Top 10 Artists that Blew Up on TikTok
By: Sydney Fiorentino
Over the last year, we have watched TikTok grow extremely popular amongst Gen Zs and Millennials. Not only is it a source of diverse content, ranging from mindless and funny to inspirational and relatable, but it’s also a creative outlet. Anyone gets to play with unique transitions and edits, cool filters, and make up potentially viral dances. They also get to share their own music and in turn have the potential of gaining a substantial following. Whether it be new songs becoming discovered or old songs resurfacing, TikTok is a rare platform that enhances artists popularity on the charts. In 2020, many artists have risen to fame from their songs becoming popular TikTok audios. Here are ten artists that have gained a considerable notice from TikTok:
1. Megan Thee Stallion
Popular for her ever so catchy hit “Savage”, Stallion created a song that not only advocated for Black female empowerment, but also a song that is featured as audio on 27.6 million TikTok videos. Stallion had already been releasing music since 2017 before gaining traction on TikTok. Her song “Stalli Freestyle”, released 4 years ago, has about 9.5 million views in Youtube compared to the 61 million views on her “Savage Remix” video released 8 months ago. Similar to most of us, I did not know of Megan Thee Stallion before watching video after video of people dancing to her remix on TikTok. TikTok played a major role in Stallion's exponential rise to fame and increasing recognition for her iconic music.
2. Conan Gray
“Maniac” and “Heather” are two popular hits heard nonstop on TikTok, the platform that introduced me to Gray as an artist in 2020. According to INSIDER, his track “served as the soundtrack to a viral trend." Gray is another one of the lucky few who caught a big break from TikTok.
3. Olivia Rodrigo
Her debut single, “Drivers License” , released in January 2021, has already gained so much popularity on TikTok. INSIDER reports the song as the latest TikTok obsession, especially because of the allusion to a love triangle and shade thrown related to her ex boyfriend. I was introduced to this song simply from my "for you" page; it's as easy to discover the latest hits on TikTok as scrolling for a mere few minutes.
4. Trevor Daniel
His song “Falling” is yet another a hit to gain popularity via TikTok challenges. Billboard says, “Last fall, 'Falling' finally found its larger audience, once a TikTok challenge gave the single a second chance at success, boosting streams and buoying the crooner to several first appearances on various Billboard charts… He snagged his first top 40 appearance on the Hot 100, setting a new peak at No. 31 on charts dated Jan. 11.” Though originally released in 2018, the song was brought back via TikTok users, giving Daniel the rare opportunity to gain a new following years later.
5. Cookiee Kawaii
I hadn't heard of Kawaii until my friend mentioned hearing her song on TikTok. “Vibe” became the track of a new dancing trend, giving Kawaii the chance to gain a following from a largely teen audience.
6. Lyle Kam
Kam isn’t a mainstream artist, but instead a man who simply wanted to write a song. I stumbled upon his TikTok video on my "for you" page, discussing about how he got his heartbroken and the resulting song that came from it. Kam released “Unlove” on Spotify in 2020, receiving around 461.3k streams. In his early TikToks, Kam averaged about 500 views per video. But now his videos average thousands of views. Kam's growing success and recognition demonstrates TikTok's ability to serve as a powerful tool for self-publishers.
7. Doja Cat
Doja Cat's popular tune“Say So” has around 263 million views on Youtube upon becoming a the track for a viral dancing trend on TikTok. The "Say So" TikTok dance became one of the most popular trends during the early days of quarantine, lending to its wild popularity amidst so much boredom. Since blowing up on TikTok, Doja Cat has gained an enormous follower base. While her previous music was already popular, TikTok has made her music mainstream.
8. Ricky Montgomery
With 3.3 million views on Youtube, “Mr. Loverman” is a popular audio for TikTok videos. This song's success in particular has lended to Montgomery's mainstream status in the TikTok world. His songs on Youtube have about 30K views and his audio was used 88.7K times on TikTok. TikTok is a unique platform in that it allows small artists to achieve rapid, mainstream success.
9. Lewis Capaldi
“Bruises” and “Someone You Loved” are two common songs circulating on TikTok. Though Capaldi was famous before his songs surfaced on TikTok, his older songs have under 10 million views on Youtube compared to “Someone You Loved's” 309 million views. TikTok drastically elevated Capaldi's level of fame.
10. Arizona Zervas
Arizona Zervas created “Roxanne”, which has 126 million views on Youtube. The song has also been featured in around 2 million TikTok videos. Compared to his other music, "Roxanne" is definitely responsible for Zervas's popularity and growing fanbase.
While most of these artists already had somewhat of a follower-base before TikTok, their mainstream fame can be attributed to their music becoming popular on TikTok. Whether you want to write your own song and become famous, or just to share your passions with others, TikTok is a space that makes your dreams possible.