Meet the changing faces of TikTok, part one
Think TikTok is all dance challenges and lip-sync videos? Think again. Here’s our pick of the creators connecting pop culture, sport, fashion, entertainment and politics.
A new generation of talent is rising on TikTok. In 2020, the app is rewriting the rules of what it previously took to become a household name, quickly evolving past dance challenges and lip-sync videos into a satellite industry populated by 60-second audition tapes.
Serving as an antidote to more FaceTuned and superficial corners of the internet, it gives users the freedom to express their most authentic selves. Favouring personality, uniqueness, and imperfection, it’s become a place in which previously unknown musicians secure record deals, heads of casting agencies are turned, and queer short stories gain as many views as Netflix shows, with more than 100m people in Europe active on the app each month.
To highlight the vast array of talent on offer, THE FACE has hand-picked 21 TikTok creators establishing a new cultural conversation around music, art, fashion, comedy and activism. Think of it as our very own“For You” Page. You can check out the first 10 below.
Meet our first 10 TikTokers
TWST is a Welsh-born, London-based singer-songwriter whose futuristic EP TWST0001 explores the realities of growing up in the digital age. Tracks are layered with eerie vocals and lyrics comment on topics such as anxiety and loneliness. Despite the 21-year-old’s criticism of technology, she is still engaged in a love-hate relationship with the internet, harnessing it to create subversive duets with Siri, sample Britney Spears and grow her ever expanding audience.
Community is at the heart of Yamuna Forzani’s work. As a member of both House of Commes Des Garcons and Kiki House, the queer activist, knitwear designer and organiser of the Utopia Ball lives, breathes and wears ballroom culture. It weaves itself into her knitted designs, which are often flaunted by members of the ballroom community. Oozing with optimism and joy, her fluro-colours and glitchy, graphic pieces are made for all genders and sizes, subverting ideas of masculinity and femininity in the process.
Abby Roberts is a professional shapeshifter. Using her face as a canvas, the beauty obsessed, self-taught artist started experimenting with makeup at age 11, and has since shot to fame thanks to her chameleonic beauty looks. Never tied to a single aesthetic, the 19-year-old uses her talents to transmute herself into an endless list of characters from Jessica Rabbit, to E‑girl, to the cowboy emoji. She first went viral with her Bratz transformation video and has since racked up over 11m followers who wait to see who she will morph into next.
Carlisle-based TikToker Nosebleedfitz has gathered a loyal following of fans who share their affinity for twisted comedy and juicy adult content (for those who are 18+). In their own words, they describe their profession as“being funny, having a sing song and bullying men for a living”. We can’t get enough of them.
Cat Burns, a 20-year-old, south London BRIT School alumnus, is known for her meaningful pop sound and relatable lyrics, which reflect on everything from break ups to fuckboys and late night drunk texts. Although her career had begun to blossom before joining TikTok, after signing up at the start of quarantine, Burns has rapidly attracted over 600k followers that she serenades with a mix of covers and original tracks.
Skateboarding first caught Alice Smith’s attention six years ago. Realising there was a need for unity amongst female skaters, she decided to encourage more girls to get involved through Brum Girl Skate, a project she created with friends. Her goal is to create a safe space for women to feel comfortable to learn how to shred. She’s now extended this beyond her hometown, offering skate edits, advice and tips on TikTok.
Yaz is a trans role model using her platform to create a safe space for the LGBTQI+ community. The influential creator has found TikTok to be a place where she can inspire others and share an open and honest insight into what it’s like to be a trans woman in 2020. Now in her second year of college, Yaz is studying to become an actor after being inspired by Ryan Murphy’s drag ball-inspired series Pose.
Allegria Dilecarta is a 16-year-old activist and aspiring actress. Using her voice to share a much needed variety of educational content on racism and injustice, she raises important issues on Black history and culture. Like her name, which means happiness and joy in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, Allegria radiates joy through her videos, exploring everything from afro appreciation to her love of Tupac.
Jasmin is a south London artist and spoken word poet making art about Black beauty, power and spirituality. The 21-year-old Kingston School of Art student is dedicated to creating her own inclusive world, with a graphic style that pulls inspiration from multiple sources, and a special love for Japanese design. You can see a preview of these, alongside her 10/10 makeup looks and ever-changing hair colour, on TikTok.
If you want the best charity shop bargains, Johann is your man. The London-based Depop seller provides his followers with vintage guides, previews of daily looks and clips of day-to-day life. The 19-year-old is rarely seen without his Fujian camcorder, and has a hyper-saturated aesthetic that could make even a trip to Tesco’s look glamorous.