Josie Proto is a musician and TikTok creator who is using her platform to spread her sound and entertain her audience. TenEighty recently caught up with her to discuss her new music and her love of video making.
TenEighty: How would you describe your TikTok profile to those who have never watched your videos before?
Josie: A mess; pure lunacy. Essentially, it is a collection of videos of me either singing or pulling faces at myself for messing up singing. Usually, the videos I post are take #6536456543 and I royally mess up at the end! Scrolling through my TikTok is probably similar to scrolling through my brain. It’s pretty unorganised and embarrassing, but full of music and me laughing at myself.
T: What made you want to start uploading to TikTok?
J: TikTok was/is a rapidly growing platform, but I didn’t know if it was right for me. My manager encouraged me to give it a go, and after having it downloaded for a few weeks I realised that it actually was an incredibly uplifting and creative community. It has such an encouraging algorithm because your views aren’t judged as part of an account. If the video content is good, regardless of the follower count, it can do really well. It means that smaller accounts that create good content still can compete with larger accounts.
T: How has being on TikTok helped increase the spread of your music?
J: The amazing thing about TikTok is that anyone can make videos using the sounds that I use! It’s been incredible to see all the different videos people have made to my songs! I get comments from strangers who have seen one of my videos and immediately looked up my songs on Spotify!
I also think that TikTok has a preference toward original material, which means more people are willing to listen to something that they have never heard before!
T: You recently released your new single, Sliced Bread. How has the reaction been thus far?
J: The reaction has been amazing! I was so excited to release Sliced Bread because I wrote it when I was 16! I have been so humbled by the comments and messages I have received. It’s been pretty bonkers, considering in February I hadn’t released any music and any fans would have had to have seen me live to hear my originals!
The response to my songs has been mind-blowing. It’s so exciting to see strangers’ reactions to my songs. It is still blowing my mind that people actively listen to and follow my music! It’s super weird to have strangers getting excited when I respond to their comments on TikTok because it all happened very quickly!
T: Has the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown helped or hindered your creativity when it comes to your music?
J: It has definitely helped in the sense that it has massively removed the FOMO distractions of when I am usually writing. It’s super difficult to discipline yourself to stay home and write music when all of your friends are going out! It’s made it easier because I have time, and the stillness of the whole situation makes it easy to get into the ‘zone’.
On the other hand, my writing has turned into spouts of existential crisis because I’m spending too much time reading Stephen Hawking’s books and contemplating my position in the fabric of time… You can tell it’s getting to me, can’t you?
T: What are your plans for the rest of the year, music wise?
J: Write, record, release. As much as possible. The archives are already pretty full, but I’m working hard to get more music out. I’ve definitely become addicted to releasing music already! It’s like getting your first tattoo – you just can’t stop there! I’m currently in the process of releasing EP #1, PUB SONGS: Volume 1, and working on EP #2. (Title yet to be chosen.) There might even be more in-between, who knows!
I also am dying to get out and perform live, but will only be doing so when we know it’s completely safe for both the audience and myself. In the meantime, plenty of online performances and TikToks and general Josie madness to come!
T: What’s one thing you’d tell readers who want to start a TikTok account, but aren’t sure where to begin?
J: You don’t have to be a dancer! I had 15 followers when I posted the first video of BTEC Lily Allen and I posted it because I was bored. If I can do it, trust me, literally anyone else in the world can! Take a silly video, post it, have fun and the rest [kind of] happens. I’m no expert, but weird is cool.
T: Is there a TikTok creator you’d recommend us check out?
J: You HAVE to check out David Rodriguez! I cannot watch any of his videos without rolling around the floor with laughter like some sort of beached seal, making the sound of a reversing forklift.
Would you rather…
Never make music again or never upload to TikTok again?
J: Sorry, TikTok, you’ve got to go. Me and my guitar have too much history. It’s not you, it’s me.
An evening out with friends or a cozy night in?
J: Cozy night in, but make it a sleepover with the besties. Horror movies and badly dying and cutting my own hair. Fairy lights, blanket forts, mum telling us to “be quiet” or we’re “sleeping outside” from upstairs at 4:00am. Oh, and hot chocolate, with marshmallows and cream.
Have unlimited knowledge or unlimited money?
J: It’s [got to] be unlimited knowledge. Imagine knowing the Wagamama’s menu by heart – I mean, I’m pretty close, but that’s not the point.
Never be able to watch TikTok again or never be able to watch Netflix again?
J: This is genuinely difficult because, although I don’t watch that much Netflix, when I do, I binge four seasons in two days. But TikTok is funnier and I spend more time on [it]. I’m [going to] have to say never watch Netflix again because I feel like I get more value from TikTok than Netflix. Sorry, Noah Centineo, you are no longer in my life. Ouch.
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