The Alexandra Kay Story
How Viral TikTok Videos Took This Artist All The Way To The Top Of The Charts.
The makings of a star
Path to success
The turning point
Where she is today
How it all started
Alexandra Kay is a country singer, and like many music artists, her dream of making it big in the music industry started early, when the Waterloo, Illinois, native started songwriting at just 15 years old.
She started working in entertainment at a young age. This consisted of performing jobs such as voice-over work and starring in commercials.
Furthermore, she also performed in multiple theater productions and, in 2011, auditioned for American Idol.
Kay's love for country music developed as she listened to the genre all throughout her childhood, leading to her desire to be a part of the St. Louis music scene. This was her ultimate dream as a country singer in the music industry.
In 2013, after years of writing new music and reaching dead ends with multiple record labels, Kay’s hard work and determination finally paid off as she finally signed her first independent record deal with Network Entertainment. She released her first single,
"No More," which became a radio hit.
Although she was one step closer to being on the billboard charts, she felt that something wasn't quite right.
After writing songs with a clear intent for country, the label would often produce something more in the direction of R&B or even pop. Kay realized her label didn't take her seriously as a recording artist.
As a result, she decided to take a step back and revisit her roots. So she parted ways with her record label, saying, "I just felt like it wasn’t my home," and looked for a more authentic means to succeed in the music industry.
Path to success
After years of trying to develop a strong fan base and pursue her independent music career, she turned to TikTok in order to promote her new music.
She appreciated the opportunity Tiktok provides for artists to share music directly to fans and bypass the middleman. This enabled her to have better control over her new music and avoid experiences similar to those with her previous recording label.
Furthermore, with music discovery being one of TikTok's most talked-about attributes, it has proven time and time again that it is the place to be for music marketers and recording artists.
We've all seen those young TikTok users turn into superstars overnight just from posting 10 second videos of a new dance trend.
Not to mention the many artists who gained global fame after their original song became an viral success as a trending song on the app. Examples include "Love Nwantiti" and "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. Furthermore, TikTok doesn't just promote new songs; old songs similarly regain recognition thanks to the app, as seen with Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.
If these artists could do it, why couldn't she?
Kay’s path to success on TikTok began prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, when she joined the app's music discovery community. She initially started posting a few videos but unfortunately did not receive much traction. The process of becoming a TikTok hit was certainly a long one, and she often questioned whether TikTok was truly the right path to becoming a successful artist in the music industry.
However, the moment Kay began sharing her original songs on the social media platform, the app's users started to pay attention, and everything soon fell into place.
The turning point
Kay would post videos of herself singing covers while simultaneously doing an every-day activity such as making a cup of coffee. (Check out one of her TikTok Videos here).
Her videos became popular among other TikTok users and TikTok creators who shared her sound. She started receiving responses from them through stitching and duetting. (Stitching a video is a TikTok tool that allows users to combine another video on TikTok with the one they are creating.)
Many of her fans believe that the spark that sent her into the limelight occurred after she posted her own cover version of Dolly Parton’s iconic track "Jolene." Her cover became one of the biggest TikTok sounds on the platform at the time and was featured in thousands of TikTok videos. The result saw her gain over 60 million views, as well as major popularity on the app. We could say it was at this moment that she successfully broke into the music industry.
Where she is today
Kay's TikTok virality led to her developing a loyal fan base on multiple popular social media platforms; She currently boasts over 1.5 million followers on Facebook. Kay also gained 270,000 and 3,3 millions followers on Instagram and TikTok respectively, and her trending songs gained million of streams.
Furthermore, her videos on TikTok have received over 48.8 million likes in total, and she has reached over a whopping 800k monthly listeners on Spotify.
Following Kay's success on social media with cover songs, her original music started to rapidly gain more exposure.
Her singles "I Kinda Don’t" and "All The Cowboys," both peaked at #1 on the iTunes country chart. In 2021, her singles "How Do We Go" and "We Wouldn’t Be Us" debuted on the charts, ranking at #2 and #3, respectively.
Her musical success led to her opening for country music legend Tim McGraw on his spring amphitheatre tour. Kay quoted saying that opening for McGraw on the stage of the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre will be an opportunity for her to perform where, “Every single act I have ever looked up to performed. That is the place in St. Louis to see concerts.”
Check out this awesome stitched TikTok video of Alexandra Kay and Tim McGraw here.
Today, she has appeared in a number of mainstream media publications, and tours frequently with a number of other stars, such as Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence.
She even once worked with big time rapper Nelly.
The magic of TikTok is real, and if this story doesn't prove that, take a look at the hundreds of other stories; struggling, unknown artists who were launched to the Billboard Hot 100 in a matter of hours after their song went viral on the app. It has been proven time and time again how influential TikTok can be in determining who rises to the top in today's music industry.
As any artist knows, with a sprinkle of creativity, hard work, dedication, and a willingness to succeed, anything is possible.
With the help of TikTok, success is definitely within reach.
Visit our blog article for more information about TikTok music promotion.