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Five useful tips to become TikTok megastar


Agency Report

Tom Rosenthal is a 35-year-old singer-songwriter from London. He had already built a decent career over a decade, but when he joined TikTok in 2020 he said the impact was “seismic”.

His songs have been used on 1.6 million TikTok videos and picked up hundreds of millions of streams on other music services.

Rosenthal gave AFP a few tips on the secrets of his TikTok success.

– Good video –

“Some things are a must: you will not go viral without the lyrics written on the screen. It’s a funny thing, but lyrics have never been more important than now.

“It has to be lit really well. Face is key — you’ve got to show your face. You can’t be off by a tree.

“In the swiping culture, the first milliseconds matter. You can’t be fumbling with a guitar.

“People often do it by speaking first: ‘Here’s a song about Nelson Mandela…’ or whatever. That’s better than if you just start singing a song about Nelson Mandela.”

Don’t get fancy, he adds: “TikTok doesn’t reward high production costs. Me sitting here in my studio singing a song is no different than if I had 50 oiled-up dancers in a football stadium.”

– Simple hooks –

“There’s a crudeness to my piano style. It’s gentle, melodic and rhythmic, but quite blocky — not up and down the keys like a virtuoso. That means it edits nicely for TikTok videos.

“They’re hooky lines, which is important because you only get 15 seconds (the most common time for TikToks). Plus, I’ve got a pleasant, inoffensive voice — you’re not going to throw up in your tea if you hear it.”