TikTok star ‘Bruontheradio’ spoke about his growth as both a top-tier influencer and radio personality, and how he believes social media has changed the music industry in an interview with Dexerto.
25-year-old Josh ‘Bru’ Brubaker has amassed over 4 million followers on TikTok since he started gaining popularity in 2021. He first gained traction after combining his career in radio with his love for TikTok.
His infectious laugh and his ‘random word of the day’ videos — where he inserts specific words into his broadcasts — have earned him countless opportunities, such as being able to interview celebrities like Ed Sheeran and Jimmy Fallon.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2021, Bru met his girlfriend, fellow TikToker Anna Sitar, and began uploading videos showing more of his life to his followers — including clips of him getting ready to host a red carpet event at the Oscars on March 27.
Now, Bru is getting ready to visit the 2022 Grammy celebration on April 3, 2022, as a guest. We were able to talk to him about his career on TikTok and how he’s gotten to the point he’s at today.
Bru wants the Grammys to have a TikTok category
As more and more TikTok stars begin to gain popularity and receive an opportunity to create music, we asked Bru if he thinks the Grammys should create a category — especially for viral creators, seeing as how the app has been responsible for a slew of songs both old and new making their way into pop culture.
“Oh absolutely. They should. The Oscars did something similar but they kind of hid it,” he answered. “TikTok and the fans have such a say in an artist’s career that they totally should.”
Bruontheradio responds to TikToker success in music
As someone with their finger on the pulse of the modern music industry, Bru is tuned in to some of the newer rising stars — including those who came into the business from social media.
Creators like Dixie D’Amelio, Lil Huddy, and Addison Rae blew up on TikTok as it was gaining popularity, amassing millions of followers before they received the opportunity to begin their careers in music.
“If that’s what they wanna do, they have the platform. It would be a waste not to use it,” Bru said of the transition. “It’s tough because a lot of people who start music are under a huge microscope. These creators are starting (music) with millions of fans. They have to start somewhere, and they’re just getting comfortable.”
With such a large platform, trolls being negative toward people like Dixie aren’t uncommon — especially with the release of her first few songs. However, Bru had high praise for the elder D’Amelio sister.
“It’s a shame, ’cause she’s good,” Bru admitted. “We had her out for a show in LA. She’s learning but she’s killing it with her crowd work and dancing.”
Using TikTok as a Tool for musicians
When it comes to bigger creators like Charlie Puth and Doja Cat, who have already built an established following as a musician, Bru thinks of TikTok as the current “tool” for them to continue growing their platform.
“I ask musicians [about Tiktok’s impact] all the time. Charlie Puth, Lizzo, Doja Cat, all use the platform to promote their music,” he explained. “They always say the same thing: Social media’s not gonna change their style, and at the end of the day, TikTok is just a tool.”
Charlie Puth pulled back the curtains on his recording process for ‘Lightswitch’ and shared that process with his millions of fans which, in turn, allowed the song to go viral when it was released.
Doja Cat, on the other hand, has grown her following by interacting with her followers via TikTok live — and even participated in her own ‘Say So’ Trend.
He didn’t stop there, though, as Bru also explained that the internet has always had some sort of promotional tool for musicians whether it be Myspace, Soundcloud, or even Twitter. However, he agrees that TikTok is the largest and most successful tool, with more people joining it daily.
TikTok has been the home of a wide variety of viral songs, including a handful that have been nominated by the Grammys for ‘Song of The Year.’
Viral songs aren’t limited to the latest and greatest releases from the most popular bands either. The ‘Neon Moon’ trend went viral in early 2022, with creators dancing to the song ‘Neon Moon’ by Brooks & Dunn — which was released in 1992.
It went so viral, Brooks & Dunn even joined in on the fun.
From TikTok to the Grammys
Bru is a prime example of what kind of effect social media can have on someone’s career. Before he began gaining insane popularity on TikTok, he was simply a radio host who loved brightening his listeners’ days.
“I went to school for it, technically. It was like a crash course for broadcasting,” he said, explaining how he got into the radio biz. “I wanted to go into sports broadcasting, but when I got into school, I fell in love with the radio side of everything.”
- Read More: The Chainsmokers reveal truth about Benny Blanco & Charlie Puth TikTok ‘feud’ on IMPAULSIVE
He went on to reveal that his career began in a small city called ‘Bad Axe’ Michigan, and said this opportunity taught him everything. “I got to mess up a ton. I got to do news, classic hits, country music, and built that foundation, and found my voice. Then I began moving up in the industry… and that’s what got me to LA.”
Not too long after Bru created his TikTok account, a few of his videos went viral, and one day, he shared one of them with his listeners on the air. On top of that, he posted a video of himself sharing the story on TikTok — making thousands of his followers call in for more radio content.
From there, he created the ‘Random Word Challenge,’ where he chooses a random word chosen by an acquaintance and finds a way to ‘sneak’ it into his messages on the radio.
(Click here if TikTok doesn’t load)
Bru took the platform by storm once he began intertwining his full-time career of being a radio personality with the short-form video app.
Whether it’s a new musician going viral or an old favorite being used in the latest trend, it’s clear that TikTok is going to continue having an impact on the industry. We’ll have to wait to see who the next musician to go viral will be.
Bru is an LA-based radio host for Audacy’s Pop radio stations as well as the self-proclaimed ‘CEO of TikTok,’ where he has amassed millions of followers and has gained recognition on the app from fellow stars like Lizzo, Jason Derulo, and Addison Rae. Bru prides himself on being just a normal guy who gets to connect with amazing people every day through the magic of radio.
Follow him on social media platforms, including TikTok, @bruontheradio, and tune in here to listen to him every Monday through Saturday on Audacy stations across the country.