Can a niche identity amp up your TikTok music following?

By Alice Haldane

16 May 2024

Endless talent is sat waiting for industry recognition online. Sometimes to stand out from the mountains of TikTok artists you need to embrace your weird and your uniqueness. Here, two up-and-coming UK artists who have a unique niche shared their experiences with handling TikTok music promotion and growing a loyal fanbase. 

There are some things you would expect musicians to nail, like their guitar skills, or a great lyrical verse, or hitting the right notes. Your grandfather vibing to music in your Tik Tok videos- not so much. 23-year-old Andreas Yerou, known as Juke has been shaking things up as a self-producing, alternative R&B artist based in Northwest London. After making instrumentals on FL Studio, to finally buying a microphone to record on, in 2020, he decided to lay down his own vocals on his tracks. “I used to do theatre, so it was something I knew a little bit about, then after a while I got addicted to making music,” Juke said. Now with 182k followers and a global fanbase, his wholesome covers of traditional Greek songs and showcasing of heartfelt originals grabbed the attention of millions on Tik Tok. 

Posting one Lewis Capaldi cover and hitting 10,000 views led Juke to believe his viral TikTok moment was around the corner, so naturally he pushed similar content. But, It all changed one day when he visited his Grandads’s house in the UK. “I showed him my songs, and I could tell because he’s older and Greek it couldn’t fully resonate with him. Shoutout to the spotify algorithm which showed me a Greek song I liked. I showed it to him and sung it to him. It was fun and casual, I put a camera up, but it was a very authentic moment,” says Juke. “Bear in mind I had no Greek audience, I posted it because it was sweet and added English subtitles to the video, and by coincidence I think that formula really worked because it was engaging for the eyes and a global audience can appreciate what you’re saying,” he said. 

Juke’s Grandad has now featured in over 50 of his videos. His consistent posting quickly turned into a miniseries called; ‘Singing my Grandad his favourite Greek songs’, with the most viewed clip currently sitting at an impressive 8.7 million views, with 1.3 million likes. Juke’s collection of videos, which are grouped under a playlist on his page called ‘Videos with Papou’, have not only elevated his TikTok views from hundreds to millions, but they continues to boost other content, like his originals, through interaction from his global audience. Videos are flooded with viewers’ comments like “My Papou used to sing this to me” and “Makes me miss my Papou, treasure the moments you have with him”, as they resonate with Juke’s grandad and express their own memories with their own grandparents. 

READ MORE: “It doesn’t sit right” – Vision video on the hard parts of promoting your music online

For Juke, crafting music and building a fanbase is more than just a goal, it’s a philosophy. “I think if you can make something that young people and old people like, then you’ve hit something kind of timeless,” he said. Finding a genre can ever-changing at the start, and Juke is still playing around with his sound. From producing trap inspired beats, then channelling contemporary r&b to experimenting with pop sounding acoustic melodies, his new found sound has a new edge. “I guess it’s taking my favourite elements in different genres and fusing them together to make something that I think is gonna be quite unique, weirdly enough there’s gonna be subtle country folk in the new stuff as well,” Juke said. “The Greek thing has changed the way I started singing quite a bit. Greek singers are always so dramatic and they belt with their vocals, they give big powerful vocals in a way that a lot of r&b that I was listening to wasn’t. So that’s something that’s feeding into my new stuff big time as well,” he said. 

READ MORE: Finding an audience on social media

“I stumbled my way across a niche, It was still me singing and performing, but I guess it was something unique about me that I didn’t realise would ever be a niche, the fact I was Greek.” – Juke

The demand to be “broad but different” at the same time is pressured upon artists within the music industry more than ever. It feels like an almost impossible task without spontaneous moments in some cases. “It’s the thing that everyone is looking for and no one really knows what the hell that means. Just try to be different but always care about what you are saying if you can,” he shared. Juke already released his tracks long before taking TikTok promotion seriously, but “social media was the thing that made it real,” he said.

Stumbling across a niche that struck a chord with a global audience worked for Juke. His casual event may seem like a stroke of luck, but it also speaks to the opportunities that emerge when artists stay open to experimentation and embrace spontaneity on TikTok.

The whole ‘repetitive posts versus unexpectedly viral moments’ may seem a bit baffling. So, does having a niche musical identity help grow a loyal audience on TikTok? The answer seems to be yes. Whilst artists experiment with new content, one thing remains clear: expressing your uniqueness and staying true to yourself will grab peoples attention. It may not always mean millions of views, but It’s a good path to be on in an industry so full of clones and unoriginality.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok for more content!

You may also like…
document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() { // Select all audio modules with the custom class var audioModules = document.querySelectorAll('.custom-audio-module'); audioModules.forEach(function(module, index) { // Create a container for the counter var counterContainer = document.createElement('div'); counterContainer.classList.add('counter-container'); counterContainer.innerHTML = '0'; // Append the counter container to the module module.appendChild(counterContainer); // Get the audio element var audio = module.querySelector('audio'); // Initialize the counter var counter = 0; // Add play event listener to the audio element audio.addEventListener('play', function() { counter++; document.getElementById('audio-counter-' + index).textContent = counter; }); }); });