From time to time, each new generation shows up to create, consume, and shape pop culture. When it comes to social media, it’s clear that Gen Z is dominating the business. Seventeen-year old singer-songwriter Jade LeMac is one of TikTok’s freshest voices, and  she’s been using the platform to showcase her music and normalize conversations around sexuality.

The Vancouver-based artist has caught the attention of a million followers on the app, after releasing “‘Constellations” in early August of 2021. The song also went viral on Spotify, reaching more than a million streams on the platform in less than a month. (Though this wasn’t her first rodeo: Back in 2018, LeMac collaborated with Dutch EDM producer Dion Timmer on “The Right Type.”)

Although LeMac’s success across social media drove her into a career in music, none of it was planned. Like most people posting on TikTok, the musician was only having fun and connecting with other people in the midst of the pandemic.

“I started, believe it or not, as a joke,” says LeMac. “It was really cool, because right away, I started gaining followers. It wasn’t for music at first, but then I kind of realized that TikTok is a great way to gain an audience and a fan base that you can convert into your music career.”

According to the artist, the turning point came after she re-purposed a song based on Rihanna’s melodic solo vocal-and-piano ballad “Stay.” “I just re-wrote the lyrics, and that’s when I realized that I could really write songs on the piano,” she says. Her influences also include Shawn Mendes, whose career similarly took root in social media, on the now-defunct Vine app.

Similar to other young adults, LeMac is on a path to self-discovery, as reflected on her social media. In some of her TikToks, the singer comfortably talks and jokes about her sexuality. “I remember being younger and looking for someone to help me understand myself,” she says.

LeMac tries to keep negative comments out, but it’s hard to ignore all of them. “I’ve received homophobic comments and it sucks,” she says. On the flip side, the musician has been able to encourage her followers to open up more. “So many people have messaged me, saying how much I’ve helped them come out to their parents. It’s the best feeling ever,” she says.

Without taking any breaks, LeMac has already moved on to her next project, an EP with JUNO-nominated producer Jason Van Poederooyen aka JVP. LeMac has high hopes for her future – among them, to place her songs with a medical drama TV series. So stay tuned…