23 Mar
Case Study

TikTok's Breakthrough Artists To Keep An Eye On in 2024

TikTok's Breakthrough Artists To Keep An Eye On in 2024

TikTok has quickly emerged as one of the most popular and influential platforms for discovering talented artists. Where we have seen underground artists emerge into the public eye, sharing their creativity and talent through short videos - captivating millions of listeners globally. Alongside this, TikTok’s unique ability to foster community engagement via video sharing, collaborations, remixes, and choreographed dances, allows fans to actively participate in and support the rising talent - ultimately catapulting their careers.

In this article, we delve into the success stories of TikTok’s breakthrough artists (recognised by TikTok) and we will not only explore their journey so far, but also the invaluable role that the platform and its community played in their rise to stardom!


463K TikTok Followers / 7.7M Likes / 2M Spotify Monthly Listeners

27-year-old self produced pop artist based in London, known for her true DIY artist energy and TikTok virality for her independent track “Little Girl Gone”.

  • Her influences include Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lizzo, Christina Aguilera, Doja Cat, Little Mix, Jessie J.
  • In 2019, she released her debut single “Elements' ' just after graduating from university. This track accumulated over 20M global streams, earning her a  collaboration with Estonian artist NOËP on their single ‘Fk This Up’ and a chance to  perform at the Estonian Music Awards. She continued to release 3 singles that year.
  • In 2020, she toured with US indie rock duo, Missio and in April released her debut EP "Awakening", which details a journey of self-realisation and touches on empowerment and sexuality - the EP includes collaborations with Jordan Lees, Know No, and Mort.  Following this, she supported Sting at one of his shows in Bulgaria, on his 2019 European arena tour “My Songs”. Later releasing 2 other singles that year.
  • In August 2021, she released her second EP “ Moon Maintenance for Dummies” with Sony Music, Germany featuring the hit track “Fingers”. THis EP follows on from her previous, more conceptually driven and dark debut EP.
  • In 2022, she split with her management and record label Sony, and began identifying as passionately independent. Touring with McFly on their ‘Young Dumb Thrills’ arena tour, playing venues across the UK including London’s Wembley and Manchester’s AO arena.
  • Her first independent single in 2023, “Little Girl Gone” went viral on TikTok, to date it has millions of videos on the platform and over 2m streams.
  • After a lot of soul-searching, CHINCHILLA finally admitted that she needed support and signed a deal with Universal, using all her leverage and experience to ensure the details fell in her favour, she released “Cut You Off”.

“I love the way tiktok can reach the masses and has gone back to that word-of-mouth promotion; people will just tag or send something to their friends, mums will be tagging their daughters. The power of the people on it is incredible in a way I’ve never seen before. So in that way, TikTok is a proper beast and I think it’s probably the independent artist’s best friend.”

CHINCHILLA’s story, in many ways, epitomises the current climate for emerging artists.

Her newest single “MF Diamond” is out now! Excited to see what this year has in store for her! Check it out here!

Cian Ducrot

4.6M TikTok Followers / 113.4M Likes / 4.9M Spotify Monthly Listeners

26-year-old indie pop singer songwriter from Cork, who went from being homeless to posing in front of his own billboard due to a video of him singing his single “All For You” going viral on TikTok.

  • After appearing on The Voice U.K. in 2016, he expanded his TV fan base/social media fan base with a series of performances and vlogs on social media.
  • Moved to London to study and studied and released his full-length recording debut mixtape "Started in College" in June 2020.
  • Ducrot signed to Darkroom/Interscope (2021-present) and Polydor (2022-present) and released his debut EP "Make Believe" in December 2021 including singles "Not Usually Like This" and "Know Me Again" which garnered millions of streams.
  • Soon after this, he released a single “ All For You” which went viral on TikTok due to continuous posts of videos of him singing at home and in public places all around the UK and Ireland. He also released alternate versions of the track and teased them on the platform, one being a collaboration with Ella Henderson.
  • The single followed up with another Irish Top 10 and U.K. Top 20 hit, "I'll Be Waiting." , another track that went viral on TikTok using the same content strategy as the previous release.
  • Jumping on the momentum of his releases, Ducrot covered the world known track "Hallelujah" and released it in December 2022 featuring a full choir for the Christmas period.
  • He kick started 2023 by supporting Ed Sheeran on his 2023 Tour and released another single "Part of Me" in March 2023 inspired by a friend's death where he shared stories on TikTok about the meaning behind the lyrics.
  • In August 2023, he released Debut album "Victory" that became a no.1 hit in Ireland and the UK.

Ducrot - “Assume no one wants to work with you unless they’re biting your hand off. Do your own thing and focus on yourself, if people want to be part of your journey then they will hop aboard but don’t lose focus or sight of what you’re doing”.

Mae Stephens

380K TikTok Followers / 8M Likes / 10.2M Spotify Monthly Listeners

20-year-old pop singer songwriter from Northamptonshire, who went from working in ASDA to global stardom overnight with a 15-second snippet of her track "If We Ever Broke Up" that went viral on TikTok.

  • Inspired by Adele, Freddie Mercury and Sigrid, Mae has been writing songs since she was 12 years old, honing her craft, and gigging at local mic nights and venues around her local area.
  • Whilst writing emotional ballads, she self-released two singles "I Want You to Be Here" and "Devil Eyes" in 2020.
  • Soon after she followed up with two more self-released tracks, one, at the end of 2020 "Infamous Kiss" and "White Lies" at the start of 2021. As stated in an interview with Rolling Stone, her journey thus far taught her a lot about her strength, on and off stage. Gaining this confidence and reimagined self, she dove into exploring new sounds and styles - spreading the term “boss energy”.
  • In December 2022, Stephens released a 15-second snippet of a new single "If We Ever Broke Up" on TikTok, which discussed the relationship she had with her ex boyfriend.
  • Entering 2023, the clip went viral, reaching no.13 on the Official UK Charts and soon after this she signed with EMI and the single was released as a full single in February 2023.

"I woke up with seven million followers on New Year's Day, the beginning of a brand new year, and it almost changed my perspective on life, and on trying and on being passionate for something. But yeah, the video was literally just me dancing like an idiot, for the entire globe to see."

  • Following the success of the track, throughout 2023 Mae did some major collaborations. She released “Jungle” with Alok and The Chainsmokers, and worked with Maghan Trainor on the track “Mr.Right”, sharing a collaboration video with Meghan on TikTok, saying: 'I have never been more excited to say that myself and the incredible Meghan Trainor will be bringing this banger out'. Towards the end of 2023 she released a single with Kuromi “Cheeky but Charming”.

Speaking about her success on the platform, Mae said: “I have TikTok to thank for giving me the chance to achieve my dream! The platform is incredible for growth – growing from a few followers to such high exposure was such a quick switch!”

Her newest single “Make Me Your Mrs” is out now! Check it out now!


63K TikTok Followers / 1.8M Likes / 292.5K Spotify Monthly Listeners

23-year-old North London rapper, whose horse riding music video for single “Number One Candidate” triggered much discussion and virality on TikTok.

  • Influenced by 50 cent, Skepta, JME, Eminem, and J Cole.
  • Before going solo, AntsLive and his friends formed the trio “Trademark” during Covid. ​“All of that experience helped me develop my showmanship. It helped me become who I am right now.”
  • From his debut EP in 2020 "Just A Matter of Time," AntsLive has been on a journey of musical experimentation and self-discovery, embracing a versatile sound that blends genres - being hailed as BBC Radio 1’s Future Artist of The Month in August 2023.
  • After months of not being heard, Ants stated “The song was a way of me saying I’m next up… and I am sick and tired of people not taking me in.” He undoubtedly solidified himself as 2023’s force to be reckoned with when he released “Number One Candidate” with a music video of him riding a horse in the Dolomite Alps while rapping, before charming the daughter of his rural Airbnb host. This required Ants to learn how to ride a horse six days before filming. ​
  • The track went viral on TikTok and garnered 8.3M streams alone on ‘Number One Candidate’, where he received co-signs from the likes of Mia Khalifa, Aitch, AJ Tracey, KSI and Mabel.
  • In March 2023 he sold out his first ever headline gig at London’s Omeara, despite London coming to a standstill with transport strikes. Following the success of his track AntsLive was asked to support Aitch at his Irish shows, in Dublin, Cork and Belfast  in June 2023, he used the stage to tease a new project that was released later that summer, with the single “Oh La La”.
  • In August 2023, he fronted the campaign for Arsenal’s away kit launch alongside Nia Archives.
  • In October 2023, he released another single “ Captain Ants”. Yet again, partnering his music with out-of-the-box music video concepts. Featuring at Paris Fashion Week.
  • NME, HYPEBEAT and i-D saying it was the “music video of the year”. And getting two recent MOBO nominations for ‘Best Music Video Of The Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’.
  • In December 2023, he did his own campaign with North Face and JD, appearing on billboards up and down the country.

His newest single “Estelle” is out now! Excited to see what this year has in store for him! Check it out here!


192K TikTok Followers / 4.3M Likes / 5M Spotify Monthly Listeners

28-year-old dance pop artist from Dublin who went from working in Tesco, to being the first Irish solo female artist to reach no.1 of Spotify due to her collaboration track “Make Me Feel Good” that went viral on TikTok.

  • Influenced by Lauryn Hill, RAYE, Eliza Rose, Carla Monroe, Hayley May, and Karen Harding.
  • Played classical violin from an early age, and fell in love with clubbing and house music as a teenager.
  • In 2017, she started working with her neighbours Ricks and Ciaran and formed a band “Powerful Creative Minds” and released 3 singles and 2 EPs with the group over the years.
  • In 2021 she met the dance duo Belters Only, through mutual friends as they heard her singing on socials and invited her to do a collaboration with them.
  • Her breakout moment started in November 2021 when they released their track “Make Me Feel Good” which reached no.1 charts in Ireland and no.4 in the UK.
  • In March 2022, Belters Only & Jazzy released their 2nd collaboration track “ Don’t Stop Just Yet”.
  • From the collaborations Jazzy built a community around her DJ mixes on SoundCloud and signed with Polydor Records as a solo artist.
  • In March 2023, Jazzy released her debut solo single “Giving Me” , reaching no.1 in Ireland and no.3 in the UK with over 17M streams. The success of this track gave her a slot at Longitude Festival in Dublin with gigs lined up over the summer period, including Ibiza Rocks.
  • Throughout her release timeline, Jazzy has been consistent on her socials, TikTok in particular with sharing track teasers, behind-the-scenes, relatable videos fans can connect with, dance videos featuring choreography and challenges/tutorials.
  • Her fan engagement is high as she responds to fan Q&As, opening fan DMs for requests, reacts to fan content and generates hype around upcoming releases with promotional content.
  • Celebrating the excitement of being the first Irish solo female artist to have received a no.1 on Spotify - she posted a video on TikTok that went viral in Ireland of her covered in Irish colours buying a round of drinks for everyone in her local bar to celebrate the moment.
  • Calvin Harris, whom she knocked out of no.1 commented on the video saying how much he loved the track!
  • Currently Jazzy is working on a new single and EP for this year! Her dream collabs include Rudimental, Route 94, MK, and Jax Jones!

Her newest release “Shooting Star” is out now! Check it out here!

The overarching theme across all these artists’ success stories is their understanding that virality itself is not sustainable. You have to keep engaging your newly found fans in genuine ways to help develop a lasting connection with them. These artists have grasped the importance of nurturing their audience through authentic interactions.

If you need help with formulating a marketing strategy or social media strategy harnessing the power of TikTok, join un:hurd music now or reach out to our expert team, you can contact us here.