Utah musician moves to Los Angeles after TikTok success

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Alayna Grace Thompson, from North Salt Lake, recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a professional musician. (Joseph Lee)

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NORTH SALT LAKE – Popular social networking app TikTok caused a stir with scrappy, 22 Alayna Thompsona musician from North Salt Lake whose recent success has brought her to Los Angeles to pursue a dream.

Thompson, known professionally as Alayna Grace, posted on TikTok three times a day for months without breaking her record of 300 followers. But his consistency paid off when a video of her singing a cover of “Make It to Me” by Sam Smith gone viral. Last year, his subscribers grew from around 300 to over 840,000.

Before his success on TikTok, Thompson tried several times for “The Voice”, but was unsuccessful. However, after going viral, “American Idol” approached her and asked her to audition. After going through the early rounds of the show, she decided to take a step back and take a different direction, although she is open-minded about participating in the show in the future.

When other TikTok music creators and producers from Los Angeles started approaching her for collaborative work, she and her husband decided to move there during her gap year before applying for medical assistant programs.

“I love the creativity of LA, because everybody here does kind of the same thing you do… They all have these very creative passions to themselves and it’s like a very hip place, so it’s is super cool to be surrounded by that,” Thompson said.

One of the musicians she collaborated with is from Provo, with connections in Los Angeles. Oba Bonner is part of the Bonner family and is known by his musical artist/producer name obeeyay.

He moved from Utah to LA as a freshman in high school to pursue music professionally. Every day after school, he went to a recording studio to shadow Grammy-winning producers and songwriters who had worked with artists such as JoJo, Queen Latifah and Lady GaGa. He even worked in some sessions with Queen Latifah and JoJo.

Obeeyay’s current focus is performing at concerts and he was recently signed to a label called Wonderwild Records. And he and Thompson collaborated on her next single, “Told Me Not to Worry.”

The music industry is fiercely competitive, but Obeeyay said he thinks Thompson stands out for releasing his music so consistently on social media.

“First of all, she’s incredibly talented, but what’s most important and most important in my opinion is to be consistent and keep working hard, and that’s what she does” , did he declare.

He also said that her personality — and the fact that she’s a great person — also sets her apart.

On a daily basis, Thompson films and posts videos online, writes music and sends emails to secure brand deals. She also networks with people and emails labels and producers. In addition to her daily routine, she has released several original and cover songs on Spotify and Apple Music and has filmed music videos that are on YouTube.

In the long term, Thompson wants to support herself through music, touring and signing to a record label. His next short-term goal is to have one of his original songs go viral on social media.

A big highlight for her in her career so far has been being able to open for Colbie Caillat at one of Caillat’s concerts in November 2021.

“Just being able to make music every day and get paid for it is insane to me, so that’s another big highlight. … It’s just something I never imagined would happen. “Thompson said.

Thompson said her style was a mix between Olivia Rodrigo and Tate McRae. She is also inspired by Beyonce.

Pursuing music is not easy. Thompson said it’s hard because she often compares herself to others in the industry and focuses on where they’re succeeding and where she feels she’s lacking.


If you want it enough, it will happen.

–Alayna Thompson, Emerging Artist


“I think one thing that has helped me is that I actually have something on my whiteboard that says, ‘Be thankful for where you are at,'” Thompson said. “And so I always try to remind myself, ‘I’m here right now, and I have to be thankful for… where I’m from,’ because a year ago I never would have thought I would have even a sequel at all, and so I should be grateful to have it, you know.”

Thompson said she would encourage anyone trying to chase a dream and hasn’t seen it take off yet to “keep being persistent, being consistent in what you do. … If you want it bad enough, it will happen.” “

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Meg Christensen is an avid reader, writer and language snob. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a major in journalism in 2014 from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Meg is passionate about sharing inspiring stories in Utah, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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