TikTok establishes a new avenue to discover emerging Filipino musicians with TikTok Rising

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In Poblacion’s neon-lit Apotheka bar, viral local artists Lola Amour, Denise Julia, TONEEJAY, and Maki, accompanied by Southeast Asia TikTok representatives, gathered last February 28 to launch TikTok Rising Philippines, a campaign to support emerging talents in the country.

As the go-to platform for short-form mobile video content, TikTok has already brought stardom to numerous artists, such as the musicians present and the likes of Jason Dhakal, Clara Benin, and Nameless Kids, who performed at the gig after — and TikTok Rising is going to push it further. 

In the words of Christo Putra, TikTok Artist Services SEA’s Product Strategy Lead, “TikTok serves as a dedicated space where local artists can flourish, [connect] with fans on a profound level, and [establish] meaningful connections. Our goal is to provide an avenue for artists to thrive and amplify their impact on the global stage.”


With TikTok Rising, registered artists can utilize features like the Music Tab, which allows them to catalog music onto their tab, thus making it easier for fans to discover their music. Any #NewMusic added by the artist is also automatically added to the tab, minimizing the time spent browsing for songs. Those songs can then be saved and listened to externally through a partnered streaming app like Spotify and curated into a playlist with the “Add-to-Playlist” feature. 

Having already garnered over 2 billion views with its #NewMusic hashtag, TikTok Rising also brings way to #BehindTheSong, encouraging singer-songwriters to share their tunes’ stories. Lola Amour did this with their song “Pwede Ba?,” and quickly went viral. Pio Dumayas, lead singer of the eight-piece indie rock band, recalled, “Actually, TikTok helped a lot during the pandemic. That was like two years of no shows right? So during the pandemic, we were releasing content regularly. I think we went viral twice.”

Similarly, the sultry R&B singer Denise Julia shared her feelings from when she first went viral. “It happened so fast. Everything that happens on the platform is so fast,” she said. “I wasn’t even planning for a track to go viral. Now that it’s viral, ‘What? What do I do now? People know me?'”

“When I go out, people are like ‘Oh, you sang this song,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ It pressured me to get it together. Because when I was starting I had this purpose, I wanted to do this for this. Being on the platform really molded me to be a firmer artist. It’s like if I go viral for the next thing, there’s got to be something to it. It has to be well thought of.” 

Making TikTok content, however, can be intimidating and doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Maki, singer of the viral song “Saan,” relates. He shared, “I’ve always wanted to do content for my music, but at the same time I was shy. Where is my place on TikTok? What do I do? What do I sing? Do I just sing? And then people will like it?”

“I remember when I first posted content for ‘Saan,’ I never thought it’d be a big milestone in my life. But now, I always watch it,” he shared. “When I see it on TikTok. I see ‘Username used your song ‘Saan,’ and I watch it over and over again.”

Former frontman of MuniMuni and now solo artist TONEEJAY offered a piece of advice at the conference: “You have to be really secure about yourself. That took me a while because I came from a band setting. Banda kami, marami kaming members. Medjo okay lang if you get positive or negative comments, since you have someone to share them with.”

“When you’re a solo artist, it’s much more difficult. Kasi, magisa ka lang. And when you’re on social media, there’s a bunch of things people throw at you. Every single second, every single day. You check your notifications and you see kamukha niya si sino ganyan. There’s always that. It took me a while to get used to that. You always have to keep your peace. If you don’t need to check notifications today, don’t do it. Give yourself a break now and then. Limit your screen time. When you go back to it, when you have a clear mind, it’s better–whatever content you need to make.”

Through Tiktok Rising, artists now have more options and readily available features for promoting their creativity. TikTok is positioned to be a major force towards the growth of Original Pilipino Music, especially with the guidance and experiences shared by those who’ve already achieved success on the platform.

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