For most of 2020, our world has been reduced to the experiences we have on our phones. And TikTokers have been leading the charge in creating viral entertainment that keeps us scrolling for hours and hours. So this year’s PAPER People shifts its focus exclusively to TikTok — the breakout app our President wanted to ban, that launched sleeper hits and massive pop careers, that ushered in an entirely new generation of influence. Meet our 20 favorites across comedy, fashion, social justice and more, who are owning their spaces and racking in millions of likes. (And follow PAPER on TikTok).
Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love
23-year-old singer Ki AKA @eyeamki is TikTok’s reigning popstar. Blue check and everything! She does covers as well as original music on her channel, but also killer duets and plenty of random funny shit on the side. Stay tuned: she recently teased to followers that she’s no longer an independent artist, and that a big announcement is on its way. Buy the merch now.
Introducing our class of 2020 PAPER People exclusively on TikTok💕 Meet internet popstar @eyeamki 🔥 Clothing by ##Diesel
♬ original sound – PAPER Magazine
If you could write the headline for your profile, what would it be?
It’s Ki Like Hi, The Entertainer Created For Your Sonic Inspiration.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
I see myself in five years from now being an established artist, working with my favorite creators in film, music and art. I see myself working on my fourth album and fully engulfed in acting and directing motion pictures.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
A superpower? I have one already! It’s in my breathe. Just being alive is a super power! And being able to exude my breathe on this world with my artistry is an even bigger gift that I am blessed and fortunate to have.
What does your star chart say about you? (Do you agree?)
My astrological chart says that I’m a couture workaholic to the bone. And it’s true!
December 18 is the day I descended onto earth and oh gosh does it make me feel fabulous. Sagittarius sun which makes me a free, divalicous energy bunny!
Virgo rising which luckily combats my Sagittarius nature so my work, art and anything I express outwardly is organized with purpose — with a light layer of mad scientist — but that’s how I stay eclectically fetch. Lastly with my Aries moon, my double fire complex is obviously why I have a dragon tattoo wrapped around my right leg. I breathe fire, and lots of it!
What’s your next move if TikTok is banned?
My next move if Tiktok is banned? Keep doing what I’ve been doing! Inspiring the masses. Elevating growing and prospering in my music career. But it will be missed dearly. It’s truly a fun platform that is so unique and on its own level of awesome.
If you could give $1,000,000 to any charity, what would it be and why?
If I could give a million dollars to any charity it would be StandUp For Kids. This charity is something I truly care about and hits close to home because they end the cycle of youth homelessness. Children are the foundation of my fanbase. They are also our future — our future doctors, teachers, geniuses — and need to be nurtured and cared for correctly with passion. All children and definitely the ones who need a home under 18. Once given a chance we can all change the world positively.
What was your first reaction after going viral?
My first reaction after going viral was like walking through a storm of glitter. IMMACULATE! Just me being me; luckily my singing voice and music was my key to 10 million views over night. The one thing I love doing, the world does too. And that made me feel unstoppable. I was stunned, enamored and blessed. I went from eight monthly listeners to thousands of people listening to my music at once on a daily. Curated 2.1 Billion views from the sound of my singing voice. It’s a blessing, because Tiktok truly is the place to grow the gifted and talented.
Describe your best night in this quarantine?
My best night in quarantine so far was having a dynamic and adorable dance session with my mom in my kitchen. Not being able to have full cardio moment entertaining on stage is a serious bummer. But, busting a move with my forever bestie is always a magical vibe. I was raised on Depeche Mode and Destiny’s Child so you can say our nightly dinners are pretty diversely beautiful.
What gives you hope in 2020?
What gives me hope in 2020 is my music and my creative space. The fact that I can inspire, grow and express myself through my music is the biggest savior for this year of downs. Music still can change the climate of any sad moment. And being able to create it makes me feel unstoppable.
Creative direction: Agusta Yr (at No Agency New York)
Styling: Erika Golcher
Styling assistant: Macauley Deverin
Environments: Aspik Tears
Photography: Ana Karotkaya