Kongos’ Time Is ‘Now’
Having grown its fan base through constant touring — including a key opening slot for Linkin Park in South Africa in 2012 — sibling quintet Kongos makes its Billboard chart debut as the Americana-inflected single “Come With Me Now” (Epic) soars onto Rock Airplay at No. 26 and Alternative at No. 32. The band continues its intense touring pace by opening for Airborne Toxic Event this month and will play the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del., in June.
New Song And Dance
Atlanta teen quintet We Are Toonz heats up mainstream R&B/hip-hop airwaves with “Drop That #NaeNae” (VPP/SkunkFunk), which drew 1.7 million listeners (up 80%) in the Jan. 20-26 tracking week, according to Nielsen BDS. The song’s popularity is partly due to its accompanying dance, the Nae Nae, which is based on Martin Lawrence’s Sheneneh Jenkins character from his ’90s sitcom “Martin.” The group has used social media to promote its breakout track and dance, spurring 1.1 million usages of the #NaeNae hashtag in the past 90 days, according to Twitter.
Country Goes For Drive
Natalie Stovall & the Drive, a high-energy touring act fronted by its fiddle-playing singer, motors toward the Country Airplay chart with its debut single, “Baby Come On With It” (HitShop). Performing since age 10, Stovall formed the band seven years ago after cutting her teeth playing fiddle in a band at the now-defunct Opryland Themepark in Nashville. “Baby” appears on the act’s self-titled EP, released late last year.
Eli Jas simmers just under the Tropical Airplay chart with “Deseandote” (Top Stop), featuring Fito Blanko. Jas’ powerful voice commands the dance track, which blends merengue and pop with Blanko’s added urban twist. Born and raised in New York, Jas’ diverse influences are apparent in her fusion of styles. Tropical radio is taking notice, including WAMG-AM Boston, which played the song 26 times last week.
Reporting by Wade Jessen, Amaya Mendizabal, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust.