Uncharted Territory: IAMX Debuts, AJ Rafael Makes Gains, Selah Sue Moves On
Before we get to the Uncharted round-up, some housekeeping: Last week, several Uncharted Territory readers asked about whether artists can rank on Uncharted by using programs or bots to drive up their MySpace Music song play or friend counts. If artists do this, the inflated numbers obviously don't reflect the artist's true popularity or online fan engagement. Therefore, the Billboard charts department carefully reviews every artist who ranks on Uncharted, and uses a variety of checks and cross-references to validate an artist's data on MySpace Music or any other platform. If an artist's online presence and fan engagement across platforms suggests that data has been artificially inflated, the artist does not qualify for that week's chart.
Now, onto the kudos.
New to Uncharted this week with over 13,000 new Last.fm song plays is the "glam noir" act IAMX. The solo project of Chris Corner, former frontman of UK band the Sneaker Pimps, released its newest album, Volatile Times, last week, and is currently on tour in Europe.
Rising a whopping 17 spots from No. 43 to No. 26 is AJ Rafael, the California singer/songwriter who directs a concert chorale in Moreno Valley and has performed around the world since 2008. He's built an impressive online fanbase, including more than 150,000 Facebook fans and 280,000 YouTube subscribers. He is also one of the West-region finalists in Billboard's current Battle of the Bands, in which the winner gets a chance to play at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in May.
Also making a big jump this week from No. 42 to No. 29 is Nero, a UK dance-pop group that is in the midst of a worldwide tour and released the video for new single "Guilt" this week.
And finally, Selah Sue, we hardly new ye: the Belgian singer, most famous for her duet with Cee-Lo Green on the track "Please," graduates from Uncharted only one week after debuting last week at No. 29. This week, she debuts on Belgium Digital Songs at No. 10.
To discover new music and get a head start on following the careers of these emerging artists, find the rest of this week's chart on Billboard.com or in Billboard Magazine, and check in with Uncharted Territory every week for more.