Woman talking (three split)

@breeonuh/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘He was really in the trenches’: Viewers slam popular influencer for scamming small artist out of $20

'Please fill out a job application.'


Charlotte Colombo


Posted on May 1, 2024   Updated on May 1, 2024, 10:07 am CDT

For a lot of indie musicians, influencer marketing and platforms like TikTok have become vital to their success. But with this opportunity also comes the danger of scamming, which is something musician Breeonuh (@breeonuh) learned the hard way.

The singer, who has 17.7K TikTok followers, said, “I just got scammed by a pretty popular TikToker, and we’re gonna talk about it.” Before she got into the drama, which involves content creator Lord Nasir (@lordnasir), Breeonuh said it’s “quite common” for artists to pay TikTokers to use their sound. She said that after Nasir approached her with an offer to use her song in a video for $20, she decided to go ahead with the deal as all his accounts looked “connected” and “legit.” However, Breeonah said she felt uncomfortable and tried to “ghost” him as he became more insistent about the opportunity.

“But he kept reaching out to me,” she said. “And I was like, ‘You know what, I’m not gonna pass up an opportunity to show my music to 600,000 people. I’ve never worked with influencers that big before.'” So, she said she told the TikToker, who has just under 600,000 followers, that she’d direct message the song to him over TikTok and Venmo him. After a short back and forth, she Venmoed the creator after he posted a video lip-syncing to the song. However, Breeonuh claims he blocked her almost immediately afterward, and when her manager checked his TikTok account, the video was gone.

“It’s just really disheartening as a small artist because I got really excited, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, someone with a lot of followers is gonna use my song.’ Like, that’s so cool. I’ve never had that happen before,” she added. “I feel so stupid. … It feels really sh*tty to know that I got taken advantage of.” Breeonuh didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via email.

@breeonuh this is how i got scammed by a famous influencer!! anyways happy release day🥰 #smallartist #influencers #storytime #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen ♬ How Does It Feel? – bree-on-uh

The cautionary tale now has 2.5 million views. As well as flocking to support Breeonuh, with numerous creators offering to help her promote her song for free, viewers took justice into their own hands. They filled the comments section of Nasir’s latest TikTok with references to the drama. “I just want to know what you spent the 20 dollars on,” one top comment read. “Please fill out a job application,” another said. “I thought I was broke but you won,” a third added. However, despite numerous commenters writing “spare change?” and referencing the $20, Nasir has not yet spoken publicly on these claims. He also didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment.

Indie musicians have had an especially rough deal on the platform recently. After Universal Music Group failed to strike a deal with TikTok, the record label pulled a large number of its songs from the platform—a move which, as well as affecting big musicians like Taylor Swift and Ice Spice, also had a profound impact on smaller artists represented by the label. With no sign of UMG content going back on TikTok anytime soon, lots of indie artists are left living in limbo.

But not all is lost, as musician Helena Hallberg shared one key piece of advice on getting paid more for corporate and private gigs: Find out how much money the CEO is making.

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*First Published: May 1, 2024, 6:00 pm CDT