'Running Up That Hill' - TikTok And YouTube Are Giving Old Songs New Life
It wasn't just the streaming service that brought the song back into the mainstream. Gen-Z, people who were born at least a decade after it was first released, were the audience on TikTOk
It's possible that social media has changed the way people listen to music, as "Running Up That Hill" has become more popular now than it was when it was released. Kate Bush was demoted to "alternative" music radio stations when Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop,
One of the most popular songs of the summer was not from a young artist, but a middle-aged one. Kate Bush's technopop dance hit "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" was from her 1985 release with TikTok
Kate Bush signed her new album "The Dreaming" at the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street in London. The photo was taken by Pete Still.
One of the most popular songs of the summer was not from a young artist, but a middle aged one. Kate Bush's technopop dance hit "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" was from her 1985 release.
As a result of being featured in the fourth season of the series, the track hit music charts all over the world, even without TikTok.
Bush's song "Running Up That Hill" reached a new peak of number three on the Hot 100, making him a reported $2.3 million from the song.
It wasn't just the streaming service that brought the song back into the mainstream. Gen-Z, people who were born at least a decade after it was first released, were the audience on TikTok.
During the week that her song was featured in the series, Kate Bush's subscribers on her channel jumped from around one thousand to more than 33,000 per week. The video has been viewed more than 150 million times.
It's possible that social media has changed the way people listen to music, as "Running Up That Hill" has become more popular now than it was when it was released. Kate Bush was demoted to "alternative" music radio stations when Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop. The song was new to a lot of the shows older viewers.
"Despite its recent popularity, 23% of Baby Boomers have never heard the song, even though they were around when it was first released," said Rebecca Sowell, communications specialist at CenturyLinkQuote.
She said that 39% of Gen Z TikTok only recognize the song.
Kate Bush has found a new audience on social media. "Platforms like TikTok and YouTube make it easy for people to discover new music," Sowell said. Pop hits trended on TikTok or other social media, which is why 22% of Zoomers recognize them.
There is new music again.
Many of the older music videos on TikTok and YouTube were not even played on MTV back in the day.
Scott Steinberg, a brand marketing expert, said that social media has become a great depository for old songs. Social media makes it easy to find old songs that may have gone under the radar.
New life is being breathed into songs that may have seemed to have been played out in the past.
"Running Up That Hill" would usually be heard on the satellite radio service's "First Wave" alternative channel and occasionally on "80s on 8." It was heard frequently on those channels and on "Hits One" as well as most top 40 radio stations across the country.
Many old songs were helped by TikTok and YouTube. Music artists will get a second, third, and fourth bite of the apple. When those artists inevitably go on tour, fans will queue up for tickets.
TikTok’s bass queen Blu DeTiger is on her way up
This decade’s hippest vessel for musicians, TikTok is a platform where would-bes seemingly need some intervention of fate to find success. It has an algorithm saturated with dopamine-inducing content, designed to boost already-popular creators. For bassist Blu DeTiger, that fortunate and, in retrospect, a career-defining moment of virality came in March 2020, a week before pandemic lockdowns, when her bass cover of Doja Cat’s “Say So” caused her online popularity to skyrocket.
But DeTiger didn’t need the algorithm’s divine providence. When she started posting on TikTok, she had 15 years of performing experience — and sincerity. She didn’t put on an act for her phone camera; she let it capture her raw talent, making it hard for viewers to look away from her buttery bass covers of Prince and Megan Thee Stallion.
Now DeTiger has 1.3 million followers, and nearly 300,000 TikTok videos feature her song “Figure It Out.” Posting did more than give her something to occupy herself during lengthy quarantines.
“It really saved me during the pandemic,” DeTiger says. “It was bringing a lot of joy to a lot of people.”
TikTok's DeTiger’s career started with a show at the legendary, now-defunct CBGB in New York when she was 7 years old.
She got her local break DJing in New York City clubs, playing live bass over her sets at the age of 17, before she was legally allowed to enter most of the venues where she performed. At her first gig, a bouncer took away her fake ID.
“I was basically 21 for like four years,” she jokes. “But I didn’t even like to party or drink. I was really going to work. … And when I was going to NYU, I’d go to the library after my DJ sets to do my homework.”
TikTok's DeTiger planned to support several artists on tours before they were nixed by covid-19 restrictions. Within the last year, she’s added festivals like Bonnaroo and Governors Ball to her résumé.
She played “Saturday Night Live” with Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers. Brand partnerships have landed her photos on Times Square billboards. But DeTiger, 24, says she still hasn’t had her “I made it” moment.
“I’ve had a lot of mini ones,” she says, “but there’s always going to be a bigger one.”
That’s the gist of her newest single, “Elevator.” It’s a tune that combines her indie-pop influences with her club kid roots, and prominently features her distinctive bass skills.
The TikTok lyrics, she says, are a reminder that she’s in control of her own destiny, and that she knows where she’s headed: In fuzzed-out, half-spoken vocals, she sings, “Load me up in a slingshot, send me over the moon / Baby, I can be a big shot, too.”
Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. (doors open) at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 930.com. $20.