If you’ve been on TikTok this summer, chances are you’ve seen Flyana Boss running across your ‘for you’ page. The hip hop duo made up of Bobbi Lanea Tyler and Folayan Omi Kunerede are undoubtedly one of the biggest breakout stars of the summer. After blowing up their song “You Wish” on TikTok, they landed profiles in Rolling Stone and Vulture, their song, garnered over 20M streams on Spotify for the track, and were announced as openers for Janelle Monae on her “Age of Pleasure” tour.
Aside from their killer music, the key differentiator in their success is TikTok. The duo strategically built their audience and promoted their music on the app in a way designed to generate virality. Here, we’ll break down how they did it.
How Flyana Boss built their TikTok following
While “You Wish” propelled them to virality, Flyana Boss still had a large presence on TikTok before they became an overnight success. They first became popular by sharing fun lip syncs to their tracks, vlogging their days in the studio, and posting fun, off the cuff raps they come up with in the car together.
They also were incredibly savvy with their dance content. For nearly every track they promoted on TikTok they’d also share a dance designed to be successful on the platform. Flyana Boss would often hedge their bets, sharing different dances for Bobbi and Folayan’s verses. Aside from dances, they would also tell their followers how to use their music for their own videos, often sharing transition ideas with their tracks.
Taking things to another level with “You Wish”
In mid-June, Folayan and Bobbi started teasing their upcoming single, “You Wish” on TikTok. They first built buzz by making impromptu music videos in random places around Los Angeles (e.g. gas stations, on bikes, in parking lots, etc). Things really picked up steam, however, when they posted their first video running through LA while lip syncing to the track. The video instantly went viral, garnering over 20M views, 2.8M likes, and a 14% engagement rate.
After seeing so much success with their initial TikTok they started posting running videos in other places — on ground transportation, on the Santa Monica pier, even in the grocery store. Then fans started commenting telling them where they should run next, which led them to run (and lip sync) through McDonald’s, Disneyland, Pizzana, and more places. Even brands joined in on the fun, with Google, Chipotle, Spotify, and more inviting them to come record videos running through their headquarters. Amidst all this Folayan and Bobbi also popularized a dance for “You Wish,” which is taking off across the app.
Not only are fans loving the Flyana Boss’ running videos, they’re recreating them using “You Wish.” More than 176K videos have been created using the track, bringing in more than 747M views, 85M likes, and a 12% engagement rate. This virality has translated over to Spotify, where the song has more than 20M streams.
While “You Wish” is undoubtedly their most successful track, across the board Flyana Boss’ music is taking off across TikTok, with more than 233K videos leveraging their songs.
As Creators, their account has blown up from 125K followers back in June to more than 1.1M followers in August, up 780% in the past two and a half months.
While it's often hard to explain why something goes viral, Flyana Boss implemented key strategies here which helped contribute to the success of "You Wish." One major differentiator is that they listened and responded to their audience. By making videos in response to fan's comments they provided a clear incentive to interacting with their TikToks, encouraging more engagement and excitement around their posts.
Furthermore, they provided multiple opportunities for fans to make content with their song. Folayan and Bobbi gave followers two different content ideas for "You Wish" — making a running video as well as the "You Wish" choreography for a dance TikTok.
Overall, it's clear that Flyana Boss thought of the fan experience when promoting "You Wish" on TikTok. They made it easy to make UGC, engaged with their base, and kept followers excited for where they would run next.