Trending Tracks Report: thuy, DDG, Riar Saab, Jain, and Laufey

A regular column highlighting trending tracks that you need to know about.

Trending Tracks Report: thuy, DDG, Riar Saab, Jain, and Laufey
Third Bridge Creative
Third Bridge Creative
June 20, 20234 min read
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By Katie Manners, Michelle Hyun Kim, Kemet High, Colin Joyce, and Vrinda Jagota of Third Bridge Creative.

Welcome to the Trending Tracks Report, our regular column spotlighting tracks using Chartmetric data and the expertise of our contributing writers. In this edition, we dig into a sped-up R&B track that went viral, a Punjabi pop smash from a rising star, a Youtube vlogger who successfully conquered TikTok, a new TikTok-driven phenomenon from a globetrotting French singer, and a surprising jazz breakthrough from an Icelandic artist.

thuy - “girls like me don’t cry (sped up)

Chartmetric Score: 609

Genre: R&B

Country: U.S.

Vietnamese-American artist, thuy, understands the power of sped-up songs. Initially released last December, “girls like me don’t cry (sped up)” has a modest 3.5M Spotify streams compared to its original, which has 15M Spotify streams and 8.7M views on YouTube. But its numbers are steadily growing. Capitalizing on the pitch-shifted remixes popularized on TikTok, thuy used a sped-up version of the song in a teaser to promote the “girls like me don’t cry” deluxe edition LP in May. Shortly after, the fast-paced rendition found its way to TikTok. Five days after the deluxe edition LP’s release, TikTok user @evamillersha used the track in a DIY home decor video that gained 2.1M likes in just one week (thanks to her 5.5M followers). The song has now been featured in over 4.1M videos on TikTok.

DDG feat. Luh Tyler: “I’m Geekin

Chartmetric Score: 175

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Country: U.S.

Years after growing an audience as a YouTube vlogger, DDG’s success is shifting to TikTok. With an army of over 4M TikTok followers behind him, the Michigan native’s “I’m Geekin” has seen a 132.6% increase in posts on the app since its release in April. The song has been featured in over 82K TikTok videos where the mesmeric tune was used to flex creative and athletic prominence. With more than 10M Spotify streams, DDG upped the ante in early May, enlisting teenage sensation Luh Tyler for a remix (Tyler’s monthly Spotify listeners have gone from 500K in January to 3.1M in June). The new rendition of “I’m Geekin” feels like a crossover episode of two charismatic internet figures—a move that boosted the original track's popularity and place it in TikTok Weekly Top Tracks - United States.

Riar Saab feat. Abhijay Sharma: “Obsessed

Chartmetric Score: 136

Genre: Punjabi Pop

Country: India

Punjabi artist Riar Saab became a rising star to watch with his short-form hit “Obsessed,” a hooky fusion of drill and pop that features Indian classical vocals from singer Abhijay Sharma. Released in September 2022, the track blew up this spring after Vicky Kaushal (15.5M Instagram followers), a Bollywood star known for showcasing lesser-known musical gems, posted a reel effortlessly dancing to the song on April 28. Off pure charisma, the actor sparked 574K reels and 52.9K TikToks to the song. Its music video has also racked up 19.9M views since its May 1 premiere—with 9.2M of those views happening in the last week.

Jain: “Makeba

Chartmetric Score: 140

Genre: Pop

Country: France

Jain, the globe-trotting French star, makes border-blurring pop that draws on her multinational upbringing in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the Republic of Congo, and Paris. She’s had some success over the years, but little has made quite the impact that her 2015 single “Makeba” has achieved in the past few months thanks to its virality on TikTok. With over 1M TikTok videos on the platform, Jain has powered through prominent placements on editorial playlists like big on the internet, teen beats, and Summer Party, and over 5.5M monthly listeners on Spotify. Incidentally, it isn’t this song’s first brush with international acclaim—it was used in a Levi’s commercial in 2017.

Laufey: “From the Start

Chartmetric Score: 393

Genre: Jazz

Country: U.S.

Icelandic artist Laufey pairs the angsty, candid lyricism of teen icon Olivia Rodrigo and the deep, affecting vocals of seasoned indie rock singer Angel Olsen with her classical and jazz-inspired arrangements that resonate with young listeners. She was the most streamed jazz artist on Spotify in 2022 and has had a handful of songs go viral on TikTok, including last year’s “Valentine” and her recent bossa nova track, “From The Start.” Laufey, who has 1.4M followers on TikTok, teased the song on May 2 and the sound has been used in 14.2K posts, usually by creators who want to dramatically talk about a secret crush or their romantic delusions. The TikTok videos brought so much attention to the song that it was streamed over a million times within the first 24 hours of its release and debuted at #5 on Spotify’s top Songs Debut USA chart.