TIMBERVILLE — Jean shorts and suspenders-clad Spencer Hatcher and his brother, Connor, posted a video in February on Spencer’s TikTok account of themselves covering the classic bluegrass song “Good Ol’ Mountain Dew” in the back of their red pickup truck.
It wasn’t long before one of Spencer’s now 505,000 followers on the video-sharing social media service commented on the video, tagging the official Mountain Dew TikTok account, and a commercial deal was made for Hatcher to write a song for Mountain Dew’s newest flavor, Major Melon.
The commercial, which aired Aug. 3, features Spencer, 24, and Connor, 21, performing the song, called “Mountain Dew Major Melon,” a cheery tune in a style similar to “Good Ol’ Mountain Dew.” Spencer wore his trademark Daisy Dukes with suspenders and played a banjo while Connor played an upright bass in double-time, what the duo’s dad and manager, Michael Hatcher, called “shredding.”
“People say you can shred on the electric guitar,” Michael Hatcher said. “Connor can shred on the bass.”
With harmonies likened to the Everly Brothers, the duo has grown up with string music, starting out in the Hatcher Boys band with their dad. Spencer is the front man of Spencer Hatcher Music, while Connor provides smooth harmonies and bass backups with friend Austin Taylor of Lexington on the drums. The group has performances scheduled almost every weekend and will be performing at the Rockingham County Fair this weekend.
Spencer, an alumnus of East Tennessee State University who studied business and minored in bluegrass, said that when the pandemic hit, he was working as a musician for other bands and work slowed. He always dreamed of becoming a country star, saying it was time to break out on his own. He did this by publishing TikTok videos, which have gained popularity since.
“I love country, but I like bluegrass, too,” Spencer said. “We found that TikTok is a good way to feature bluegrass and expose a new audience to it. There’s something about those Daisy Dukes. Every video I’ve done with them has gone over a million likes.”
Hatcher said he has his sights set on country stardom. Although a couple of record companies have reached out, he said he’s waiting to write a “golden” hit song that will skyrocket his career.
“I don’t try to sing like them, but I study the way artists like Elvis and Keith Whitley sing and incorporate some of their moves into my own performances,” Hatcher said. “I only ever want to be myself, but I have learned a lot about singing and vocals from studying other artists.”
He said Mountain Dew sent a professional cameraman to the family farm to shoot the commercial. The video was supposed to look just like one of Hatcher’s TikTok videos, so fans would recognize him. He said he got to retain a lot of creative control over how the video was filmed.
“They’re both naturals and they’ve both got great personalities,” said Ben May, a family friend, teacher and career country musician. “Connor is like a little teddy bear; everyone wants to take him home. When I first met them, they both couldn’t pick anything but their nose. They did most of it themselves, but they were awed by the old guys playing string music when they would come and visit. They’ve got a heck of a future ahead of them.”
TikTok to raise engagement – The Bangkok Post
TikTok to raise engagement
Edutainment and infotainment key
19 Aug 2021 at 07:11
Short-form video-sharing app TikTok is expanding its reach in terms of entertainment content to shopping, edutainment and infotainment to bolster user engagement amid tough competition in the segment.
In its livestreaming feature, audiences will also be allowed to become guests on shows in a move that will support new customer experience, TikTok indicated.
“This year, we see more sophisticated and creative content from users with a rise in time spent and frequency use from various user groups than 2020,” Surayot Aimlaor, head of marketing for TikTok Thailand, said via a virtual group media interview yesterday.
“TikTok has gained more awareness since the starting point in 2019,” he said.
He said TikTok has turned into an entertainment destination for Thais, noting entertainment content can ease users’ stress from the pandemic while they spend more time at home.
According to a report published by social media management platform We Are Social in January this year, Thais spend 5.07 hours online a day with 87.8% of Thai respondents preferring entertainment content.
Some 35.3% of respondents said they use online channels as a way to reduce their stress.
Citing Nielsen’s study commissioned by TikTok in 2020, three out of four TikTok users feel positive and inspired as they can express themselves openly and 60% said they feel a sense of being part of the TikTok community.
“Currently, more platforms have made a foray into the short-form video feature, but we are still at the top of people’s minds in this area,” said Mr Surayot.
TikTok is now diversifying into new content and tools for creators.
In the US, a pilot TikTok Resumes feature was rolled out as another channel for recruitment and job discovery.
“We’re teaming up with select companies and inviting job seekers to apply for entry-level to experienced positions with some of the world’s most sought-after employers,” he said.
TikTok now has a new feature that enables a livestreaming host to invite multiple guests to join the show and talk. The TikTok Gated LIVE feature also lets celebrities interact with fans.
Siriprapa Weerachaising, user and content operations lead at TikTok Thailand, said TikTok supports various types of entertainment content through its platform, including infotainment such as news, tricks to prevent contraction of Covid-19 and how to take care of oral health.
Edutainment is also in focus as people can learn English or other knowledge via the platform.
She said beauty and fashion brands are seeking new creators in TikTok to boost customer engagement.
“These creators can tell stories on ways they make up and dress in a fun way,” she said.
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Advocates Urging TikTok To Improve Its Parental Monitoring Features – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Advocates are urging TikTok to improve its parental monitoring features. This comes after a series of children died while attempting a dangerous challenge.
Joshua Haileyesus was like many 12-year-olds. He did chores and would help with family meals. He was also an aspiring actor.
His father, Haileyesus Zeryihun, said Joshua was, “Brilliant, smart, funny, outgoing, you know, he’s the light for our house.”
But Haileyesus said that light was lost when his son died this spring. The family believes Joshua choked himself while attempting the blackout challenge on TikTok.
“Right now, it’s very quiet. I don’t even hear any loud noise at home anymore, you know, that is the one that really gets me too,” Haileyesus said, tearing up.
While dangerous games have circulated on social media for years under different names, the blackout challenge has recently been connected to several deaths.
Dalia Hashad with the group ParentsTogether said, “TikTok’s just not a safe place for kids.”
She says while there are some parental settings on the app, it’s not possible to know exactly what videos kids are watching.
The group has gathered more than 12,000 signatures on a petition requesting TikTok create mirror accounts.
“Which means that kids would be able to log on their device and parents would log onto theirs, and they would be able to see exactly what TikTok is serving their children,” said Hashad explained.
TikTok has not contacted ParentsTogether and declined our interview request.
In a statement, the company said, “TikTok has taken industry-first steps to protect teens and promote age-appropriate experiences, including strong default privacy settings for minors.”
The social media giant also says it blocked content related to inappropriate hashtags or phrases.
Haileyesus said, “I’m sure Joshua, if he knew this was going to kill him, I know he wouldn’t do it.”
He is sharing his son’s story hoping it will save lives. Haileyesus launched a foundation for his son called Joshua Keep Shining.
CupcakKe ‘Vagina’: Remix of Rap Song With Random Music All Over TikTok – Insider
- CupcakKe is a rapper and poet known for her lyricism and sexual imagery in her music.
- “CupcakKe remixes” that splice the rapper’s lyrics into other songs are exploding on TikTok.
- While the remixes have existed online for years, they began to trend on TikTok in July.
A new, hyper-specific subset of musical remixes has emerged on TikTok: elaborate mashups of songs ranging from Madonna to Mozart’s greatest hits with snippets from a song called “Vagina” by CupcakKe.
Most TikToks using CupcakKe’s song feature lines from “Vagina” like “smack my a– like a drum” and “slurp that d— till it c-m.”
CupcakKe, whose real name is Elizabeth Harris, is a Chicago-based rapper and poet who rose to prominence in 2016 with her mixtape “Cum Cake.” Her music is frequently sexual, featuring memorable lines that evoke vivid erotic imagery. As Pitchfork contributing reporter Sheldon Pearce wrote, it’s also often incredibly candid, covering “trauma and abuse, [B]lack femininity and power dynamics.”
CupcakKe remixes have been wildly popular online in various forms since 2016, when YouTubers dedicated entire accounts to the art form with channel names like Cupcakke Remixes or CupcakkeMixes.
Her sexual one-liners, particularly on “Vagina,” have now brought her into the TikTok remix spotlight. Fan-produced mashups known as “CupcakKe remixes” have become nearly inescapable since the trend began to gain traction in July.
Weeks into the remix trend, CupcakKe herself has joined TikTok and started to weigh in.
“This is my first day on TikTok and idk what’s going on,” she commented on one of the remix videos on Friday.
CupcakKe remixes gained traction on TikTok in July
It’s not immediately clear how or when CupcakKe remixes crossed over to TikTok, but videos tagged with the hashtag #cupcakkeremix began to go viral in early July (at least one remix was uploaded to TikTok in 2020 but didn’t inspire a broader trend).
One of the earliest remixes to go viral on TikTok was one that paired the rapper’s vocals with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License.” While the sound was uploaded to TikTok by user @aaronheyaaron on July 8, it appears to match a remix created by YouTube channel heavenonvenus that was uploaded on May 1.
Over the course of July and well into August, TikTok filled with remix after remix after remix, mashing up CupcakKe’s vocals with songs like John Denver’s “Country Roads” or Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”
Videos of people playing Mario Kart to the remixes spread like wildfire. Footage of video games, especially mobile ones, is a mainstay on TikTok when the focus is on the audio.
CupcakKe began giving opinions on the remixes after joining TikTok
On Friday, CupcakKe joined TikTok herself, amassing over 361,000 followers without posting a single video. She also began to chime in on the remixes.
“Real funny,” she commented, accompanied by a laughing emoji with a sweatdrop, on a video featuring the “Drivers License” remix of “Vagina.”
“Ok this is getting out of hand I’m calling my lawyer,” she commented on a “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift mashup.
“Bts ran out the studio when we recorded this,” she commented on a remix of “Dynamite” by BTS.
Amid the stream of remixes, however, are TikTok users also calling for CupcakKe’s music — not just out-of-context soundbites — to be more appreciated. Over the years, she’s received high praise from critics, particularly in regards to her lyricism and ability to blend the introspective and the outlandish.
“Your lyrical genius is so underrated,” @tessfstevens said in a video responding to CupcakKe’s comment on one of her videos. “You were making ‘WAP’ before ‘WAP’ was a thing, and I take my hat off to you.”
“The cupcakke remixes were kinda funny before but I feel like she’s just being turned into a meme when she’s so much more than that,” a comment on @tessfstevens’ video reads.
CupcakKe did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.