It’s pretty clear that nothing has been more positively disruptive to the music industry as TikTok. The app has become the center for breaking new artists, and at times giving new life to older songs and helping them finding new audiences. From making Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” one of the biggest smash hits of the last few years, to spearheading a Fleetwood Mac revival, TikTok has proven it can do it all, and it does this on the back of its users’ creativity and passion.
As much as label execs attempt to co-opt or formulate TikTok challenges to help their artists’ songs gain heat, the success of a song on TikTok comes down to the fans. If a track hits the right notes and sparks a fun or triggering video idea, it can lead to thousands of copycats, and send the song’s stream sky rocketing. That all being said, there are some similarities between the tracks that work on the app; great dance beat; short, memorable hooks; snappy descriptive lyrics; big emotional choruses; or songs that capture a “vibe” that is inescapable.
From all the music that has crossed our ears’ path the last year, the below ten songs, a mix of newer bops and old school classics, feel ripe for a proper TikTok treatment, and we would love to see what some of the talented youth out there could do with these:
#10. Bruce Springsteen – Ghosts
While certainly not an artists on most TikTok’ers playlists, this second single from The Boss’ boasts a huge, life-affirming chorus that begs to be sung along to while performing an activity that evokes “being alive”.
#9. Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues
As we approach summer time (and hopefully the last summer of quarantine), this anthem for being forced to give up your summertime freedom is just as relevant today as it was when the song was recorded in the 50’s.
#8. Cody Chestnutt – Look Good in Leather
This soul rock nugget never got much due when it came out, but its smooth hook and confident, fashion-conscious chorus could soundtrack any Gen-Zer’s glow-up as they prepare for a fun night.
#7. Iggy Pop – Success
A classic track from The Godfather of punk, “Success” benefits from a breezy, carefree attitude and hopeful lyrics. If nothing else, it has Iggy yelling “I want to hop like a frog” with contagious jubilation.
#6. Tai Verdes – We Would Have Some Cute Kids.
As Tai fantasizes about the family he and his love interest would have, the straight-forward lyrics and chill alt. pop arrangement could make this a perfect accompaniment to couples’ romantic videos…or be used for a filter that mashes up two faces to imagine what an offspring might look like!
#5. Toots and the Maytals – Just Brutal
From the late reggae singer’s swan song album, this dancehall banger could easily inspire a viral dance, or soundtrack BLM protest videos, as with the best reggae songs, the track is unabashedly political, yet still packs in sick grooves.
#4. Childish Gambino – 35.31
Speaking of viral dance challenges, this infectious track must have one. It’s too catchy not to.
#3. The Night Game – Magic Trick
If there are any channels for TikTok magicians out there, this is the song for you. With just the lyrics “Do you want to see a magic trick…”, you have the perfect set-up for any visual on-camera prestidigitation you can dream up.
#2. Grouplove – Shake That Ass
Simple, silly and catchy. It slaps enough to dance to, but also could have a humorous take. Ass shaking will always have an audience.
#1. A Day to Remember – F.Y.M
“Just wait til I get some “fuck you” money” goes the chorus, with just the right amount of edge and melody. Whether visualized as a serious boast, or taken in a more thoughtful direction, with the more woke TikTokers showing off their generosity by donating to those in need, there’s is a mountain of potential buried in this track for a wave of videos to take inspiration from.
Find the entire playlist of songs here, and if you take on one of these challenges, share it with us!