Emerging artist Spencer Crandall is willing to use his voice to justify his strong beliefs on the great debate – is TikTok a vital asset to the music industry?
The powerful platform single-handily shifted the country music genre and became a beneficial tool for musicians and record labels. Users have witnessed country classics like “I’m A Survivor” by Reba McEntire or Brooks & Dunn’s 1992 hit “Neon Moon” resurface organically, while budding artists utilize the application to distribute new material to reach their target audience directly.
Similar to many musicians in the 10-year town, Crandall found himself securing gigs at Nashville’s Listening Room Café and playing college parties in exchange for free beer. When TikTok grew in popularity, he recognized an opportunity, flipped on his front camera, and started singing. His country-pop sound and raw songwriting quickly accumulated a strong following of 2.5M listeners on TikTok alone.
Crandall became a social media pioneer, as he was one of the very few to shift the musical landscape with his online presence. Following the global health crisis, the competitive space welcomed a new wave of musicians that used their social strategy as their underlining superpower –Crandall, Ashley Cooke, Alexandra Kay, Cooper Allen, BRELAND, Priscilla Block, and more.
“It was funny at the beginning, I think all of us got made fun of…people didn’t understand it. Country music is just traditional. I love country music, but it’s a slow-moving genre – especially on the tech and internet side,” Crandall told CMT. “I saw a hole in the market: this incredible application, this algorithm, and things that were moving forward. So many people were like, ‘that’s not going to lead to streams or tickets.’”
Crandall proved the naysayers wrong and transformed his followers into an adoring live fanbase. The Denver native best known for tracks “Made” – now counts 1.2M monthly Spotify listeners, raked in 250M total career streams, and wrapped his first sold-out headlining tour to support his critically acclaimed record, “Western.”
“I could not have predicted this…I moved to town, and the only way to make it happen was to pray to God that a CEO of whatever company was at a show,” he pointed out. “Now you can go directly to the consumer. You have people like Lainey Wilson having massive TikTok moments, but she’s also winning CMAs, and CMT Awards and having radio success. I do think we were kind of part of that change in Nashville."
Since his rapid success, Crandell revealed that he struggles with imposter syndrome. According to Psychology Today, individuals battling imposter syndrome believe they are “underserving” of their achievements. Often, these people feel like they aren’t as “competent” or “intelligent” as others may think and fear that the truth will eventually get out.
“I struggle with imposter syndrome. I struggle with, ‘do I belong here?’ Last year, I felt the universe was like, ‘you belong. Stop worrying.’ I felt a little bit of weight off my shoulders,” shared Crandall. “In 2023, I’m trying not to overthink stuff.”
However, he said that his imposter syndrome is deeply rooted and results from being an independent artist. Crandall mentioned that he often feels like an “outsider” in the country space.
“It’s been pretty challenging. I think a lot of people have this misconception that I’m signed with a big ole record label. I’m actually completely independent. I’m wearing so many different hats,” said the hardworking vocalist. “It sometimes makes me feel like an outsider with my peers and stuff. That’s why I’ve always gone after my fans. I think that’s why my story leans more like an underdog or fan driven. That comes with challenges. That comes with imposter syndrome and not feeling good enough at the end of the day."
Despite his loyal community cheering him on, he mentioned that he is still “learning” to get over his personal “humps.”
“It’s like getting sick almost. How do you recover faster? At least for me, it’s just realizing what’s in my control and what’s not in my control,” he explained. “What’s in my control is making great music and connecting with my fans on a daily basis. Focusing on making stuff that makes me really happy. There’s a song on my latest album, ‘Western’ called ‘The Getting There.’ It’s about life looking real good from just about anywhere, if you love ‘The Getting There.’ If you enjoy the building of things, then it doesn’t matter about the stuff that ends up on your tombstone. I’m going to focus more on that this year, and hopefully that will lead me to good things. Living in the moment…I feel like we all need to do a better job at that.”
While making his happiness a priority and with fans on top of his mind, the must-watch act revealed that new music is on the horizon.
“We have a bunch of fun tricks up our sleeves,” said Crandall with a beaming smile. “There’s definitely going to be a lot more new music. There are going to be more shows. As a fan today, there’s no such thing as too much. I’m really proud of the last album – I love to tell stories. My next project will be whatever inspires me, whatever’s happening in my life.”
Crandall confirmed that his new music would be arriving sooner than later.
“There’s fun stuff at the first quarter and second of this year,” he teased. “Even throughout the summer. Some songs on ‘Western’ could get a revamp with some of my favorite people. That would be really fun and maybe coming soon. We’re just going to keep our foot on the pedal.”