TikTok Treats, Week of August 23rd

Sam Smith, A Boogie, and Ciara Trend with Old Hits, Sub Urban and Bella Poarch Catch Fire, and PinkPantheress Charts Her Own DIY Path

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. This week brings a good mix of old and new, as brand new songs from TikTok-native artists mingled with hits by established superstars. Take a look at what made TikTok tick this week:

  • On their 2014 track “Like I Can,” one of music’s beloved British singer-songwriters, Sam Smith, expressed how their love for their partner could not be broken. TikTok users have recently taken to this lighthearted tune (over 504k video creations) with a new trend to express the love they have for important people in their lives, as well as to express self-love. With the app’s freeze frame filter leading the way, TikTok creators are capturing beautiful moments whether they’re playing with their adorable babies, goofing around with their sisters, or embracing their insecurities. Some TIkTok users aren’t taking the trend quite so seriously, like one user who may not be as TikTok-savvy as she thought.
  • One of the most popular songs on TikTok this week could only have started on the platform. A collaboration from popular TikTok figures Sub Urban and Bella Poarch, “INFERNO is a whimsical, mischievous, and bass-heavy banger that opens itself up to many different interpretations. The song has inspired videos from creators who enjoy drawing strangers on the subway, dressing up their cat like Margot Robbie, or modeling their makeup after Bella’s own style. Both of the song’s artists have been doing their promotional part, posting colorful videos using their own songs: Bella messed around with the freeze frame feature, dressed up like Pikachu, and started a transition trend with a running start, while Sub Urban attempted to emulate a professional fire dancer who made a video to the song.
  • TikTok’s celebration of #ElectronicMusic Month has its community in the mood for some atmospheric bangers–luckily, EDM superstar DJ Snake delivered with his recent single “You Are My High.” Sampling The Gap Band’s 1979 namesake track, the song fuses R&B funk with the driving beats of house music, garnering over 53.1K creations on TikTok. The song soundtracks everything from selfie dumps to hair tutorials to creators professing love for their significant other in compilation videos, and sets the ambiance for a text-on-screen trend that allows users to share relatable commentary on any topic, including relationships and giving back to those who believe in you.
  • Ciara made listeners question gender roles in romantic relationships with her 2006 hit, “Like A Boy.” Notorious for reviving throwback hits, the TikTok community is bringing “Like A Boy” back to the forefront with over 85.7K+ total creations on the platform, many created in recent weeks. Inspired by the hook of the song, TikTok creators imagine how different their relationships  would be if they “acted like a boy,” while one creator posted a hilarious text message exchange between herself and her significant other, with an unexpected ending. Other TikTok users take the opportunity to play with their own identities, dressing like they would if they were the opposite gender.
  • TikTok always aims to be a platform where creators can celebrate and take pride in their authentic selves. This week, LGBTQ+ creators are putting a comedic twist on Bronx rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie’s 2016 hit “My Sh*t” (103.5K+ creations), unexpectedly tying connections  between the flex-heavy rap song and their own experiences. As A Boogie raps “See the flick of my wrist,” creators make a limp wrist motion to slyly express their sexual or gender identities. The sound is proving to be suitable for those who are coming out as bisexual to their moms, have come out as trans, and who often have to clarify their sexual identity to strangers who wrongly assume they’re straight.
  • With artists like Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo getting their biggest break on the platform, it’s no secret that TikTok can help create massive pop stars. But the success of British singer-songwriter PinkPantheress on the platform indicates that TikTok can help boost the careers of future alt icons as well. Influenced by jungle, UK garage, and classic R&B, PinkPantheress creates songs that are perfect for the platform–they’re packed with hooks and rarely exceed two minutes in length. She scored a major TikTok hit with her song “Break It Off,” and its now-familiar refrain “One day I just wanna hear to say, ‘I like you’ / What’s stopping you?”, which has appeared in over 500k TikToks after it inspired a trend that makes use of a stop-motion creative filter, and trended with other songs like the Satie-referencing “Pain” (over 70k combined video creations on the original and slowedversions), and the breakbeat-heavy “Passion” (22k creations). Buoyed by her viral momentum, PinkPantheress teased her song “Just For Me” on TikTok in July (in a video that racked up over 7 million views). The song became an immediate hit on the platform, generating over 1 million video creations, including ones from Madison Beer and UK rapper Central Cee, and scored over 10 million Spotify streams in less than two weeks. With even more trending songs in the pipeline, including Spotify viral hit “Just A Waste” (100k video creations), and a record deal with Parlophone in place,  there’s no ceiling on what the 20-year-old PinkPantheress can accomplish.

Earlier this week, TikTok users celebrated when the iconic Taylor Swift joined the platform. A favorite of the app’s community (including Olivia Rodrigo), who’ve viewed posts tagged “#swifttok” over 1 billion times, Taylor hopped on with a fun video, soundtracked to Dave’s “Screwface Capital,” where she cycled through her folklore, evermore, and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) eras, followed by an exclusive announcement of the vinyl release of Red (Taylor’s Version), coming November 19th. Keep an eye on @TaylorSwift for more videos, and check out TikTok’s newsroom for more details: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/swifttok-rejoice-taylors-on-tiktok-and-shes-bearing-gifts

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

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:
Lizzo Starts “Rumors,” bbno$ Eats “edamame,” and More Hip-Hop TikTok Stories
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