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I Go Meow

From Internet Cats to Music Charts: How The Kiffness Redefined Digital Entertainment through Reels

Cats have always ruled the internet; now they are starting to rule the music industry, with a little help from the virally successful postmodernist artist, The Kiffness.

If you have been anywhere near social media recently, you won’t have been able to escape the crushingly cute and endlessly catchy earworm, I Go Meow, where The Kiffness meets the existential vocalisations of Cala the Cat in chorus over trumpet-infused feel-good electronica grooves which nods to his jazz background. After being released in April 2024, I Go Meow has already racked up over 1 million streams on Spotify, the official music video has garnered over 2.5 million streams on YouTube, and perhaps most astonishingly, there are 95.3 million related videos on TikTok.

But what does the success of his cat collab singles, Please Go Away, Sometimes I’m Alone and I Go Meow say about our evolving relationship with music? Is it evidence that society has become increasingly reel-brained or is the South African artist’s unique approach to collaborating with animals a case of ingenious opportunism? Most crucially, should more artists be inclined to take a leaf out of his endearingly inventive book?

To explore these ideas, we will track The Kiffness’ rise to fame and analyse how reel culture has become one of the last vestiges of monoculture.

The Kiffness: A Case Study

David Scott, better known as The Kiffness, has become one of the most notable artists on the internet. Known for his unique blend of humour, creativity, and musical talent, The Kiffness’s journey to stardom provides a fascinating case study on how an artist can evolve and adapt to the digital age to achieve widespread recognition.

Early Career and Musical Roots

The Kiffness found his footing in the music industry by building a strong foundation in jazz and classical music, having been classically trained in piano from a young age. His early career was marked by traditional performances and the release of tracks that combined elements of electronic dance music (EDM) with South African cultural sounds. This initial phase was crucial in establishing his musical identity and honing his skills as a producer and performer.

Transition to Online Platforms

The real turning point in The Kiffness’s career came with his strategic use of online platforms, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. With live performances on hold, he turned to social media to share his music and connect with audiences. This period saw him experiment with content, producing short, humorous music videos that quickly went viral.

Viral Content and Internet Fame

One of the key elements of The Kiffness’s rise to internet fame was his ability to create content that resonated with a wide audience. He began collaborating with viral video clips, adding his musical touch. These remixes often featured animals, quirky sounds, and clever lyrics, making them highly shareable and engaging.

A prime example is his collaboration with a Turkish street musician, Bilal Göregen, whose rendition of “Ievan Polkka” with a cat went viral. The Kiffness’s remix of this clip showcased his musical talent and his knack for tapping into internet trends. This ability to blend humour with high-quality music production set him apart from many other online content creators.

Evolution of Sound and Style

As his online presence grew, The Kiffness continued to evolve his sound and style. He began to incorporate more diverse musical influences, ranging from traditional African music to contemporary pop and electronic sounds. His tracks often feature a mix of live instruments and digital production, creating a rich, textured sound that appeals to a broad audience.

Moreover, his style has become increasingly polished and professional, reflecting his growth as an artist. The production quality of his videos has improved significantly, showcasing his skills not just as a musician but as a content creator capable of producing high-quality visual and auditory experiences.

Engagement with Fans and Social Impact

Another critical factor in The Kiffness’s success has been his engagement with his fans. He actively interacts with his audience through social media, responding to comments, sharing user-generated content, and even creating music based on fan suggestions. This has fostered a strong sense of community and loyalty among his followers.

Additionally, The Kiffness has used his platform for social impact, addressing important issues such as mental health, animal rights, and social justice through his music and public statements. This has further endeared him to his audience, who appreciate his authenticity and willingness to speak on critical issues.

How Reels Became One of the Last Vestiges of Monoculture

In an era where mainstream music, television, and films have fragmented into niche markets, reels have emerged as one of the last vestiges of monoculture. These short, engaging videos transcend geographic and cultural boundaries, creating a shared digital experience that connects people globally. Reels have become a powerful medium of communication, offering a common ground where users can share content, trends, and ideas.

Unlike traditional forms of media that often cater to specific demographics, reels have a universal appeal. They are quick, visually stimulating, and carry a strong emotional punch, making them perfect for today’s fast-paced digital environment. As attention spans have dwindled, the traditional consumption of television and films has shifted. Many people now use TV as background noise, providing a semblance of comfort while they engage in the more immediate attention gratification of doomscrolling on their phones.

In this landscape, reels offer a brief but potent escape from the doom of the scroll and the crushing weight of our increasingly dystopian and isolated society. A well-crafted reel can capture and hold attention, providing a moment of joy, humour, or inspiration. They tap into the human desire for quick rewards and social validation, often delivering a hit of serotonin through a funny or cute clip. This instant gratification keeps users coming back for more, turning reels into a daily ritual for many.

Moreover, reels have become a cultural currency. Sharing and creating reels allows people to participate in global trends, fostering a sense of community and belonging. They act as a modern-day campfire, where stories, jokes, and memes are exchanged, reinforcing social bonds.


The Kiffness has ingeniously harnessed our innate desire to connect with the world through reels, breaking through the barrier that has recently relegated music to a secondary form of entertainment. By remixing viral videos and collaborating with the unlikeliest of co-stars, like cats, The Kiffness has made music the focal point of his content while leveraging irresistibly cute and catchy elements that captivate audiences worldwide.

Through reels, The Kiffness has redefined how music is consumed in the digital age. His content is not just passively enjoyed but actively engaged with, shared, and talked about, making music an interactive experience. This approach is particularly effective in today’s digital landscape, where attention spans are fleeting, and audiences crave quick, gratifying content. His ability to turn fleeting internet moments into enduring musical pieces highlights the power of reels to create a sense of community and shared entertainment in a fragmented media landscape.

Artists looking to emulate The Kiffness’s success should focus on creating visually captivating and timely content that resonates with a broad audience. Embrace the dynamic format of reels to showcase your music in innovative ways. Use humour, cultural relevance, and high production values to make your content stand out. Engage with current trends and inject your unique artistic perspective to turn passive listeners into active fans, creating a vibrant and interactive musical experience.

Article by Amelia Vandergast