It’s become something of a millennial milestone to have your song clipped and used as the backing track for a TikTok dance.
If you’ve scrolled the video sharing app (and let’s be honest, we’ve all done it) you’ve probably watched users throw down to Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’ or dance along to Benee’s ‘Supalonely’, exercising some animated facials, rapid hand gestures and a lot of body rolls or booty shaking.
Not every song is fit for TikTok stardom, but when the beat is catchy and the lyrics’ expressive, you might just make the cut.
This was the case for American singer Taylor Monet Parks, aka Tayla Parx, whose track ‘Where It Hurts’ with Kiwi duo eleven7four, was selected by Superdry for their latest collaboration with Aussie TikTokker Sarah Magusara.
The track originally featured in the brand’s new campaign video, with Magusara then taking the tune and turning it into a choreographed dance that, within 24 hours of being released, had reached over 35 million people.
@sarahmagusaraCan you move my way? @superdry ##SDMyWay♬ Where It Hurts – eleven7four
The first of its kind, the collaboration between the clothing line and video platform has catapulted the names of Parx and eleven7four across the world. So, has Parx tested out the moves inspired by her song?
“I haven’t tried it yet but I’m excited to,” she laughs. “I feel like I’m in a whole new world, I love Instagram and Twitter but I’m just learning about the things I enjoy on TikTok.
“You can do a million different things, like dance or how-to videos or the most random things are on there, and I love watching how creative people get.”
If you don’t recognise the name ‘Tayla Parx’, chances are you’re familiar with her music, or at least music she’s played a part in. As well as being a prolific songwriter and artist in her own right, Parks has co-written tracks for a host of big names, including Panic! at the Disco, Jennifer Lopez and Khalid. She even helped Ariana Grande pen the iconic ‘Thank U, Next’.
Then there’s the acting chops. A triple threat, Parks was trained in classical dance as a child and later nudged onto the stage as an actress, taking on the role of Little Inez in the film adaptation of Hairspray, as well as performing at Washington’s Kennedy Center in the play Dancing in the Wings.
It’s a pretty impressive resume for someone who’s only in their mid-twenties.
“I was that type of kid who was like, ‘When I’m in my twenties, I want to be doing what I want to do in life, not just settling’,” says Parks.
“It’s definitely always been a trait of mine, it’s been there since I was very young, making sure that I’m trying to be the best me possible. Even if that means someone telling me ‘that’s never been done before’ … I was always that kind of kid and that kind of person to push the boundaries.”
@caitlincmminsSo excited for some cold weather! ##sdmyway ##superdry ❤️❤️
Pursuing any creative endeavour can be gruelling, let alone ventures that demand a high level of attention and effort. For most people it could seem daunting, but Parks is philosophical about her approach.
“I put in the hard work then so I can have a lifetime of freedom now to make choices, and to know I’m making choices because it’s what I want to do, not because I have to,” she explains. “Like, that hard work is work, but that freedom is worth the hard work, you know?”
These days, freedom means being able to pen her own music, as well as taking unique collaborative opportunities when they pop up. The story behind ‘Where It Hurts’ falls into the latter category, after meeting the Universal Music duo eleven7four at Bay Dreams festival in New Zealand.
“We hit it off right away,” Parks recalls. “We hung out and one thing led to another and we ended up being like, ‘Ok, we have to make some songs together, we have to get into the studio and see what happens’.
“We literally got in and did an entire album in the span of a week, so we were literally living that moment and living those stories, and everything was so cohesive.”
While she admits that not every collaboration is as smooth as that, it’s a process that she has great respect for, and in some ways finds easier than writing on her own.
“It’s interesting because I have to put that mirror up and kind of face myself,” Parks explains. “It’s a different kind of therapy, you know? It’s easier to breakdown other people’s lives and not figure out your own shit.
“But my albums are me kind of diving into those thoughts and times, and figuring out my own issues.”
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