TikTok Treats, Week of May 2nd
Rising Artists Take Center Stage This Week With Emotional Balladry, Confident Rap Anthems, and Open Verse Challenges
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. With initiatives like SoundOn and a community eager to find the next big thing, TikTok remains the best place for rising artists to bring their music to a large audience. Below, see how rising artists have made the most of their TikTok success, along with some established names having unexpected hits:
- Rising singer Nemahsis built a large audience on TikTok by showing off her prodigious musical ability (with covers and original songs) and sharing stories that reflect her Muslim faith and the realities of discrimination. The 27-year-old Toronto native is Palestinian by heritage, and she wears a Hijab, or another head covering, when in public and in her TikTok videos. Her single “what if i take it off for you?” was inspired about her conflicted feelings about wearing the Hijab, and details the vulnerability and regret that comes from revealing a part of oneself that is usually kept close to the vest. The beautiful ballad has more than 455k video creations, soundtracking emotional moments like weddings and expressions of lifelong love, to more humorous occasions like “eye reveals” and green screen tomfoolery. The song is seeing success off the platform as well, with over 2.3 million Spotify streams to date.
- The TikTok community is ready to level up in every aspect of their lives and rising rapper Kwe The Artist’s track “Level Up” is inspiring them to do just that. The song is a particular hit in the world of sports, due to the empowering nature of the sound The NFL and teams from the MLB and NHL created videos to the song, which has 41K+ creations across two sounds. While some creators are using the song to soundtrack the beginning of their all titanium motorcycle build processes, others are pairing the “Rotoscope” filter with this trending sound to display how they wake up in a good mood, ready to level up. As an artist that uses SoundOn, TikTok’s all-in-one platform for music marketing and distribution for emerging and undiscovered artists, Kwe has been incredibly active with “Level Up” on his own account. From teasing the song and excitedly promoting its release to displaying how he’s leveled up in his career, Kwe continues to champion his TikTok hit and chronicle his progression in the music industry.
- Proven by the successes of songs like CKay’s “Love Nwantiti (ah ah ah)” and Yahritza Y Su Esencia’s “Soy El Unico” (102.3K+ creations), the TikTok community finds fun ways to amplify the voices of international artists. The latest song from beyond the U.S. borders to inspire a trend is Jamaican artist Skillibeng’s “Whap Whap” (68.5K+ creations). Inspired by the song’s booming percussion, creators do a simple shimmy dance as they share hilariously relatable anecdotes using the text-on-screen feature. Using choreography by creators @carringtonxx and @rickyjwettsp2, creators show off their happy dance as they share the harsh realities of college relationships, acknowledge their pet peeve of people overstaying their welcome, and reenact what happens when they hear dancehall in the club.
- Whether they’re contributing open verses or trying their hands at song covers, musicians on TikTok know that showing off their talents is the best way to grow their audience on and off the platform. TikTok creator and rising artist Anees debuted a snippet of his song “Sun and Moon” in March. His catchy track provided a spark of creativity in TikTok’s musical community, as they displayed their songwriting skills and melodic abilities by augmenting the song in unique ways. Boasting over 448.3K platform and user-generated creations to date, Anees has creators everywhere sharing their renditions of the song — while some creators make perfect harmonies alongside their sisters, others sing the track solo. Anees happily engaged with fans who loved the track, encouraging creators to participate in his open verse challenge that boasts over 236.6K creations alone. Thanks to a boost from TikTok, the song has earned over 10M streams on Spotify since its official release in April, and Anees is planning to release the acoustic version of the song very soon.
- Sometimes in the face of doubt from those around you, you need a song to help you tap into your self-confidence. In recent weeks, rising Birmingham, AL rapper Big Yavo’s confident anthem “Him” (35.6K+ creations) has become this song for the TikTok community. Sampling a video clip of a woman repeatedly telling a man “you are not him,” the track is sparking creations from those who know they slayed their prom look, cute kids who proudly zoom around in their go karts, and those who are just overall feeling themselves like 24kGoldn. Big Yavo has been taking to his own account to engage with the sound, even displaying his excitement for becoming verified on the platform.
- A British crooner who peaked in popularity in the late ‘60s, few artists seem less likely to produce a TIkTok hit than Engelbert Humperdinck. It’s a testament to the unpredictable and eager-to-discover community on TikTok that his syrupy 1968 ballad “A Man Without Love” is finding a second life on the platform (34k video creations). The song’s newfound momentum seems to spring from its inclusion in Marvel’s new Disney+ series Moon Knight, and fans are using the song to express their love for the show (in a similar phenomena occurring with fans of The Batman and Nirvana’s “Something In The Way”). The jaunty tune soundtracks videos from fans who use the “split screen scan” filter to mimic Moon Knight’s split personalities, who playfully wonder if they too might suffer from dissociative identity disorder, and those who can’t shake their Marvel addictions.
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:
On TikTok: Lizzo Returns, Ambitious Creators Show Off Their Skills, and More
“First Class” Jack Harlow, Ghanaian Drill, and More TikTok Music Stories
A Harry Styles Hit, a Daddy Yankee Renaissance, and More TikTok Music Stories
Durk, Jack, Demi, and Fergie Inspire TikTok Music Trends
Pharrell, Coi & Nicki, and 80s Country Lead the Way on TikTok
Only On TikTok: Kevin Gates, Patsy Cline, and Pixar Make Music Trends
French Pop Meme-Making, Russ Remixes, and More TikTok Stories
All The Pheelz: Afrobeats, Batman, and More TikTok Music Stories
Mariah Carey, Euphoria, Cat Burns, & More on TikTok
Dre’s Halftime, Phoebe’s “Motion Sickness,” and More from Music on TikTok
Becky & Karol G, Madonna, and Nelly Furtado Highlight the Week in Music on TikTok
Major Bags, ’70s Gems, Space Jam DVDs, and More TikTok Music Stories
Here Come the TikTok-Steppers: Charlie Puth, Ini Kamoze, Mason Ramsey & More
Act Like You Know: Time Machines, The Ting Tings, & More 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
Dwayne Johnson, George Michael, and Jack Stauber Inspire New TikTok Trends
On TikTok: A Bee Gees Remix, A Very Juggalo Halloween, and Some Rising Hitmakers
Rosalía, Coi Leray, and MCR Highlight the Week in TikTok Music
Balvin, Doja, and Mariah Lead a Star-Studded Week on TikTok
Sam Smith, Ciara and Breakout PinkPantheress Highlight the Week on TikTok
Lizzo Starts “Rumors,” bbno$ Eats “edamame,” and More Hip-Hop TikTok Stories
#AltTikTok, Alt-J, and All-Time Rap Classics Define Music on TikTok This Week
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On TikTok: Music Trends Inspired by Kanye, Young Nudy, and…Meryl Streep?
Avril Lavigne, Bo Burnham, and Gucci Mane Lead The Week in TikTok Trends
TikTok Summer Madness: Lorde Leads a Pack of New Trending Songs
Swae Lee, WILLOW, Mitski & More Inspire Trends on TikTok
Only On TikTok: Lil Durk & City Girls Trend Alongside…The Backyardigans?
On TikTok: BTS Army Takes Over, Carti Demands Silence, and Fans Anticipate F9
Olivia Rodrigo Catches Fire, Miguel Helps Users Catch Feelings, and More TikTok Stories
Saweetie, Calvin Harris, and Bella Poarch Highlight The Week in TikTok
Another One? DJ Khaled, Lizzo, and More Make the Week in TikTok
Doja Cat, Little Simz, and El Alfa Inspire TikTok Trends
Britney Spears, Chloe Bailey, and Diplo Make Waves on TikTok
Dua Lipa, Drake, and Bell Biv DeVoe Make Waves on TikTok
DMX Gets His Flowers, Silk Sonic Reaches #1, and More TikTok Stories
TikTok Unveils Music-Powered Filters, Lil Nas X Debuts At #1, and More TikTok Stories
Bieber Tops The Charts, Young Thug Premieres New Music, and More TikTok Stories
Demi Lovato Kicks Off TikTok’s New Livestream Series Headstream
Rock Music Thrives on TikTok, Just Ask Yungblud, Beach Bunny, and More
Shania Hops On Board, Kid Cudi Tosses and Turns, and More TikTok Stories
On TikTok: Kali Uchis and Coi Leray Hit the Charts as Bobby Shmurda Comes Home
Rihanna, Brent Faiyaz, and Giveon Lead TikTok’s R&B Moment
T-Pain, Hyperpop, and Anti-Valentine’s Anthems Take TikTok By Storm
Cardi Goes Up, Uzi Goes Down (to Sleep), and More TikTok Stories
Black History Month Kicks Off, Mark Ronson Duets, and More Music Stories From TikTok
Cardi Goes Up, Uzi Goes Down (to Sleep), and More TikTok Stories
Dave Grohl, Migos, Miley, and More Happenings on TikTok
This Week on TikTok: Olivia Rodrigo Hits #1 as Memes & Mashups Flourish
New Year, New TikTok Trends: Alicia Keys, Remembering MF DOOM & More
Paul McCartney, Holiday Celebrations, and New Year’s Eve Live on TikTok
TikTok Releases First U.S. Music Report: Here Are Some Key Insights
How TikTok’s Top 10 Songs of 2020 Impacted the Industry