Slowly but surely, TikTok is gaining followers among Quebec artists. By betting on humor, those who have invested in the most popular social network currently in the world, with its 800 million users, find that it is possible to accumulate a large number of subscribers very quickly.
Rachid Badouri did not know anything about TikTok, in April 2020, when he opened an account after learning of its existence on a TV set.
Six months later, his short humorous videos, which often feature his relatives, had allowed him to cross the milestone of one million subscribers.
“I’ve never seen that,” said the comedian, comparing it to other social networks. “My 600,000 on Facebook took a long time. Instagram takes a long time. I have been there since 2012 and have 187,000 subscribers. ”
To get noticed, just one video can make all the difference. In the case of Rachid Badouri, it is his clementine who speaks with the Maghrebian accent that made him take off. To date, it has nearly 11 million views.
Still little known to the general public, Montreal singer-songwriter Lubalin found a good way during the holiday season when he turned passive / hostile exchanges he found on Facebook into songs.
He uploaded it all to TikTok.
With the snap of a finger, its subscriber base grew from 5,000 to 2.4 million. Shared all over the world, the funny videos have racked up over 50 million views and caught the attention of Jimmy Fallon. Along with actress Alison Brie, the popular host even took part in his latest composition, which aired during the Tonight Show, last week.
Lecturer at UQAM’s Media School and techno columnist, Nadia Seraiocco sees humor as a great way to make her mark on TikTok.
“You have to be ready to bank on a bit of self-mockery,” she says.
It is therefore no coincidence that several Quebec comedians, especially those loved by young people, meet there. Philippe Laprise, Mehdi Bousaidan, Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais and Arnaud Soly all have several dozen or even more than a hundred thousand subscribers.
Comedian Danick Martineau, with his 136,000 followers, is one of those local comedians who have adopted TikTok and who benefit from it. His clips were so successful that he got advertising contracts from Vachon and Chevrolet.
“I’m glad I didn’t miss the boat. I thought TikTok would be more ephemeral, but it quickly became the # 1 platform. In 2021, people want to be known and famous, and right now the easiest way to do that is TikTok », Observes the young comic.
Member of the Montreal musical group Black Tiger Sex Machine, Julien Maranda notes that the advantage of the TikTok application is that it is free and accessible to all.
“Our (total) 110,000 followers were created completely organically, with no promotions, no money. No dollar has been invested to grow our fanbase on this platform. And it grows, every day, from 500 to 1000 subscribers “, observes the one who considers that TikTok is” the next way to promote yourself. “
Rachid Badouri has also found that it is a perfect channel to reconnect with his Quebec fans and keep in touch with his admirers in Europe.
“I still invested eight years of my life to seduce them. It keeps the link with them in view of my eventual return. ”
Application launched in 2016 and developed by the Chinese company ByteDance.
Its users can watch or produce one-minute musical or humorous clips.
Recent songs or even classics, like Dreams, from Fleetwood Mac, took advantage of their viral broadcast on TikTok to climb the charts.
In the United States, TikTok has been the launching pad for huge successes Old country road, by Lil Nas X, and The Box, by Roddy Rich, and propelled Megan Thee Stallion’s career, but it has yet to convince Quebec musicians of its usefulness.
2Frères, Bleu Jeans Bleu, Les Cowboys Fringants, Marie-Mai, Marc Dupré, Ariane Moffatt, Laurence Nerbonne and several others are either still absent from TikTok, or their accounts, often inactive, have very few subscribers.
Photo QMI Agency, Toma Iczkovits
Among the few to exploit the possibilities of the platform, there is Charlotte Cardin, who recently exceeded the milestone of 150,000 subscribers. Damien Robitaille has deposited his covers of songs that have gone viral there.
The new darling of the Quebec public, Roxane Bruneau, who regularly publishes short clips highlighting her sense of humor, has for her part reached nearly 250,000 users.
In a message sent to Newspaper, the singer’s management team reports that the experience is beneficial to her, but the effects are difficult to quantify.
“Definitely, it helps him reach a part of his audience who may be younger and who are on the platform. Maybe new fans discover her like this. However, YouTube is a much bigger “driver”. TikTok is complementary. It helps to explore other facets of his personality, ”we are told.
However, musicians would have every interest in using TikTok to expand their pool of admirers, believes Nadia Seraiocco of UQAM.
“It depends on the kind of music you make. Sometimes we think that the dry guitar is rather folk, we are the only ones in Quebec who do that, but there are everywhere on the international scene. There is certainly a study to be done on cases of “virality” to test them on bands Quebecois. ”
In humor, some established stars like Martin Matte, Mariana Mazza, Louis-José Houde or Lise Dion do not use TikTok.
This is not necessary, believes comedian Danick Martineau.
“Once you are known and you have your subscribers on other platforms, it would not be spat on something absolutely necessary. On the other hand, an emerging comedian who does not yet have an audience makes a bad decision if he spits on TikTok. ”
And if we get started, there is no miracle recipe for success: you have to be curious and invest time, warns Julien Maranda, of Black Tiger Sex Machine.
“If you are a young woman who plays the piano or the guitar and wants to understand how to use the platform, check out what Charlotte Cardin has done. If you are a band, go see what the bands in the United States are doing and trying to stick to the trends. You have to follow the right accounts and spend time on the platform. ”
To use a buzzword these days, do your research.
- Lubalin: 2,400,000
- Rachid Badouri: 1,200,000
- Celine Dion : 712,700
- Roxane Bruneau: 247,500
- Charlotte Cardin: 154,300
- Danick Martineau: 137,000
- Philippe Laprise: 126,100
- Alicia Moffet: 126,100
- Mehdi Bousaidan: 118,800
- Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais: 82,600
- Arnaud Soly: 81,800
- Rosalie Vaillancourt: 79,200
- Damien Robitaille: 73,900
- Mathieu Dufour: 66,600
- Pier-Luc Funk: 48,900