DJs have always been influencers when it comes to popular music which is often a major contributor to pop culture. Breaking records in clubs and on the radio, disc jockeys would set the tone for what was consumed. Now the listener has a bit more power with streaming services giving anyone an opportunity to listen to music on demand and put together personalized playlists. What’s beneficial to us is that all of that information about what is being streamed is available so we can determine exactly what is being played where and by who. The moment a song goes viral you will see it fly to the top of the charts and can be confident that it is a song worth dropping. If you are looking to be that DJ that breaks records in their mixes, radio shows or club sets, then by the time a song goes viral it may be too late. It literally takes seconds for something to be reposted millions of times. DJ Wonder gave us a tip earlier in the year on how he finds what songs are hot before the go viral, in the video below.
TikTok is a mobile app where users upload short 15 second music videos; the songs that are being used can quickly gain traction. The app has an audience that taps into the younger generation, those who may not be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. When it comes to pop culture it is the celebrities and the youth that drive trends and make things cool so if you want to get a jump start on what is going to be the next hot song then you need to know what they are consuming. In this case it is the youth making up a user base of over 500 million monthly active users globally as of June 2018. It was the most downloaded app in the Apple App store for the first half of 2018 with over 104 million downloads. Yet many DJs have no idea this music based app even exists. If something catches fire and goes viral with lots of a repost or remakes of any given music video, you can bet that millions of users will see and hear it.
You can typically find the “Top 10 Best TikTok Challenges” updated monthly on Youtube via Definitely Funny. The songs used in these various challenges are often songs you won’t hear on radio or find on any music chart, but you can bet that they are just as popular. Almost any song with an accompanying dance adds a physical reinforcement and with the added visual and often comical skits these tracks have an additional draw. A good DJ will adapt to what new resources are available to them and use them to enhance their performance. Taking some time once a week to see what is trending on TikTok may just give you a jump start needed for your mixes and sets. You can regain the power of breaking records with a simple, free download.