Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Priscilla Block | Lefsetz Letter

Priscilla Block

I’d never heard of this woman before today. But right now she’s got the #1 track on iTunes… WHO?

So I started Googling, so far it’s just the country outlets with the story, not even “Billboard” has run one, HitsDailyDouble is silent…but Priscilla Block’s song “Just About Over You” is charting ahead of Harry Styles’s “Watermelon Sugar,” Billie Eilish’s “my future”…EVERYTHING!

So, the story is she broke on TikTok. With this song called “Thick Thighs.”

It’s not on the lyric sites. You see if you’re not part of the big ecosystem it’s like you don’t even exist. Hell, a friend of mine e-mailed me that he had dinner (outdoors) with friends and their 13 year old daughter and she had no clue who Rihanna and Cardi B were, her musical favorites were all TIKTOK ARTISTS!

In other words, when you’re chasing the mainstream, when you’re looking to become a diversified brand, are you missing the target? It all comes down to music, if you’re not releasing it regularly, you’re forgotten, not part of the discussion, replaced by something else. This is what the oldsters don’t understand, ALMOST NOTHING LASTS! No book, no movie, no music…it either sticks or it doesn’t, and in a world where what happens in the morning is old hat by the afternoon, not even part of the news, if you’re not coming up to bat frequently, you’ve already lost the game. This is reality, don’t shoot the messenger…shoot all those web-surfers not beholden to systems, going where the action is…isn’t this how Napster happened in the first place?

So, the song “Thick Thighs,” Priscilla’s breakthrough, the one that made inroads on TikTok, contains these lyrics:

I can’t be the only one who likes extra fries over exercise
I never eat the produce that I buy, so why even try
You can’t spell diet without ‘die’
I’ve been eating carbs since ’95
And I’ve heard thick thighs save lives

Now wait a minute here… Aren’t the venerated models ten feet tall and skinny as a rail? Don’t the women who design and market these clothes fast, seeming to eat on alternate days at best? Doesn’t the media fat-shame on a regular basis? SO WHY IS PRISCILLA BLOCK RESONATING? Because she’s speaking to the people. And come on, a song entitled “Thick Thighs,” that’s a natural if you’re on TikTok (and if you’re worried about privacy, sign in with Sign in With Apple and lie about your age, you’re covered, at least to a greater degree than if you signed up directly).

Now this “Country Now” article:

Who is Priscilla Block? What You Need To Know About The Viral Sensation

says Priscilla has no label, but I got e-mail from a guy who says he’s aligned on the label side, who knows. But if you go to Priscilla’s homepage and click on “Representation” all you get is a Gmail address.

Now to be honest, I can’t say I heard “Thick Thighs” as an instant smash. Maybe it’s the mix. The lyrics don’t stick out as much as I believe they should. Who knows, but it’s resonating with the TikTok audience. If you click through, you will find that there are 108 videos using the song, never mind how many times each has been viewed:

TikTok Thick Thighs

But how did everyone know about the new song, “Just About Over You”?

Well, Priscilla has been teasing it on Instagram, revealing her honest life, not posturing like the so-called “influencers.”

But really, it’s her videos on TikTok that are rallying her fan base.

So, on 7/14, Priscilla uploads a video of her singing a song she wrote yesterday, i.e. “Just About Over You.”

TikTok Just About Over You

Unlike those competing on TV singing shows, SHE WROTE IT!

And then Priscilla posted the following day that the song has gotten 230,000 views in less than 24 hours, and she’s singing the song again and she writes…

TikTok “What? Y’all think I should record this?”

Engaging with the audience directly, not via the intermediaries, not only not the press, but not the playlists either. Then, on 7/17 Priscilla says “The fact that I wrote this song 4 days ago…y’all are insane! Should I record it???”

TikTok Should I record it???

Do you see the difference between this and the Spotify complainers? Block is singing the hook of the song, which is catchy, over and over again in all these clips and now… She’s got the number one song on iTunes!

Oh yeah, what does that mean? Is she atop the Spotify Top 50, what does Mediabase say?

Yes, sales don’t mean what they used to, but they do show an active fan base…Block is a queen where it counts, online, on TikTok…

I recommend listening to “Just About Over You” via this lyric video, made not by an official company, a member of Priscilla’s team, but a fan, ergo the usage errors:

Priscilla Block – Just About Over You

The best line is:

I don’t scroll through the past anymore ’cause I don’t care

SCROLL! That’s what we do these days, that’s what we ALL do these days, scroll on our phones. But the Spotify-haters living in the old world are so busy writing platitudes detached from real people that they don’t resonate.

“Just About Over You” is the classic story. It’s over, you put on your best look, try and feel good in your skin and clothes, go out to start over and…you run into them. If this hasn’t happened to you, you’ve never had a significant other, or have never left the house.

And if you listen to “Just About Over You” it competes with the rest of what’s on the country hit parade, a ton of it dreck with execrable lyrics, and the mention of Block’s ex’s truck does make me wince, but that’s the only offense, and as I say, most of what’s on the hit parade is even further compromised.

And how come Priscilla Block understands a hit chorus when all those complaining they can’t make it in music don’t?

What happens now?

Maybe it’ll be over soon. After all, there’s not a concomitant explosion of listens on Spotify or YouTube…but maybe that’s not where the audience is anyway. They live on TikTok. And Priscilla Block proves if you just think it’s mindless videos, that is untrue, TikTok is a community, where the active music audience resides.

The success of Priscilla Block is exciting. And that’s something that has been rare in the music business for so long, we get a marketing buildup, stories everywhere, whereas by connecting directly with the audience with authentic songs Priscilla Block has resonated. WOW!


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