There’s no “text”-book when your video hits the masses

Tay Allyn's video "Mass Text" went viral within hours of posting.

Tay Allyn’s video “Mass Text” went viral within hours of posting.

Tay Allyn posted her song “Mass Text” to YouTube in late July and, within hours, the video went viral.

Three weeks later, “Mass Text” has more than 900,000 views.

“Going viral has taught me so much,” Tay told LSY. “It’s really incredible but also scary.”

Tay explained that reacting to the initial response, you have almost no time to think and you have to make very fast decisions in a short amount of time, from monetizing your YouTube account to making decisions about representation. (For example, Tay hired a publicist, who set up this and other interviews for her.)

She’s also had to deal with the reaction – both positive and negative. The video has more than 27,000 dislikes, but Tay says she loves the “passionate response.” Tay says as an artist it’s important to write about what you know and to be true to yourself. She grew up in a small town in Texas, so she can’t relate to the lyrics of artists like Ke$ha or Lady Gaga who primarily sing about the glamorous celebrity lifestyle.

In fact, Tay describes her music as a new genre of pop called “Rock and TALK” and identifies it as “Ke$ha without the sex, and Lady Gaga without the avant garde.”

The inspiration for “Mass Text” struck Tay, a University of Southern California graduate, at a college house party where a group of 10 friends were standing around, and nine of the them received a mass text. Tay sang the lyrics, “Why didn’t I get your mass text? I’m in your contacts.”

Over the next couple months, Tay developed this line into a song. Soon after, she started hearing people around campus shouting her lyrics at her. Tay was even asked to perform at a USC prom for 2,000 people. This is when the song took off.

“It was a phenomenon that took over the school,” Tay said.

After graduating from USC’s School of Theatre and Music, Tay began contemplating what would happen if she did something with the song. She decided to put together a Kickstarter campaign to film a music video.

Tay thinks the reason why “Mass Text” has received so much attention and feedback is because the song is different.

“It’s so simple,” she said. “It’s not an enlightened point of view.”

The song talks about everyday issues, rather than fame or glamorous lifestyles that many pop songs feature. Instead she writes about topics that ring true to her, and to the average listener.

Tay plans to continue talking about everyday issues. She has some things in the works that she can’t disclose yet. “I have some things up my sleeve,” she said, “so be on the lookout.”

– Morgan Culhane, LSY reporter, Canisius College

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