There’s no question that TikTok is a powerful tool for musicians to share their music. Like magic — or more realistically, a masterfully designed algorithm — a song can spread to millions of unsuspecting fans, building a dedicated fanbase. For Fort Collins-born, Evan Thomas, known as TX2, the success of his songs on TikTok is helping fuel his music career. With one viral audio after another, the energetic emo pop-punk college student is making a case for the resurgence of the genre with the mission of helping others with mental health.
Since he was young, Thomas has cultivated his passion for music. Growing up, Thomas took up the drums to play alongside his brother in a rock band. The group would play local gigs until they eventually broke up in middle school. He took interest in rapping, even studying hip-hop at the University of Miami, but always gravitated towards pop-punk. With the 2018 release of his debut album The Modern Punk, he explored an idea that has grown to define his career today.
“I had always been into pop-punk and emo music and definitely had an emo phase in middle school,” Thomas said. “But when I started getting into so much rap, it felt like I wasn’t being authentic if I was just a rapper. So in 2018, I was like ‘I’m gonna start mixing punk rock with rap.’”
At the start, Thomas struggled to catch the attention of the big players in the music industry. After a disheartening rejection from an interested rep at a major record label due to his lack of a social media presence, Thomas channeled his frustration into content creation. It wasn’t until he began making emo jokes and teasing his music on TikTok that people caught on.
“I started making three TikToks a day and I haven’t broken that cycle. I started going live every day. Throughout the process, I got a platform.”
Nowadays most of his TikTok videos have tens of thousands of views, stretching to upwards of 5 million views. He decided to turn these views into a meaningful platform for people to share their own struggles with mental health by starting a Discord channel.
“I definitely had one of those moments of like, ‘what am I doing with my life?’ So I started a mental health movement,” Thomas said.
What began as one or two people talking has now grown into a conversation between around 1,300 Discord members. In the same vein, he uses music creation as therapeutic catharsis, sharing inexplicably painful moments in an authentic way through his songwriting. For his fans, this is precisely why he is so likable.
“In high school, I went through a horrible low point and I felt like I had nothing and felt like I had no one. I started doing problematic things in high school because I had no one. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have no one. So I built this place for people to start talking.”
Mental health dialogue remains consistent in everything that Thomas releases to the public, especially in his music. In 2021, TX2 released “Pull The Plug,” a charged pop-punk anthem about the real turmoil he was facing at the time. The song follows a blurry intoxicated night of anger and emotion. It is clear that the catchy lyricism mixed with the expressive emo allure resonates with people.
“I wrote [“Pull the Plug”] at a really really low point which is why it worked in some ways. People all over the world are consistently still sharing it. I’ll check it and it’ll be like someone from Russia. Like what?”
His latest release, “Nail in The Coffin,” takes a departure from his mostly dark discography to make light of the end of a relationship. To pair, the artist released a music video at the start of February which captures the upbeat humor of the track through the storyline of a comedic horror movie trailer.
As the emo pop-punk genre sees mainstream appeal, TX2 is playing a key role in its resurgence. His music exudes the energy of the charismatic artist with talent in droves on a mission to lift up his followers along the way.
“My goal with my music is to make as many people as possible not feel alone. Specifically, what I want to do is help the lonely people who feel like they don’t have someone realize that they do.”