Each Friday, Billboard presents "Bubbling Under," a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: the Front Bottoms, Katy Tiz, Jared Ashley and Travi$ Scott.
The Front Bottoms
Indie rock act the Front Bottoms debut on Heatseekers Albums at No. 3 with their second full-length album, Talon of the Hawk. With the set's 2,000-unit start, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the Bar/None Records act easily scores it best sales week. The Front Bottoms kick off a U.S. tour on May 31 in Hoboken, N.J., with dates lined up through July 13.
British pop singer/songwriter Katy Tiz is approaching her first Billboard chart visit, as the RedOne-produced "Red Cup" (Lava/Republic) gains by 56% in plays below Mainstream Top 40. WIOQ Philadelphia leads all reporters with 41 plays in the May 20-26 Nielsen BDS tracking week. "If I help one person through what I was feeling when I wrote a song, I'll be happy," Tiz says. "I hope I can give them what I searched for in music... and that a couple of people other than my mom and dad like the songs."
With airplay at 14 reporters, Jared Ashley's "Last Train to Memphis" is percolating beneath Country Airplay. Born in Hobbs, N.M., and raised in Newnan, Ga. (also the hometown of Alan Jackson and Doug Stone), Ashley honed his craft while serving in the U.S. Navy and added a fifth-place finish on "Nashville Star" in 2006. Four years later, a self-financed, self-titled album of his caught the attention of Blaster Records (Aaron Lewis, Hank Williams Jr.). Ashley's first full-length album for the label is expected by year's end. He's been making the rounds on his first national radio tour this spring.
(*Language in video not appropriate for all viewers)
As his Owl Pharoah mixtape, released May 21, enjoys critical acclaim, Travi$ Scott is nearing his first Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop appearance with "Upper Echelon," featuring T.I. and 2 Chainz. The Houston newcomer first made a name for himself as producer, signing to Kanye West's Very G.O.O.D. Beats and co-producing four songs on last year's G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer compilation, including "Sin City," on which he's featured. As an artist, Scott is signed to Epic and T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint.
Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.