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(Credit: Olivia Richardson)


Self Esteem discusses pressures to provide TikTok content

Rebecca Lucy Taylor (aka Self Esteem) has written an insightful essay about the pressure she believes many female artists are under to provide TikTok content.

Taylor’s new publication comes following a number of artists coming forward to publicly address their experiences. Female musicians especially have been claiming their labels and management have persuaded them to post on the bustling social media platform.

FKA Twigs was among those to have come forward, stating: “It’s true all record labels ask for are TikToks, and I got told off today for not making enough effort.” Twigs has since deleted her TikTok account in response. Charli XCX, Florence Welch and more have alleged similar experiences with their management.

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Earlier this month, Halsey said: “I have a song that I love that I wanna release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me… my record company is saying that I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok. I just wanna release music man, and I deserve better tbh. I’m tired.”

Addressing the situation in her article for The Guardian, Taylor wrote: “I think it’s no coincidence that the recent examples of artists who say their labels have forced them to get on TikTok are all women.”

“My pub-psychologist theory is that the music industry thinks of social media as an inherently female thing – it’s just another patriarchal idea that women and gay men are interested in the minutiae of other women, while men are just too busy and important to be interested in that stuff.”

She added: “There is something darker and more invasive in the way that women are encouraged to use it. It only furthers the nagging feeling that as a female artist your music and art aren’t taken as seriously.”

Later in the piece, Taylor identified that she has a healthy relationship with social media, explaining that social media is an “extra arm to my art,” but asked: “What do you do if sharing parts of yourself isn’t for you?”

She claimed that “it still feels too early to know whether throwing shit at a wall and hoping something viral sticks actually translates to an enduring, committed fanbase; and as a result of that, space for the artist to create and experiment. (That’s the dream we’re all chasing, by the way, not fame.)”

She concluded the point: “All creative industries have to be able to adapt. In my opinion, what really engages consumers across a broad demographic range is excellent songs, and artists need to be given space to write them and then share them in a way that feels true to their art.”

Elsewhere, Taylor is set to hit the road in support of her recently released album Prioritise Pleasure in 2023, with the newly announced I Tour This All The Time tour stretching across the UK and Ireland. She is also set to perform in London this summer at one of the All Points East festival spin-off events.