The trio from Illinois has been making headlines and blowing up on TikTok with songs like F2020, i don't really like your boyfriend, and thank you anxiety.
Sam Backoff, Savana Santos, and Sami Bearden are the trio known as Avenue Beat. Self-described as theater nerds from Quincy Illinois, these young artists are disrupting the music industry in their own unique way. Not only do they write songs that stem from personal experiences about their lives, relationships, failures, successes and everything in between. But they harmonize and conceptualize everything themselves, adding a unique twist that has become their signature mark. Their witty lyrics are easily recognizable for their humor and uniqueness. Aside from being changemakers in the recording studio, the girls use their talents in design, video editing, and animation to create lyric videos, coloring books, and graphics that represent who they are as artists and people.
Avenue Beat broke the internet earlier this year with their single, “F2020.” Released exclusively on TikTok at the time, Savana, Sami, and Sam wrote the song to describe the awful and anxiety-filled year they were having.
“That was like the catalyst, like the feather on top of all the horrible things in our personal lives, in the world, and then the cat died and we were like literally I don’t know what else to do anymore," Sami said.
While the girls recorded and posted the video so the song just had a place to live, they woke up to millions of views and rising. Now, the original TikTok and song have more than 16 MILLION views and 35 MILLION streams on Spotify, and have since sparked a viral trend where people show the best and the worst of this difficult year.
“We literally did not think that was gonna happen, before that we got 7,000 views maybe on a TikTok. We were like trash. We put that up just so it had a place to live and the next morning I think it had like 5 million views and we were just like what? We were texting in our group chat like guys what is happening," Sam said.
Fans have expressed that the band’s biggest asset is their openness and vulnerability. Avenue Beat is making headlines for writing music that stems from their personal experiences. Their songs “i don’t really like your boyfriend” and “thank you anxiety” have garnered millions of Spotify streams combined, and according to the girls, are a true reflection of their lives. In fact, all of their music reflects their personalities, emphasizing lyrics that connect directly to Gen-Z and anyone who listens.
In a time when mainstream pop music began to sound too similar and repetitive, TikTok has provided a place for smaller artists and bands to find their sound and share their work. Before, building a dedicated fan base that would listen to your music was a task that needs lots of money and a marketing team. With TikTok, Avenue Beat has proven that when you make music that is honest and reflects your passion for the craft, it will go a long way.
This same essence also translates to their social media presence. Avenue Beat is a group that loves to engage with their fans on a deeper level. Whether it is sharing a link to join their Among Us game, or posting videos that show their hilarious personalities outside of the recording studio, Savana, Sam, and Sami are building a community of young people who want to express themselves creatively without any boundaries.
Recently, F2020’s success has caught the attention of some of music’s biggest stars. Avenue Beat released a collaboration on their hit song with Grammy Nominee, Jessie Reyez. As they tease new projects coming soon on their social media, the possibilities are endless for this talented group of artists that keeps surprising us with their unique voice. Although we are all hopeful that 2021 is a much brighter year for the world, we are confident that Avenue Beat will continue to write songs that help us get through absolutely anything.
This story appears on the December 20 issue of Mud, "Lisztomania." You can purchase a digital and print copy here.