When TikTok first blew up, it seemed like a silly app that no one outside of Gen Z understood. However, the influence of the popular video sharing app has now become inescapable. To say we’re addicted would be stretching it, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy it every now and then. There’s an authenticity to the platform that eschews an Instagram-like perfection, making it refreshing and real.
Over the past year, the short video format has become a surprising incubator for new musical talent, and a great way of discovering tunes. You might remember the siren that went viral last year, which then popstar Jason Derulo picked up to make a record hit, ‘Savage Love’. And it was rising star Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License, which circulated on TikTok on repeat, making it the artist’s first Billboard topper.
Catchy clips from songs on TikTok’s For You page and Instagram Reels live rent free in our minds. While you might be sick of some, we’ve rounded up a list of songs that are actually great and worth listening to in full, and on repeat. Scroll on to see the ones you need to add to playlist:
Dinero - Trinidad Cardona
Originally released in 2018, this energetic track has blown up on short video platforms thanks to its catchy tune. The artist weaves effortlessly between English and Spanish, embodying the experience of many multicultural kids growing up in America. If you liked this track, also listen to Jeniffer by the same artist - a much slower but more chill number.
Beggin’ - Måneskin
It might surprise you to know that this song is actually a cover. The original track was released by The Four Seasons in 1967. Måneskin, the four member Italian rock band covered it for an EP in 2017, and now, the song has become the biggest song in the world on Spotify thanks to none other than TikTok.
Good 4 U - Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo pens lyrics with her heart on her sleeve. Another chart topper, but different from her other hits like Driver’s License and Deja Vu, Good 4 U is an uptempo rock number filled with teenage angst (that’s not just for teenagers) and the rage one feels while watching an ex move on a little too fast.
Good Days - SZA
No matter what kind of mood you’re in, this R&B number sounds good at any point of the day. It starts off with the most beautiful melody, complemented by SZA’s honeyed vocals, leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling.
I Like Him - Princess Nokia
The cool, electric beats of this song are so good that Celine’s creative director, Hedi Slimane, actually commissioned the New York-based artist to create an extended version of her single for Celine’s Spring/Summer 2021 showcase. We’re sure you’ll like it too.
Supalonely - Benee
This upbeat break-up song became an alt-pop quarantine anthem owing to its lyrics about isolation which resonated with many during lockdown. It’s a track you can listen to on repeat, but don’t just take it from us - even Elton John caught onto it and praised the artist as the ‘next global smash’.