Singer-Songwriter Tori Kelly Talks Staying Authentic Online on the Co.Lab Sessions Podcast

Erica Campbell / September 15, 2021
From experimenting with new trends to being unfiltered online the Grammy-award-winning singer shares her tips for staying authentic on social media.

On this episode of the Co.Lab Sessions podcast, singer-songwriter Tori Kelly gets candid while sharing her experiences connecting with fans on social media. Tori is no stranger to authentically sharing herself with fans online. The Grammy-award winner originally got her start covering pop classics on YouTube when she was just a teenager and recently brought that same realness to fans mid-pandemic by releasing her EP Solitude and launching her Instagram live show “QuaranTea with Tori.”

Here, Tori explains how new platforms like TikTok are bringing back the early days of social media when there was “no fluff” to hide behind, and how fans have grown nostalgic for unfiltered and raw content. She also talks about the downside of social media comparison, and how artists can experiment with new trends without losing sight of what they’re good at. Listen to the episode, plus check out key takeaways from Tori below.

Highlights from Tori Kelly's Co.Lab Sessions episode

Don’t be afraid to share raw and unfiltered content I know I wasn't one of the OG YouTubers, there's definitely people who have been doing it longer, but there was something going on at that time. I don't know what it was, but it was just a bunch of people coming together and doing songs and collaborating. There's just something about that. I think people connected with [it] because there was no fluff. There was nothing to hide behind. It was like, "Here's me with my really crappy camera quality, no mic or anything.” It was straight through the laptop or whatever we were using. Someone even said they missed when the vocal would clip because it was so loud because the laptop quality of the mic [was] terrible. Something about hearing that took them back and was so nostalgic. There was just something about that really raw unfiltered type of thing. I'm sensing people are craving that again. I'm looking at these TikToks and there's nothing fancy about them. People want that raw thing where it's like, "This is who I am, and here you go."

Don’t compare yourself to other artists, go back to what you’re good at

The advice I have really always given, and I'm constantly giving this advice to myself too, to be honest, is comparison kills. It is so easy to compare yourself to other artists. When you see something working for someone else. It's easy to be like, "Oh, that's working so maybe I should be doing that." I still struggle with that. You're constantly trying to figure out what the cool thing is and what's that sound or that thing that's going to connect with people. I think what I always go back to is you know who you are, even if you're still figuring out who you are, which we all are. None of us have anything figured out, but you know what you're good at.

Posts often and don’t be afraid to experiment with trends

I think the more [posts], the better because you never know what's going to catch on. I feel like trends and everything are all just so great. If someone's listening right now and they're like, "I don't know what to post," I would say to follow trends, which is hard for even me to say because I hate that. I hate following what everyone's doing. But I think it's a fun challenge for me even lately like, "OK, what are some trends that everyone's doing," and then just try to hop on and see what happens.

Listen to more Co.Lab Sessions podcast episodes about building your team, creating a scene around your music, protecting your career, and more.

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Erica Campbell / September 15, 2021
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