Earlier this week Sheesh put a spotlight on six of our favorite music curators on TikTok. Hear the bell? It’s round two. Here are six more hand-picked music-tok curators that are certainly worth the follow:
It didn’t take long for Creator K, known by his brand @letsshowandtell, to gain a massive following on TikTok. “I always enjoyed sharing music, and I had a background in visual media,” he told me. “I combined content with music, started throwing ideas at the wall, and within three months I hit 200,000 followers.” At the time, TikTok music curation was a relatively small space, but nowadays, Creator K notes watching new curators pop up every day, realizing the possibility of creating a business by simply sharing music. At the end of the day, Creator K’s motto is exactly that: “sharing is caring.”
Part of what has grown and maintained Creator K’s audience is his wide variety of music taste. When talking about his “Sharing is Caring” Spotify playlist, he told me, “You’ll find indie rock, bedroom pop, trap, funk, and more. I don't like listening to just one thing.” Music discovery is at the heart of Show & Tell, and Creator K approaches this from two angles. Firstly, he understands how hard it is for developing artists to get their music heard, and enjoys having a platform to give opportunities to these artists. He tells me, “To see that it’s grown to this scale makes it more pertinent for me to put artists on. I love helping artists get new fans, plays, and recognition, and connect them with managers or even other artists.” Secondly, Creator K looks at his page from the view of the listener. He tells me, “music has meant so much to me during good and bad times. It’s a vessel breaking down barriers between people. So, I’m just sharing stories and connecting people through music, because sharing is caring. That's how I'm trying to make the world a better place.” From content putting on new artists, to songs that made him fall in love with music, to instant grooves, Creator K covers all of the basis of music curation.
The community Creator K has created has followed him over to Discord, which he describes as “a safe and open space for sharing music.” He talks about his Discord in comparison to TikTok, saying, “It’s almost a challenge, like, let me try to put you onto something you haven't heard before.” As the brand continues to grow, Creator K looks to host listening parties, conduct interviews, and offer exclusive content to his Discord in the future. For now, it serves as an off-platform hub for all music lovers. Ultimately, though, TikTok is the engine for Creator K’s community. He applauds the power of TikTok, saying, “By using TikTok, people open themselves up to becoming A&Rs, managers, and even starting their own label. The platform gives opportunities to artists that don't want to go through the traditional gates, or for people that want to disrupt the industry and create their own role.” Find Creator K on TikTok & Discord, and make sure to follow his Spotify playlists.
One artist @letsshowandtell would love to sit down with: Pharrell Williams
Dev Lemons is a social media savant. After being hired at Good Content in 2019, she was given the opportunity to pitch an original TikTok show. Enter: Song Psych. Song Psych started as a platform to break down the music theory of trending songs, and has expanded into storytelling, music discovery, and so much more. Amassing over 800,000 followers on TikTok, the account has become one of the most well-known and appreciated places to find music content on the web.
I asked Dev how TikTok has changed the industry as a whole, and she told me “This is a big question. A&Rs have shifted their scouting strategy, and the industry has become increasingly more data driven. I do think it's intrinsically sad that social media determines more than talent, but I don't think it was ever purely about talent.” While TikTok has acted as a catalyst for the industry, Dev believes this to be a good thing for new artists, saying, “With social media, if you have a vision, strategy and care about what you're doing, you can take matters into your own hands.”
While Dev curates various types of music content on TikTok for Song Psych, she can also speak to TikTok from the artist’s side, having her own music project under the name Dev Lemons. “I have released a couple EPs and some singles since mid 2020,” she says, “I do the business completely by myself. I use the knowledge from working with Song Psych to help me along the way.” As a developing artist herself, we began talking about the importance of music discovery on a platform like TikTok. She told me, “I have been thinking about that a lot more lately, it would be cool to use my following to showcase the artists I actually listen to. There are so many cool underground artists that I wish had more attention.”
At the end of the day, Dev simply enjoys connecting with her following, Whether it’s YouTube, Discord, TikTok, or her weekly Spotify podcast dubbed “Lorem Life'' with Max Motley. “The internet is so cool,” she says, “building a community that has brought random people together is incredibly rewarding.” If you’re a music lover, you’ll want to follow Dev’s journey on Song Psych.
One artist Dev Lemons would love to sit down with: Joji
Ben Horne is the one-man band that makes up @occupiedliving. From finding new music, to filming videos, to editing the content, Ben Horne does it all. He started like many others, scrolling through TikTok during the pandemic. Already having possessed an affinity for creating videos on YouTube, he decided to start creating on TikTok. About two months into his TikTok journey, a video featuring Mike Dimes’ track “My Story” blew up, garnering a couple million views, and the rest is history.
Known for his “gas or trash” series, Ben Horne has since expanded his content into a variety of segments, including his “whos got the aux” series, his “made by you” series, “New Music Friday,” and more. His quick, shifty editing style and confident, comedic personality makes for one of the best music-tok pages out there, quickly growing to over 420,000 followers. In talking with him about the importance of TikTok for today’s generation of artists, Ben tells me, “In this day and age, TikTok is the single most important thing. The for you page is incredible at pumping out new artists. I wouldn't have found a lot of the artist’s I’ve already discovered if it wasn’t for TikTok.” He then went on to say, “TikTok even gives old music the opportunity to regain popularity, it’s not just limited to new artists and releases.”
Alongside his TikTok content, Ben Horne has started an AMP Radio Show in partnership with Amazon, called New Music Friday. At 12pm EST every Friday, Ben Horne hops into a live show, and listens to all the new music released that Friday. Listeners receive live reactions from Ben himself, and have the ability to call into the show to suggest a song or give an opinion. Ultimately, the goal for Ben is to create a community around his content, and sees the live AMP show as a great way to connect directly with his followers. When asked about the future for occupiedliving, Ben told me, “The goal is to have an optimized situation where I post long form video to YouTube, and chop it up for socials. At the end of the day, YouTube and long form content is the backbone for starting a media company. I don’t consider myself a curator, really. I’m just a guy who likes music and loves making entertaining content.”
One artist @occupiedliving would love to sit down with: Saba
Annabelle Kline got her start on TikTok after jokingly posting a video on “what his favorite rappers say about him.” After waking up to hundreds of thousands of views, Annabelle knew she was onto something. Combining her limitless music taste with a genuine, energetic and infectious personality, she boasts the name “Your Favorite Music Curator” for good reason.
Using her TikTok persona, Annabelle founded “That Good Sh*t Music,” a brand encapsulating playlists, events, interviews, merchandise, and more. Similarly to Sheesh Media, “That Good Sh*t” is grounded in putting on new, underrated artists. When asked about the choice of name, Annabelle told me, “I just enjoy so many different types of music. I couldn’t pinpoint a single sound I enjoy… It’s just all of the good shit.”
Since her childhood, there was nothing Annabelle enjoyed more than finding new music to send to her friends, and she was always in charge of the aux. Now, hosting an account with over 100,000 followers, she says, “there’s nothing more empowering than being able to help artists through my platform.” Aside from providing over 80 public playlists and maintaining a following of over 15,000 on Spotify, she also hosts a bi-weekly Spotify Greenroom with up-and-coming artists and music professionals. “The young generation in this music industry is doing so many different things now,” she says, “and it’s awesome to be a part of it.” Find Annabelle Kline on TikTok, or join her Discord.
One artist @annabelleklinee would love to sit down with: Pharrell Williams
Mike Nagy, known better by his alias “sirmichaelangelo,” got his start on TikTok unexpectedly. Always possessing a love for editing videos, he spent some time posting random content on the newly discovered platform. It wasn’t until he made a video leading up to the release of Kanye West’s Donda, flashing through all of his favorite Kanye songs, that he realized he had lightning in a bottle. After waking up to one million views and countless requests to make a playlist tailored to the video, his days as a music curator began. “It’s so cool to see people connect with one of my playlists,” Mike told me. “When they connect with a playlist, in a way it’s like they’re connecting with me.”
Mike Nagy has since expanded his content beyond playlisting, including content reviewing albums, if you like that, you’ll like this, reviewing power rankings, and plenty more. He particularly enjoys curating jazz content with his friend and musician Sammy Haig, saying “it’s cool to find ways to get people excited about jazz music, since it’s not really part of popular culture.” With TikTok content that is engaging, personable, and always fresh, it’s no secret how @sirmichaelangelo has grown his platform to over 300,000 followers. Outside of TikTok, Mike Nagy has taken on an AMP radio show on Wednesdays at 8pm EST, and Saturday’s at noon EST. While the Wednesday shows are a mixture of artist showcases and previewing new artists, Saturdays are dedicated to listening to the new music released that weekend. Between having a dialogue about the music and listening to the new releases, Mike enjoys providing these live sessions to his listeners.
Looking forward, Mike Nagy plans to utilize platforms aside from TikTok, including Discord, Twitch, and YouTube. When asked about longer form content, Mike told me, “Even though I love TiKTok for its 30 second videos, I enjoy the concept of making longer form content. I would definitely love to get rolling on YouTube, create long form album reviews, or talk about a certain genre or field of music.” As for Discord, Mike looks to cultivate “a dope community sharing music that they individually really like, all genres.” For Twitch, Mike Nagy sees it as the absolute best place to connect with people in live time, regardless of the number of fans that join the twitch stream.
One artist @sirmichaelangelo would love to sit down with: Joji
Carly Bogie, aka @hahakcoolgtgbye, picked up music curation to serve as her creative outlet, being an engineering student forced to do math throughout her days. After a joke with her friends to see who could get famous on TikTok first, Carly began posting music content, and gained 30,000 followers during the summer following the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that first summer, Carly has steadily grown her following, providing her now 69,000 followers with playlist suggestions and a steady diet of new music. “I love sharing a finished playlist,” Carly tells me. “It’s fun to see other people relating to my playlists, since the music in these mean so much to me.”
Impressively enough, Carly’s (verified) Spotify profile has just as many followers as her TikTok, closing in on an audience of 70,000. A serial curator, Carly has over 230 playlists on her account, from the typical “new music Friday” playlists, to specifically catered playlists such as “black coffee drinker’s ego” and “tanning in the backyard, daydreaming.” One of the earliest curators in the space, Carly reflected, telling me, “When I started, TikTok wasn't really a space for music curation. I’ve watched it grow.” She continued, saying, “I find most of my favorite smaller artists scrolling and seeing artists pitch their songs, and I’ve made so many industry connections within the app.” Enjoying a niche of indie music, along with a keen taste for folk and rock, Carly has cornered her followers, becoming a go-to curator for thousands of music lovers.
Recently, Carly has begun working with smaller artists whose music she enjoys, conducting interviews and content beyond music curation alone. When asked about the future, Carly tells me it’s all up in the air. “Now is the time to go for the music industry,” she tells me. Still, though, the focus for Carly and the hahakcoolgtgbye brand is to continue growing the community and the industry connections, and work toward implementing more interview content on her page. Find Carly Bogie on TikTok, and follow her on Instagram.
One artist @hahakcoolgtgbye would love to sit down with: Phoebe Bridges