“I think all my songs are different and carry a unique story. I always want to put out music that I care about and music that I think my fans will care about. I’m an entertainer, I want to tell stories and give people experiences through my music and videos,” shares Reiley, the effervescent TikTok powerhouse capturing the hyperpop playlists of his follower base spanning over 11 million (and counting).
With the release of Reiley’s latest single “blah blah blah,” the singer is irrefutably edging mainstream global takeover; even so, he’s certainly no stranger to managing life after viral success. Perhaps a video of the star covering your favorite tune already swept your FYP in 2021 — his hanging silver microphone and ever-changing pastel backgrounds becoming unmistakable trademarks to Reiley’s early online identity. Just one year later, he masterfully shifted his persona into darker, moodier territory, ultimately establishing his name as a dynamic musical artist. “TikTok has enabled anyone, anywhere, to potentially have the biggest song in the world with the help of no one but yourself (and your phone),” he says. “I mean, that is amazing. It has decentralized the music industry.”
With an infectious display of suave and steady vocals, Reiley presents himself as an artist capable of creating music just as colorful as his signature runway-ready style. “blah blah blah” comes fresh off the tails of his intoxicating debut single “Let It Ring,” a benchmark moment for the rising star that represents an impressively strong starting point of a promising career. “blah blah blah” is an amplified version of the Reiley we’ve come to be familiar with — everything about the track being a true amalgamation of his hard work, creativity, and perfectionism. If music could talk, “blah blah blah” would tell “Let It Ring” to “get on my level,” he says with a laugh. “I feel like ‘Let It Ring’ and ‘blah blah blah’ are quite similar in some ways — and very dissimilar too obviously. They’re like cousins. And [my artistry has] grown in many ways I think; I care more about the music now than ever before. I was also very focused on the minutiae when I first debuted, now I look at the big picture more — although my OCD doesn’t always allow for that.”
Quick to take the new single to TikTok for surefire Internet success, Reiley continues to prove his mastery of the viral formula. His widespread digital spectators earn a front row view of the track unfolding from the ground up. Between asking fans their opinions on lyrical subject matter to publicizing song snippets in his TikToks, he allows listeners to create connections with the his work before anything is even officially released. “Music is at the core of TikTok; that’s what makes [it] such a special social media platform,” he says. “And one thing that is especially cool about TikTok is the way older songs are constantly resurfacing and ‘going viral’ years after their release.”
Taking his own advice, one listen to “blah blah blah” and anyone will notice the iconic riff of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” embedded into the tune’s chorus. “The idea came from the writers. I remember JHart texted me the idea when it was still in its early form,” he shares. “They’re all incredible writers and producers so I feel very fortunate to have been able to collaborate with them on this song!”
With today’s top charts surging with online stars, Reiley is continued proof that TikTok holds the upper hand in driving the industry to new heights. Talent that would otherwise be confined to their bedrooms now boast a virtual audience larger than a sold out stadium show. In Reiley’s case, after expertly refining and perfecting his visual skills on TikTok, it’s no wonder the accompanying video for “blah blah blah” is such an immersive, bold, and appealing experience.
The video immediately introduces the singer alone in a room spray-painted with the phrase “blah” plastered from floor to ceiling. Feeling as though we’ve become trapped in a sea of endless gossip and meaningless words with the star himself, we watch as he ferociously captures the camera from start to finish. It isn’t until the end of the visualizer that Reiley picks up a spray can and makes his mark atop the original artwork, claiming the space as his own. “Online hate inspired it,” he says of the track. “There is such a culture of online bullying right now — and I guess there always has been. So it’s from a place of tuning out that noise in a fun way. ‘blah blah blah,’ in a way, goes all the way back to my first single, only it’s darker. I think I’m continuing what I started with ‘Let It Ring’ and expanding my sound.”
Reiley’s powerful, gritty voice commands a track with forceful intensity. “blah blah blah” is hyperpop perfection, and while we can undoubtedly expect the same caliber of music in eras to come, he’s quick to note there are still multiple facets of his artistry we’ve yet to reveal. “I wouldn’t say I’m tied to one genre. Music to me is a very moment-to-moment thing, and sometimes I find that what I want to do next changes quicker than my music is released.”
Thanks to the collaborative nature of music-making, Reiley describes his creative process as an “invaluable” learning process. With assistance from iconic producers like Rollo or Dreamlab, he’s fabricated a foolproof songwriting blueprint: “Some commonalities I see in [my collaborators] are that they A) Deeply care about the music, B) Are hard-working, and C) Have a vision for the music they’re creating.” Having already conquered the digital landscape, topping the charts feels like the perfect, natural progression of Reiley’s career.