos from Tiktok’s music archive. Often, users choose something they just heard: a song that has been used in a similar type of video before. The more often users select a particular song, the more aggressively the algorithm will offer that song to more and more new users.
The songs that end up as a hit show seem random. However, that doesn’t mean Tiktok’s popularity is unpredictable or controllable. Sometimes record companies use Tiktok to test a song to ensure popularity. If the new song starts spreading at Tiktok before it is released, it will probably work elsewhere and you should also release it as a single.
Worldwide, record companies and artists hire Tiktok influencers to use certain songs in their videos to make them trend in their algorithms. According to Financial Media Business Insider, influencers can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars from such promotions.
Even ordinary users can get the snowball effect going. That’s why contracts are also made with users who don’t have thousands of followers.
According to Morko, no such marketing work was done in front of his debut hit.
“Someone suspected that the song had been released in advance at Tiktok, or that the record company had produced the first videos of it. Butterflies The trend came as a surprise to the record company as well. ”
Tiktok-hitin attempts have already been made to find out the ingredients. However, the calculation is difficult, as the Tiktok hit consists of the same elements as the pop hits anyway: memorable hooks and powerful moods into which listeners can mirror their own feelings.
Familiarity and nostalgia quickly evoke strong emotions, so it’s no wonder that playing Tiktok brings up songs that are years or decades old to the charts of Bilboard and Spotify today. This year, for example, this has happened Frank Oceanin Lostille and Britney Spearsin Gimme Nightshade.
With Tiktok videos, the music accompanies everyday moments, such as make-up, as well as the handling of different emotions, situations and moods. In the spring, Tiktok, for example, toured “summer waiting videos,” for which users had compiled montages of videos they had taken in previous summers: beach scenery, sunsets, and picnics with friends. In the background is the Paris Spring Summer nightsong – ten-year-old indie rock too.
Morko himself says that he listens to old and new music, Bladeeta, Adeleaas well as a lot of blows like Katri Helenaa.
“I don’t look for any inspiration directly from anyone’s music. Above all, I am interested in good songs. Pretty funny, but the songs are the most important to me. ”
Tiktok users have described Morkko’s music as touching, even “crying songs”.
“This hit a little too close, the most beautiful song of the moment,” one Tiktok user writes in a video desire behind my butterflies rings in the background.
Morko himself says that he listens to music the most in the midst of sadness or conflicting feelings. Music helps to deal with such emotions. Morko emphasizes, however, that he does not want to intentionally romanticize sadness.
“Difficult feelings are also easier to write than happy ones. I don’t know why. It has even annoyed me that I can’t even write about happiness. I would like to practice it. It’s a bit like both of them together Ege Zulun the song sings, ‘I’m like a jukebox, I cry through music’. ”