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TikTok’s Latest Challenge Has People Making Album Covers From Their Camera Roll

The artistic nature of this challenge has attracted a lot of professional content creators.

Posted on February 18, 2021, at 4:59 p.m. ET

Can any photo be transformed into an album cover? TikTok’s latest trend — in which a user finds a random photo or video in their camera roll and edits it to resemble album art — aims to prove just that.

People have used photos of friends, strangers, and even movie and TV stars (turns out the Stranger Things kids would look great on an R&B or hip-hop record).

Michael Brosnan posted the beat-dropping mashup of songs by Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, which has become this challenge’s anthem.

The trend has taken off worldwide, and accounts that went viral are even posting tutorials on YouTube and TikTok explaining how to make your own. Users are editing photos and videos on VSCO, PicsArt, or Instagram before sharing the final product on TikTok.

The artistic nature of this particular challenge has attracted a lot of professional content creators. Demas Rusli, a photographer from Sydney, posted his first album cover challenge on Feb. 6. Rusli’s most popular addition to the challenge has garnered almost 8 million views. For this viral TikTok, he used footage from a trip to Japan to stand out.

“I have lots of random video content from my past travels, so I thought I would give this challenge a go for myself. I do enjoy participating in new internet trends and challenges but only if it fits within my usual content style,” Rusli said.

He added, “I am a photographer and designer, so whenever I participate in an internet challenge, I always try to incorporate my photography into it while also trying to show my personality as well.”

Long-time influencers have also adopted this unique trend. TikToker Sara Sheehan raked in over 3 million views and really boosted her platform with her video.

“I was so excited because I remember making it at like 11 p.m. at night, and that’s normally not the time people are on TikTok, but I was excited to post it and I couldn’t wait until the next day,” Sheehan said.

Her TikToks are a lot of dance trends she does with her friends. When she first saw the challenge, she immediately wanted to try it, especially because it wasn’t as popular at the time.

Like many trends on TikTok, the album cover challenge has garnered some entertaining reactions. TikToker Kofie Yeboah began dueting these videos and added the caption “Would I listen to your album based on the cover.” People in the comments invariably discuss which artists these make-believe albums look like they belong to.

As the challenge continues to grow, everyone is putting their own spin on it. Rusli loves to use trends like these to showcase his personal style.

“The best advice I can give is to always stay true to yourself and create content that is of your own style and artwork. Find ways to participate in trends and make it your own. Try to put your own spin to it that makes your videos unique compared to others.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.