Pandora Predictions to Know: Mitchell Tenpenny, The Record Company & Sada Baby

Jim Wright
Mitchell Tenpenny

Here are the latest predictions for future success on the Billboard charts from Pandora & Next Big Sound.

Data-loving music fans and charts geeks can scour streaming data every week, but what if we could take it a few steps further and use data to try to predict the under-the-radar artists who will be debuting on these charts in the future? That's exactly what Next Big Sound's charts aim to tell us.

Long before Khalid or Dua Lipa made their debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart last year, they appeared on one or more charts powered by the Pandora-owned data analytics company. Two charts -- the Pandora Predictions Chart and the Pandora Trendsetters Chart -- aim to spotlight the up-and-coming artists who are showing the most promising signs of making it big. How? The Predictions Chart measures artists' growth on social media and Pandora to predict the artists most likely to make their debut on the Billboard 200 in the next year, while Trendsetters shows the top 20 emerging artists based on weekly artist station adds.

Below we run through artists new to the charts. Charts go live on Next Big Sound every Friday and are updated on Billboard.com on Tuesdays.

Mitchell Tenpenny

Despite being born and raised in Nashville, singer-songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny didn't get his start in country music. Rather, he sang gospel in church and was the self-proclaimed lead screamer in a string of hardcore bands in high school before he found his place in country. Indeed, there's a variety of genres influencing "Drunk Me," the single that's launched him to up-and-comer status and onto the Pandora Predictions Chart at No. 19.

The Feb. 23 release of Mitchell Tenpenny, the EP that's the home of "Drunk," has sparked significant growth on social media and streaming for the 28-year-old. Comparing the past 90 days with the previous 90 days, he's seen three times as many Pandora artist station adds and nearly four times as many track station adds. In that time he's also seen a lift in traffic to his Wikipedia page of over 300 percent. "Drunk" is firing up on terrestrial radio, too: Month-on-month, the song has seen an increase in spins of 275 percent.

"Drunk" also hits a milestone on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated May 12), reaching the top 40 (42-40).

The Record Company

Genre-blending rock act The Record Company makes its way onto the Predictions Chart this week at No. 8. The band's debut full-length, Give It Back to You, was released in February 2016 and peaked at No. 17 on Billboard's Alternative Albums chart and at No. 23 on Top Rock Albums. Give It Back to You was nominated for a Grammy Award for best contemporary blues album, and while it has never cracked the Billboard 200, signals from Next Big Sound indicate that the group continues to gain momentum. The Record Company is set to release its sophomore album, All of This Life, in June, and judging by the reception of the album's lead single, "Life to Fix," the band could hit new heights.                                                                               

Released April 20, "Life" has made a lot of impact in a short amount of time. This month compared to last month, traffic to the act's Wikipedia page has doubled, while the group's reach on Twitter has increased over 800 percent. The band is currently seeing around 1,700 monthly artist station adds on Pandora – up from last month by around 50 percent.

On Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart, "Fix" flies 15-10 in its second week, becoming The Record Company's third top 10 and its first to reach the region that quickly.

Sada Baby

Tuned-in hip-hop fans know that there's no shortage of promising talent coming out of Detroit. Proving to be of the hottest prospects from the Motor City is Sada Baby, who debuts on the Trendsetters Chart dated May 4 at No. 19 after a steady increase in artist station adds week after week.

Sada Baby has kept busy since releasing his D.O.N. mixtape in November with a stream of buzzed-about singles. In January, he offered "Guatemalan," which features former Trendsetter and fellow Detroit native Tee Grizzley, who returned the favor by featuring Sada Baby on his April single "Hilton." Between that and singles including "Bloxk Party" and "Cheat Codes," Sada Baby has had a busy 2018 so far.

The numbers back it up: Month-on-month, Sada Baby has seen a nearly 50 percent lift in both artist station adds and track station adds, a 60 percent increase in Twitter followers and a 100 percent increase in Facebook page likes.