TikTok trends and chart-toppers

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Apple Music’s “TikTok Songs” playlist highlights songs that are currently trending on TikTok. It’s filled with songs that are used for dances, POVS, makeup tutorials, and more.

Aly Wenglarz, print staff

   TikTok has taken a grasp on our culture and simply ran with it. TikTok influences fashion trends, political opinions and now what songs end up on the top of the charts. It only takes one TikTok trend to take over the app and blow a song up.

   “Considering how many people are on TikTok I definitely think that songs could reach the top of the charts just from TikTok popularity,” Noelle Quiorga (11) said.

   An example of TikTok fame contributing to the popularity of a song would be Melanie Martinez’s “Playdate”. The song was originally released in 2015, but didn’t gain much traction until it was used in edits of celebrities on TikTok in April 2020. By March 8th, the song had gained over 80 million streams on Spotify. 

   “A song blows up from how many people decide to make videos with their sound. The more someone likes their song, they’ll add it to their video, increasing the artist’s streams and making the song blow up on the charts,” Lauren Miranda (12) said.

   Spotify even has a playlist they have created called “Viral Hits” which is full of songs that are currently popular on TikTok.  Whether the song is used for a dance trend like “What You Know Bout Love” by Pop Smoke, or used for a meme like “Drip Like ME” by Kenndog, having your song be the background music for a TikTok trend seems to be the formula for success. 

   “I do believe artists purposefully use TikTok as a marketing strategy because they know they are advertising to millions of people who use the app for free.  I believe that it is a great way for smaller artists to gain a following and become more popular,” Matthew Walsh (10) said.

   When smaller artists use TikTok as a way to promote their music, they’ll end up gaining traction and publicity no matter how viewers react.  Doja Cat wasn’t a very well-known artist until her song “Say So” started trending on TikTok due to a dance created by user @yodelinghaley who currently has 3 million followers.  Once Haley posted the dance, it went viral.  Bigger creators such as Charli D’amelio, Addison Rae and James Charles poster their attempts at the dance which caused the popularity of the song to skyrocket.  

   Songs don’t have to be paired with a dance to go viral, however. For example, the song “No Wind Resistance” by Kinneret went viral because people claimed that it helped them finish their workload quickly.  

   “My for you page consists of a bunch of different things: makeup trends, POVs, political jokes, etc. I don’t find new music from dances. I find new music from whatever is on my for you page,” Miranda (12) said.

   Not only is TikTok a great marketing strategy for artists, it’s also a great way for people with similar interests and music taste to connect. TikTok’s algorithm works by showing you videos similar to ones you interact with the most. For example, if you interact with TikToks about skateboarding the most, your for you page will most likely be filled with skateboarding videos the most. The algorithm works the same way for suggested sound bites when you go to create a TikTok. 

   With the popularity of TikTok, there’s no doubt that it will continue to influence more Gen Z culture. As trends come and go, so will music. TikTok will continue to control what’s trending in fashion, music, and Gen Z’s culture as a whole.