TikTok is finally embracing the talents of artists other than those on top of the charts


David Kushner and Sophie Holohan

The covers for “butterfly effect” by Sophie Holohan (top) and “miserable man” by David Kushner (bottom).

My TikTok For You Page used to be an overabundance of songs by already popular artists. A platform embracing creativity quickly turned to only embracing the originality of people that are already known to be creative. The talents of lesser-known artists were nowhere to be seen.

The stream of colorful and joyous music quickly became the same old sounds from the same old artists. It became like a foggy black and white photo that I didn’t care to find details in.

Recently, the rainbow stream has returned. I get constant videos from smaller artists with covers and original music. While this could be due to TikTok’s algorithm and the videos I like, I know this simply cannot be. I’m getting viral trend videos to music that I would have never known about otherwise.

The trend of publicizing lesser-known artists can be seen in Sophie Holohan’s song “butterfly effect.” In the song, Holohan tells the story of how a butterfly brushed her cheek and made her stop her path across the road. Since the small winged insect intersected her path, she bumped into someone. The song goes on to tell all that this small interaction created. 

“Butterfly effect” sounds like a script to a romantic comedy that I actually wouldn’t cringe at. It’s so authentic and probable for the general public. 

This authenticity and relatability of Holohan’s song sparked a trend on TikTok. Over 28,000 TikTok users have used Holohan’s song for the trend. Within the trend, users write butterfly effects in their life. One of Holohan’s butterfly effects in her video is how a homeless man complimented her pants and now she can’t watch Harry Potter movies the same way. The best part of this trend is that some of the effects make absolutely zero sense without explanation. 

Holohan’s other songs that she has created as sounds on her profile have only been used by 4 to 94 videos on each. This is a stark difference from “butterfly effect” and how much it’s grown. I believe that Holohan will only grow more fame from this point onward now that so many people have been exposed to her soothing voice and beautiful music.

It became like a foggy black and white photo that I didn’t care to find details in.”

Whereas Holohan’s song received a trend that raised awareness of her music, other artists like David Kushner have had songs blow up for how the lyrics speak to the listener. 

Kushner’s song “miserable man” has been used for countless different reasons on its over 141,000 videos. Many videos I’ve seen on the sound are TikTok users lipsyncing to the song and saying how much they relate to the line “all we wanted was a place to feel like home.” I also have seen users post their significant other to those lines. 

To me, Kushner’s song is all about giving everything up for that one person. It’s love, it’s leaving behind life as we know it in hopes of a better future, and it’s a promise that this will work out. That’s why I find it awe-inspiring when I see someone post a person they love to this song; they’re using the full meaning of the song’s lyrics.

Both Holohan and Kushner have brought a stream of colors back to my For You Page by their comforting music. While “miserable man” may not have a distinct trend like “butterfly effect,” both songs have increased the fame of their singers. I cannot wait for my liked videos on TikTok to be filled with the beautiful music of other smaller-known artists that have grown trending audios of their own.