TikTok Treats, Week of August 2nd

The News:

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. As TikTok becomes a source of music discovery for more and more users, the songs that trend on TikTok become more esoteric–and the chances of an unconventional hit bubbling up from the platform grows. This week, plenty of unlikely songs trended on the platform next to major hits like Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby” and  Doja Cat’s “Woman.” Take a look at some of the songs that TikTok helped elevate in recent days and weeks:

  • Anyone who’s been on TikTok during the past month has heard the popping percussion and buzzing synths of “The Magic Bomb,” a song by Vietnamese electronic musician Hoàng Read. The song is the center of a trend that combines a viral dance and screen text, in which creators do the dance as they answer a series of questions they “always get asked”in quick succession. With nearly three million video creations to date, song provides an opportunity for creators to clear the air without disrupting the rest of their content, or offer up facts that many people don’t know, and provides marginalized groups an opportunity to make their voices heard.
  • Mixing carefree flutes with a danceable disco beat, Van McCoy’s instantly recognizable “The Hustle” was one of the biggest hits of 1975. 46 years later, the song is making a major comeback on TikTok–with over 580k video creations and growing–as it provides the soundtrack for a trend that highlights the app’s new photo-cropping function. Creators attempt to insert themselves (or their baby or their pet) into the constantly-moving crop tool. The cheerful flutes of “The Hustle” are the perfect foil for the awkward images that result from the more-difficult-than-it-looks trend.
  • Puerto Rican superstar Farruko has been trending on TikTok with his new single “PEPAS,” a banger that bridges the gap between Reggaetón and EDM. The song is a favored party anthem for the app’s Spanish-speaking contingent, inspiring over 367k videos, driven by multiple trends. One trend combines a dance with text on screen, similar to the “Magic Bomb” trend, as creators ask three questions and insist that their commenters are only allowed to say no to one of them (this particular challenge has caught the eye of prominent Latin influencers like @aliizquierdo and @carlosferiaag). The second trend uses the song’s massive beat drop to showcase the highlights from a night out, often incorporating a pair of sunglasses with a symbol or message written on them. On his own page, Farruko did his part to make sure the song popped, filming himself vibing to the song’s build in a dimly-lit limo.
  • Ever since the advent of memes, cats–keyboard, grumpy, nyan, or otherwise–have been the official mascots of the internet. In recent weeks, TikTok’s massive contingent of cat lovers have coalesced around an unlikely song: “FVN!,” an upbeat electro-rap track from nonbinary Spanish rapper LVL1. Inspired by LVL1’s tongue-twisting delivery of variations of the line “cat kitty cat,” creators have filmed their pets getting down to the music, splicing in quick edits of their feline friends in unflattering poses. The 23-year-old artist’s breakout hit’s TikTok success (over 318k video creations) is currently sitting at #2 on Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50, and has over 3 million streams to date.
  • The Fast And The Furious franchise already inspired a trend earlier in the form of Don Omar’s “Bandoleros,” and now, the film’s “quarter-mile at a time” ethos is bringing another song to TikTok prominence–popular underground rapper Xavier Wülf’s “Tokyo Drift.” With over 885k video creations to date, the fast-paced song has become a go-to option for creators with the need for speed, whether they’re beating Google Maps’ ETA estimate, trying to steer a soapbox race car, or innovating a new form of transportation. Like all TIkTok trends, this one has also been used to show off cute babies and cats.

Today, one of TikTok’s favorite feel-good music stories from this year got a new chapter. Songwriting duo Barlow & Bear, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, announced the September 10, 2021 release of their highly-anticipated concept album, The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. Consisting of 15 original songs, The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical concept album is the culmination of Barlow & Bear’s artistic vision to bring their unanticipated viral sensation directly to their fans in its entirety.

Originally written and composed by Barlow & Bear live on TikTok and other social media beginning in January 2021, their songs and performances have attracted a massive international fanbase, receiving over 2 million followers, over 36 million likes on TikTok, and the #bridgertonmusical hashtag approaching 200 million views to date. Since the TikTok debut of the first track “Ocean Away,” originally titled “Daphne’s Song,” the duo has broken new ground by involving their audience in their process every step of the way via social media, and will be mirroring this direct-to-consumer distribution by self-releasing the album on all major streaming and downloading music services.

Watch Barlow & Bear’s album announcement on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@abigailbarlowww/video/6992573937842490630

Check TikTok’s newsroom for more noteworthy stories: newsroom.tiktok.com


For more info, please contact:
Michelle McDevitt, Andrea Higgins, Erin Ryan, Audible Treats
Leah Linder, TikTok

For Barlow & Bear press inquiries, please contact:
Charlie Guadano | Sunshine Sachs
212.390.8598 | guadano@sunshinesachs.com

Samantha Stephens | Sunshine Sachs
678.637.9111 | steuer@sunshinesachs.com

The Background:

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Their mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.

TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.


TikTok’s Newsroom: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us

Check out previous editions of TikTok Treats, a weekly newsletter about the most interesting music happenings on TikTok:

On TikTok: Normani, Reba, and a Gas Station Star
The Kid Laroi Meets Bieber, Drake Runs Thru The 6, and More From TikTok
BIA Meets Nicki, Stromae Slows Down, and More TikTok Trends
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