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Will artists of the future rapidly iterate based on user feedback?

How TikTok star and rapper Russ used listener feedback to rapidly iterate the song Handsomer and became #1 on iTunes.

Something incredible is happening at the intersection of tech and art. The MVP –> feedback –> iterate loop is happening in music and it’s playing out on TikTok.

A rapper with a large TikTok following called Russ put out a song called Handsomer and used TikTok to market it. Handsomer had a great beat, great lyrics, and a great backstory but it was for sure a MVP version of the song. To promote it, Russ did a TikTok challenge called duet inviting other users to add to his song.

Enter: Ktlyn an unlikely rapper from SoCal with mad lyrical skills and a whole new audience for Russ. She made his song SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Ktlyn’s fans overloaded his TikTok demanding (and I mean DEMANDING) that he officially remix the song with her bridge. He listened to the users and released Handsomer the Remix. It blew the eff up and their fanbases grew massively with this marriage of audiences. Not to mention that it became the #1 song on iTunes ACROSS ALL GENRES.

But her section was way too short and the fans again demanded that she get more time on the song. He listened and announced a Handsomer Extended Remix, drew it out with a teaser campaign, and released it last week.

In product development, this is how it works. Build a product. Grow a user base. Create more features for those users. With the death of music labels that gatekeep outlets for connecting with users, artists can self publish on any number of music platforms and connect instantly with users for feedback and iteration.

It’s been a wonder to behold this process taking root in an industry with a history of disconnection between the product and the user and for the concept of a remix to take on a whole new meaning and purpose.

I hold up a mirror for my
customers to see their own
brand.

I guess you could say I’m like
a therapist for businesses.
No smoke.
Just mirrors.

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