Meet Addison Rae, One Of TikTok’s Biggest Stars
Updated: Sep 18
Each generation has entertainers they passionately gravitate towards. Whether the British Invasion for Baby Boomers or boy bands and virginal pop stars for Millennials, youth culture has always been transformed by their favorite celebrities. It's no different in the age of social media content creation. And, the hottest app right now is TikTok.
With entrepreneurial powerhouses like Jessica Alba and Reese Witherspoon joining in on dance challenge fun and sound bites from songs like Savage shooting up to number one on the charts, TikTok is having its moment.
As an elder Millennial, I wanted to dive deep into the world of TikTok. Luckily I was able to chat over the phone with Addison Rae, a TikTok influencer who has over 30 million followers at only nineteen years old.
Kate Talbot: For those of us not in Gen-Z, can you explain the allure of TikTok?
Addison Rae: With TikTok, everyone is welcome. It doesn't matter what age; people are making videos and content. It is such a fast pace and simple app, that’s the appeal. Anyone can use it and has the chance to go viral. That is what makes it so addicting. You can post a video, and thousands of people from across the world can see that one video, and you had no idea it would reach that far.
Talbot: You joined TikTok pretty late for Gen-Z standards; in July of 2019, why did you set up an account?
Rae: I got into TikTok because my friends from school and dance were obsessed with it. They were constantly playing all the sounds from it, doing all the trends, and making all these videos. One day after being in the background of my friends videos, I wanted to try it out. Instantly, I became addicted.
Talbot: You went from 0 to 30 million followers extremely fast. How were you able to gain followers so quickly?
Rae: I attribute all my social media growth across all platforms to one thing: Consistency. I am always really active. Daily, I post three to five pieces of content on each platform. People notice how often I post, how much I interact with them, and people really like that.
Talbot: Your family seems to be TikTok famous as well. What does that look like in your household?
Rae: It's very fun. Every day we're filming something new, and I'm always getting texts about a new video they like or have an idea of doing. As a family, it gets hard sometimes, just with how social media is. There is always going to be negativity; we don't enjoy reading. Still, I feel like it all brings us closer as a family. We're here to support one other and to be each other's rock throughout everything, encourage each other, and continue posting content that we enjoy.
Talbot: You are active in connecting with your community, can you elaborate on your strategy there?
Rae: I like to give back as much as I can. On Twitter, I see what people are saying just by mentioning my name. I always try to like, follow, and respond to those. Every once in awhile, I do a following spree. I follow my support pages, and I like all of their photos. On Instagram, I go to my tagged photos, and I like and comment back as many as I can. I also share those photos to my Instagram Story. That's the best way to communicate with my community and get to know and support the people that back me up.
Talbot: On the flip side, have you had a star-struck moment regarding a celebrity or influencer who now follows you?
Rae: Honestly, I can't even begin to say how many people I've looked up to that now talk to me or are my friends. The most recent one was Emily Ratajkowski. She followed me on Instagram and started commenting on my photos. To me, that's the craziest thing, because I’ve always been such a huge fan of hers.
Talbot: Partnerships are a big part of your TikTok journey. You have created content with Charli D'amelio, David Dobrik, and even Jason Derulo. Who is your dream collaborator?
Rae: My dream collaboration would probably be Kylie Jenner. She's young, and she's done so much for herself. I would love to meet her. I've met Kourtney Kardashian, and she's so sweet and one of the nicest people I've ever met. If she's anything like Kourtney, I'm sure I would love her.
Talbot: Didn't you recently create a TikTok with Kourtney’s son, Mason Disick?
Rae: Yes, we did a few TikTok videos and an Instagram Live. Mason was so sweet. He loves TikTok, so it's so fun to see that. It's his favorite thing, and he was so excited to meet me. It was the cutest thing.
Talbot: You went to college for a brief moment. Are you thinking of continuing your education?
Rae: I did go to college for about three months. That was a really fun and exciting time. My focus for college was broadcasting and TV commercial work, the entertainment industry as a whole. Because of TikTok and moving to Los Angeles, I have been able to do the things I have always dreamed of such as being on ESPN and working with brands.
In the future, I would like to go back to finish my degree. Right now, I feel the opportunities I have are very close to where I was heading and what I was looking to achieve.
Talbot: Shifting gears, how has TikTok helped you during this time of social distancing?
Rae: It's kept me busy. I'm always posting and learning new dances, hanging out with my family, and making content. Social media, in general, is a great way to find inspiration. You can scroll on TikTok for as long as you want and discover new ideas.
The lack of in-person connection is hard because obviously we all want to talk to our supporters and do meet-and-greets and be able to interact. For the most part it's not something that makes it impossible. We're here to help people find positivity throughout the entire situation.
Talbot: What is your advice for female content creators who want to be in the spotlight?
Rae: My number one tip to creators who are wanting to be noticed or seen by bigger audiences is to always be consistent. Go on every platform and work your hardest to be consistent and very up-to-date. Always push positivity and love and spread that as much as you can, and you'll always receive that back.