Apple Music has revealed its best and trending tracks of the year so far with its mid-year report highlighting music trends and powerful and enduring songs. Those with the best songs include Future, Harry Styles, Jack Harlow, Glass Animals, Bad Bunny and Gayle.
Among the recognized songs are “Wait for U” by Future 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” follows, as it broke the record for most first-day streams for a song released in 2022.
Harlow’s “First Class” has been credited with “making Jack Harlow a streaming superstar”. In the two months since the release of “First Class,” from her 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 hitting the top 40 on Apple Music’s Daily Top 100, Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” has become a top 10 mainstay on Apple’s Global Daily Top 100 chart. According to data shared by Apple Music, “Heat Waves” has boosted the band’s streams by 330% over the past 18 months.
Bad Bunny’s song “Titi Me Pregunto” from his fifth studio album, “Un Verano Sin Ti”, has been noted for its influence in Latin music history on Apple Music. It broke two of Apple Music’s world records, “helping Latin see its biggest day in Apple Music history.” Finally, Gayle’s “abcdefu” was singled out as one of the biggest singles of the first half of 2022. The track was the pop-rock singer’s first label and helped boost her overall streams by 500% d one year to the next.
When it comes to trends, Apple Music shed light on Gen Z for their role in the evolution of introspective pop ballads. “One thing we’ve noticed about some pop-class kids is how surprisingly grown-up they sound,” the company wrote in a press release.
With “First Class” interpolated by Harlow’s Fergie named one of the best tracks of the year, Bad Boy-style sampling is back. The distinctive sounds of Bad Boy Records (Diddy, Faith Evans, Notorious BIG) in the late 90s made a comeback on the charts with Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” – which samples “Hey! DJ” – and “Big Energy by Latto, which references Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” and Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.”
This year, Apple Music also cited BTS as the “biggest pop group, period,” as they recognized K-pop’s continued global expansion. “[BTS’] the success has also fueled a broader interest in the genre and a growing awareness of other artists who continue to drive it forward,” Apple Music said in a press release. “Don’t think of it so much as a passing of the torch as a continual broadening of the field. Maybe they’ll eventually drop the K and call it what it is: pop.
Also trending 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 chamber-pop-meets-breakbeats steered the sound in playful directions.”
“2022 So Far: Top Tracks & Trending” is Apple Music’s mid-year editorial feature that comes with 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.