We caught up with US singer-songwriter Katie Mac, who went HOT in February after a video of her explaining the lyrics to her then unreleased track 'Not My Ex' went viral on TikTok. On Friday, she finally released the song after growing her audience significantly off the back of her TikTok. We spoke about how she got her start releasing music and how to get the attention of streaming services as an independent artist.
You released your first track ‘Nice Guys’ back in 2017, could you explain how you got started recording and releasing music?
Yes! I actually have been recording music since I was in High School, but Nice Guys was definitely the first proper release I did. I think that release was where I really found my sound- I was able to collaborate with an awesome producer who helped me define what I wanted to sound like and what I wanted to say and the rest is history!
You’re currently HOT on our platform thanks to a viral TikTok boosting your Spotify followers, when did you start using TikTok and what do you think it takes to be successful on the app?
Yes! I've been using TikTok for about a year. I was hesitant to get on board at first, but I think that it's proven to be an amazing platform where you can connect directly to fans. I think the keys to success are authenticity and consistency. It's so important to post often on the app for the algorithm.
If you want to go viral, it's important to go viral doing something that you actually identify with, otherwise your audience may not love your other content! I think that TikTok is the greatest way to reach new fans by far. The app has far more opportunity for discovery and creativity in my opinion!
I doubt you anticipated your video explaining the meaning behind ‘Not My Ex’ to do the incredible numbers that it did, could you talk about what was going through your head when you made it and why you think it did well?
Honestly, I was on my way into my restaurant job and I just felt like making a video! I had no plans on releasing that song, but once it went viral I quickly made them! There was almost no planning behind the video- it took about 5 minutes.
Since your video went viral, you’ve spoken about how much it takes for Apple and Spotify to take you ‘seriously’ as an independent artist. Do you think it’s more difficult for an independent artist to be taken seriously by the streaming platforms than someone with a label?
Absolutely. The Music Industry is still very much relationship based- so if you, the artist, don't have solid relationships with the DSPs, it becomes more difficult for them to notice you. Luckily, these new platforms are giving smaller artists a voice!
Your music is described as ‘relatable pop’, in today’s social media age, how important do you think relatability is for an artist? And which artists do you relate to?
I think it's so important- I want to be the kind of artist that people feel they could be friends with. I want all types of people to feel like they can relate to my music and I really just want to create an inclusive, honest platform. The artists that I grew up listening to were very much, "iconic" and I idolized them, but I think the relatability factor is pretty new in mainstream entertainment.
You also co-directed the music video for Self-Sabotage and your IG feed has a very aesthetically pleasing feel to it, how important is it for you to control the entire creative process behind your music?
Thank you! I think creatively, it's super important for me to be in control. All of my visuals are very intentional and I usually make them myself. I want to make sure that the stories I'm telling come across the way I want them to!
How are you planning on capitalising on your recent success? Have you got any exciting plans or things you’d like to accomplish now your platform has grown so quickly?
Well, I am releasing Not My Ex, the viral song today and I am hoping for great things! Otherwise, I am just grateful to have new people who relate to my music that can hang with me as I continue creating and releasing!
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