TikTok influences music through popular influencers and the virality of social media


Courtesy of Billboard

Tik Tok star, Nathan Apodaca, is gifted a truck full of Ocean Spray cranberry juice after his “Dreams” Tik Tok goes viral.

Most teenagers would agree that Tik Tok is one of the most popular social media platforms today. In recent years and especially during quarantine, Tik Tok has gained popularity among teens and adults all around the world.

About a year ago, certain Tik Tok users, such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Easterling, started gaining attention. Today, both influencers have over 60 million followers. Because of their large audiences, dances and songs that they have in their videos quickly become popular. This is also the case for other popular influencers.

In December 2019, shortly after Doja Cat released the song, “Say So”, influencer, Haley Sharpe, posted a dance with the song on her Tik Tok account, increasing the popularity of the song when the video went viral. As of today, the video has 7.1 million views and almost 700 thousand likes. The dance has been done by popular creators such as Charli D’Amelio, James Charles, Addison Easterling, Larray, and others. There are now 18.5 million videos with the “Say So” song on Tik Tok.

Sharpe was invited to be a dancer in Doja Cat’s “Say So” music video, which premiered in late February 2020. Her original Tik Tok dance was included in the music video. By late March and early April 2020, “Say So” was ranked #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and #6 on Spotify’s Top 200 chart, respectively. In early May 2020, it reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The music video also has 232 million views.
Another top-charted song that gained popularity from Tik Tok is “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion. Tik Tok user, Keara Wilson, created and posted a dance on her account, @keke.janajah, to the newly released song on March 17, 2020. The video has 58.6 million views and 3.9 million likes. After the dance was done by millions of people and tons of influencers (the sound has been used in 30.4 million videos), “Savage” was ranked #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Tik Tok’s popularity has also brought formerly popular songs back to the top of charts even without celebrity influence. On September 25, 2020, Nathan Apodaca posted a video of himself skateboarding and drinking cranberry juice on his Tik Tok account, @420doggface208, to the song “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. Most teens on Tik Tok had probably never heard a Fleetwood Mac song before this. In spite of this, the viral Tik Tok video now has 67.2 million views and 11.1 million likes. The video has been recreated by many, including Fleetwood Mac band member, Nick Fleetwood. “Dreams” has come out of the shadows and reappeared on the top charts for the first time in years. Last week it was ranked #12 on Billboard’s Top 100 and #20 on Spotify’s top 200.

Tik Tok sounds have also influenced artists’ songs. In March 2020, Joshua Nanai posted a video on his account, @jawsh_865, with a beat that he had made. Unsurprisingly, the beat quickly turned into a viral Tik Tok dance. Jason Derulo discovered the trending beat and collaborated with Nanai to create his hit song, “Savage Love”. In early August, “Savage Love” hit #1 on Spotify’s Top 200 chart.

If you are an avid Tik Tok user and take a look at the music charts, you will see many of the songs that you’ve seen before on Tik Tok, especially those on influencers’ accounts. It’s not a coincidence that when an influencer with almost 100 million followers posts a Tik Tok with a particular song, that the song gains attention. As long as Tik Tok is around, users are going to continue influencing what songs top the charts.