fluffing a duck umg tiktok sound


As Taylor Swift and Drake ditch TikTok, fans get revenge with this clever trick

We've had to get creative.


Charlotte Colombo

Pop Culture

Posted on Feb 21, 2024   Updated on Mar 6, 2024, 9:05 pm CST

That One Sound is a column from internet culture reporter Charlotte Colombo that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok.

Since Universal Music Group (UMG) took its music off TikTok, the app has felt eerily silent.

The record label represents some of the biggest artists in the music business, from Taylor Swift to the Weeknd, Drake, and Justin Bieber. But as a big part of music history is wiped, TikTokers have had to start getting a little creative when it comes to content creation: Relying on royalty-free music to fill in the gaps left by musicians under UMG. And as this song specifically becomes an audio stopgap on sorts, it’s gone viral in and of itself just for the sheer chaos of it all.

The sound

According to Spotify, “Fluffing a Duck” by Kevin McLeod, has been around since 2014. It’s a lighthearted, jovial tune that elicits an easygoing vibe.

The lyricless tune is pretty simplistic and inoffensive, which creates a jarring, uncanny effect when paired with the intense high production value of TikTok dances and Swift fancams

@w4ybright thanks tiktok for muting our edits!! gonna start using kahoot music and this ig. 😒 || insta account on my bio, i'll start posting more content there 🫶 #taylorswift #taylorswiftedit #taylornation #taylorsversion #swifttie #swfittok#erastour #theerastour #reputation #lover #midnights #ae #fyp ♬ original sound – w4ybright

It doesn’t fit with the vibes of these videos at all, but that’s all part of the fun. It’s the auditory equivalent to canned laughter on a sitcom. Fun, jaunty, and completely and utterly soulless.

Where’s it from?

“Fluffing a Duck” is one of 2,000 royalty-free songs composed by Kevin McLeod and comes from his album, Oddities

Like all of his music, “Fluffing a Duck” is in the public domain, and if you’re wondering if you heard it before, you definitely have.

It popped up in a Golden Globes bit done by Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell, and according to the A.V. Club, it has appeared on numerous app and game loading screens since, such as Racing Penguin.

Sound off

The sound went viral this time after @w4ybright, a popular Taylor Swift fan page with over half a million followers, paired the tune with a fancam video edit of the musician.

As one of Universal Music Group’s biggest artists, a lot of Swift’s songs have been muted and rendered unusable on the app—but that’s not going to stop the Swifties.

When there’s a will, there’s a way, and if nothing else, this trend shows that creators will remain resilient even in the most challenging of circumstances. 

This is probably why, as well as being used for this popular fancam, TikTokers are also filming themselves dancing to the tune Renegade-style. Dance creator Niana Guerrero, for instance, has amassed 104.7 million views in her video jamming to Kevin.

@nianaguerrero umg got us makin a dance w this song 😭 #onewithnatalia ♬ Fluffing a Duck – Kevin MacLeod

So, if you think about it, every person that dances to the punchy, public domain pulse of “Fluffing a Duck” does so as an act of rebellion. 

It represents a huge middle finger to the fat cats both at UMG and TikTok: Millions of views produced and no royalties to go around.

If there’s one thing stronger than capitalism, it’s a commitment to a bit.

Now you can watch our That One Sound from TikTok column on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel and keep an eye out for new episodes every Wednesday:

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2024, 4:50 pm CST