With over 5.9 million likes on her page, LMU alumna Amanda Williams’ TikTok shot her music to the next level after graduating in 2021.

Her first viral music TikTok garnered over 482,000 views where she sang along to her song "RLY GOOD S*X!". After the massive influx of fans requesting it, Williams quickly released the song on streaming platforms.

“I kind of owe [social media] a lot of what I have right now as far as listeners go. When "RLY GOOD S*X!" blew up in March, it kind of did change my life because it was the first time people who weren’t my friends or family were listening to my music. Strangers were DM'ing me about my songs,” said Williams.

Williams wanted to capitalize on her song’s popularity before it died down and began creating a music video. While conceptualizing, one of her high school friends came up with the idea of an early 2000s cam girl, which Williams immediately loved. Depicted through a vintage web browser, Williams dances around her room amid unicorn posters and pink lighting.

“I think it's very on-brand for the song and also very on-brand for my personality as a musician. It was silly, it was funny, but also it does nod to the internet, and 'RLY GOOD S*X!' exists because the internet blew it up. I wouldn’t have released that song if it wasn’t for TikTok.”

After enjoying the video production experience with "RLY GOOD S*X!," Williams wanted to continue releasing music videos, moving on to her next TikTok viral song, "forgiveness." Williams chose a different aesthetic for this project, collaborating with senior theatre arts major Cassidy Jorgensen.

“She’s so talented and you can obviously tell in the video she’s a beautiful dancer, so I wanted to make that the whole music video,” said Williams. “It was so fun and its really nice to meet someone who believes in your work as much as you do. The love she has for the song is as much as I love it. To be able to trust someone with your art and to interpret that into their own art was amazing. It was the best experience I’ve ever had.”

Video production is not the only way Williams promotes her songs online, as she has found creative ways to market her brand on TikTok. Right after the release of "RLY GOOD S*X!," Williams posted a video of customized condoms with the QR code to her song, saying if her fans sent her $5, she would mail one to their ex.

TikToks like this one have created a strong online fanbase of college-aged women with a similar sense of humor to Williams.

“I think the internet has given us all this very powerful, but also toxic, tool to market ourselves in a certain way. When you look at someone’s Instagram profile, you are marketing yourself. It’s the same thing with musicians because it is a marketing strategy,” said Williams.

Although marketing her music on social media has been incredibly successful thus far, Williams has taken a break from virality since graduating from LMU.

“Right now, what I’m focusing on is transitioning away from the TikTok-chasing and transitioning more into becoming an artist. For a long time, I was so focused on the TikTok followers, the numbers, that whole count that music became impersonal to me. It wasn’t about that anymore, it was about people pleasing,” said Williams.

This will also relax her writing process and allow Williams to write songs without the afterthought of audience reception.

“[TikTok] definitely has changed the way I release music, it's changed the way I make music because you are also thinking about marketing. When you’re making the music, like I love this song, but there’s also a part of it that’s like 'Who’s going to listen to this song? How am I gonna get an audience to like my music?'" said Williams.

Although she is currently working in the social media management industry, Williams hopes her next step musically will include management and a future EP.

Check out Williams’ seven singles here.

Hi! I'm Riley Hetherington, a sophomore Communication Studies major from San Diego. I love spending time at the beach, with my family, and reading the Loyolan!

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