Mystery Skulls, Lion Babe & Zella Day: Emerging Picks of the Week

Billboard+ Twitter Emerging Picks of the Week: Mystery Skulls, Lion Babe & Zella Day

Heading into the weekend, Billboard offers another triple play of tracks to check out that all debuted on this week’s Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart. Be sure to give them a listen, and check back next week for a new set of selections.

"Number  1" – Mystery Skulls featuring Brandy & Nile Rodgers
Sometimes, the most unexpected collaborations produce fantastic results. "Number 1" belongs on that list. Electronica artist Mystery Skulls crafts a smooth disco-pop backbeat laced with infectious energy. To top it off, Nile Rodgers donates some of his legendary guitar skills. R&B diva Brandy joins on vocals and turns in a fresh, confident performance that highlights the track. Twitter users certainly appreciated the surprising alliance, sending the track to a No. 39 debut on the Emerging Artists chart. "Number 1" is available on Mystery Skulls' new album, Forever, which was released Oct. 27. For fans of this track, the album boasts a special prize: a second collaboration track between Skulls, Rodgers and Brandy called "Magic."

"Jump Hi" – Lion Babe featuring Childish Gambino
"Jump Hi" introduces the world to Lion Babe, a duo consisting of Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman. The team’s R&B gem boasts Hervey's smooth vocals that recall the best of Erykah Badu, all supported by a looping sample of Nina Simone's "Mr. Bojangles." Childish Gambino drops in for a guest appearance, raising the energy level on an already thumping track. The song, a single from the group's forthcoming self-titled EP, caught on with listeners and roared onto the charts for a No. 9 debut on the Emerging Artists chart. The track, however, isn't the Hervey family’s first chart entry. Her mother is singer and actress Vanessa Williams, who notched multiple hits on Billboard charts in the 1990s.

“Hypnotic” – Zella Day
Easily a candidate for the year’s most appropriately named track, "Hypnotic" rests on a whimsical, reoccurring set of "la la la la la" that floats in the background of this pop gem. In particular, the fusion of voice and production works well. Strums of acoustic guitar blend into the pop-leaning production as Day coasts through the song, filling the verses with passion. When the chorus hits, though, Day raises her register into a fluid, dream-like lullaby as she sings, "Make me feel like someone else / You got me talking in my sleep." Listeners were certainly talking on Twitter after the track's debut on Tuesday October 21, fueling conversation about the song to merit a No. 27 debut on the Emerging Artists chart. "Hypnotic" features on Zella Day’s self-titled EP, which was released on Oct. 1. 


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