Nessa Barrett, TikTok star, makes a legit bid as a pop starlet with ‘if you love me’

Jon Ali is In The Know’s Music Contributor. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter for more.

Nessa Barrett is here to capture your attention… this time around as Nessa the artist.

For anyone not already familiar with the endless and fascinating world of TikTok personalities, Nessa is one of the most prominent members of the community: Her immensely popular page has racked up over 11.4 million subscribers and counting. The Puerto Rican, New Jersey-bred 18-year-old social media sensation is largely known for her dancing and lip-syncing videos as well as her lifestyle and beauty.

Additionally, Nessa is a mental health advocate and has been candid with her millions of fans about being bullied at an early age. She’s also opened up about her breakup with fellow TikTok star Josh Richards, as well as her recent bipolar diagnosis.

For now, though, she’s setting her sights on a much different medium than short-form videos: The music industry.

Earlier this year, Nessa made the permanent move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music and soon inked a major deal with Warner Records — the home of artists like Dua Lipa, Saweetie and Bebe Rexha, just to name a few.

That’s not to say that Nessa’s music career has just begun: Her singing career has been cooking up behind-the-scenes for a while now. She’s made a name for herself through lip-syncing videos and, in between posting those clips, she’s given fans various glimpses of her actual voice by sharing original songs.

Her debut single, “Pain,” arrived back in July and has since amassed over 22 million video and audio streams. The minimally produced piano ballad all about releasing your internal hurt is — perhaps shockingly to some — a much more intriguing offering than what the term “TikTok star” might suggest. 

Nessa’s delivery is raw and powerful from start-to-finish, and the songwriting style feels genuine and refreshingly relatable and personal, like a true singer-songwriter bursting at the seams to tell her own genuine story should.

The rising star just dropped her second offering called “if you love me,” and this one is in line with those expectations. Crafted alongside her collaborator Leo Mellace, the track is as striking and personal as its predecessor, but with a more sultry and vaguely menacing twist. Nessa has ventured off a bit into the dark side.

“’Cause what you don’t know/ When my heart goes cold/ I hold my demons close/ And I don’t let go/ no I don’t let go…,” she warns above the trap hi-hats and ominous 808’s.

It’s a romantic-revenge anthem driven with haunting atmospherics and dark-pop energy that is perfectly timed for the Halloween season. 

“This song is a total flip from ‘Pain,’” Nessa said in a statement about the song. “if u love me is more badass, more edgy and explains that if you hurt me, I’ll hurt you back. Still, within all that, there’s another emotion that comes out: feeling guilty that you hurt someone you love even though they hurt you first.”

The accompanying music video surely delivers the message home, too: Nessa is found inside some sort of abandoned warehouse — but she doesn’t seem to be alone, escaping into her own menacing fantasy world of symbolic thoughts instead. Watch as she invites us into her dark perspective throughout the clip.

With each new track we get, Nessa’s only continuing to express her true and authentic self outside of the world of social media.

Will her massive online success translate into IRL pop stardom? Her impact will undoubtedly keep growing with each new release, and she’s certainly got our attention!

Nessa Barrett’s new single “If you love me” is available on all digital platforms now!

If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s article breaking down everything you need to know about TikTok’s resident bad boy, Bryce Hall.

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