Lydia Singer has juggled writing essays with being a ‘TikTok queen’ this year.
With her A-Level exams cancelled, the 18-year-old has spent lockdown gathering evidence she’s worthy of the best grades in her subjects – while using social media to engage with her young fans.
Lydia – whose surname really is Singer – has just released a track called ‘Games’. It was produced by Spookzville, who also worked on the music for Channel 4’s ‘The Big Narstie Show’.
Lydia said: “I wrote ‘Games’ almost a year ago about a little fling I had last summer. This guy was being really hot and cold with me, everything he said was so vague. I couldn’t tell what was going on.” The track, which has already received support from BBC 1Xtra, comes with a video fusing elements of retro gaming and camcorder-style recording.
It was shot in an abandoned university building in central London that Lydia, director Giovanni Edwards and cameraman William Henries had to themselves.
Signs on the doors were the only reminders of the building’s previous life.
“It was such a freaky building,” she said. “It was so quiet. It felt a little bit haunted, I can’t lie!
”Will and Gio had the idea of me being in a video game. The music video was so much fun to film, with three characters, and all three versions of me at the end of the video.”
She’s promoted the track to her 80,000 TikTok followers, a young fanbase who are entertained by live performances and games like a race to find and post an emoji the quickest.
“I’ve been such a TikTok queen these past couple of weeks,” Lydia said. “I’m absolutely obsessed with TikTok, as many people are.”
Lydia appreciates the online support for her performances on TikTok or Facebook Live, even if clap emojis are slightly different to the audience reaction at famous venues like Ronnie Scott’s and The Stables where she has performed.
Lydia said: “When you have people in front of you, you feel like you can connect more. But it’s just a different way of performing.”
This obsession with making social media has had to work alongside her schoolwork.
“I hate essays so much,” she said. “Having to do so many was an absolute pain.”
It does allow her to be in touch with the young people who look up to her in a similar way to how Lydia admires Ariana Grande, and the way she turned her real-life experiences into pop music.
She is trying to keep on top of her messages, and ensure that she can respond properly to people facing similar issues to the ones she has.
“I want to inspire people,” Lydia said. “I want people to feel happy and confident with themselves. I want to continue to spread positivity, and help people through my music.
“It’s nice to know that I’m helping people and help them out with situations whenever I can.”
And her advice for the young people looking up to her is important too.
“You’re not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but keep working hard at something you love,” Lydia said. “Don’t fear rejection. And believe in yourself, but not so much that you get really cocky.”