Updated: Aug 25
Internet virality is a curious thing. Content creators are often the last to know of their work's immense reach and its impact on the connected world. This was the case with aspiring music producer Dante Howard, also known as Dante9K.
One day, playing around with his favorite DAW, FL Studio, in his bedroom studio, he downloaded the track "Tomfoolery," a track composed by David Snell and made famous by the Nickelodeon animated show SpongeBob SquarePants, added a beat with some effects, and then posted it on TikTok. Almost overnight, the remix took a life of its own and spread across the platform like a swarm of sponges deep under the blue sea. To date, over seven million TikTok users have used Dante9K's SpongeBob "Tomfoolery Remix." A remarkable feat that, like any viral sensation, defies any explanation.
Watch the interview with Dante9K.
"I was scrolling on TikTok one day, and I saw three consecutive videos all relating to SpongeBob," Dante9K said." That pretty much gave me an idea to remix a SpongeBob song."
For Dante9K, there was no real intention to create a viral piece of content. His little brother texted him one day and told him that his "SpongeBob Beat" was all over the social media platform.
"He texted me while I was shopping at Walgreens," Dante 9k said. "I remember thinking it was crazy because, like, I wasn't even going to upload that beat. And the fact that it's already viral like that, I didn't even promote it."
The remix is infectious, and most TikTok users add it to videos of their kids playing or doing cute little things. Yes, six million baby videos pack a lot of cuteness.
While Dante9 K's remix story is sensational, his background is more laid back. He grew up in Virginia in a military family, which meant uprooting and moving around. He listened to a lot of Reggaeton, Colombian, and Rap music, which inspired him to do something with music.
His foray into music production started in High School when one of his friends introduced him to a music production app during computer class. From then on, there was no looking back.
To create something as viral as Dante9 K's "Tomfoolery Remix" would mean more opportunities for his music, which is already starting to happen, although not as fast as one would have thought. For one, and very early on, APM Music partnered with Dante9K to remix more tracks from APM's one million-plus-strong catalog, essentially offering the budding producer the key to Treasure Island. The sky is the limit for Dante9K to dig into the enormous APM Music vault, which spans centuries and represents any geographic location he can zero in on a map.
"Snapchat also reached out and let me know about this creative fund they were doing, and I actually won that," Dante9K said.
To further promote his career, he is investing much effort in growing his YouTube channel and collaborating with other artists.