Future archivists tasked with documenting the daily minutia of Covid-19 will have to download TikTok, watch thousands of videos of dogs voiced over by affectionate owners, hours of Animal Crossing and TikTok dance routines. TikTok has become a welcomed distraction, helping to fill up endless days of social distancing.
An amazing result of this trend is the number of tracks that have risen to popularity after having been used to choreograph TikTok dance routines. The fact that so many young people are getting their music from a 15-second clip rather than the radio will undoubtably change the music industry.
When times get tough, and you are looking for a much-needed escape, download TikTok and listen to the tracks that will come to define 2020.
Here are some of the most addictive TikTok tracks of 2020.
Doja Cat – “Say So”
If you have only just heard of Doja Cat, it is either because you watched Margot Robbie dance to “Boss B***h” in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn) or you religiously scroll through TikTok.
Both people and cats alike are dancing to its infectious rhythm. Taken from Doja Cat’s second studio album Hot Pink, it is by far the most synonymous with Doja Cat’s popularity. The song was used in a TikTok along with an easy to learn dance routine and there you go – the world has gone crazy for “Say So”.
Its sultry pop beats flow effortlessly through the speakers. Continuing to ride the popularity wave, Doja Cat has just released a “Say So” remix featuring Nicki Minaj, which has gone on to top the Billboard singles chart. Get ready TikTok, new videos coming your way.
It is easy to see that this is just the beginning for Doja Cat. Her unique combination of smooth and steamy vocals with addictive pop beats is hard to find anywhere else. On songs like “Juicy” you can really get a sense of her style as an artist.
It is fun to see where her career will head off next, especially as she is not worried about pushing the boundaries. Her video for “Go To Town” is both risqué and cute and will get you smiling. Doja Cat is on her way up, some might argue she is already there.
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”
At the beginning of this year, The Weeknd dropped his album After Hours, but if you were immersed in TikTok, you might have not realised it. Having said that, you have probably seen groups of quarantined roommates enthusiastically dancing to “Blinding Lights”.
This has become hands down the most popular track off the record. While The Weeknd might have just released the best album he’s made in years, it is “Blinding Lights” that will find its way into history. The track starts with a synth throwback to the 80’s but then straight back to reality with The Weekend’s signature vocal stylings.
After Hours is a welcome return of The Weekend we have missed. Past releases have been met with disappointment, fans awaiting a return of Trilogy The Weeknd. While Starboy received positive feedback, and Beauty Behind The Madness won the 2018 Grammy Award for ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album’, fans are still pining for something more.
After Hours might just be the album they were looking for: an image of an anti-hero trying to find his way. While he’s doing that I will be standing over here with “Blinding Lights” synths play on repeat.
The Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited”
As a massive fan of The Pointer Sisters, I was pleasantly surprised to find TikTok dance routines to “I’m So Excited.” After scrolling through the endless videos of cats and dogs getting boops, art projects and imitations of comedic stand up I couldn’t help but smile at dance routines to one of the best songs to ever come through my speakers.
For years, The Pointer Sisters have been a go-to for both nights out and dancing alone in your flat. While it is fun seeing what new tracks are gaining popularity, having a dance routine to an R&B classic gives me hope that as time goes on quality tracks will continue to find a new audience to love them.
Heralding from Oakland, California, The Pointer Sisters entered the mainstream music scene in the 1970s. For four decades they continued to release tracks spanning a variety of genres. Songs like “Jump (For My Love)” and “He’s So Shy” are just some of the musical gold The Pointer Sisters gave the world. TikTok will come and go, but The Pointer Sisters will continue to be cherished for eternity.
Roddy Ricch – “The Box”
Admittedly I had never heard “The Box” until downloading TikTok, but that seems to be how we are finding new music. First released as a single then included on Roddy Ricch’s debut album Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, “The Box” has only continued to rise in the charts.
Both catchy and showcasing his unique song writing, it is a perfect single to drop. You could hardly believe this is off a debut album. The track is easy to follow, almost putting you in a trance. I had to stop everything I was doing to listen to it properly, and it had my attention the whole time. It is a confident track that deserves the attention it is getting.
From the infamous streets of Compton, there was a lot riding on the release of Ricch’s debut album. He had been on people’s radar after having released his single “Die Young”.
Ricch can easily be labelled as a rapper to watch, with years of well-crafted song writing to come. Critics point to his versatility, being able to go from a sense of calm to panic in a matter of seconds and writing tracks that are dying for radio play. Welcome to the big leagues, Roddy Ricch.
Arizona Zervas – “Roxanne”
Originally brought to my attention by my ever-knowledgeable sister, she bluntly let me know that if I was not listening to “Roxanne” by Arizona Zervas, I was way behind.
From hitting number four on Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2019 to being featured on viral TikTok videos, the song has solidified its online success. Zervas is no stranger to online popularity. His 2016 debut single “Don’t Hit My Line” plus more than 30 singles got him reaching 1 million streams on Spotify.
Zervas’ “Roxanne” has no connection to The Police song by the same name, both in lyrical and musical standards. With lyrics like, “Now she wanna date you / straight to Nobu / on the coast / shorty only like cocaine and Whole Foods” it should definitely not be mistaken for a Sting song.
While there is humour and sass to be found in the lyrics, the earworm quality of the track definitely comes down to the music. It is a gentle, breezy track that does not take up space but can quietly play in the background and still have you remember it hours later.
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Words by Claudia Arnoldo