If you managed to make it through 2020 without downloading TikTok, where have you been? The video-sharing app sunk its teeth deeper into popular culture this year, with months of stay-at-home orders turning everyone and their nan to the platform to battle lockdown boredom. Now with, *checks notes*, 800 million active users (!), comes a flood of new dance trends, jingles and skits.
Many undiscovered musicians who soundtrack the videos have turned their 15 seconds of fame into fully-fledged careers. And as for established artists? Their streams just keep on growing. See who made the largest waves of the year below.
Say So by Doja Cat
The undoubtedly catchy rap-pop earworm has now soundtracked over 17.6 million videos, including ones posted by THE FACE cover star Noen Eubanks, TikTok’s CEO Charli D’Amelio and Doja Cat herself. In fact, the Los Angeles-raised rapper even paid homage to the viral dance trend by inviting the creator Haley Sharpe on set of her ’70s disco-inspired video back in March.
Party Girl by StaySolidRocky
When Virginia rapper StaySolidRocky dropped the down-tempo tune Party Girl on Instagram last September, he had no idea what TikTok was. Now, thanks to 12.3million TikTokers, the song reached No.21 on the Billboards Chart in June, with emo rapper Lil UziVert jumping on a remix of the track in July.
Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) by BENEE
New Zealand sweetheart BENEE skyrocketed to fame thanks to Gen Z TikToker’s resonating with the song’s timely themes of loneliness at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown in March. Thanks to 6.9 billion streams in March alone (!) the bop has now peaked in the Top 40 in over 25 countries.
Cannibal by Ke$ha
In March, Ke$ha’s 10-year-old pop banger got a second lease of life when users started swaying their hips to the lyrics, “Whenever you tell me I’m pretty, that’s when the hunger really hits me”, prompting the elated songstress to drop a fresh animated lyric vid weeks later.
Lottery by K CAMP
It’s the track that birthed the infamous “renegade” jig, which entered the global TikTok lexicon when it proliferated the accounts of several leading creators in February. Since being created by 14-year-old Georgia teen Jalaiah Harmon in October 2019, everyone from Lizzo, Millie Bobby Brown and Bella Hadid have now attempted the 15-second choreography (and a few FACE staffers, too).
WAP by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion
With filthy lyrics and a thumping, club-ready beat, the controversial WAP was always destined to have a TikTok moment. Brian Esperson’s risqué choreography featuring high kicks and splits is not for the faint-hearted. Try at your own risk.
Out West by JACKBOYS & Travis Scott feat. Young Thug
Out West went wild on TikTok earlier this year when cosmetic juggernaut Kylie Jenner and (new) bestie Stassie Karanikolaou tried their hand at the song’s accompanying dance trend. The video sent the app into a flurry when rapper Travis Scott made a brief three-second appearance when he accidentally walked into shot halfway through.
Savage by Megan Thee Stallion
In lockdown 1.0, head hottie Megan Thee Stallion was indoctrinated into the TikTok hall of fame with the “Savage Challenge”, which was re-upped when fellow Houston-nativé Beyonce jumped on a remix. Hands up if you were one of the 29.2 million to try the hip-rolling, body-popping dance.
Kolors by Monte Booker & Smino
This infectious alt-pop hook became a favourite among air-punching, dancing teens who have now run-up the tune an eye-watering 11.7 million times. It’s why the sleeper track, originally released in 2015, climbed Spotify’s Viral 50 back in June.
Laxed (Siren Beat) by Jawsh685
Officially the biggest hit of the year – with over 53 million videos (and counting) to date – the pinging, no-words-needed melody made by high-schooler Joshua Nanai is a mainstay on the “For You Page”, where creators adopted the instrumental bop as a chance to flex their culture.