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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

I have been on TikTok since 2017, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you what my music tastes were before then. But now, the music I listen to the most all comes from TikTok. It’s kind of embarrassing, and I usually don’t tell people that. I make up that I listen to alternative pop or something, but guys, let’s be honest, songs that get famous from TikTok are a bop. 

I can go back on to my Spotify and tell you the first song I added that first heard from TikTok. It was “Intro III” from NF, added to my playlist on November 30, 2018. I first saw the song from a POV, and I couldn’t even tell you who exactly did the POV. This was before you could tell people you had TikTok, and before POVs were considered “cool.” But I absolutely loved the song, and I felt so powerful listening to it, so it went directly to my playlist. I had never heard of the band NF before the video as well, but now I love their music. 

Slowly after that, my Spotify playlist started growing with TikTok famous songs like “Big Weenie” from Eminem and “Walk Man” by TMG. One of my favorites was “Buttercup” by Jack Stauber. These are just a few songs that I first heard on TikTok and then they made their way to my playlist. These songs mentioned here were from July and August of 2019. I can’t believe the trends were over a year ago, but then again, 2020 has felt like 15 years by itself. 

My most recent song from TikTok that I’ve added is “Money Trees” by Kendrick Lamar. I saw someone create an animation to one part of the song. I fell in love, and this summer, all I did was drive around with the windows down, wind wiping my hair, blasting “Money Trees.”

I think that’s why I love songs from TikTok so much. You see some type of video you love or connect with, and then you associate the sound or song with that video. It’s the same thing as loving a song that you heard during a concert or during your first kiss. The song is something memorable, something that just connects to your soul.

Connecting to a TikTok video might not be as special as your first kiss, but it’s still something that’s taken over many people’s lives (Well, at least mine). The TikTok songs that are now in my playlist remind me of a special video I was immediately captured by, or a certain trend I was obsessed with. And even in some cases, a whole vibe that was created by certain songs during a certain time. During the fall of 2019, there were so many great songs that emerged on TikTok, and I still go back to listen to them to get a feel for that time again. 

Woman wearing white headphones and dancing
Photo by Bruce Mars from Unsplash

So I guess my point is that my music tastes haven’t really changed from TikTok, but my music tastes have expanded in a way I didn’t really expect. Before TikTok, my playlist songs were songs I had heard from the radio. But now I’m being introduced to all these new, amazing songs and bands I would have never discovered on my own. 

I’ve discovered that I love songs from bands I’ve never heard of, like NF and Cosmo Sheldrake. But I’ve also discovered I love songs from artists I knew existed, but I didn’t think I would like, like Eminem and BROCKHAMPTON. New artists that I love as well have only become famous from TikTok, like Doja Cat and Ski Mask the Slump God. TikTok has become a way for old artists to connect with the newer generation, and upcoming artists to become famous. 

I mean, one viral video with one song, and bam, everyone knows the song now. If you were on TikTok at the beginning of this year and I played you “City of Angels” by 24kGoldn, you would immediately think two things. One: “Wow, that’s a TikTok song.” And two: “Wait, that was famous during February and March of this year?” (Yeah, I can’t believe it either). Maybe I’m just uncultured when it comes to famous pop bands, but I had never heard of 24kGoldn before “City of Angels” became famous. But now I know every lyric to the song. 

I think that’s one of the things I’m going to miss the most if TikTok gets banned. Not only has the app become my only entertainment besides Netflix, but it has become the place that I discover new music. I don’t know where I would go if TikTok got banned and I wanted new songs. 

TikTok music has become an integral part of my life because listening to TikTok trend music brings me joy and brings me back to a time where all that mattered at the time was making sure I didn’t laugh too loud as to wake up my family. 

I wish saying my music tastes are TikTok trend songs wasn’t weird or anything. Because it’s true. At this point, almost everyone has TikTok. Even if you don’t have TikTok, some songs that become famous are from artists that people already listen to. When people ask me my music tastes, I want to be able to say, “Oh, well TikTok songs.” They would understand, not judge, and maybe then we could talk about songs we both enjoy that emerged from TikTok. Even if someone doesn’t have TikTok, they would just understand you and not judge your tastes.

Let’s normalize the fact that TikTok has influenced our tastes. At least for me, the app has. Maybe no one agrees with me, so even if you don’t, you have to at least admit some TikTok trend songs are so good. So maybe if we normalize it, then we can talk and listen to our favorite TikTok songs without feeling embarrassed. Well, we can talk if we can get ourselves to stop scrolling on TikTok for at least 5 minutes in the first place. 

hand holding iphone showing spotify
Photo by Fixelgraphy from Unsplash

Hi! My name is Alex Corbin and I'm a sophomore at KU majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience in the Pre-Med track! I'm a huge movie and TV show fan, and my life has been taken over by TikTok. I hope you like reading my articles!