The revolutionary platform continued to be the top source for runaway hits, with 10 of this year’s #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits experiencing trending moments on TikTok. Jack Harlow earned a number one debut–his first solo #1 hit–after a snippet of “First Class” took off on TikTok, and the platform helped Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” grow from cult concern to ubiquitous smash. In the early part of the year, TikTok fueled America’s obsession with the soundtrack to Encanto, helping “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” become the first number one hit from an animated Disney film in three decades.
Though it continued to jumpstart smash hits and birth new stars, 2022 welcomed phenomena that only could’ve arisen on TikTok. TikTok helped usher soundtrack songs and catalog songs to the charts at unprecedented rates, its focus on music inspiring fans to use songs from their favorite TV shows or movies when they made content related to those media. As conversation around a certain property grew, so did the song prominently used in that property–the major example was Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” used in Stranger Things, but other songs like Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” and Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets” benefitted from the phenomenon as well.
Beyond the chart-topping hits, TikTok remained the number one destination for emerging artists to kickstart their careers. Female rappers like Ice Spice, GloRilla, and Dreya Mac greatly expanded their audiences on TikTok, while offbeat artists like Lawsy and Hemlocke Springs earned attention. TikTok took their developmental powers to a new level with SoundOn, TikTok’s all-in-one platform for music creators, helping artists like Muni Long, Russ, and even Dolly Parton release music, while artists like Nicky Youre and Katherine Li used SoundOn as a springboard to major label deals.
After another massive year, TikTok’s influence shows no signs of abating. From “Jiggle Jiggle” to “Sunroof” to Recess Therapy, one thing is clear: TikTok has the juice to make hits and launch careers in music and beyond.
Rolling Loud didn’t just expand its array of locations in 2022–it broadened its artistic palette, welcoming international artists like RL Toronto headliners WizKid and Dave, plus RL Portugal performers like Central Cee and Skepta, to the fold.
At a time when live festivals struggled to draw crowds, Rolling Loud manage to sell even more tickets in 2022 on its domestic shows than in 2021. Rolling Loud showed out with some of its most impressive lineups yet. Rolling Loud Miami 2022 was one of the most talked about events of the year, featuring headliners Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi & Future, plus a special appearance from Travis Scott. Rolling Loud New York 2022, the fest’s third foray into Hip-Hop’s hometown, welcomed Nicki Minaj as a headliner, along with festival mainstays A$AP Rocky and Future.
Rolling Loud has conquered the festival game, but 2022 saw the company make moves towards domination in other fields, as well. Rolling Loud announced LoudPunx, its first NFT Program with unprecedented utility, continued to innovate in the festival merch and fashion space, and just last week, Rolling Loud announced its first-ever Rolling Loud album with a single featuring Rae Sremmurd and Duke Deuce.
The company is preparing to open it up with a truly massive 2023, with brand new festivals in Thailand and Germany, hosting the first ever music festival at Hollywood Park, adjacent to SoFi Stadium, in L.A., and of course, returning for the eighth Rolling Loud Miami.
In 2022, the culture-shifting brand expanded its imprint, hosting the first-ever live Planet AFROPUNK experiences in Miami and Minneapolis, but the crowning achievement for AFROPUNK was its long-awaited return to Brooklyn. Headlined by Burna Boy and The Roots, and featuring a deep lineup including Tierra Whack, Lucky Daye, Earl Sweatshirt, and more, AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2022 was a glorious homecoming for the brand, as fans streamed into Commodore Barry Park dressed to impress and ready for a one-of-a-kind experience. Each AFROPUNK event is accompanied by a series of initiatives and Solution Sessions designed to benefit the community and educate festival-goers and community members alike.
Music is merely one focus of the AFROPUNK brand. In 2022, AFROPUNK launched the Black Fashion Accelerator, in partnership with Shopify, offering Black fashion entrepreneurs an intensive six-month program with a top tier curriculum that allowed them the opportunity to bloom as artists and build successful, sustainable, and profitable businesses. The BFA culminated in a fashion show in SoHo, showcasing the works of the program’s eleven founders in a stunning display.
AFROPUNK has no plans of slowing down in 2023–it caps off Black History Month with Black HERSTORY Live, its first-ever showcase at the world-renowned Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts.
Headlined by J Balvin and Ozuna, the inaugural festival was a smashing success, curating an irrepressibly positive vibe and providing a celebratory moment for Chicago’s sizable Latin American population. Beyond the headliners, the festival welcomed stars like Wisin & Yandel and Farruko to rock the crowd.
While they expanded into new markets, Baja Beach Fest bolstered their annual flagship event even further, putting on two weekends worth of performances by the biggest stars in Latin music today. Highlighted by Daddy Yankee’s only festival performance of the year, the fourth Baja Beach Fest also welcomed headliners like Maluma and Anuel AA, while taking special steps to showcase regional Mexican music with artists like Banda MS and Natanael Cano holding it down for the home country.
Just four years after its founding as a one-day festival in Rosarito Beach, MX, Baja Beach Fest is now a global concern, and with no signs of stopping anytime soon.
“VLONE was never about one individual,” says Frederick “So” Hunter. “VLONE was the stamp for creatives who stand tall, thriving on individuality, caring less about rules & regulations that have long governed the fashion style of society. Create your own rules, set your own trend, embed your own morale in which you can express yourself creatively without limitations. Embrace your distinctive character while defying the norm and inspiring the willing.”
A crucial force in the world of fashion since its founding in 2011, VLONE has more worlds to conquer. Stay tuned for much more information, including the next luxury clothing drop, plus ventures into the world of grooming, fragrances, beauty, cannabis, Web3, and much more.
Stems made its debut in Serato DJ 3.0, the latest edition of the New Zealand-based company’s gold standard DJing software, and it will be the defining feature of Serato Studio 2.0, Serato’s digital audio workspace, launching in early 2023. In seconds users can flip, layer, chop, and isolate samples with incredibly high sound quality, giving them the freedom to sample how they’ve always wanted to sample. “With this update, Serato Studio is the center of my universe. This is a big moment for music production,” says DJ Khalil, who is nominated for two Grammys this year for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
With Serato Studio 2.0 launching very soon, it’s only a matter of time until Stems–which producer Cookin Soul calls “the biggest moment in sampling since the MPC”–makes a major impact.
© 2022, Seth "Digital Crates" Barmash. All rights reserved.