Rise of TikTok star

A FEW months ago, TikTok launched LIVE #GimmeTheMic, a global competition aimed at discovering emerging musical talent and supporting aspiring music creators. The competition took place entirely within the app, from auditions to the national final and the global final.

This innovative approach allowed talented performers to participate from their current locations, breaking free from geographical constraints and physical boundaries throughout the entire competition.

Exclusively broadcast on TikTok LIVE, the top 10 local finalists recently competed for the ultimate prize. Jelly Belly was crowned #GimmeTheMic Malaysia National Champion, determined through a combination of public votes, gifting and support.

Initially aspiring to be an entrepreneur, Jelly Belly took a chance on TikTok to explore new creative avenues. Experimenting with TikTok’s LIVE feature allowed him to express himself through videos, and he discovered and cultivated his own audience, forming a supportive community.

Before achieving the title of Malaysia’s inaugural national champion for #GimmeTheMic, Jelly Belly had already tasted success by winning various singing competitions, underscoring his undeniable talent.

Jelly Belly, alongside the other members of the top five in #GimmeTheMic Malaysia–hafizalonggs, irsyadiofficial, juliaidir and celineee lai – is set to represent Malaysia on the international stage at the #GimmeTheMic Global Finale this month.

They will compete with national champions from Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. In preparation for the finals, he managed to spare some time for an interview with theSun.

What are your long-term goals and how do you plan to advance your career?

My long-term goal is to be an established and well-respected artiste in the local music industry, and as I grow as an artiste, my dream is to collaborate with legendary local artistes such as Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Amy of Search and Ramli Sarip.

What were your challenges while live streaming and how did you overcome them?

I believe it would be the negative comments I get when I livestream. Some of the comments may seem innocuous to some, but they may be hurtful to others. What helped me the most is TikTok’s keyword filter system, in which certain comments or words could be filtered out to prevent them from appearing in the chat box when I am going live.

I also added some terms to the filter to prevent those comments from appearing in the chat. I also regularly advise my viewers to be nice and not be negative. I find that communication skills are very important to have as a host and they are crucial to address if you are unhappy with what your viewers are saying.

Over time, the viewers would understand how to act, especially when they were interacting with me.

What are your thoughts are on TikTok? How does the platform assist you and other creators in expanding online presence and pursuing hidden talent?

In my opinion, TikTok is a platform that greatly benefits people, especially those who take live streaming seriously. The LIVE feature helps shape creators to be more mindful of their actions and words, promoting a safe and positive space by enforcing community guidelines.

The short video format of TikTok allows me to showcase my music and creativity uniquely. The duet feature is particularly exciting, as it helps me reach a new audience. Beyond content sharing, TikTok is a community of creators supporting one another.

It has enabled me to connect with fans, display my talents and expand my online presence.

Tell us more about the upcoming release of your first single.

I’m incredibly excited about the release of my first single, titled Asmara. The song tells a story about fake hope in romantic relationships. It will be released tomorrow, and I can’t wait to share it with the world, especially my fans who voted for me to be the first-ever national champion of #GimmeTheMicMalaysia.

For this single, I collaborated with well-known local composer Sharon Paul and Universal Music Malaysia to produce it.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artistes pursuing their dreams?

My advice is to stay true to yourself and your art.

I believe it is also very important to collaborate with others to grow as an artiste and TikTok helps with that as it showcases itself as a platform for collaborations with its duet function.

Through collaborations, you also get to learn from them and view things from a different perspective.

I like looking at other creators and seeing what I can learn from them. Keep working hard and don’t give up. Your hard work will pay off.

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