How Avenue Beat Made a TikTok Anthem for a Tough Year With 'F2020'
This has not been a great year for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, and Avenue Beat's "F2020" is a song that perfectly captures our sentiments toward it.
The song has become a sensation after going completely viral on TikTok, and it was the vivacious band members Sam Backoff, Savana Santos and Sami Bearden who made it such a hit. These three friends from Quincy, Illinois, are something special, and we got the chance to ask them all about the band and the song that put them on the map.
Name: Samantha Backoff
Birthday: May 1
Name: Savana Santos
Birthday: April 17
Name: Sami Bearden
Birthday: Sept. 21
Sweety High: What was the songwriting process behind "F2020"?
Avenue Beat: It started out when Savana was having the worst day ever. It was just a culmination of bad things that built up over the course of the week and it just all hit her one day. She wanted to vent her frustrations and when she started, the song almost wrote itself.
SH: What inspired the song, and why is it meaningful to the three of you?
AB: We were all having a streak of bad luck. Sami's cat died, we released an EP that didn't do what we thought it would and the year had been a confusing and hard thing to navigate. When we put up the song, we saw that other people felt the same way though TikTok, which was such a cool thing to see and experience. The song is special to us because we were able to share with other people going through the same things as us.
SH: Has it been a challenge to be together as a band during these unsure times?
AB: We've been quarantining together on and off throughout the year, so it's been really fun to spend that time together but also having time alone to write and reflect on the odd circumstances that we're in. It's been great for us to individually be creative and to come together and share our ideas with each other.
SH: Where did the name Avenue Beat come from?
AB: When we were fourteen, we decided to enroll in a singing competition and we needed a band name. We used a random band name generator, clicked it once, and Avenue Beat was born.
SH: How do you all know each other, and how did the group come to be?
AB: We all grew up in this same small town of Quincy, Illinois. Savana and Sam have been friends since we were babies and we met Sami at a musical theatre camp when we were 14 years old. We started playing shows together in our hometown and eventually opened up for the band The Trailer Choir.
After the show, Vinny invited us to Nashville to play a round, putting us on at the DawgHouse Saloon. Our moms said we could go, so we all hopped in the minivan and drove to Nashville on a whim. We didn't go on until like 11:30 at night and our now-manager, Charly Salvatore, happened to be there. We started working together and have been making music ever since.
SH: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
AB: Our background in musical theater has had a big influence on our music! The way we do comedic timing or try making emotional moments really hit with the melody is very dramatic and helps us stand out. Plus, we each grew up listening to different types of music like Top 40, classic rock and country so we've definitely pulled inspiration from a lot of places.
SH: What has it been like to make such a huge name for yourselves on TikTok?
AB: We've always loved TikTok. It was a fun outlet for us to post funny videos and teasers for songs so for this to be our sort of "big break" is wild. After we wrote the first snippet of "F2020," we loved the song, but figured we could never release it because we say the F-word at least 20 times, so we decided to post the song on TikTok for fun, and the day after we posted it, the video had 4.5 million views and people were asking us for a full song.
SH: What do you think it is about TikTok that's allowed you to succeed in such an impactful way?
AB: TikTok is such a unique community where we can be ourselves and feel comfortable releasing content that is personal to us. Everyone is so supportive and when they see something they like it's so easy to keep sharing and getting more eyes on it.
SH: What has it been like to get acknowledgments from people like Scooter Braun and Will Smith?
AB: Seeing Will Smith supporting our song was probably the peak of our lives. We were freaking out and crying because we grew up watching him, and he's such a pop culture symbol. It was a huge shock. We're really grateful for everyone who has mentioned the song on their platforms.
SH: What do you think sets you apart from the other musical artists out there today?
AB: The experience of growing up together and creating has given us a great understanding of each other and those around us. We write what we want to hear and what we're going through and never try to fit in a box. Hopefully, that authenticity sets us apart and makes us relatable at the same time.
If you love TikTok that exploded on TikTok, click HERE to learn more about the K3 Sisters Band.