Bubbling Under: Labrinth Amazes With Emeli Sande Duet 'Beneath Your Beautiful'
Each Friday, Billboard presents "Bubbling Under," a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: Labrinth, JJ Lawhorn, Kstylis and Renzo
As Emeli Sande scales multiple format charts with her breakout hit "Next to Me" (Capitol), she's likewise scoring airplay as a featured act on Labrinth's "Beneath Your Beautiful" (SYCO/RCA), which is approaching the Adult Pop Songs chart. The latter song topped the Official U.K. Singles chart in November and has racked a whopping 37 million YouTube views. Labrinth, aka 24-year-old British singer/songwriter/producer Timothy McKenzie, wrote "Beautiful" with Sande and Mike Posner ("Cooler Than Me"). The song appears on Labrinth's debut album "Electronic Earth," due for a forthcoming U.S release after reaching No. 2 in his native country.
His "Stomping Grounds" is gaining a foothold at country radio, with spins at 23 stations monitored by Nielsen BDS for the Country Airplay chart. The native Virginian, signed to Average Joes, recently wrapped a string of dates with labelmate Colt Ford. He's working on a full-length album to be released this year. Lawhorn's first single, 2011's "Sittin' on a Tailgate," meanwhile, sports 335,000 YouTube views. Lawhorn also has a writing deal with EMI Music Publishing.
Kansas City newcomer Kstylis cracks the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart, as "Booty Me Down" (Epic) debuts at No. 39. The self-proclaimed "King of Twerk" boasts 41 million views on his official YouTube channel, including 14 million for the "Booty" audio clip. The song's proper video will be released on Monday (April 15). Kstylis is joining rapper Future on select dates on the latter's Pluto 3D tour this month.
With a refreshing and youthful interpretation of merengue music, Renzo makes his Billboard chart entrance with his debut single "Mi Favorita" (Mayimba). The track enters the Tropical Airplay ranking at No. 30, with spins detected at nine reporters. A gifted dancer, the 22-year-old incorporates modern choreography into the genre, offering a fresh visual take on the classic musical style.
Reporting by Wade Jessen, Amaya Mendizabal, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.