Music

The best Canadian TikTok music moments of 2020

From dance crazes and hit songs to heartfelt moments and nostalgia, it was all online this year.

From dance crazes and hit songs to heartfelt moments and nostalgia, it was all online this year.

(TikTok; Courtesy; YouTube)

2020 was the year for TikTok.

Some forced isolation was all the motivation people needed to channel their lack of a social life into a thriving digital life, with TikTok being one of the platforms of choice. By summer, the social media platform was the most downloaded non-gaming app in the world, and the company says that millions of Canadians use it every single day. 

"We at TikTok have since observed a spike in content featuring daily life in isolation," the company said in April, adding that the "spike" in content included people doing dance challenges to popular TikTok songs. 

A number of Canadian musicians have benefitted from that trend, becoming major breakout stars from their songs being used on the platform, including Powfu, Tate McCrae, Curtis Waters, Robyn Ottolini, Tiagz, DVBBS and 347Aiden.

But the influence of TikTok has spread beyond just helping songs go viral. A number of musicians, dancers and creatives also turned to the platform to find a new way to express themselves. Below are a few of our favourite Canadian music moments from TikTok this year. 

More than 2 million people learn about Cree culture daily from Alberta's James Jones

The Cree dancer uploaded his first video to TikTok in March, but things really started to take off when he uploaded a performance of a hoop dance to the Weeknd's "Blinding Lights." 

Jones, under the name @NotoriousCree, regularly posts about his culture to his now more than two million followers. His most popular video kicked off a moccasin flip trend that has been fuelling us through these dreary months.  

A 22-year-old Inuk student warmed our hearts by throat singing with her mother

The Montreal-based creator also uses her platform to raise awareness about her culture to her more than one million followers.

As if we needed any reminder of the vocal prowess of Deborah Cox

 The Deb Cox challenge saw everyone from Melanie Fiona to Lizzo attempt to recreate the Canadian singer's iconic vocal run in "Nobody's Supposed to be Here." Spoiler: it's not easy. 

Canadians proved we can get Zen with a skateboard and Cranberry cocktail, too 

Many prominent Canadians joined in on the trend started by Idaho skater and musician Nathan Apodaca, a.k.a. Doggface. That included NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, but Jessie Reyez took it one step further, skating with Doggface to her new song "Roof."

Drake harnessed the power of TikTok early on in the pandemic

He was one of the first artists to embrace lockdown in his music video for "Toosie Slide," shot inside his mansion and on empty Toronto streets. But he also collaborated with social media influencer Toosie to create a viral TikTok dance.

The plan worked, and "Toosie Slide'' debuted at No. 1 in April. It was also the fastest music trend to hit a billion views on TikTok. To date, the Toosie Slide challenge has been streamed more than six billion times.

People rediscovered Nelly Furtado's 'Promiscuous' in a big way

They used it to show off their dance moves.

But it was also a chance to show that there are two sides to everything. 

More than 800,000 people posted her song, which was enough to make the 2006 hit re-enter the Billboard's Global 200 chart for four weeks this year.

More than 2 million people watched the Weeknd's interactive live stream 

The event, which was held in August, also helped raise $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative through the sale of limited merchandise.

Three 23-year-old Torontonians turned having fun in the basement into a viral dance business

The Basement Gang, made up of Kadeem Hemmings, Nathaniel James and Nicholas McDonald, became famous for their funny coordinated dance videos, which have been watched over 200 million times.

"The world's in a very turbulent place right now. I feel like people get a lot of joy from what we do, even if it's just for a minute or two," they told CBC.

Mother Mother had a breakthrough for songs released more than a decade ago

Songs from the 2008, such as "Arms Tonite," "Wrecking Ball" and "Hayloft," have been streamed more than 90 million times.

The music really resonated with kids who were struggling with body issues, gender norms, their sexuality or just generally "fitting in."

Mother Mother landed on Rolling Stone's Breakthrough 25 chart in September.

People recreated childhood photos set to the tune of Simple Plan's 2002 hit 'I'm Just a Kid'

The results were heartwarming and funny.

And some big names even got in on the fun.

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