Introducing our Tik Tok Bear of the Month for July, Tom an Stig!
Tik Tok: @tomandstig
Follower Count: 13,200
Current Location: Palm Springs, CA
You may have seen Tom on Tik Tok where he discusses some of his favorite albums and musicians while giving insightful facts on each piece of music he shares. Stig is his friendly canine companion, by the way, who makes the occasional appearance on his page, but nonetheless is part of the family! His account has become a great source to discover music that you may not have heard before, or maybe you know the song and Tom just gives you a friendly reminder of it. Either way, he posts videos almost daily, so give him a follow for his handsome face, his energetic passion about music, or to find something new to listen to!
Check out some of his content below:
Check out my interview with him below!
Bryce Quartz: Hey there, Tom & Stig! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. How are you both doing today?
Tom: Hi Bryce. We are both well and are preparing for the summer heat that comes with living in the desert!
Bryce Quartz: So when did you first join Tik Tok?
Tom: In the spring of 2021, my husband and I were still kinda in covid mode and staying home a lot, and I needed something to do and was really tired of TV and seeing all the doom and gloom on the news for the past year with covid and prior to that with all the political stuff, so I needed an outlet. Also, being retired means you need to find something to keep yourself busy, so I thought, “i’ll check this out and see what it’s all about”
Bryce Quartz: Did you start creating videos right away, or did you wait a little while before posting your own videos?
Tom: I spent several months just scrolling through and watching the content of others and trying to understand how it all worked. I wasn’t sure what or even IF I would ever post. I mean, you’re really putting yourself out there on Tik Tok and I am somewhat of an introvert, which I have been working on changing over the years, but it’s a little intimidating. I fumbled around with it for a while, mostly posting things about my dog Stig and the things we see on our walks together and things about Palm Springs that people may find interesting. I ran out of ideas on what to post pretty quickly and needed to figure out my place on the app.
As a kid, I was enamored with music. I loved how a certain song on the radio could instantly put me in a good mood. I used it as an escape from family dysfunction and trauma. I collected record albums, cassettes, CD’s and it became a bit of an obsession. I listened to music as much as I could and for some reason music lyrics, band info, etc. stays in my brain… I can’t remember where I put my car keys or what I had for dinner two days ago, but I can tell you a lot about my favorite music and musicians.
I started making posts about my favorite albums. I’d write down what I wanted to discuss, look up some interesting facts about the album and then film myself going over these facts and playing snippets of a few of the songs. I was very uncomfortable and stiff in front of the camera and decided I needed to make a change.
While listening to an album a friend had told me about from a band that I had never heard of (a Progressive Rock band from Sweden called “The Flower Kings”), I was so completely blown away and thought, “Why don’t more people know about these guys? They are SO good!”. I quickly made a Tik Tok post about them and said, “Go check these guys out!!”. That kind of started a daily ritual of trying to introduce my small audience to music they may have never heard before.
It’s all very unscripted and I like to sing along to some of the words and kinda bop around in my chair while listening with my headphones… like I’ve always done in my car; tapping my fingers on the steering wheel, picking along like it’s a guitar… LOL.. Everyone does this, right?!?
I listen to music in my collection and record my reaction to it, whether it’s a song that I know and love, or something new that a friend or follower has suggested I listen to.
Listening to songs that I haven’t heard in years is a lot of fun and editing the video and adding visual elements to help keep the viewer engaged satisfies my need to be creative.
I don’t do this to be an influencer, gain followers or get views. I do this for my own enjoyment and for my love of music.
Bryce Quartz: What has the reception been like to the content that you create?
Tom: Most of the reception has been good.. Music plays a pivotal role in many people’s lives – whether a song helped you through a rough period or just hearing something from your childhood can transport you right back to that point in your life. It’s been very fun connecting with other people who feel the same way about music that I do and learning about artists I’ve never heard before.
Bryce Quartz: Have you experienced any downsides to the content you’ve posted before, such as hate comments, and how do you deal with that?
Tom: Like any creator, I’ve had to deal with some negative comments. Responding to them is what they want, so I simply delete the comment, block them and move on. I have little time for people who don’t celebrate diversity and leaving a negative comment says more about them than what I’m doing on Tik Tok.
Bryce Quartz: Do you have any advice for other bears who might want to start making their own content but might not feel as confident yet?
Tom: Tik Tok is for people of all walks of life and all ages. It can be what you want it to be. Post things you are passionate about and be as positive as possible. You will find your niche and people will engage.
Bryce Quartz: What do you like to do outside of Tik Tok?
Tom: I enjoy riding my bicycle, swimming, socializing with friends and walking around the neighborhood with Stig. Hubby and I did a lot of traveling before covid and we hope to get back to that someday.
Bryce Quartz: Who are some of your other favorite content creators?
Tom: @robbskidmore is a fiction writer, GenX’er and music lover who I enjoy.
@rafaandbossbear are a couple who always post intriguing stuff bordering on thirst traps. BossBear is easy on the eyes too.
@classicrockdude does a “45 of the day” where he talks about a song in detail. I’m always learning stuff from his posts.
@rtoma810 does great lip syncing to songs using kitchen implements as microphones and instruments. SO FUN. Seeing her posts inspired me.
@dennis9.8.53 is funny and uses music a lot in his posts.
@a_man_of_music is one of the first people I followed.. He posts music videos from old school MTV.
@thebearquilter is really talented and I enjoy seeing how creative he gets with his quilts.. Also a very nice guy.
@belinda.70s80s is another music content creator who rocks!
@missmissy3131 is another one that makes really good music content.
Bryce Quartz: Where else can we find you on social media besides Tik Tok?
Tom: I’m on the usual bear apps. Have FB and IG accounts but rarely go on there anymore.
Bryce Quartz: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Tom!
Let us know on social media of any bears who YOU think should be the TikTok Bear of the Month for Bear World Magazine, and stay tuned for next month’s pick!