TikTok Treats, Week of January 31st
Charlie Puth’s Homemade Hits, Drain Gang’s Drowsy Devotion, Goya Menor’s Menacing Amapiano, and More Songs That Light Up TikTok
Each week, the TikTok Treats newsletter gives a snapshot of the state of music on TikTok, touching on trending hits, emerging artists, superstar moves, ascendant memes, and much more. Hits from TikTok span every genre and come from every corner of the globe–just this week brought trends from Sweden, South Africa, Jamaica, and the UK. Take a look at some recent global and domestic trends that only could’ve started on TikTok:
- When he’s not getting roasted by Benny Blanco, Charlie Puth spends his days on TikTok giving fans a unique glimpse of his creative process (and his perfect pitch). He teases fans with a repeated question–”what if there was a song…“–before previewing a funky bass line, complex chord progression, or unusual sound effect. In September 2021, Charlie found out that the light switch in his studio doubled as a perfect percussion instrument, sparking the inspiration for “Light Switch,” a new song. Charlie unveiled the rest of the song piece-by-piece, adding guitar parts and then revealing that his label was “begging him” to release it as an official single. Thanks to TikTok enthusiasm, Charlie decided to finish the song–he created it in seconds, but it took him months to finish, and after the song racked up over 500k pre-saves, Puth shared it as a TikTok sound on January 1st. With over 63k video creations to date, “Light Switch” built up an even greater wave of momentum before it finally hit stores on January 21st, when it completed its evolution from viral trend to IRL smash–the song debuted at #42 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 and currently sits in the Top 20 Global and U.S. charts on Spotify.
- Mason Ramsey had a viral moment in 2018 when he became an internet sensation for yodeling at a local Walmart. Now 15-years-old, Mason is trending on TikTok this week with his 2019 song, “Before I Knew It.” Garnering over 128.3k+ creations on the platform, recent videos find TikTok users doing the Philadelphia-originated “Shake That” dance to the catchy track. In other videos, the song soundtracks creators as they ask other users for help deciding on their birthday outfits, cook fancy handmade pasta, and dress their kids in adorable cowboy outfits. Mason Ramsey also promoted the track to his 1.7m TikTok followers, documenting his daily operations at his job.
- TikTok creators frequently find new ways to demonstrate their love for the people (and pets) in their lives. Led by Swedish rapper Yung Lean’s 2013 song “Ginseng Strip 2002,” a new lighthearted trend is rising on the app, one that shows appreciation for the ones in our lives who always stick around while everyone else leaves. Consisting of people making face-to-face contact while rapping the lyrics of the SoundCloud rap song to each other, the trend is making waves on the app to the tune of over 8.4M creations. From the closest of sisters and moms with newborn babies to dogs who comedically resist love from their owners, the chill rap track is soundtracking it all.
- Marked by skeletal snares, ominous melodies, and vocals that range from barking braggadocio to romantic crooning, Amapiano emerged from South Africa to become one of the hottest rising club genres in Africa and the world. Amapiano is becoming a major movement on TikTok, too, generating over 2.3 billion views on the #amapiano tag and producing trending songs like Mapara A Jazz’s “John Vuli Gate” (2020) and Cassper Nyovest’s “Siyathandana.” In early 2022, Amapiano scored its biggest TikTok hit to date with “Ameno Amapiano Remix (You Wanna Bamba),” an invigorating banger with over 2.7 million video creations. Based on a sample of ERA’s new age classic “Ameno,” released in 1996 during the brief and bizarre resurgence of Gregorian chants, the trending remix by producer Nektunez adds amapiano’s signature snares and intimidating vocals by South African artist Goya Menor. Goya’s confrontational chorus captured the imagination of creators around the world, as they perform energetic interpretations of the lyrics, admire their children’s fortitude during harsh weather, and participate in faux-macho father-son trends. In January, Goya hopped on the trend himself, showing fans how to properly “bamba” and “chill with the big boys. The song currently sits at #11 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50, and has over 5 million streams to date.
- The TikTok community has a knack for bringing fresh perspectives to classic songs. Revived by creators this week is Jamaican reggae artist Ini Kamoze’s 1994 #1 hit, “Here Comes The Hotstepper” (49.5k+ platform-generated creations combined). The hip-hop/dancehall track soundtracks a repurposed video of men doing the traditional Arabic Dabke line dance. The video is circulating around the platform, with creators using it for memes – including a humorous celebration of NFL star Tom Brady’s retirement. Inspired by the running meme, creators use the ‘90s track as background music for videos of themselves doing the Dabke with their loved ones at family gatherings.
- UK drill is one of TikTok’s favorite genres, and another UK drill banger has been having a major moment on TikTok in recent weeks. The TikTok community discovered Nutcase22’s “Captain,” which inspired a new comedic trend. The trend sees creators using the text-on-screen feature to describe some situations they wish they could escape before disappearing right after the whistle sounds on the booming, ominous drill track. The song is inspiring creations from those who won’t tolerate being treated differently in front of their significant other’s friends, people who don’t support their car obsession, and, fittingly for this month, love interests who assume they don’t have to make a sweet gesture of asking to be their Valentine. UK drill’s Nutcase22 has even been participating in the trend on his own page with a lesson in mask safety, adding to the 2.1M+ creations under the sound.
This week on Apple Music, The Travis Mills Show is airing a special 3-part series on TikTok, featuring three of the biggest breakout stars of 2021 on TikTok–Erica Banks, Masked Wolf & Popp Hunna–plus insights from William Gruger, TikTok’s Music Editorial Lead. The second and third episodes air on Apple Music 1 Radio at 7pm ET/4pm PT–tune in to hear the artists’ stories, learn about last year’s biggest trends, and predictions for what’s in store for TikTok in 2022.
Follow Travis Mills on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@travismills
Follow Apple Music on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@applemusic?lang=en
Check TikTok’s newsroom for more noteworthy stories: newsroom.tiktok.com
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Check out previous editions of TikTok Treats, a weekly newsletter about the most interesting music happenings on TikTok:
“Pushin P,” Papa Roach, “Pompeii” and More Music Trends from TikTok
We Need to Talk About “Bruno,” And Other TikTok Music Trends
TikTok Rings In The New Year with Bad Bunny, Drill Remixes, and R&B Hits
Christmas Songs, Squid Game Remixes, and More TikTok Music Stories
For Your TikTok Turkey Day Soundtrack: Taylor Swift, Regina Spektor, and More
Taylor Swift Turns TikTok ‘Red,’ ‘Tis Mariah Carey’s Season, Lady Gaga Makes A Grand Arrival & More
On TikTok: U2 Closes Out #Rocktober as Kanye West and Afropop Lead New Trends
Led Zeppelin Joins TikTok, While Adele and Luke Combs Spark New Trends
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On TikTok: A Bee Gees Remix, A Very Juggalo Halloween, and Some Rising Hitmakers
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