Emerging Picks of the Week: The Bots, Kwabs & Charles Hamilton

The Bots
Courtesy of BB Gun Press

The Bots

Spice up your playlist with Billboard's weekly roundup of tracks from the Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart. After giving them a listen, make sure to check back next week for a new set of selections to discover the latest music.

"Blinded" – The Bots

Indie rock band The Bots, comprising brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei, fuse rock with R&B in "Blinded." The pair channels Arctic Monkeys with their emphasis on distorted, layered vocals and the addition of a shredding guitar solo to complete the track. Lead singer Mikaiah delivers a smooth vocal that shifts between mellow ease on the verses, but he reserves an amplified punch for the chorus, "I wanna know how you're blinded / how to find it / don't remind me." The song's music video earned a boost for "Blinded" on Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists after fans discovered the clip's director is Norman Reedus, best known for his role as Daryl Dixon on AMC's The Walking Dead. The "Blinded" video has gathered more than 56,000 views on YouTube, helping the track launch at No. 7 on the weekly Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists survey.

"Perfect Ruin" – Kwabs

After the success of Kwabs' track "Walk" -- which hit No. 5 on Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists last year -- the artist returns with the melancholy ballad "Perfect Ruin." Over a somber piano-driven melody, the British crooner questions a crumbling relationship and highlights the personal anguish it causes, "Send your love to move me / my world has powered over me / in perfect ruins / somehow it towers over me." Kwabs' baritone adopts a soulful tone on the affecting vocal, and he wraps the tune with a tender set of hums that resonate long after the notes fade. Listeners gravitated towards "Ruin," pushing the song to more than 610,000 plays on YouTube since its upload on Feb. 4. One particular listener, Coldplay's Will Champion, was particularly moved, tweeting the track brought him "to a complete standstill."

Champion's tweet helped the song return to Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists, where the song clocks in a No. 11 re-entry. "Perfect Ruin" is on Kwabs' debut album, Love + War, set for a May 18 release in the U.K.

"NY Raining" – Charles Hamilton (featuring Rita Ora)

As Charles Hamilton gears up for his long-awaited debut album, the rapper taps Rita Ora for "NY Raining," a song included on the soundtrack to the ratings smash Fox TV show Empire. The flirty cut sees Hamilton offer a sleek delivery as he cruises through his verses and affirms his affection, "Love at first sight, but it has blocked my pain / So for you, I'll exceed the top five in the game." Ora handles the chorus with polished skill, and her hook is so catchy that she deserves her own verse. "NY Raining" storms onto the Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart at No. 24. The track is expected on Hamilton's forthcoming debut, and as mentioned earlier, is included on the Empire soundtrack, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 dated March 28.


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