Meet Tatiana Clark! TikTok Sensation, 22, Is Behind Viral “SpongeBob SquarePants” Afrobeats Remix (Exclusive)

Tatiana Clark's 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Afrobeats remix has garnered a staggering 13 million views on TikTok — and counting

<p>mstatianaclark/TikTok</p> Tatiana Clark on TikTok


Tatiana Clark on TikTok
  • Tatiana Clark, a trained musician from Mississippi, is the voice behind this trending tune

  • Though the 22-year-old creator often covers theme songs, her SpongeBob rendition really took off

  • To date, the sound has an estimated two billion plays on TikTok alone

If you have been on any social media platforms over the last three months, you have most likely heard the catchy Afrobeats rendition of the theme song to SpongeBob SquarePants.

The viral sound has been repurposed countless times, with people dressing up as SpongeBob characters, parents playing the song to get their babies to laugh, other TikTok musicians adding their own vocals and more but mostly, people just jam and admire the catchiness of the clever tune.

So, who's the originator of social media's favorite sound? Her name is Tatiana Marie Clark and she is a 22-year-old singer from Gulfport, Mississippi.

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A Boys & Girls Club of America youth development professional by day, Clark is a trained musician whose love for song started early in her life.

"I have an interesting story. I come from a musical background, but my parents can't sing. All of my uncles, aunts, cousins, and [the rest of my family] can sing," she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"My parents knew that I could sing at a young age, so they put me in a music school called Rock U 2 [The Ocean Springs Academy of Popular Music] and I went there from age 11 until I graduated high school. Then I proceeded to go to college for a year and a half, majoring in music education with a minor in jazz studies."

After the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, Clark, like many other students, was forced to turn to virtual learning, which she quickly realized wasn't her cup of tea. It was then she realized her music career was in her hands and decided to start sharing her talents on social media.

"I'm an in-person learner, so it threw me off and I was like, 'This is your sign to take music seriously,'" she says. "So I withdrew from all my classes, took that long drive back home, and here we are."

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Clark has been making videos since 2021. Her TikTok (and Instagram) pages are filled with various albums of different covers, she does — from Afrobeats Remixes to what she calls Ghetto Remixes, to Duets she's done with other TikTokers. Elsewhere on her page, you can see videos of the 22-year-old belting out tunes from some of her favorite artists.

"I have been doing the covers, the basic slow iconic covers. A couple of them went viral, but I was like, 'What's next? There's only so many songs I can cover. What is going to be that one thing?'" she says of the origins of her Afrobeats remixes.

"Originally, I was going to try to remix popular songs and make them country, but then I played it for a couple of friends and they were like, 'That's a little too slow. Maybe you should speed it up.'"

She then headed to YouTube, started sourcing free Afrobeats tracks and began creating the now-popular remixes. She has since covered the Living Single theme song, That's So Raven, Golden Girls, Family Matters, Reading Rainbow and many others.

With the success that the "SpongeBob SquarePants" remix has garnered, one would think it was by some extraordinary process the song came about. However, for Clark, it was just another theme song she chose that day. And while she knew it was good, it's since surpassed her expectations.

"With 'SpongeBob,' I literally just picked a random beat," she reveals. "It was the first beat I picked and I was like, 'Yes, this is the one.' It came very naturally, which is why I feel like it did so well."

She continues, "I thought my Golden Girls one would do better than the SpongeBob one, but they both did pretty good. 'SpongeBob' has surpassed all of my viral videos at this point. I just think 'SpongeBob' is one of those things that adults love it, children love it. So it is bound to be popular. I just got lucky."

To say people have responded to the video is an understatement. To date, the sound has an estimated two billion plays on TikTok alone. The video itself has 1.5 million likes; 24,2K comments; a whopping 163K saves and has been viewed 13 million times — and counting. They are astronomical figures that don't come by often, even for TikTok.

She's amassed an enormous following which includes the likes of Meghan Trainor, Queen Latifah, Amber Riley, Samuel L. Jackson and many more high-profile names. Several, including Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson and Andra Day — have also reposted her video.

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With all the attention coming her way, Clark says her day-to-day remains the same. Except for the occasional person who recognizes her while she's in public, nothing much has changed. She has, however, drawn a strong boundary at work.

"I tried very hard to keep my social media separate, but once the viral video started going, my kids were like, 'Oh, Miss T. I saw you,'" she reveals. "But I just keep the boundaries. You can see me, that's fine cause it's a public page, but don't follow me. And if you do, I won't be following you back."

"We have boundaries, but they don't think that I'm cool just because I have a lot of followers," she joked. "They treat me the same."

Prior to the "SpongeBob" video going viral, Clark had already garnered some impressive credits: She was a featured vocalist on Brandy's 2023 Christmas album, Christmas with Brandy and she collaborated with Leslie Odom Jr. on the duet "Show Me" off his album When the Crooner Dies.

And while she has some producers, songwriters and companies reaching out to her now, she continues to make content to express her creativity.

"I of course do my content in hopes that [it goes viral again], but my head will not hang down if it doesn't. I am grateful for the traction that my page has gotten. I've gained hundreds of thousands of followers within these past three months, so I'm grateful for that," she tells PEOPLE.

"Just the fact that people can see me now, I can post something, and more than 100 people can see it is more than enough for me. So I don't really care that much about the viral moment. I'm glad that it happened, and I just know that it's leading to something greater in the future."

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