If there’s one thing about TikTok, it’s that the platform’s users will find a way to make songs trend out of nowhere. Following the resurgence of songs like “Bloody Mary” by Lady Gaga and “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, Latine music fans online are buzzing with excitement as they noticed that songs by Mexican icons Jenni Rivera and Selena Quintanilla might be going viral in South Korea, as seen on their FYP (“For You” page).
Dada, a Tiktok dancer with 935,000 followers and counting, uploaded a video of herself dancing to Rivera’s 2007 single “Dama Divina.” Judging from the English comments alone, many users were surprised but happy to see a Korean creator use a Spanish-language song in her Tiktok. Many users online have been echoing the same sentiment.
“My Tiktok is all just vids of people in Korea dancing to Jenni Rivera and Selena and I love it,” wrote a Twitter user.
“I love the fact that Jenni Rivera and Selena songs are trending in Korea tiktok. They really know some true legends,” wrote another social media user with a crying, smiling emoji.
However, some viewers are casting doubt on the authenticity of dance videos from other users. A creator who uploaded videos using Quintanilla’s hits, such as “Amor Prohibido” and “El Chico del Apartamento 512,” as well as Rivera’s “Ovarios” and “Inolvidable,” has fans questioning if the videos are legitimate. “It’s fake,” wrote one fan in the TikTok comments section. “The first girl was dancing to Ditto by NewJeans. This account just steals [videos from Korean creators] and [posts] it with Latin songs.” “Some of the dancing doesn’t align with the beat of the music,” wrote another.
To make matters worse, searching through videos of those specific songs on TikTok isn’t yielding any results from other Korean content creators at the time of publication. While it might be disappointing to some that these videos don’t accurately reflect the Korean population’s interest in Quintanilla and Rivera’s songs, there are a number of influential K-pop idols who have engaged with Latine music in meaningful ways.
Eunha and SinB from the girl group Viviz recently participated in a dance challenge set to the song “Mentirosa” by Ráfaga. Members of the rising girl group NMIXX told Remezcla last summer that they’re learning Spanish and hope to eventually tour Latin America. Collaborations between Korean and Latine artists are becoming more common, too. Blackpink’s Jisoo took the stage with surprise guest Camila Cabello in Los Angeles to perform her hit “Liar.” BTS darling J-Hope and Becky G performed their collab “Chicken Noodle Soup” during his Lollapalooza set.
We can only hope that this trend will actually catch on and inspire others in non-Spanish-speaking countries to discover our music for themselves.