Rapper Sueco the Child Signs to Atlantic Records Following TikTok-Fueled Hit 'Fast': Exclusive
His first single has been featured in more than 2.7 million TikToks and has more than 7 million streams on Spotify.
Los Angeles rapper Sueco the Child has only one single on Spotify, the hypnotic track "Fast" -- but the pace of his career has been just that. Barely two months since releasing the song, which is the latest hit to pop off on video app TikTok, the 22-year-old has signed to Atlantic Records, Billboard can confirm.
The rapper born William Schultz first uploaded "Fast" to SoundCloud on April 1. The song began building traction on TikTok the next week thanks to Lukas Daley, a friend of Sueco's circle who shared a video using the song with his now more than 383,000 followers on the app.
That video has since been viewed over 20,000 times, while "Fast" has been featured in more than 2.7 million TikToks, with users focusing slo-mo clips around its drawled opening lines -- "Fast/400 on the dash/ Fifty five bills/ Buck fifty for the tax on the bag." Meanwhile, the official Spotify version of "Fast," released May 10, has already topped 7 million streams.
The commotion "got on our radar very quickly," says Atlantic president, West Coast Kevin Weaver, adding that A&R representatives Adam Schulz and Ian Hunter were the first at the label to catch wind of the track. After meeting with Sueco (pronounced "sway-co") and his manager Lucas Rezende to hear some unreleased material, Weaver was sold.
"The kid is a fucking star," he adds. "We’re not in the business of signing artists that we don’t think are going to have a long, robust career. He’s a producer, a songwriter, an artist -- he’s so versatile and so much broader than just what you hear and see with ‘Fast.’"
It helps that Sueco has built a steady following on Instagram, where his feed is a collage of equal parts memery, bizarre comedy skits and beatmaking videos that commands 120,000 followers. (His bio? "the next kanye [sic].")
The artist received an early introduction to music through his parents, who are church musicians. After learning to play the drums through hours spent on the video game Rock Band as a teenager, he initially joined a screamo group and transitioned to production two years ago.
Over email, Sueco is on-brand as ever. "I unfortunately have to refuse to offer the exact emotional state that I was in upon discovering my song was exploding via the app TikTok, as it is classified information," he says. "However it is safe to say, that it was indeed a positive emotion. I’m excited to sign with Atlantic because I can move out the back room of my dad’s house, I can sell my old Mini Coop[er], and I can get every single color Acne beanie."
Weaver wasn't the only executive to take notice of the rapper. Sueco's success with "Fast" ignited a bidding war among several labels, with offers reaching seven figures, a source tells Billboard. (Atlantic declined to comment or disclose terms of the deal.) A music video for "Fast" is now in the works, and Sueco is set to release new music "imminently," says Weaver.
"Fast" is among a string of recent hits propelled by TikTok memes and challenges. Lil Nas X saw his smash "Old Town Road" become a viral meme on TikTok before it hit the Hot 100 -- where it's now notching a seventh straight week at No. 1 -- and he signed to Columbia Records in March. That same month, a video challenge on the app involving singer-songwriter Joji's "Slow Dancing In The Dark" helped push the track onto the Hot 100, months after its release.
The news of Sueco's record deal comes as TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is renegotiating licensing deals with publishers and labels.