"It was definitely like a switch was flipped kind of thing."

That's how Lily Rose describes the response to her song "Villain," which blew up on the social media app TikTok and quickly topped the all-genre iTunes sales chart in early December. Two months later, the singer had herself a record deal, a joint venture between Big Loud Records, Back Blocks Music and Republic Records.

Rose had only joined TikTok two months earlier, so while her success may appear to have come out of nowhere, in reality, she's been working at a career in music for 13 years. Since the mid-2010s, MusicRow reports, she's been touring the Southeast and selling out shows in major markets.

"Even though I think a lot of the preparation for the previous 13 years helped me be ready for that switch to be flipped," Rose says, "it's been a whirlwind for the last few months."

"Villain" made its official debut at country radio on Monday (March 8), though she's already earned airplay on SiriusXM and other streaming radio platforms. Keep reading to learn a bit more about the artist behind the single:

She Thinks TikTok Is Great, But ...

Social media may have helped land Rose her record deal, but she'd really prefer to get to spend time with fans and other music industry members offline, too. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that difficult.

"It's been the craziest thing to have all these people start following me and the only way I can interact with them is through a phone," Rose admits. Later, she muses, "In a way, it feels like a disadvantage to not be able to get out there ... but I'm definitely soaking up this time of not being on the road, 'cause I know that's about to be, hopefully, for the rest of ever."

She's Lived in Multiple Musical Hotbeds

Rose is an Atlanta native, but she went to college in Athens -- birthplace of, among others, R.E.M. and the B-52s -- and now resides in Nashville. "You have country music down there, but I didn't really grow up listening to country," the singer says, explaining that pop and rap -- including Atlanta rapper Yung Joc -- were especially popular in high school.

"[Athens was] just a really great place to learn how to be onstage. It's not an industry town by any means, but there's a lot of stages there," Rose shares, noting that playing in the college town helped her learn how to get people to stay at a set.

"[College kids are] brutal ... [They've] got an attention span of 10 seconds," she recalls, "so if they don't like you, they're moving onto the next bar."

She's a Drummer, Too

Rose taught herself to play both guitar and the drums -- a skill that's helped her as she's furthered her career. "Just the natural rhythm has really helped. That's something that I don't have to work at, which I'm thankful for," she says, adding with a laugh, "I wish I could say that for me being, like a dancer."

It's been useful in the studio, too: "It kind of helps me expand a little bit, understanding that musicality of songs ... I have just a little bit more verbiage to explain things," Rose notes, "so, hopefully, it just takes less time to create stuff 'cause of it."

She Knows a Bit About Radio

Rose's father has been in radio, both on air and in marketing, for years (he still works Georgia Bulldogs games, in fact), so she grew up learning how the industry works. "He's just the kind of dad, too, that was always bringing us around and bringing us to work," she shares, and she will still go with him to some events.

"I'm learning the ins and outs of radio even more now on the other side," Rose says, "but I've got a little knowledge of how it works."

She Was a High School Athlete

Rose played soccer and basketball in high school, American Songwriter shares. The singer describes her mom as a "fitness guru," but also says she "grew up in a household of performers."

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