Apple Music has revealed its top tracks and trends of the year so far with their mid-year report highlighting powerful and outlasting music trends and songs. Those with top songs include Future, Harry Styles, Jack Harlow, Glass Animals, Bad Bunny and Gayle.
Among the songs recognized are Future’s “Wait for U” feat. Drake and Tems from his ninth studio album, “I Never Liked You” — which since its May 3 release, has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any of Future’s other singles. Harry Styles’ “As It Was” from “Harry’s House” follows, as it broke the record for the most first-day streams for a song released in 2022.
Harlow’s “First Class” was credited for “upgrading Jack Harlow to a streaming superstar.” In the two months after the release of “First Class,” from his album “Come Home the Kids Miss You,” Harlow’s streams on Apple Music worldwide “nearly quadrupled.” It also holds the record for the most first-day streams worldwide for a hip-hop song released in 2022.
A year after it rose to the top 40 of Apple Music’s Daily Top 100, Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” became a mainstay in the top 10 of Apple’s Global Daily Top 100 chart. According to data shared by Apple Music, “Heat Waves” bumped the band’s streams by 330% in the past 18 months.
Bad Bunny’s song “Titi Me Pregunto” from his fifth studio album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” was noted for its influence in Latin music history on Apple Music. He broke two of Apple Music’s worldwide records, “helping Latin see its biggest day in Apple Music history.” Finally, Gayle’s “abcdefu,” was distinguished as one of the biggest breakout singles of the first half of 2022. The track was the pop-rock singer’s major-label debut and helped bump her overall streams year-on-year by 500%.
As for trends, Apple Music spotlighted Gen Z for their role in the evolution of pop introspective ballads. “One thing we’ve noticed about some of pop’s younger class is how surprisingly adult they sound,” the company writes in a press release.
With Harlow’s Fergie-interpolated “First Class” named one of the top tracks of the year, Bad Boy-style sampling is back. The distinctive sounds of Bad Boy Records (Diddy, Faith Evans, Notorious B.I.G.) during the late ’90s have made a return to the charts with Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” — which samples World’s Famous Supreme Team’s “Hey! D.J.” — and Latto’s “Big Energy,” which references Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” and Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.”
This year, Apple Music also cited BTS as the “biggest group in pop, period,” as they recognized the continuation of K-pop’s global expansion. “[BTS’] success has also nurtured a broader interest in the genre, and a growing awareness of the other artists continuing to push it forward,” Apple Music stated in a press release. “Don’t think of it as a passing of the torch so much as an ongoing widening of the field. Maybe they’ll eventually drop the K and call it what it is: pop.”
Also on the trends docket are Afrobeats, Alté, and Amapiano — all of which have become increasingly popular internationally. And, last but not least, drum and bass trends have also seen a recent resurgence according to Apple Music. “You can hear it in the work of TikTok-launched artists like PinkPantheress, Piri and Tommy Villiers and Yaz — whose bedroom-pop-meets-breakbeats has steered the sound in playful directions.”
“2022 So Far: Top Tracks and Trends” is Apple Music’s mid-year editorial feature which comes accompanied by a playlist highlighting the top trends and songs to date. You can listen to the full “2022 So Far: Top Tracks and Trends” playlist exclusively on Apple Music.