Atlanta musician Matt Hobbs has written over 150 songs about his life with his 13-year-old Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix littermates, Marley and Leni, as part of his project Puppy Songs. His latest hit, “Cheese Tax,” has gone viral on TikTok, with millions of views and over 8,300 videos using the song’s audio. The song is about the expectation that dog owners have to give their pets a piece of cheese whenever they open the cheese drawer, and it has become a relatable anthem for many.
Hobbs began Puppy Songs in 2020 as a pandemic “sanity project” to practice recording and mixing his own music. He usually finds inspiration for his songs when he catches his dogs doing something funny or notices their interesting habits. In the case of “Cheese Tax,” Hobbs noticed Marley appearing out of nowhere whenever he and his wife needed cheese to cook.
Hobbs composed the 34-second song by brainstorming different lyrics and filming extra footage of Marley for the TikTok video. He gave his pups a safe amount of cheese and said that the song’s groove is loosely inspired by “Master of the House” from Les Miserable.
Hobbs was surprised when “Cheese Tax” went viral, as he was not trying to make it famous. However, he enjoys seeing other people enjoy his music in their own homes.