On the 20th of January 2022, Charlie Puth released his new single, ‘Light Switch’, along with a music video for it. While we’re used to the 30-year-old singer, songwriter, and record producer regularly releasing new music, this single came about in an unusual way, setting the tone for his new era of music.

What’s the Story?

Charlie Puth joined TikTok in 2019 and has been a prolific poster since. His videos are mostly behind-the-scenes glimpses into his creative process, as well as music production tutorials from his home studio. He also regularly participates in TikTok trends and shows his more quirky side with funny videos. One of the things he’s become known for on TikTok is how he constantly finds inspiration in random things around him and uses this to create music. Most find this remarkable, while others make fun of his process, which he often ‘duets’ on TikTok.

On the 17th of September 2021, Puth posted a TikTok video with the caption, “I’m freaking out wtf just happened….. 💡”.

The video shows him creating a song from scratch, starting with a beat and drums. He begins hyping himself up as it starts coming together, but “something is missing”, he says. So, he starts interacting with things around the studio until he comes across a… you guessed it – light switch. The sound excites him and he records the sound effect as a part of the song. The sound also inspires the lyrics to, and title of, the song. He records a snippet of the track and sits in astonishment.

The video received over 14 million likes and 95K comments from his fans who encouraged him to actually produce it, which he’s now done. Over a 5-month period, Puth shared updates of him building the song, asking his followers and fans for input. He also teased the release of the track for months, which generated hype but is also demonstrative of his playful nature.

Eager fans finally got what they were waiting for. On Tuesday (18 January 2022), Puth announced he’d be releasing the single later that week.

Two days later, Puth went live on his YouTube channel, where he shared his hopes for ‘Light Switch’. He said, a few times, that he was really nervous about this track as it was something very different from anything he’s produced before. Despite this, he is proud of the song and said it’s his favourite of the music he’s created, so far. He also shared that the rest of the album would be coming out later in the year and it’s his most vulnerable work to date, which he’s excited to share with his fans. Once the 10-minute stream was over, the music video went live and ‘Light Switch’ was released worldwide on all major streaming platforms.

About the Music Video

The ‘Light Switch’ music video was directed by Christian Breslauer, who has directed videos for the likes of The Weeknd, Doja Cat, and the Jonas Brothers.

In the livestream announcing the ‘Light Switch’ release, Charlie expressed his excitement for the music video, saying it’s his favourite video he’s ever done. The music video shows his more quirky side and demonstrates the era of him not taking himself so seriously, which he indicated in the livestream.

“I created the concept for this music video based on an idea I had and shared with the incredible director, Christian Breslauer. I wanted to humorously portray all the things we sometimes try to change about ourselves in order to capture that unrequited love, when deep down we should be changing our lives only to benefit ourselves and no one else.” – Charlie Puth (22 January 2022)

In just four days, the music video received 8.8 million views and has been on YouTube’s Trending List since its launch.

What’s So Special About ‘Light Switch’?

What I find so fascinating about this whole thing is that fans of Charlie Puth’s music got to go along with him on his journey from beginning to end. While Puth is known for drawing inspiration from his follwers on TikTok, and allowing them to be a part of his creative process, this is the first time that it has led to an actual song on the charts. He has also indicated that the full album, set to come out in a few months, will include some of the other songs he has featured on TikTok.

While social media is typically used by celebrities as one-way communication simply to promote themselves, I really admire how Charlie Puth uses TikTok, in particular. Not only does he post his own content but he takes the time to watch and engage with other users as well. In addition, he is often very candid in his videos, not caring about how he looks or having the perfect background, for example. His TikTok content demonstrates his humility, which is appealing and inspiring on top of his genuis music-making ability.

I’m excited for this new phase of Charlie Puth’s career and look forward to the full album being launched. For now, you can listen to ‘Light Switch’ on all major streaming services. I also encourage you follow him on TikTok for inspiration and a laugh from time to time.

🎸 For another music-related post, click here to read about my experience of Daniel Baron’s Weekend of Mass Destruction album launch.

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