Lesbian TikTok

For Lesbians, TikTok Is ‘the Next Tinder’

The code phrase is “Girl in Red.”

In the seventies it was “Holly Near.”

But in the seventies everybody knew who Holly Near was, I doubt you’ve even heard of Girl in Red, never mind heard the music.

There’s been a cornucopia of TikTok news in the past few weeks, this article is not about that. Whether you can use the service in India, whether the U.S. government wants to ban it, what is going on in Hong Kong.

But one thing is for sure, TikTok now owns participatory video. If you’ve got something to say in moving images, it’s where you go. Facebook was caught flat-footed. The original service is for oldsters, but by buying Instagram and stealing the stories idea from Snapchat, the company ended up ruling the social media landscape anyway.

As for YouTube… It was so busy trying to replicate Hollywood that it didn’t realize the future was coming from the bottom up, not the top down. This is the same thinking that felled Quibi. The story of the internet is that those without a voice now have one and those who used to dominate have much less impact. And, the internet is all about niches whereas conventional media is about dictating to the masses.

Do you see newspapers touting the TV ratings anymore? No. They’re irrelevant, because they don’t include streaming services, Netflix refuses to be rated, so who cares what’s number one on network when network is a sideshow. Same deal in music, a thin layer of single-genre music is hyped and the rest is deemed irrelevant, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Now one of the problems with the internet is algorithms. Not only do different people get different results from the same Google search, the more you participate on Instagram and TikTok the narrower the range of voices that will be served up. In other words, these social media services are narrowing the niches, to the point where participants don’t even know about other genres, to the point where some women thought TikTok was only for lesbians!

So, if you’re not sure if a woman plays on your team, you ask if she likes Girl in Red.

She’s from Norway.

We’ve got an international business, even though the American industry wants to deny this. Tracks are monstrous outside of the U.S., but their American labels won’t push them here, because they didn’t sign them or they don’t believe they fit into the narrow construct that hit radio promotes.

So I decided to listen to Girl in Red.

I started with the most obvious, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend.”

This sounds NOTHING like hip-hop, pop or country. Sounds closer to Liz Phair than Ariana Grande, but it’s got 80 million streams on Spotify, and almost 10 million on YouTube (proving that YouTube is not the pariah it is labeled by the music industry, turns out most people want to go to a dedicated music streaming service and even pay for it).

So, at first “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” sounds garagey, second-rate. But the more you listen to it you become endeared to it, you’ll find you nodding your head, when it finishes you want to hear it again, assuming you made it through the first time, which many people won’t, but when was it deemed that music must appeal to everybody, that paradigm died with MTV. Also, there’s no doubt that Girl in Red is singing from her heart, that she’s not influenced and abused by the system, insisting upon cowriters and featured performers and sweetening…if anything the music is raw, and that’s part of the appeal.

And, as for the politically correct police…

I don’t wanna be your friend
I wanna be your bitch

This is what music used to be, cutting edge in its own world those not clued-in are unaware of while it changes the culture.

And there’s no hidden meaning here, she wants to be the girlfriend of Hannah. There’s no way you can see this as boy/girl love, it’s single sex only.

Now the song referenced in the “Times” article above is “We Fell in Love in October.” It’s less raw, more dreamy as opposed to in-your-face.

Smoking cigarettes on the roof
You look so pretty and I love this view

This is not brand-building, this is mind-releasing, mood, making you remember those reflective moments that felt so good.

We fell in love in October
That’s why I love fall

Fall is the reflective season, and you always remember when you first connected, when your relationship started.

“We Fell in Love in October” has 88 million streams on Spotify, almost 20 million on YouTube.

Marie Ulven Ringheim, aka Girl in Red, stylized as “girl in red,” is only 21. She hasn’t even put out an album! Her first will come out via AWAL this year. But she’s released two EPs and a seeming plethora of singles. Enough to gain attention, enough to win awards.

Weren’t you supposed to labor for a year or two on your album and then promote it for two or three?

Maybe in the seventies. Actually, youngsters aren’t even aware of that game.

And Girl in Red is no Billie Eilish, with a stylist dictating her look and a major record company grooming her for years for her big break for the big industry. Girl in Red is positively cottage industry.

Doesn’t matter whether you like the music or not. Doesn’t even matter whether you listen to it. What Girl in Red demonstrates is despite the charts/radio playlists getting ever-narrower, the truth is music is exploding, there are few limits, and audiences for so much, and by only focusing on what will hit immediately on Spotify and radio the major labels are missing the plot, are out of the loop, are marginalizing themselves.

The success of Girl in Red is organic. It’s for those who care. Who are dedicated. Who don’t care what you think.


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