SXSW Music Panel Recap: Going Viral with Mick Fleetwood & TikTok

Fleetwood Mac founder drums up dreams for yet another generation

On Sept. 25, 2020, Nathan Apodaca uploaded a TikTok of his “morning vibe.” The Idaho native’s 22-second clip featured him sipping Ocean Spray juice while skateboarding and lip-syncing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Overnight virality and a Mick Fleetwood recreation on the video-sharing service quickly followed.

Don’t Stop: Mick Fleetwood and TikTok’s Ole Obermann (above) (Photo by Derek Udensi)

The effervescent drummer discussed the clip’s portal to a new world of interconnectivity with TikTok’s global head of music Ole Obermann. The 28-minute, pre-recorded conversation first aired during SXSW Online on Thursday afternoon.

Apodaca’s clip sparked a rebirth of the British band’s 1977 hit when “Dreams” re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 21 for the week dated Oct. 17, 2020. Fleetwood said the song’s revival hit him “like an emotional tidal wave” due to its “spontaneous and joyous” introduction of the group to new ears in a new manner.

“Believe in yourself and the fact that you have people who believe exactly, or very close, to how you feel,” said Fleetwood. “That’s something that I think is happening with TikTok in an amazing way. People are coming together [with a feeling] and throwing it into a melting pot that becomes reflective.”

The 73-year-old’s embracing of TikTok as a whole stems from an open mind and desire to tap into the essence of music. The two-way education between himself and younger users reminds him that his group’s music still holds significance many generations later. A lack of barriers on the app allows connections like that of Fleetwood and Apodaca.

“Imagine TikTok is a band. My world opened up when I became part of a band,” enthused the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer. “I think that’s happening [here], intrinsically from the beginning. [Users] are joining a family where there’s feedback. There’s objectivity. And you become and you see people reflecting.

“For me, that would be [turning around] onstage and [seeing the Mac in Fleetwood Mac] John McVie. What is that? Always remember the real essence of how this thing started and how it affected people.”

He continued by likening TikTok to a group traveling from town-to-town to perform theatrical plays. The Englishman believes the app can act as a welcoming “stage” for newer artists.

“Believe in yourself and the fact that you have people who believe exactly, or very close, to how you feel,” he said. “That’s something that I think is happening with TikTok in an amazing way. People are coming together [with a feeling] and throwing it into a melting pot that becomes reflective. The real essence is feel what you feel and don’t be shy about it.”

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

TikTok, Mick Fleetwood, SXSW Music 2021, Nathan Apodaca, Fleetwood Mac, John McVie, Ole Obermann

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