Streaming reigns supreme in today’s music industry, and that’s why record companies are channeling their energy into the one app that has somehow captured the minds of Gen Z: TikTok.
We’re well past the stage of explaining TikTok to our predominantly Millennial and Gen X audience, as we’ve done on several occasions. I mean, several times. We profiled some of the app’s many “influencers” and discussed the more serious and substantive side of the video-sharing platform.
You got the idea. TikTok is everywhere, and we seniors (I’m only 27, but still older than the average TikTok user) might as well drink Matlock on television in a retirement home. While Zoomers spend their precious and fleeting youth wearing AirPods and doing Fortnite dances, the rest of us are in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to relating to young people.
Luckily for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials, some of the hottest songs on TikTok are the ones that should be in our wheelhouse. Take the five below, for example.
Pixies, “Where’s my mind? “
Some of the more viral TikTok videos to use this song are in Russian, but a large chunk of the English-speaking creators seemed to have chosen the Pixies’ signature single given how easy it is to rock. Who would have guessed that Frank Black would provide future generations with a soundtrack for online makeup tutorials? Not us old friends, that’s for sure.
Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”
A guy from Idaho named Nathan Apodaca filmed himself on TikTok on a skateboard while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice to the sound of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and it resonated so much with the base of app users that the song made a triumphant return to the cards. It also prompted Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood to set up TikTok accounts, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight how unlikely Apodaca is suffering from a urinary tract infection.
Run-DMC, “It’s tricky”
It’s universally recognized that kids these days don’t usually immerse themselves in the sounds of old-school hip-hop artists like Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J, but even after decades of evolving into hip production. -hop, Run-DMC’s single “It’s Tricky” manages to create intergenerational appeal. For example, hundreds of thousands of TikTok users have selected it as the soundtrack for their dance moves, gymnastics performances and their challenges.
Ronettes, “Be my baby”
Before the world knew he was a shit, Phil Spector changed the music game with his unprecedented “sound barrier” production approach, and he gave one of the best examples in the iconic hit Ronettes “Be My Baby.” That gargantuan sound and Ronnie Spector’s angelic, nasal voice combine to form a powerful vibration.
Redhead blonde, “For the damaged coda”
This song was in a relative state of obscurity until it was used in a 2014 episode of the Adult Swim animated series. Rick and morty. Since then, it has attracted over 50 million Spotify streams and 43 million hits on YouTube. That explains the “how” to make this song so viral on TikTok, but the “why” should be pretty obvious – it’s enchanting as hell.