The Top 5 Tik Tok Creators to Check Out This Week

Welcome to the first edition of Tik Talk, NEXT’s weekly column covering the coolest music TikTok has to offer. The app, which started as a lighthearted lip-syncing platform, has spent the last year becoming nothing less than the birthplace of the music industry’s cutting edge. It’s no longer just a way to access pop culture: it is pop culture.

But if you don’t have six hours a day to spend scrolling through your own For You page on Tik Tok, don’t worry — I’ll do it for you!

Every week, I’ll be giving you a roundup of TikTok’s coolest underground creators, the tracks you’ll want to catch before they hit the Viral 50, and a curated guide to the internet’s inside jokes.

Tik Talk Weekly Top Five

5. Boys - Sofia Zarzuela (@finalgrildisorder)

@finalgirldisorder“Boys” by Sofia zarzuela is on all streaming services! #Mitski #indiemusic♬ Boys by Sofia Zarzuela – sofia????‍♀️

Not to brag or anything, but today, a really hot girl liked one of my TikToks. This would be a day-making event on its own, but after I stalked her page — I’m only human! — she introduced me to Boys, a track by underground indie artist, Sofia Zarzuela, that currently has only eight videos to their name. That won’t be the case for long. The song is poised to become TikTok’s newest viral obsession.


It’s from a brand-new EP that’s currently sitting at under 1,000 Spotify listens, but it sounds like Paramore at their prime — if we lived in some incredible alternate universe where Haley Williams was a lesbian and lived in Ohio. Zarzuela is right on the cusp of TikTok celebrity, so listen quick — you’ll want to be able to say you were there first.

4. Phoebe Bridgers Jukebox Musical?

@adamjdorfmanmusic#duet with @morgibabey I’m unironically into the idea of a punisher jukebox @phoebebridgers69 #pheobebridgers #musicaltheatre #indie #punisher♬ original sound – morgibabey

One of my favourite instant-saves on the FYP this week was a spot-on cover of Phoebe Bridgers’ Kyoto, in the style of a musical theatre standard. It’s part of a much larger showtune-ification TikTok trend that includes everything from Ratatouille to Taylor Swift. But something about this just hit different for me. Whether it was the spot-on presentation or just the implicit irony of presenting this sad-girl daddy issues track as a Pasek-and-Paul belter, I’ve been sending this video to everyone I know. I’m begging you to check it out — even though it might make you want to listen to musical theatre again.

3. Doja Cat’s Nmillz Duet (@whiteboyonthebeat)

@whiteboyonthebeatReply to @frankoceanslutbag♬ original sound – Hi

Over the past year, TikTok user @nmillz1 has become one of the app’s most necessary follows. His videos are surreal, hilarious, and constantly epitomize Gen Z’s deeply ironic, heavily caricatured comedic sensibilities. Despite being one of the most popular comedy creators on the app, his fans have maintained a tight-knit cult community that make his wildly popular content feel like an inside joke.


He’s responsible for a sound taking over the app right now, a laughably bad cover of Doja Cat’s Streets. The sound is currently racking up millions of views as the backtrack to a surreal and inexplicable meme trend and eventually drew the attention of Doja herself, who duetted the video in shock and horror. Check out the video here, and if you’re into it, here’s a remix of the song featuring his unique vocal stylings.

2. Every Glee Song, Ever, Ranked (@amelia.gleek)

@amelia.gleekThis series is gonna take forever ???? #glee #gleek #rankingglee #rankingallgleesongs #newseries #gleesongs♬ original sound – Amelia

When I saw user @amelia.gleek had embarked upon a 72-part (yes, seventy-two) TikTok series dedicated to ranking every song ever performed on Glee during its prodigious six-season run, my first impulse was to order a wellness check.


While I can’t imagine the level of derangement that would inspire somebody to edit together 723 consecutive Glee performances, I have no choice but to respect amelia.gleek’s dedication to her craft — and pray she’s able to hold onto her sanity long enough to complete her mission. The series, which currently ranks songs number 723 (What Does The Fox Say) to number 651 (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead), is one of the most ambitious and necessary projects on TikTok today. The interest in amelia.gleek’s project was immediate. She’s already racked up over 10,000 followers clamoring to see where the series goes — or watch her descent into madness. Godspeed.

1. Sugarcrash! - Elyotto (@elpunko)


With a top spot on the US Viral50, ElyOtto’s glitch-pop banger Sugarcrash! is far from a hidden gem — It’s the latest in a long line of songs that TikTok has propelled into viral fame, and it’s just reaching critical mass. I can’t scroll for more than a minute on the FYP without running into it, but the attention is well deserved.


The track is angsty, hyperactive, painfully relatable, and is a great entryway into hyperpop, if you’ve somehow been checked out of that genre until now.