Singer Alexandra Kay appreciates her social media following both on a personal level and for their collective opinions on music she's working on. A demo of her new song "How Do We Go" first appeared on TikTok in the spring, and her nearly two million followers loved it.

She loves the song because it's a power ballad that shows off a new skillset. “I like pushing my limits, but it’s almost a two-octave jump in the song," Kay shares via Zoom, from a couch at home.

“I do a lot of Dolly Parton, talk-y/sing-y stuff," Kay adds. "So I’m excited to push my voice and show everybody what I can really do in that high register.”

A Parton song is how Kay first gained attention: Her cover of "Jolene" was viewed more 60 million times, and subsequent covers and originals have showcased a twangy flutter similar to what the country legend relies on. "How Do We Go" is a more straightforward vocal, although you still hear a hint of a quiver on lyrics like, "we never seem to follow through."

Lizzie Cates and Matt Wynn helped Kay write "How Do We Go." She says she had the idea for a breakup song that asks first, how things went from good to bad. At the end, she asks where do they go from here.

“It’s just really about trying to hold on for dear life in a relationship that you can feel is falling apart," she says.

That clip on social media elicited the kind of response she was hoping for. It was more than enough to make it a new single, released in late June. TikTok, Facebook Live and Instagram are essential to Kay's business, but she's learned the hazard of social success. It's easy to want to feed that content vacuum, which can take away from what's important — in this case, that's the music.

“At the end of the day, what I am is an artist who is good at marketing herself," Kay says. "I don’t like to call myself an influencer, but sometimes I do influencer things. But at the end of the day it’s about the music.”

Kay and TikTok sensation Cooper Alan are currently on tour together, playing clubs as part of the In Real Life Tour. Alan has more than 3.5 million followers on TikTok. Recently, they sang the hit "Pictures" together.

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Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list.

Our team has sourced fans to create 10 superlatives for this mid-year version of the year-end songs list. Best Country Tearjerker? Best Country Baby-Maker? Best Country Breakup Song of 2021? Keith Urban, Carly Pearce, Chris Bandi and more help make up this portion of the Top Country Songs list, while hitmakers like Thomas Rhett and Little Big Town lead the 10 best songs portion.

Did your favorite song of 2021 make this list? To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Breland and Triston Marez crack the Top 10. Let us know your favorite song of 2021 at Twitter or email, at staff@tasteofcountry.com.