How TikTok Success Has Helped Indie Artist Lilianna Wilde

by Liz Ohanesian in Announcements May 15, 2020

“White Rabbit” by L.A.-based singer-songwriter Lilianna Wilde has been making the rounds on TikTok. After Repost by SoundCloud’s influencer campaign, the song has appeared in eight videos that generated more than 2.6 million views and over 350,000 likes as of mid-April.

“Having something do well on TikTok pushes streams and plays on other platforms,” says Wilde by phone. And she would know. Last year, she had her first hit on the social network with the song “Grind Me Down,” which had turned up in a clip from someone dressed like the famed DJ Marshmello and spread organically from there. After that, “Grind Me Down” racked up more than 10 million streams on Spotify without ever landing on one of the platform’s editorial playlists.

Wilde self-released her first EP in 2017 and says that, back then, she still had a lot to learn about getting the music to new listeners. “I had the delusional expectation that I would put it out and I would wake up the next day and my life would be changed,” she says. “But, I had no marketing plan. I had no clue how to promote music, no idea about what I should do on social media. I just uploaded it and picked a random release date and put it out in the world.”

It took time, and a series of connected events, to get Wilde’s music to a wide audience. Prior to its life as a TikTok viral hit, “Grind Me Down” had become part of a YouTube meme.

In late 2019, Wilde joined forces with Repost by SoundCloud to distribute and promote her independently released music. “To have your distributor act on your behalf, almost as a label, and provide label services as well, without dipping into your creativity or telling you who to be, what to be and where to be, that is the most ideal situation that any artist can have,” she says. “It’s hard to quantify how much of a difference that makes, to have someone on your team like that fighting for you.”