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badly: Climbing to the Charts, 15 Seconds at a Time

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badly: Climbing to the Charts, 15 Seconds at a Time

Long gone are the days where new artists found their audience on Myspace. Equally dated is the expectation that artists cannot make it on their own. Marshall Hearne is inspired to do just that, and he’s doing it on Tiktok.

You might be asking yourself, “another TikTok musician?” The answer is yes – here’s why. TikTok is no longer an app for children to make heavily coded, generational video memes. As learned through the rise of Vine, short-form video content is engaging and extremely diverse – it attracts everyone from college-aged comedians to crafty grandmas. But most importantly, it attracts musicians – signed, independent, experienced, brand new, and everything else!

Hearne, known better as badly, made his first TikTok post on August 31 of last year. It didn’t take him long to get into music – by September he was already strumming a guitar on camera. By the end of that same month, he posted a promo for his single, “It’s Not You.” Just over 400 videos later, he’s collected more than 9,700 followers. Like any TikTok artist, he tries his hand at comedy, too.

With just six releases on Spotify, badly has amassed an impressive 19,831 monthly listeners. His first release, “Night Swimming,” has more than 106,000 streams and he continues to pump out new music like it’s his job – because it is. In a personal appeal following the release of his song “Time,” he told his viewers that he dropped out of college to pursue music.

“Music is pretty much all I care about and all I want to do in life,” he said, “I love living living at home, I love my parents. But eventually I’d love to be able to just support myself so I can do music full-time.”

According to Spotify, his audience is primarily in Dallas, Texas, where he lives. He attracts a comparable audience in Chicago, with Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta in tow. Not every musician can blow up over night, but badly is sure riding an upward curve. His melodic self-harmonization might just be enough to hook you, too.

You can find badly on Tiktok and major streaming platforms.

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Ryan J , Executive Producer
Portland, OR He/Him

Ryan is a multi-hyphenate digital creative/creator and the founder of downinthepit. You can reach him at [email protected]. #catchyouinthepit


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