Do you want to know the names that are on every TikTokers’ lips right now? The best TikTok singers and songwriters overlap with some of the industry most loved and highest-selling artists. But the app also has a host of vocalists and composers who primarily release and perform material on the platform.
Read on to discover the purest vocals, the viral sensations and some as yet, unreleased stars who will astound you with their huge talent.
The best TikTok singers and songwriters
TikTok is fast catching up YouTube when it comes to the top places to spot talent. The platform allows users to create and upload very short videos. This is good news for singers – and scouts – as it provides a quick glimpse of what they can do. TikTok creation is an art in itself, and all about harnessing the brevity to make an impact.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to artists from all over the world, of a variety of ages, including those who made it on TikTok and those who were already famous when they joined.
Who is the best singer on TikTok?
Different people have different tastes. So it’s impossible to say who is the best singer in any setting. However, where there is a consensus of opinion, as with major, successful artist, it becomes clear who some of the best singers are. And the same applies to TikTok. So to unravel that question, we’ll take a look at the singers and songwriters with the most followers, the most hits and those who are attracting attention as exciting new artists.
The best singing voices on TikTok
If you didn’t know their names already, here are the artists making the most waves on TikTok right now…
The America singer and rapper spent her teens in Estonia and Latvia, before moving to London by herself at age 18. Her real name is Ashton Nicole Casey and she’s 19 years old. Ashnikko’s single Stupid with Yung Baby Tate propelled her to TikTok stardom in 2019. She also co-wrote the song Boss Bitch for Doja Cat (more on her shortly). Her debut mixtape Demidevil was released earlier this year and the music video of her track Daisy was released in collaboration with Beats by Dre and TikTok. Ashnikko also received a nomination for Best Pop Video – UK at the 2020 UK Music Video Awards.
51.1 million followers can’t be wrong – and that’s 18-year-old Loren Gray’s current golden number. She makes a lot of money from the app – reportedly around $200,000 per post. She’s a veteran TikTokker having been on the app since 2015 before it was renamed (its prior incarnation was entitled musical.ly) She is signed by both Virgin and Capitol Records. Loren has appeared in Taylor Swift’s music video of The Man and been nominated for Muser of the Year at the Shorty Awards, and Music Social Star at the iHeartRadio awards. You can also follow her other socials – Instagram @Loren and LorenxGray, a Twitter account @IamLorenGray, and her two dogs’ Instas @angelpom and @smudgeepum.
Described as a singer, songwriter, actress, and mistress of ceremonies, the Japanese starlet made her debut in 2017. Signed to Sony, her original J-pop is all over TikTok. Kana often self-accompanies on keys and guitar,
16-year-old Jessie’s sultry, jazzy tones give her a maturity beyond her chronological years. Her sound is really unique and intoxicating, earning her a strong fanbase and a presence across all the major streaming platforms. Jessie says of herself:
“I’ve grown up around music, and I’m just simply in love with it. I’m also a competitive cheerleader but my real passion is music”.
The 17-year-old singer and songwriter ranked in the Top 40 on American Idol Season 2, in 2019. He has a strong musical theatre background and a stunning falsetto. Cameron’s song Original Sound is one of his most popular and sums up what’s so great about his songwriting skills
The best songwriters on TikTok
Many of the top singers are also the best songwriters on the app. And with TikTok becoming one of the premier places to launch new music, it has plenty of incredible musicians to check out.
Lil Nas X
With a cool net worth of 4 million dollars, Lil Nas X has a lot to thank TikTok for. It was the platform that launched his career as a rapper. His real name is Montero Lamar Hill and it was the viral spread of his unique brand on country rap in Old Town Road that made his name. The song became the longest-running number-one since the Billboard Hot 100 chart debuted in 1958. He was the most-nominated male artist at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards and named one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet in 2019, by Time magazine. And all that from a simple TikTok upload.
A singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer, Doja Cat made her name on SoundCloud in her teens. Now 25, she’s been nominated for three Grammy Awards and has won two American Music Awards. But it’s her short-form videos like Mooo! that drive the fans wild. She’s had many virals and an original dance (to her song Say So, choreographed by Haley Sharpe) that had everyone copying her vibe. Doja Cat has also hit the headlines with an Ariane Grande collab.
“Such a breath of fresh air. I love her so much; I love her personality, I love what she brings to the table musically,” said Ariane of her fellow TikTokker.
Australian pop-rock singer-songwriter Sam is one of TikTok’s more mature creators at 29 years old. Established long before TikTok came along, he’s jumped on the bandwagon with aplomb. And the app has been responsible for providing him with a viral hit. This song, The City, was written in 2017, about his time living in Los Angeles and subsequent disillusionment with the music industry. It achieved 1.5 million creations, and more than a billion views, with over 200 million Spotify streams following soon after. Sam’s lyrics are especially personal, as he explained when talking about The City:
“The day I wrote this song I was having a tough time. I had become disillusioned with my personal identity, my connection to music and with LA in general as if I wanted LA more than LA wanted me. LA can be a really lonely place. When you’re up you’re on top of the world and when you’re down it’s devastating, but we’re all here for a reason so we don’t like talking about how hard it gets because we blindly believe it’ll all work out in the end. I think This City can be a safe place to feel those feelings and hopefully feel less alone.”
The 21-year-old Nashville based recording artist writes her own music and lyrics. Her work is biographical and described as modern country music. Following a period with BMG, Roth moved to the new label Altadena. This is how Busbee, the founder and CEO of Altadena describes Riley on her website:
“Riley has that rare ability to communicate directly to listeners at every level, and to her peers in particular. It’s a product of her heart, her dedication, her skill, and her work ethic, and when an artist can marry those traits with the right songs and records, anything is possible.”
Julia (aka Londin) Thompson is one of 2020’s TikTok success stories. The unknown singer-songwriter received millions of views after uploading a snippet of her song Wish It Would Rain. What makes this even more remarkable, is that she only had 300 followers at the time and hadn’t had a good experience when uploading music to YouTube. Wish It Would Rain was shared 10,000 times over, by TikToker’s including Meghan Trainor. A record deal followed shortly after. London said of her success:
“It was mind-blowing. We didn’t’ expect it at all. We got the email from Republic Records. They’ve been my dream label since I was 14 or 15 years old. The fact they were interested in me was incredible in itself.”
A multiple viral hit sensation, Alexander 23 made it big with IDK You Yet. His TikTok is filled with incredible unreleased music, especially sad and emotive songs. He makes beautiful and artist videos and his latest hit Cry Over Boys was featured by Apple Music on their New Music Daily playlist.
Famous musicians on TikTok
Of course, some of the industry’s biggest movers and shakers have got in on the 15-second video action. But some are faring better than others, with this unique style of fan engagement. Here are the one’s we – and everyone else – are loving.
If you need cheering up, follow the self-professed king of TikTok. Lewis Capaldi’s account is a total joy. It’s consistently hilarious and more about pranks and silliness than actually singing very much. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a huge success on the app and is one of the finest singer-songwriters we’ve seen in years. TikTok loves him so much that they decided to feature the Scottish star in their campaign, ‘Jump into the BRITs’.
With a whopping 43 million followers, there’s no denying the draw of Derulo. Like Lewis, many of his vids are funny ones, but he incorporates a fir amount of his own music and that of others. The R&B singer-songwriter blew up the charts in 2009, with his mega-hit Whatcha Say and has been regarded as one of the best in his genre ever since.
Dua comes from a generation of social media. It was through posting videos of herself singing covers on YouTube, that she first hooked the attention of top A&R, aged just 14. Her cool and dulcet tones have since won her accolades including two BRITS (British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act). She describes her style as ‘dark pop’. The singer partnered with TikTok, offering creators the chance to haven their animation, makeup looks and choreography featured in a music video for her single Levitating. Dua commented:
“I’m so excited to be collaborating with TikTok and my fans to create such an interstellar video – it’s really inspiring to see so many creative talents coming together on this project.“
Undoubtedly one of the best songwriters of his time, Ed caused a frenzy when uploading a clip from his recent song Afterglow. It’s since been viewed more than 47 million times and used in other videos on the app over 7000 times. He’s a big fan of the duet feature, inviting aspiring stars to join him. How nervous would you be performing a live stream duet with Ed Sheeran?!
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Ed on the app. He’s received a lot of trolling and mean comments. We’re glad Ed can rise above it though, like the star that he is.
Artists like Londin Thompson are proof that TikTok provides a level playing field for unknown artists. The app’s algorithms mean that it’s not only famous and followed creators who get the views. This makes it a superb place to look out for the next big thing in music. And who knows, it might be you!
- Are TikTok singers better than real artists?
TikTok singers are real artists if they’re releasing and performing music (which the good ones all are). Being a singer on TikTok doesn’t make you better or worse as a vocalist. The platform is just a means to get your work (and name) out there.
- Who is the No 1 Tik Toker?
The top three most followed accounts currently belong to Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Zach king. The most prolific posters are GodZion, Harrietfreestyle and Litten X Isabelle. This just goes to show that’s it’s all about quality, rather than quantity.
Who do you think are the best TikTok singers and songwriters? Have you spotted any emergent talent that you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments below.