IF Gretta Ray had any doubts concerning the usefulness of TikTok for musicians they were well and truly erased when she uploaded a cover of Billy Joel's Vienna last year.
The piano ballad - famously written from the point of view of Joel's father urging his son to slow down and enjoy life - struck a chord with Ray's fans.
Two different videos of the song attracted 3.5 million views and Ray's version of Vienna has been streamed 21 million times on Spotify.
It's even proven more popular than Ray's breakthrough single Drive, which won Triple J Unearthed High and Vanda & Young Songwriting Award in 2016.
"It reached so much further than I could have ever imagined," Ray says. "It's out-streamed Drive. It shot right up there. In terms of what you can do with that avenue [TikTok], you can't deny it."
The Melbourne indie-pop singer-songwriter's witty sense of humour, girl-next-door appearance and bubbly personality have made her a perfect fit to capitalise on the popularity of TikTok.
Her videos feature everything from behind-the-scenes peaks of music video sessions, stories about her songs and intimate performances.
"I remember when TikTok started I was like, 'that's not going to make sense for my project', but now I'm in the thick of it, it's the perfect place for this project," she says.
"I have so much I wanna say and I talk about music, whether it's my own or someone else's, and I love it a lot. That platform is a space where we can all talk about music."
Last week Ray, 25, released her second album Positive Spin. The record completes her transition from the indie-folk singer-songwriter of Drive to a full-blown pop diva.
After the successful release of her 2021 debut Begin To Look Around and last year's national arena tour supporting Sydney rockers Gang Of Youths, Ray was bursting with positive energy.
Co-writing sessions in Los Angeles, London and Nashville produced 80 songs, including the synth-pop Heartbreak Baby, the Taylor Swift-esque Dear Seventeen and sugary-sweet, Don't Date The Teenager.
The sunny sound of Positive Spin was no coincidence. Ray found herself in the perfect head space.
"I was travelling and at the time there happened to be really beautiful weather and I was having a lot of inspiring writing sessions and it felt like a brand new chapter as a songwriter for me," Ray says.
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