The rise of TikTok as Gen Z's preferred social media app for all things music and memes has bolstered the popularity of several artists and rappers over the years. When a dance trend starts going viral, the song accompanying it does, too. This method of discovery has led to more than a few lesser-known artists getting signed to major labels and having their entire discography take off. One of the best success stories to come out of TikTok-trending fame is that of the melodic mastermind behind the song "Mood," one of 2020's biggest chart-toppers. If your Jeopardy-style answer to that description was "Who is 24kGoldn?" the 20-year-old social media star, then you were spot on. The true answer behind all his newfound fame, however, is right in his tunes.
You may recognize the name or some of his song titles, like "Valentino" and "Mood," but the star launched onto the scene faster than a bullet train, so don't worry if you're still behind on his full history. 24kGoldn has been featured on a lengthy roster of remixes from some of the industry's heaviest hitters, and his unique voice has bridged pop and rap subgenres to create a fandom that is hyper-online and hyper-aware of the freshest artists in the scene. He's collaborated on songs with the likes of DaBaby, Yungblud, Olivia O'Brien, and Clean Bandit. Clearly, the star is in high-demand among his industry peers, and his track record going into 2021 suggests this demand will only keep rising.
He Started Out His Music Career Early On
24kGoldn, whose real name is Golden Landis Von Jones, planted his musical roots during his middle school days when he participated in his school's choir. This eventually morphed into a burgeoning rap career during high school, but it didn't truly take off until the Jan. 25, 2019, release of "Valentino." The single landed him a record deal that year. At the time, he was enrolled at the University of Southern California majoring in business and was a member of the Beta-Sigma Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He ended up taking a leave of absence when his viral success allowed him to play shows, like his iconic performance at Rolling Loud Bay Area.
A TikTok Dance Trend Helped Him Get His First Hit
Aviva Sofia, who now has over 3.5 million followers, exploded onto the TikTok scene in 2019. She achieved widespread viral fame as the e-girl archetype that helped define some of the app's most prolific communities' styles. Her trending dance and lip-sync to 24kGoldn's "Valentino" was what initially sent the song's numbers on streaming services skyrocketing, and the duo even met up to celebrate the viral success of the track. "Golden and I help each other constantly with promotions and we've created a beautiful friendship that I'm so grateful for," Sofia told Paper in 2019 after "Valentino" first blew up. The music video for the song currently has over 30 million views on YouTube alone.
He Has No Shortage Of Superstar Collaborations
After the success of "Valentino," 24kGoldn booked collaborations left and right with other Gen Z favorites in the music industry. His collaboration with Olivia O'Brien on her "Josslyn" remix is particularly notable for elevating his notoriety in the pop realm, taking a step away from his usual rap sound to try out crooning bubblegum-pop vocals. 24kGoldn also teamed up with Halsey's former flame and pop-punk poster boy, Yungblud, for his quarantine live show to perform a sick rendition of the May 2020 hit, "City of Angels."
"Mood" Sent His Career Into The Stratosphere
If "Valentino" was any indicator of more commercial success to come for 24kGoldn, then "Mood" only further reinforced it. Now that he had a steady following on social media from his other viral tracks, when his song with iann dior, "Mood," dropped on July 24, 2020, fans were armed and ready with dances and TikTok challenges. The catchy tune spread like wildfire during fall 2020 before finally becoming 24kGoldn's first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single on Oct. 24. "Mood" is still atop the chart at the time of publication. The song also received a cosign from Justin Bieber and J Balvin when they hopped on the official remix released in November.
He's Confident His Newest Track Will Top The Charts, Too
24kGoldn released his newest song, "Coco," featuring DaBaby, on Dec. 4. "Coco" is a bop made in the same vein of his other acoustic pop-rap blends, but with the added element of DaBaby's rhyming prowess. The duo make a perfect recipe for trending-song success, considering that both have achieved commercial success through their songs' popularity on TikTok. "This one prolly gonna go #1 too so stream it now before your friends," 24kGoldn joked on Twitter. The track broke 500,000 streams only a few days after its release, with no official music video out yet or huge TikTok push, so he's probably not wrong.