Here is a new batch of emerging artists on the rise detected early, thanks to a combination of Charmetric data and music experts’ knowledge from the team at Third Bridge Creative.
This bi-weekly column highlights emerging artists using a combination of Charmetric data and the knowledge of our contributors. In each installment, we’ll identify five artists drawn from a wide range of artists and genres that you’ll be hearing from in the future, and we’ll conclude with a breakdown of how we use Chartmetric to discover and analyze breaking artists. This week, we look at a few emerging rappers, a future Regional Mexican star, and an intriguing dance-pop artist you need to know.
Chartmetric Rank: 2,971
For St. Louis rapper Sexyy Red, desire is an art. A string of viral tracks has kept her on rap’s radar, with her brazen bars catching everyone’s attention. Her breakthrough single “Pound Town,” a collaboration with Memphis producer Tay Keith, is a maximalist’s approach to bedroom banter. Since March, the track’s popularity soared and led to the artist’s rise on Spotify: she went from 21K+ monthly listeners at the beginning of the year to 1.7M+ today and has received placements on prominent Spotify playlists like Get Turnt and Feelin’ Myself. Appearing on stellar features, including NLE Choppa’s similarly ribald “Slut Me Out” and Memphis rapper Gloss Up’s confident “Check,” Sexyy Red has left fans wanting more.
Chartmetric Rank: 19,127
Nineteen-year-old Dina Ayada is poised to become a global rap crossover star. Inspired by the electronic-tinged trap Pluggnb scene popularized by Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti, the Moroccan Belgian rapper’s first freestyle showcased her breezy flow over a Chuki Beatz-produced beat, which racked up 1M views on YouTube. Her mainstream appeal was strengthened that year when her funk-pop single, “We Got All The Time,” peaked at No. 23 on the Belgium singles chart. Now heavily promoting her 2023 singles on TikTok —“Miles Away,” “Popular” and “Games”—she’s rapidly gaining a fanbase in the United States (37% of her TikTok audience), with her overall following increasing from 8.2K to 94.3K in just four months.
Chartmetric Rank: 9,291
Almost a year after releasing his 2022 song “Tomioka,” 23-year-old New York rapper Jay Eazy decided to heavily repromote it on TikTok this March, determined that it was “still the song of the summer.” After one such TikTok featuring his girlfriend got 5.3M views, the Demon Slayer-referencing track became a sleeper hit and spawned 237.4K videos. Though he got his first minor hit with the 2021 gimmick song “Pinkeye,” he’s been able to reel in his core audience of anime fans (which he’s built from his many anime-inspired songs), yet also appeal to a mainstream crowd with the tracks’ catchy Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s sample. The success of “Tomioka” is also translating off TikTok, as Jay Eazy’s Spotify monthly listenership has climbed from 227K to 686K since March.
Chartmetric Rank: 7,701
Equal parts gaudy and gloomy, 6arelyhuman’s take on dance-pop is introducing a new generation to the forgotten sounds of the Myspace era. Self-described as “the hottest alien in the club,” 6arelyhuman makes colorful pop songs that recall the Pixy Stix-snorting energy of 2000s Eurodance and the chaotic scene-dance of once-maligned acts like Brokencyde. The Auto-Tuned EmoDM banger “Hands Up!” is 6arelyhuman’s first viral hit, garnering 73K+ TikTok videos and placements on playlists like Spotify’s Hyperpop and Ultimate Pop Gamin. But other tracks like “XOXO (Kisses Hugs)” and “Death City” are on the rise too, each generating millions of streams of their own. No doubt, 6arelyhuman is set to bring some chaos to the club this summer.
Chartmetric Rank: 13,962
Genre: Regional Mexican
As a new signee to Latin Grammy winner Carin Leon’s label, Kakalo is the latest musician to successfully bring Regional Mexican music to the global stage. Together, the two Hermosillo natives released “Mil Maneras de Morir,” inspired by American folk while using mariachi and crooning ’50s rock to convey all-consuming heartache. The song has racked up 4M streams since its release on March 28 and has been added to major Spotify playlists like Los Que Mandan (3M followers) and Sólo Pop (1.6M followers). With an influx of listeners, a viral hit, and the backing of one of the genre’s most established artists, Kakalo is finding his footing as a pioneer of this rich Mexican movement: since April, his Spotify monthly listeners have increased from 50K to 1.5M.
The Method: Understanding Velocity Metrics
Chartmetric provides a rich suite of data that can answer almost any question one has around trending music content. For Third Bridge Creative, the key to harnessing the power of that data to identify emerging artists is not only knowing the right questions to ask but also understanding what the answers mean. For example, we pay close attention to the various platform velocity metrics within Chartmetric, understanding who is gaining track in both traditional music streaming platforms as well as social ones, and we also look at our artists’ velocity over different time periods. Each piece of information tells a different part of the story.
The TikTok follower and post velocity scores help us understand what is going on within one of the most organic and rapidly evolving spaces on the web. It’s oftentimes predictive, and very much a leading metric; TikTok is a proven incubation lab for new sounds, and music trends that we see within that space frequently filter out to other platforms. However, success on TikTok is no guarantee of widespread adoption—the music there has a very specific and functional purpose and is frequently not necessarily the centerpiece of the content being shared—so it’s helpful to also look at performance within other, more traditional streaming platforms.
On the opposite side of that spectrum are the velocity metrics we see with Spotify followers. Unlike TikTok results, this nails down the number of high-value fans an artist is creating, and speaks to the long-term viability of their careers. This complements Spotify’s fan conversion ratio, which is total followers divided by monthly listeners. We look at both metrics in concert as the conversion rate is invariably low for trendings artists and there is still value in a sudden surge in artist followers regardless of their overall streaming numbers. And, of course, the ultimate signal for tracking cross-platform trends is the 7 and 30-day change in Chartmetric Artist Rank. We look at both time periods to distinguish sudden lifts from longer crests.
These are all powerful signals that are greatly enhanced by understanding the context around them, whether that be the nuances of each platform, or how an artist’s scene, genre, or territory affects their lifecycle trajectories. When you can synthesize the data with a more nuanced view of the content and its ecosystem, the results are quite powerful.