11 Artists Finding A Surprising New Audience On TikTok

The social media app is seeing a whole host of unexpected acts dance their way back into the charts

TikTok is infamous for all kinds of reasons, but no single social media trend has had a bigger impact on pop culture than the phenomenon of TikTok dances. A popular dance can see a new artist skyrocket to the top of the charts and songs that trend on TikTok quickly follow suit on every other platform.

The video sharing app isn’t just making careers – it’s also revitalising them. Songs that slipped out of the charts years ago are being rediscovered by Gen Z and beginning to appear on playlists again. There’s no denying that the TikTok effect is incredibly powerful, and some of the artists getting a career boast won’t even know why (until they start seeing their kids dancing to one of their own old tracks…).

We’ve rounded up the artists finding a new audience amongst Gen Z thanks to the TikTok music trends that just can’t be stopped.

Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo & Jawsh 685 - Savage Love (Studio Music Video)

When Jason Derulo joined TikTok he did so seemingly on a mission to conquer the app. He hopped on trends with lightning speed, collaborated with some of TikTok’s biggest faces, and did everything he could to make his presence felt – perhaps not surprising from the man famous for announcing his own name. Derulo’s success on the app led to one of his biggest chart hits in recent memory, after he sang over a viral instrumental by 17-year-old producer Jawsh 685 and co-created ‘Savage Love’. Although the move was initially met with backlash, Derulo having neglected to give credit to the original creator, the unofficial remix was quickly made official. Jawsh 685 and Derulo soared up the charts together, and Derulo was bolstered by a huge online backing as he turned to new projects.

The Ting Tings

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name (Official Video)

The 2007 hit ‘That’s Not My Name’ by English duo The Ting Tings tackled sexism and a sense of anonymity in the music industry with 80s-inspired ferocity. It therefore must have been interesting when, in January 2022, the band got to witness celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Alicia Silverstone using the song to compile coy montages of their popular roles. The Ting Tings have spoken positively about the trend, however, and with their fifth album on its way this recent resurgence of their old hit has likely provided some welcome publicity.

Aly & AJ

Aly & AJ - Potential Breakup Song Explicit (from TikTok New Year’s LIVE)

Another 2007 track brought back to life by TikTok music, Aly & AJ’s ‘Potential Break-Up Song’ became the song of choice for lip-syncers in 2020 thanks to multiple viral videos using the track. The trend was so popular that the sisters decided to re-release it, this time with explicit lyrics so that their now-adult audience could finally swear along. They went on to release A Touch Of The Beat Gets You Up On Your Feet Gets You Out And Then Into The Sun in 2021, their first studio album in 14 years.


OMC - How Bizarre (Official Music Video)

The ‘How Bizarre’ trend sees OMC’s 1996 song used to reveal secrets and poke fun at misunderstandings. Users wear a deadpan expression and lip-sync to the hook as captions on the screen describe situations that might seem bizarre but, as the blank face over them would suggest, actually aren’t at all. The track has been used in over 100,000 videos and TikToks using the song have garnered millions of views.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac - Dreams (Official Music Video) [4K Remaster]

Whilst Fleetwood Mac has hardly suffered anything near a pop culture death, their track ‘Dreams’ hadn’t charted in 42 years before its recent resurgence. In 2020, user Nathon Apocada filmed himself drinking cranberry juice on his skateboard as he cruised down an Idaho highway, ‘Dreams’ playing in the background, and suddenly the track was back. The song re-entered the charts and reached No.10 on the Billboard Global 100, with dances, skateboarding copycats and even skits popping up all over TikTok.

The Chordettes

The Chordettes - Mr Sandman (Live 1958)

This was a more minor social media moment, but a moment nonetheless. A filter that splits the screen into nine sections and a song from 1954 by a female barbershop quartet were already making small waves on the app, but the addition of a cat named Ed took the popularity of the track to the next level. A TikTok user filmed her pet performing some simple choreography in the nine screens and suddenly ‘Mr. Sandman’ by the Chordettes was going viral.

Papa Roach

Papa Roach x Jeris Johnson - Last Resort Reloaded (Official Music Video)

Originally released in 2000, ‘Last Resort’ by Papa Roach was a career-defining hit and spoke to angry, nihilistic young people all over the globe. Two decades later, a young creator by the name of Jeris Johnson took to TikTok to share his remix, complete with his own verse, and went viral. He soon found himself starring in a full-blown music video for the revamped song alongside Papa Roach themselves – a surprisingly wholesome meeting of generations over a very angsty track. The video quickly surpassed a million views and ‘Last Resort’ found its way back into the charts twenty years after its original exit.

Simple Plan

Simple Plan - I'm Just A Kid (Official Video) [HD]

What is it with TikTok music trends and early 00s tracks? ‘I’m Just A Kid’, the debut track from Canadian group Simple Plan, saw a resurgence in popularity a couple of years ago after an excerpt from the song went viral on the app. The trend saw users recreating outfits, poses and facial expressions from childhood photos. It was so popular during lockdown that it actually caused the song to go certified platinum in 2020, nearly two decades after its release in 2002.

Boney M

Boney M. - Rasputin (Sopot Festival 1979)

Whilst Just Dance ensure that Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ never really left the social zeitgeist, a direct challenge from the band brought the song back in full force. When the band’s official TikTok account posted a video of Bobby Farrell dancing to the track and encouraged others to attempt his moves, TikTok uses rose to the occasion. The ‘Rasputin Dance Challenge’ dominated the app in January 2021, causing the song to reappear on the charts for the first time since the 70s.

Gym Class Heroes

Gym Class Heroes: Cupid's Chokehold ft. Patrick Stump [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

“Take a look at my girlfriend/She’s the only one I got” sings Patrick Stump in the viral Gym Class Heroes excerpt that had TikTok users proudly showing off (you guessed it) their girlfriends. ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’, the song from which these lyrics are taken, came out back in 2005, and the band themselves haven’t been active since 2018. Nonetheless, the trend helped Gym Class Heroes to take the track platinum in the UK and triple platinum in the US.

Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous (Official Music Video) ft. Timbaland

No real explanation for this one – it’s just catchy. Nelly Furtado’s ‘Promiscuous’, which features a flirty conversation between Furtado and collaborator Timbaland, was originally released in 2006, but was rediscovered by TikTok users in late 2020. The song re-entered the Billboard Global Charts thanks to a number of viral videos, many of them passionate lip-sync performances.