2016: The Year in Charts

'Next Up': Gallant Reflects On His Debut LP & Growing Fame

Amy Graves
Gallant performs  at W Hotel in Los Angles on May 25, 2016.

After an arresting debut at Coachella, a standing ovation on The Tonight Show and co-signs from the likes of Elton John and Seal, alt-R&B newcomer Gallant has cemented his status as one of 2016’s most buzzed-about new acts. And his ever-growing hype wave was on full display during the intimate pool-side performance that christened Billboard and W Hotels’ new partnership -- the emerging artist series Next Up: New Artists New Music at the W Los Angeles - West Beverly Hills on May 25. 

During a thrilling 45-minute set, the crooner alternated between soaring falsetto and soothing tenor, all while dazzling the 250 guests to sizzling dance moves and cuts from his debut album Ology. After the show, Billboard caught up with the rising star about the Next Up program, writing his debut album, and his vision for the future.

 

 

“Every song [on the album], there’s something about it that really makes me uncomfortable,” the singer told Billboard. “I wanted to push myself not to be safe, or feel self-conscious. Every time that would creep in I would hear it back in the song and have to go back to the drawing board.”

And despite the increased notoriety since its release, Gallant remains humble of his mounting success and his place in the industry. “I’m honored to have the so-called acclaim and all the accolades, but it’s just a marble in the universe,” he says. “There’s so much room for growth, there’s so many things planned.”

Next Up: New Artists New Music showcases will feature three remaining artists -- to be announced in the coming weeks -- that have reached the top 10 of the Emerging Artist chart. They will each perform at W Hotel locations in Seattle (June), Minneapolis (September) and South Beach, Miami (October).

The showcases will be open to W Hotel guests, members of the Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) rewards program and select fans chosen through a sweepstakes. Following each event, Billboard will present video of the live performance, artist interviews and other behind-the-scenes content that will live on Billboard.com and across W’s portfolio.