TikTok releasing an album? That’s something to make labels shift uneasily in their seats! But wait, TikTok is releasing an album in partnership with a label, which should be less disconcerting. The label is Warner Classics, and the album is ‘TikTok Classics – Memes & Viral Hits‘. It’s been announced this morning.
Creatively, it’s not a new idea: classical covers of pop hits have been around for decades, from past compilation albums to Netflix’s Bridgerton soundtrack. The selection here is of tracks that have gone viral on TikTok in recent times: ‘Wellerman’, ‘Beggin”, ‘Into The Thick Of It!’, ‘M to the B’ and more.
No Fleetwood Mac? For shame! Although only 12 of the album’s 18 tracks have been announced today, so it’s still possible that ‘Dreams’ will be on the final release. Four tracks will be released as singles on 8 July, with the rest of the album following on 12 August. 30-second clips are being released now for use on TikTok itself, to build buzz.
TikTok’s interest in classical music predates the album. In November 2021 we wrote about a #ClassicalMusic challenge in the app, accompanied by an official playlist made by TikTok. The challenge notched up more than 734m views of videos posted using the hashtag, while musician Lang Lang played a live concert on TikTok as part of the promotion.
We won’t read too much into this: it’s a fun partnership with a label that’s inventively taken the opportunity to adapt a proven format (classical covers) for the social-media era. But if ‘TikTok Classics’ is a hit, it’ll be interesting to see whether TikTok pushes the idea further – with more label partnerships, and/or under its own steam.