Music

TikTok helps Kiwi teen top US chart, Fleetwood Mac re-enter

Auckland – A 17-year-old New Zealander whose TikTok anthem Savage Love has been viewed more than a billion times said Wednesday “it blows his mind” to have now topped the US Billboard singles chart.

Jawsh 685 – whose real name is Josh Nanai – saw his viral instrumental remixed by US R&B star Jason Derulo and K-pop group BTS to become an international megahit.

“It blows my mind to be US number 1,” he said in a social media video post.

“A kid from South Auckland y’know showing other kids you can do it, any street you’re from, anywhere. You can do it, believe in yourself, you can do it. Trust me.” 

The young producer’s dream run of success began after the tune – Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) – was picked up by TikTok users as the backing track for a hugely popular dance challenge.

The challenge – which saw users showcase their cultural heritage by dressing in traditional outfits and dancing to the song – was also embraced by stars like Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Fallon.

As of Monday, the hashtags #sirenbeat, #sirenbeatchallenge and #laxedsirenbeat have collectively been viewed over two billion times on the video-based social media platform.

Nanai was signed by Columbia Records and has now topped the charts in Britain, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. among other countries.

The song initially caused some controversy after Derulo took the original beat, added some lyrics and promoted it as his own.

Following the controversy, Nanai told local radio station Mai FM in June there had been an exchange of messages between the two before the incident, but that it was “unfinished business”.

Columbia Records has since said Derulo and Nanai have “put aside their differences and come together”.

Meanwhile, a viral TikTok video featuring a laid-back skateboarder lip-synching to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams has propelled the 1977 hit back into the Billboard Hot 100 after an absence of more than three decades.

TikTok user doggface208’s antics – as he cruised down the street, sipping a family-sized bottle of juice – quickly struck a chord, racking up 8.6 million likes.

And beyond propelling its creator – real name Nathan Apodaca – to viral fame, the video has reignited interest in the 70s British-American country-rock legends.

Singer Stevie Nicks’ melancholic meditation on a failed relationship re-entered the Billboard chart for the week of October 17 at No. 21, just two weeks after Apodaca’s clip first went viral.

“TikTok has driven catalog hits back to various Billboard charts before... but never a song this old and a Hot 100 rebound this high,” Billboard reporter Tatiana Cirisano wrote in a post on the magazine’s website.

“It shows that TikTok’s tried-and-true power to catapult songs to mainstream recognition is only getting stronger.” 

Phil Collins is another classic artist to have benefited from a viral-video bounce.

In August, a YouTube clip in which two 22-year-olds shared their first reaction to his famous drum fill from In the Air Tonight sent the song to the No. 2 spot on Apple’s iTunes chart.

The return of Dreams to the charts has also sparked a broader surge of interest in Fleetwood Mac’s back catalog, with Billboard reporting a bump in streams for the group’s other work.

The song’s creators have even paid tribute to Apodaca’s viral hit – co-founder Mick Fleetwood last week recorded his own version of the 37-year-old factory worker’s now world-famous video.

And on Tuesday, Nicks posted her first video on TikTok, singing along to Dreams while sitting at a piano, lacing up a pair of roller skates.

She tagged doggface208 in the video, which also featured a similar bottle of juice.

Asked to account for the clip’s popularity, Billboard’s Cirisano said the “wholesome skateboarder vibe” had universal appeal. - AFP

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