Each Friday, Billboard presents "Bubbling Under," a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: MKTO, Houndmouth, Kayla Brianna and Shine Bright Baby.
Having met in 2010 while filming the Nickelodeon TV series "Gigantic," in which their characters played best friends, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller formed MKTO, which combines their initials. The pair's debut single "Thank You" (Columbia) has garnered 2.2 million YouTube views and is nearing the Nielsen BDS-based Mainstream Top 40 chart, led by 54 plays on Sirius XM's Hits 1 channel last week. The song is concurrently scaling the top 10 of the Australia and New Zealand Digital Songs charts.
After touring with the likes of the Lumineers and Alabama Shakes, the folk/rock band Houndmouth is ready to step into the spotlight with its debut full-length album, From the Hills Below the City. The quartet will support the 12-song set, due June 4 on Rough Trade, with extensive touring through July. Stops include the Newport Folk Festival (July 26) and Lollapalooza (Aug. 2), as well as more supporting gigs with Alabama Shakes (June).
Recent Interscope signee Kayla Brianna approaches a Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop debut with "I Got That," featuring Meek Mill, percolating with plays on 44 of the chart's reporters. The 18-year-old singer is the daughter of former NBA player and current basketball analyst Kenny "The Jet" Smith (who's currently featured on TNT's "Inside the NBA"). A video of "Got" interspersed with NBA highlights (above) kicked off the 2013 NBA All-Star Game telecast, also on TNT, in February. The song is additionally featured in a new commercial for Hyundai's Santa Fe.
Shine Bright Baby
Shine Bright Baby cues up its major-label debut single, "Beautiful Love" which simmers just below Christian Songs. Formed six years ago in Orrville, Ohio, the band (seen above covering Katy Perry's 2012 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Part of Me") features lead singer Emily Irene, drummer Karl Wendel, and guitarists/vocalists Nathan Furtig and Josh Fink. Now signed to BEC Recordings, the group, which self-released a pair of EPs in 2008-09, will issue its first full-length album later this year.
Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.