Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

TikTok user sends dad’s unreleased song viral, 43 years after recording

'Surrender to Me' has become an unlikely streaming hit

By Joe Goggins

Viral TikToker Zach Montana in a YouTube interview, 2022
Zach Montana has big plans for his dad's track. (Photo: YouTube)

A TikTok user has revealed how he used the platform to help an unreleased, 43-year-old song of his father’s go viral. You can hear it below.

Zach Montana, 19, hit play on an old track he found in his car on January 4 this year, and was immediately struck by its hit potential. The song, ‘Surrender to Me’, is an infectious disco cut typical of the late 70s. Upon discovering that his own father – William ‘Curly’ Smith’ – was behind it, he uploaded a reaction video to TikTok. 

“There’s a horn section! Just wait! It’s so good!” exclaimed the Arizona State student as he rocked out to the track in the clip. “And he never released it! I’m so mad at him.” Montana headed to bed shortly after posting the video; by the time he awoke, it had racked up thousands of plays. “I woke up to texts from people I never get texts from – like my hairstylist – saying, ‘Yo, this is crazy!’” the teen related in an interview with The Guardian.

By now, the song has over three million plays, thanks in part to heavyweight celebrity endorsements from the likes of Meghan Trainor, Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li, and self-proclaimed “internet’s busiest music nerd” Anthony Fantano, who called ‘Surrender to Me’ a “banger.”

Explaining the song’s back story to The Guardian, Smith revealed himself as a prolific session musician who has recorded and toured with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Belinda Carlisle and Willie Nelson. “It’s a bit of a happy accident. It’s music I did a long time ago, so to have it come full circle is really wonderful.”

Montana has set the ball rolling on a full-blown revival of ‘Surrender to Me’; the father-and-son duo have already overseen the remastering of the track at a Chicago studio, to ensure it’s up to snuff for streaming services. In a bold move, Montana – struck by the song’s 70s R&B inflections – sought to capitalise on his viral success by suggesting the tune as an ideal candidate for inclusion on the soundtrack to the latest ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ film.

The irreverent Marvel movies, helmed by James Gunn, have become as well-known for their smart interpolation of 70s rock classics as anything else, and Montana forwarded fan edits of ‘Surrender to Me’ over the opening credits of previous ‘Guardians’ films to Marvel music supervisor, Dave Jordan, who has subsequently sent them on to Gunn. 

“We’re huge Marvel fans,” said Montana. “We’ve seen all the MCU movies. It’s something we’ve bonded over as father and son, so it’s really exciting to think the song could end up in one of the films.”