GAYLE’s hit viral TikTok song “abcdefu” is officially “the biggest song in the world,” according to GAYLE. painting.
The track ranked #1 on both the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. US Charts (dated Jan. 15). It is currently at number three for its seventh week on ARIA’s Top 50 Singles Chart.
painting GAYLE’s ‘abcdefu’ climbed from number five to #1 on the Billboard Global 200 with 58.8 million streams (up 2 percent) and 16,800 sales (down 2 percent) worldwide from December 31 through January 6.
The increase is due in part to the multiple versions released: there are “angrier”, “cool” and “beautiful” (i.e. radio-friendly) versions, a demo, a remix with Royal & the Serpent, and “The Wild Mix, released December 31 .
Despite this, the track went viral on TikTok, with more than two million videos for the song appearing.
Several TikTok users believe GAYLE wrote the track in response to a fan’s comment asking her to “write a breakup song using the alphabet”:
Don’t miss industry news
Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. learn more
Reply to @nancy_berman definitely not based on personal experience… #orginalsong #newmusic #plslikethisaccount #hastagsworkapparently #acoustic
♬ abcdefu – generation
But TikTokdanielswall user believes he “revealed” the “truth” noting that although the song exploded due to the social media platform, it wasn’t created there.
“If we look at the comment, we see that account name (nancy_berman) and if we go to that account, we see it’s private,” says Wall.
“But if we search for her on Google, we see her on LinkedIn. In fact, we see her as a digital marketing director at Atlantic Records.”
Reply to @.daltonisdaddy Did you know you lied about this song? #singer #author #singer #author #abcdefu #learnsomethingnew #marketing #musicmarketing #music #recordlabel #artistsoftiktok #visionboard #musicproducer #entrepreneur #tiktokers #viral #trending
♬ abcdefu – generation
According to Berman’s LinkedIn bio, she has been the Director of Digital Marketing at Atlantic since October 2021, and previously served as the Pop/Rock Digital Marketing Operations Coordinator as of March 2020.
GAYLE signed with Atlantic in May 2020.
Her “response” video went viral in July 2021.
Of course, GAYLE will not be the first example of a successful “industrial plant”, nor will it be the last.
Lorde was called up as an industrialist when fans realized that she had already signed to Universal Music Group love club The EP was released for free on SoundCloud. Having been downloaded more than 60,000 times, the record executives felt confident to press ahead with an official release.
Lord’s song “Royals” went on to cross a billion songs.
There are plenty of examples of unsuccessful “plants” – as recently as last year, Tramp’s triple-pop punk all-girls stamps were called out for their “polished” aesthetic and marketing material.
TikTokcult_sounds user TikTokcult_sounds analyzed Tramp Stamps’ account in a viral video, saying, “It’s almost like a bunch of people who were like, theater and shit majors who had rich parents and now they’re picking on the riot aesthetics that people literally dedicated their lives to for money.”
American artist Chelsea Cutler recently spoke out about the “confusing” music industry and the “massive disconnect between listeners and artists” thanks to platforms like TikTok via an Instagram post.
“Even as a music consumer, I hear a lot of songs nowadays, especially through TikTok, but something is missing,” she wrote.
“In the past year, I have discovered only a few artists that I feel connected and excited about. Albums and overall storytelling seem less important because the interest periods are shorter.”
Describing the difficulty she’s had “adapting to the way the industry landscape has changed” in the past year or so, Cutler said she doesn’t know how to keep up with the “omnivorous” content culture.
“It’s exhausting to constantly think about how to turn my daily life into ‘content’ especially knowing that I feel better mentally when I spend less time on my phone,” she wrote. “It’s also overwhelming for everyone in the industry to say that this is the only effective way to market music at the moment.”