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Crazy Riff Challenge takes off as viral TikTok trend

"I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind" – the opening lines of Gnarls Barkley's 2006 hit Crazy have been all over TikTok this week as thousands of people share their attempts at the viral #RiffChallenge.

The challenge is to sing an incredibly high riff at the end of the first line – as demonstrated by Natalie Jane Sings (4.3 million followers). Natalie's video has got an amazing 115 million views and 17.3 million likes since November 11 and inspired lots of other people to have a go themselves.

The story behind the riff dates back to March 2021, when singer Anthony Gargiula (1.4 million followers) shared this cover of Crazy.

Anthony Gargiula has revisited the song after seeing the challenge go viral: "it’s been so cool to see people singing my riff from almost 2 years ago !!! 🤯 thought i’d jump on here and do it again 🤍".

Verified TikTok creators were quick to take up the challenge, including Chris Olsen and Sri, Grace Kinstler and Liana Jade.

And CeeLo Green himself – the original singer of Crazy as one half of Gnarls Barkley –spotted the trend and has been tweeting about it and duetting some of his favourite attempts on TikTok, including with Natalie Jane and Anthony Gargiula, who by popular demand released a full version of the song on November 15.

There are lots of funny videos too from people not quite pulling off the riff – including this one by grandson and grandma duo Fin and Angela which hit 20 million views and 3.5 million likes in less than a week.

Joe Mele (23.4 million followers) couldn't contain his laughter when his dad attempted the challenge! They've had 40 million views and 7.2 million likes.

Some musicians are also playing the notes of the riff on their instruments – like saxophonist @prazulwokhlu and violinist @irisbiidan.

How to spot emerging TikTok trends

The Riff Challenge is just one of the trends spotted by our Buzz service, which highlights some of the big talking points emerging on TikTok and social media every day.

Buzz from Shooglebox is used by journalists, creators and brand teams who need to spot and stay on top of the latest trends.

It includes a constantly updated box of cards with links to viral videos, TikTok trends and other things going big on social media. Buzz customers also get regular updates alerting them to some of the things they might otherwise miss or discover late.

Shooglebox cards showing people attempting the viral Riff Challenge on TikTok

This stack of cards for the Riff Challenge gives you an idea of how Shooglebox works – and how it could help you go from spotting a trend right at the start to tracking its development over time. 

If you're interested in signing up or finding out more about Buzz get in touch here.

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