Cookiee Kawaii, NJ artist behind TikTok song ‘Back it Up,’ wants credit

For months, TikTok users couldn’t go on the app without hearing this addictive song.

“If I back it up, is it fat enough? When I throw it back is it fast enough? When I speed it up, can you handle that? Now watch me throw it, throw it back.”

Over 1.8 million videos have used the song, called “Vibe (If I Back It Up),” in their videos. But while other artists such as Doja Cat and Roddy Rich rose in fame when their hits made it big on the app, the tune’s creator Cookiee Kawaii has remained largely unknown.

“It’s definitely been a trying journey trying to link the song to me,” Kawaii, an Irvington, New Jersey, native, told The Post. “The way TikTok works, people can upload songs and people can search up your music. There’s always confusion about who makes the song and where the songs come from,” she said.

In late January, a friend alerted Kawaii that TikTokers were using her track. She quickly made an account. For most of 2020, Kawaii has been fighting for the credit she deserves. “I’ve been constantly commenting, constantly [saying] ‘hey, this is my song,’ ” she said. “A lot of people didn’t know. Where’s the disconnect?”

Unfortunately, Kawaii knows this comes with the territory on the video-sharing app. “I’m not the first person to have some big thing or dance go viral and people have no idea who the person is,” the 27-year-old said.

Finally, one of her videos posted last month explaining that she’s behind “Vibe” has made it big on TikTok, catching 8.7 million views. “That’s not the first time I made a video like that. I don’t know if it’s TikTok’s formula, I don’t know if I’m shadowbanned,” she said, using a term creators use when they believe the app’s formula is suppressing their account. “That’s why I keep promoting, I haven’t stopped since the beginning.”

@cookieekawaii

Stream more of my music, just search Cookiee Kawaii 🍪 #fyp #jerseyclubmusic #cookieekawaii #watchmethrowitback

♬ Vibe (If I Back It Up) – Cookiee Kawaii

Kawaii, who was born Vanice Palmer, has been making music since 2011 when she graduated high school. “Both my parents are DJs. It was natural for me to get into music because I was always surrounded by it.” She released “Vibe” about a year and a half ago. “I’ve had people use my song in many [online] challenges, but compared to what ‘Vibe’ did I wouldn’t even say I’ve ever gone viral [before],” Kawaii said.

It hasn’t been all bad news: In August, Kawaii and rapper Tyga released a remix of the track together. She recently put out a new LP, called “Club Soda, Volume 2,” and is working on an album.

Cookiee KawaiiCourtesy

“Proper recognition for me would be people doing a little more research on me and what I’m representing,” said Kawaii. “I think a lot of people thought [‘Vibe’ is a] trendy pop song, but it’s actually a Jersey club song,” she said, referring to a fast-paced dance music genre that evolved in Newark in the early 2000s.

“Jersey club music is a culture that stems from Chicago house, Baltimore club music. It’s an influential style of music that’s been inspiring the masses for years, years before I even got into the genre,” she said. “As big as my record was, if people could connect me [with it], it would put more of a spotlight on Jersey Club music.

“Everyone’s from New York or everyone’s from Chicago or somewhere else, I feel like Jersey needs a lot more of a reputation.”

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