Careers Propelled by Tweets: The Cases of King Princess and Carly Rae Jepsen

Twitter might not seem all that important for musicians, but it’s an extremely useful tool. It was, among others, responsible for launching the careers of Carly Rae Jepsen and, more recently, King Princess. Here are their stories.
Careers Propelled by Tweets: The Case of King Princess
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Urban Klancnik

According to our data, women musicians rule Twitter according to the number of followers. There are only two male artists among the top 10 musicians by Twitter fandom, two Justins actually – Bieber and TimberlakeKaty Perry has the most followers (108.3M at the time of publishing), followed by RihannaTaylor SwiftLady Gaga, and Ariana Grande. It's no surprise that English is the dominant language on the channel, as 68 of the top 100 musicians on Twitter come from English-speaking countries. There are 20 % of musicians among the top 100 who come from countries where Spanish or Portuguese is the official language, and even they generally tweet in English.

Ariana Grande got the highest number of new followers in 2019, and if she continues the trend in 2020, she just might climb in the top five or even in the top three.

Twitter offers a great way to send short messages about new releases, news and links, tour dates, and so on. Now, it’s hard to claim that any musician became famous exclusively because of their posts on Twitter, but there are a few whose careers soared thanks to tweets.

 

King Princess learned it’s important who supports you
King Princess is a great example of what can happen when a famous person tweets about you. In February 2018, she released her debut single “1950”, a tribute to the LGBT community. The song exploded when Harry Styles tweeted lyrics from the song on his channel. Although she had already had support from the LGBT community, people all over the world started to notice her after that. Harry’s message was short, with no additional information, but it was enough to launch her career. 

It was this tweet that launched King Princess' career. Source: Twitter

Another smart move for King Princess

At the beginning of her career, King Princess had been asked by Harry to open for him at Madison Square Garden, but she had refused. She later confessed that she didn’t feel ready and that she needed time. In short, she understood that a bad performance at Madison Square Garden could ruin her career. But now she’s ready, and she'll open for Harry on his tour in 2020. Refusing the first offer was probably a good move on her part, though chances like this usually come only once in a lifetime, so if you don’t take it, you might regret it later. For her, it worked great. 

You could say that Harry launched her career, but in the end, it was the songs that resonated. If people didn’t like them, no post from Harry could help her. He just introduced her to a larger audience. 

King Princess’s song “1950” has over 10M views on YouTube, with a “little” help from Harry and Twitter.

Justin Bieber launching Carly Rae Jepsen’s career 

Carly has a similar story to King Princess. She released her song “Call Me Maybe” in September 2011, and for the first few months, nothing happened. Then Justin Bieber found the song, did a lip-sync video, and tweeted about it. He started a trend, and soon all the biggest stars were doing it. It’s a known fact that everything Justin Bieber touches becomes a huge success, and Carly was no different. Justin’s manager Scooter Brown saw her potential and signed her on. 

Carly now has over 10M followers on Twitter, and it all started with a few tweets from celebrities.

In the last two years, Carly has been slipping a little on Twitter. She's lost almost 1M followers since January 2018, which is not a big surprise, as her last tweet at the time of publishing had been posted in May 2019. Still, she has over 10M followers left.

Justin Bieber started the trend of lip-syncing “Call Me Maybe”, and other celebrities joined in, making the song a huge hit.

Twitter feels a bit underestimated among musicians, but it's a powerful tool for promotion, and it offers the means to repay your fans with insight into your work and personal life. And it also feels like that there are still hidden treats, unknown ideas, and undiscovered territories within the channel that someday, someone will discover and create another music revolution. 

 

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Cover photo: King Princess by Charles Reagan Hackleman/Lollapalooza

 

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Urban Klancnik

Urban Klancnik

Guest Writer at Viberate
A journalist, writer, drummer, and music enthusiast. Spent the last 20 years destroying his hearing with Metal and Rock and sharing his experiences from some of the biggest festivals in the world.