Simon Cowell joins forces with TikTok, Universal Music Group and Max Martin to launch new music 'talent show' StemDrop

The music mogul's Syco Entertainment teams up with TikTok, Universal Music Group, Republic Records and songwriting legend Max Martin on his latest venture, StemDrop

While the concept of the TV talent show may be obsolescent, with the glory days of The X Factor but a distant memory, our appetite for new music has arguably never been stronger.

As the public's investment in prime time Saturday night pop shows ebbed away, social media rapidly became the go-to place to discover new artists. With TikTok increasingly able to break emerging talent, it was only a matter of time before Simon Cowell transferred his skills over to socials.

Today, TikTok, Syco Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Republic Records and Samsung announce a groundbreaking new musical venture: StemDrop.

Launching later this month with the help of songwriting pioneer Max Martin, StemDrop looks to lead a 'new evolution of musical collaboration, curation and artist discovery.'

Here's everything you need to know about it.

What is StemDrop?

Put simply, StemDrop is a collaborative project from some huge names across the music industry; encompassing management, labels and creatives.

StemDrop will see artists upload their music TikTok; think of it as the 2022 equivalent of the telly talent show audition process.

Users' submissions will be their own take on a song penned by global hitmakers Max Martin (Britney Spears, Katy Perry), Savan Kotecha (One Direction, Cher Lloyd) and Ali Payami (Taylor Swift, The Weeknd).

'Auditionees' will be provided with the separate stems of the track; its isolated elements including instrumentals, basslines and vocal tracks.

This will provide a foundation for artists to take said stems away and create their own music from its individual parts; the song can be interpreted in whichever way the artist sees fit.

From here, they'll upload their work and hope to impress bosses at Universal Music Group; the view being to sign new talent to its Republic Records division.

What is Max Martin's involvement with StemDrop song Red Lights?

On October 26, StemDrop will release a 60-second clip of a new track - Red Lights - co-composed by Swedish songwriting legend Max Martin, alongside Savan Kotecha.

In this process, the song itself is front and centre.

Wait, so the song will be mixed on TikTok?

Yep - TikTok will house a 'StemDrop' mixer in-app. This will allow the TikTok's one-billion-strong community 'experiment with individual effects, harmonies and melodies to create and upload their own unique version of the song.'

What has Simon Cowell said about StemDrop?

Speaking on the launch of the project, Syco Entertainment's Simon Cowell comments: "Hit songs are like diamonds and they can change an artist’s career overnight. With tens of thousands of songs uploaded every day this idea will give aspiring artists the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most successful songwriters in the world.

"The premise was always very straightforward… ‘What would happen if the best songwriters in the world wrote a song for the world…….?’ We have no idea what’s going to happen. I do know there are so many incredibly talented people who are trying to stand out and I hope and believe this could make a big difference to their careers.

"It says everything about Max Martin, Savan and Ali that they have decided to give this song to the TikTok community to record and collaborate with them.

"And I want to thank them so much for believing in this idea. In addition, I want to thank TikTok, Samsung and Universal for their support and enthusiasm. Again, their passionate support of talented people is amazing."

MORE: The Official Top 40 biggest singles of 2022 so far

What have TikTok said about StemDrop?

Ole Obermann, Global Head of Music at TikTok, said: "We are thrilled to finally announce StemDrop to the world. Some of the biggest names in entertainment, music and technology are coming together to supercharge music discovery in a way never seen before, using the power of TikTok to unearth new talent.

"Every day, brilliant, undiscovered artists and songwriters turn to TikTok to share their music and find a global audience; StemDrop will put a spotlight on this talent and act as a springboard to help them build their careers."

What do you think of the idea? Let us know over on our socials.

Article images: Shutterstock/StemDrop.

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What will it take for him to realize no one is interested in his tacky talent shows anymore?


🧡 oliviasnoodles 🍜


absolutely, he’s trying so hard to stay relevant. it isn’t the 2000s and early 2010s anymore, no one cares