Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Bizarrap’s global hit may head to America next, The Weeknd’s Starboy spins off more hits six years later, and Faye Webster scores a sped-up viral single.
Is Bizarrap Ready for a U.S. Takeover?
“Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52,” the percolating, club-ready team-up between Argentine producer Bizarrap and Spanish artist Quevedo, has exploded on global streaming services since its July 6 release, becoming the most successful edition of Bizarrap’s freestyle-based collaborative series by far. This week, “Vol. 52” moves up four spots to the top of the Billboard Global 200, and two spots to the top of the Billboard Global Excl. U.S., in its second week on both charts, with a whopping 88.3 million streams — a 38% week-to-week increase, according to Luminate. The track is only the second fully Spanish-language song to top the Global 200 in the chart’s two-year history, following Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez’s “Dákiti” in 2020.
Bizarrap — who launched his freestyle sessions in 2018, and has recruited Latin stars like Nicky Jam, Residente, Nathy Peluso and Anuel AA for the series — has gained a dedicated following (including 15 million YouTube subscribers) and charted four times on Hot Latin Songs, but has yet to reach the Hot 100 with a U.S. crossover bid. “Vol. 52” may change that. The Quevedo collaboration gives Bizarrap a new career high on Hot Latin Songs by moving to No. 20 this week, as well as top 10 showings on the U.S.-based charts Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (No. 5) and Dance/Electronic Streaming Songs (No. 6). Most importantly, American streams of “Vol. 52” are snowballing — up to 3.7 million U.S. official on-demand streams in the July 15-21 tracking week, more than the double the total of the prior week (1.6 million).
As with all of his sessions, Bizarrap recorded “Vol. 52” with Quevedo in a single take: “It’s one and done,” he told Billboard of each pairing last year. “Doesn’t matter who it’s with.” Bizarrap has already caught lightning in a bottle with “Vol. 52” – the coming weeks will show us just how far he can take it. — JASON LIPSHUTZ
Bizarrap will speak at Billboard Latin Music Week at the Iconic Singer Songwriter Q&A, presented by Sony Music Publishing. Click here to register.
‘Starboy’ Back on the Rise
Starboy was something of a victory lap for The Weeknd upon its release back in 2016, a confirmation of his superstardom following the pop breakthrough of 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart and spawned a pair of enormous pop hits (alongside legendary dance duo Daft Punk) with its title track and “I Feel It Coming.” But neither of those two songs are the real driving force behind the set’s recent revival. Rather, listeners are flocking to a pair of deeper cuts: “Die For You” and the Lana Del Rey-featuring “Stargirl Interlude.”
Both songs debuted and peaked on the Hot 100 as part of Starboy’s release week, with “Die For You” hitting No. 43 and “Stargirl Interlude” reaching No. 61. Neither were official singles — though “Die For You” was included as part of the album’s accompanying Mania mini-film, and got a high-profile synch in the HBO dramedy Insecure a year later — but both endured as fan favorites and were revived as TikTok trends within the past year, giving them a boost in consumption.
That boost has only continued to swell over the months since, with both songs gradually climbing into the top half of Spotify’s Daily 200 chart — as “Die” grew from about 5 million weekly on-demand U.S. streams at the beginning of June to nearly 5.9 million in the tracking week ending July 21, according to Luminate, and “Stargirl” ballooned from 2.2 million to 3.1 million over that same timespan. This week, Starboy vaults from No. 200 on the Billboard 200 to No. 33 (its highest ranking since the chart dated Apr. 14, 2018), in large part due to these two album tracks that continue to shine brighter and brighter. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Faye Webster’s “Kingston” Defines 2022 Indie Virality
Indie singer-songwriter Faye Webster is having a moment right now, particularly with the success of her 2019 song “Kingston.” A sped-up version of the track began catching on in June, when fashion-forward TikTokers started using it to soundtrack their get-ready-with-me or clothing haul videos. Soon after, though, the track’s original recording caught on in a different way.
Fans of the original recording often share their love for “Kingston” by lip syncing, crying, or laying face down on their beds, pounding their fists to its lyrics. Steven Pardo, digital marketing director for Secretly Group, says he was “waiting for a TikTok moment to happen around it” ever since he first heard the track. “Faye’s lyricism has such a resonance and emotional clarity that it was only a matter of time before it started to break through.”
Interestingly enough, these types of emotional, fist-pounding videos are bleeding over into fans doing the same for other songs in her catalog too, like “Johnny” and “In a Good Way.” It all leads to an overall 43% boost in on-demand audio streams of the singer-songwriter’s full catalog over the past seven weeks (up to the tracking week ending July 21) to a total of 2.3 million, led by a 92% gain to 592,000 streams for “Kingston” over that same period, according to Luminate. For Pardo, “this deep emotional connection to the lyrics is reminiscent to what we saw for Mitski” — another Secretly artist whose music blew up on the platform a year ago. — KRISTIN ROBINSON