Over the past two years, TikTok has become the hub for emerging talent, with unknown musicians becoming internet superstars over night, forever changing the music industry as we know it. Nowadays, it’s not just radio DJs or Spotify playlist curators pulling the strings — it’s also elusive algorithms and viral memes that could make or break a musician’s success. Most impressively, this fame sticks even beyond the quick fifteen seconds of fame the app gives, with acts like Lil Nas X and Doja Cat becoming household names. These are the best TikTok songs that have been popping off all summer.

 


 

Best TikTok Songs - Tai Verdes

1. Tai Verdes – Stuck in the Middle  

Tai Verdes may only have one song out, but thanks to TikTok the 24-year-old musician has been propelled to heights that some long-time musicians can only dream about. “Stuck in the Middle” is a vibey, bass-heavy song that touches on the ups-and-downs of a relationship plagued by mixed signals, commitment issues and other romantic in-betweens. Unlike some other songs on TikTok, Tai’s song didn’t blow up because of a dance or trend. All it took was a simple video of him singing in the car and the rest was history. He now has over 7 million streams on Spotify and global viral charts, and we can’t wait for his next song.

 

 

 

 

Best TikTok Songs - SALES

2. SALES – Renee 

One peculiar thing about TikTok is the way a song from years ago can suddenly have a resurgence, taking the artist to unexpected new heights. This happened with Lizzo when “Truth Hurts” went viral two years after the song’s release. Now, it’s happening again with “Renee” by the indie-pop duo SALES. The song, which was written by bandmates Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih, was first released in 2013 — but on TikTok time doesn’t seem to exist. This summer “Renee” became the backtrack for a viral trend where users flexed all the great things they could offer in different situations — whether that’s as an employee, accountant, or in a relationship.

Ironically, the song’s true meaning has nothing to do with the trend. In an interview with PRISM Magazine, Lauren and Jordan explained that Renee is actually a real person who they met at a bar. “She’s this really mysterious, outgoing woman,” said Jordan. “She would say just a lot of things, like she said she was a nutritionist as a prison as well as a stripper. You don’t really meet people like that who are really outgoing and pervasive. We were kind of blown away by her outgoing, embracing approach.”

 

 

 

 

Best TikTok Songs - ODESZA

3. ODESZA – A Moment Apart

ODESZA have making music together for years. But recently a TikTok meme has brought their mesmerizing 2018 track “A Moment Apart” back into the spotlight. In the past month alone, thousands of videos have cropped up on the app, users delivering dramatic monologues over the cinematic opening of ODESZA’s track, always following the same format: “You’ve got to stop ______.” And yes, everyone from Dr. Phil to your local boy next door has participated in the trend. 

 

 

 

 

Best TikTok Songs - Noah Cho

4. Noah Cho – Lows

“Lows” by Noah Cho is one of those rare indie rock gems that pop up onto your TikTok “for you” page and you’re like damn, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. The 19-year-old Maryland-born indie-rock artist has been making music for four years now, but something about “Lows” feels extra special. Perhaps it’s the vulnerable lyrics and hazy, grunge guitar riffs that stick with you throughout the day.

“My song “Lows” is about the journey of my last relationship,” he explained to ATG. “The first part of the song is about the love and good times I had with her but as the song progresses you hear more and more about some of the problems we had.”

 

 

 

 

Claire Rosinkranz

5. Claire Rosinkranz – Backyard Boy

Claire Rosinkranz is a 16-year-old, native Californian who has been writing songs since the age of eight. Drawing on musical inspirations like the Beatles, Frank Ocean, and Still Woozy, her alternative-blues-pop EP BeVerly Hills BoYfRiEnd is a four-song project which she wrote, recorded and produced with her father Ragnar (who is also a musician). The album overall is a vibe — but in particular, the song “Backyard Boy” stands out for its super catchy hook that makes you want to dance, no matter the location.

Finding its home on TikTok, this is a song about falling in love and the anxiety that accompanies even the most perfect of moments with that special person. What’s most surprising though is that Claire never even knew the song went viral until a bunch of people started DMing her on Instagram. Talk about life changing.

 

 

 

 

Best TikTok Songs - Sada Baby

6.Sada Baby – Whole Lotta Choppas

Sada Baby is a 25-year-old rap prodigy from Detroit, Michigan who has an affinity for quick-witted lyricism and humorous music videos that often times feature memey dances. “I can’t help it, even if I’m talking about drugs or making basketball anaologies I’m gon’ dance,”  he says in an interview with Pitchfork. “I’m a memable motherfucker.” It’s this willingness to be turned into a meme that has brought his song “Whole Lotta Choppas” virality on TikTok, with even top creators like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae performing his goofy dance moves. But the long-time fans know that he’s always been this way, even before the app.

 

 

 

 

Sam Ilese

7. Salem Ilese – Mad at Disney

A native Californian, the 21-year-old singer songwriter Salem Ilese basically grew up with Disneyland in her backyard. As a child she was a huge fan of Disney movies, but as she got older things changed: “Growing up you expect a prince and a white horse to come and rescue you from the tower,” she explained. “[But] in reality, you get boys in high school who are scared of commitment and stand you up for a date.” Her track “Mad at Disney” was inspired by this frustration with the faux fairytale endings that Disney feeds children.

The song was released after a widespread public disappointment with Disney’s live action remakes of their classic animated films. Though the song is relatable song, neither Salem nor her cowriter/manager Jason Hahs expected it to go viral on TikTok overnight. Yet thousands of people using the song to criticize Disney for its inaccurate representation of the world, and more recently, for its controversial remake of Mulan.

 

 


 

Best TikTok Songs Playlist

Be sure to stream the whole playlist below, and follow us on Spotify to stay up-to-date on the best TikTok songs year-round.