My Favorite Original Songs from TikTok

In the early 2000s, American Idol was considered groundbreaking as a non-traditional way for young people to start their careers in the competitive music industry, by winning the show (and a record deal) based on America’s votes, instead of networking and connections. Since the show was created, spinoffs, knockoffs, and more have been broadcast, making them harder and harder to get onto.

In 2020 — with most in-person gigs cancelled — up and coming musicians have transitioned to using the popular platform TikTok to circumvent the traditional path to stardom by posting covers and original songs in the hopes of going viral. Recently, I’ve fallen into “Songwriting TikTok,” and I’ve since discovered so much new music from young artists through the app.

Here are some of my favorite songs (in alphabetic order because I can’t choose my favorite) from young artists that I’ve discovered in the past few months thanks to TikTok.

  1. 1. Break the Distance” by Ashton Edminster

    couple hugging

    Ashton Edminster wrote this song about overcoming long-distance relationships, and it reminds me of a modern-day version of Christina Perri’s 2014 album head or heart.

  2. 2. HMU If U Don’t Like Me” by Ashley Kutcher

    A torn pink paper heart strung on white string with a black background.

    Ashley Kutcher’s song about toxic relationships has incredibly thought-out lyrics, and it is also great for jamming out while getting ready in the morning: a win-win!

  3. 3. Home (Monologue)” by Peach Martine

    Microphone on dark background

    I don’t normally like spoken word poetry, but Peach has the most calming voice I’ve ever heard. My favorite of her poems is about how she started going by the name of Peach, but this monologue about home being people—not just a location—is also adorable. 

  4. 4. Jimmy the Chameleon” by Brookside

    Book of Music in Leaves

    I was blown away by the storytelling in “Jimmy the Chameleon,” written by high school senior Bennett Woolsey in response to a comment on his TikTok. It’s the cutest song about a chameleon getting lost in the woods, and I highly recommend it to cheer you up.

  5. 5. Legend Lake” by Miggie Snyder

    record store vinyl

    “Legend Lake” was one of the first singing videos I ever favorited, so I was ecstatic when Miggie Snyder released an official version of the song about her extended family’s lake house on Spotify. She’s also written and made TikToks promoting the song, changing the lyrics to fit different popular stories and characters like Percy Jackson, Hunger Games, and Avengers.

  6. 6. nothing else i could do” by Ella Jane

    vintage microphone with colorful lights in the background

    Ella Jane wrote this song based on Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby for an English project when she was in high school, and thanks to a TikTok about it, it now has over 1 million streams, proving her mastery over lyrics, melodies, and storytelling.

  7. 7. Overactive Imagination” by Taylor Bickett

    A couple making a heart at sunset

    Nashville singer-songwriter Taylor Bickett has shown up on my “For You Page” countless times in the past few months, and while she doesn’t have any of her own music on Spotify yet, I am anxiously waiting for the day she posts one of her sweet love songs. In the meantime, she is credited as a writer on Youtuber Adelaine Morin’s EP from this summer!

  8. 8. SFU” by Cayley Spify

    Red Lights and Disco Balls

    Cayley Spify released “SFU” over the summer, and I absolutely adore the piano combined with her pop-style voice.

  9. 9. the girl you’ll call best friend” by Aria Rayes

    image of two women whispering

    Aria Rayes wrote this song for her best friend right before she left for college, and I highly recommend listening when you’re missing your high school friends.

I’ve compiled these songs and more from TikTok in a Spotify playlist here, and I’m so excited to continue to find new artists through the app. Happy listening!

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!