After previously diving into rappers who could soon be making waves on the Billboard 200 chart via its Predictions chart (including Brockhampton, EarthGang and more), Next Big Sound, the music data analytics company owned by Pandora, is back with a few new artists who could pop up on the chart in the near future.
Next Big Sound has two charts that spotlight up-and-coming artists: Trendsetters (a list of the up-and-coming artists with the highest number of artist station adds on Pandora) and Predictions (which uses social media growth over the past week to try to predict the artists who are most likely to hit the Billboard 200 chart for the first time within a year). The charts refresh on Pandora’s website on Fridays and on Billboard on Tuesdays.
From California-based pop up-and-comers to an Australian whose main song has achieved success overseas, here are this installment’s Predictions to Know.
San Francisco native Lauv is proof that just because you’re not signed to a label doesn’t mean you can’t hit the charts. Despite being produced in the 23-year-old’s bedroom rather than a studio, the singer-songwriter's latest electro-pop single, “I Like Me Better,” has managed to be a bit of a worldwide phenomenon, hitting several major song charts abroad and even going platinum in Australia.
While he has yet to hit a major Billboard chart, it’s likely just a matter of time: Lauv – pronounced Lowv — is currently in the top 10 of Next Big Sound’s Predictions chart, reaching No. 5 on the ranking dated Sept. 29. Since the release of “I Like Me Better,” Lauv has added around 35,000 Twitter followers and more than 50,000 fans on Facebook and has seeded well over 20,000 station adds on Pandora. Lately, he’s seeing right around 1,400 weekly adds on the platform.
If that data isn't convincing, consider this: Lauv was recently announced as an opener for Ed Sheeran in Asia on his Divide Tour and was also just featured on a new track by DJ Snake. Their song together, “A Different Way,” debuted at No. 11 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
The story goes that Los Angeles indie-pop singer Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas wrote “Ocean Eyes” for Eilish’s dance teacher, uploaded it to Soundcloud and then — you guessed it — the song went viral.
After signing to Interscope and releasing her stomach-churning sophomore single “Bellyache,” Eilish quickly debuted on the Predictions chart and shortly after that was being hailed by the BBC as “pop’s best new hope.” Now, with the release of her debut EP Don’t Smile at Me, she’s proving that there’s much more where “Ocean Eyes” came from.
A breakout single as viral as “Ocean Eyes” could have easily eclipsed the artist behind it, but not in this case: Eilish’s artist station adds on Pandora are far higher than station adds for “Ocean Eyes,” and the gap between the two is growing by the day. This month compared to last month, she saw a 30 percent lift in artist station adds, paving the way for her Sept. 29 debut on Trendsetters at No. 12. If she keeps it up with the high-profile performances like her Sept. 20 stop at The Late Late Show With James Corden, she could be performing on much bigger stages soon.
While plenty of artists blend genres, Quinn XCII’s concoction is a rather unique one: indie-pop, electronic and reggae mixed together and topped with a sometimes hip-hop flow.
Sound strange? Well, it’s working. Quinn, whose real name is Mike, debuted on Predictions on Sept. 22 and quickly jumped over to Trendsetters the week after. It’s all thanks to The Story of Us, his debut album released on Sept. 15. After steadily building followers this summer through a string of festival performances including SXSW and Firefly, The Story of Us seems to be the perfect sinker.
Since its release, Quinn’s monthly station adds have jumped from around 7,000 per month to close to 10,000. On top of that, he has more than doubled his increase in fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter month-on-month. He’s currently at No. 20 on Trendsetters.
Aussie singer-songwriter Dean Lewis has yet to crack any major Billboard charts, but the spread of his debut single “Waves” might help change that. The track, which was originally released last September and went on to hit double platinum in Australia, is starting to get some attention stateside after it was featured on two U.S. TV shows — on a February episode of The CW teen drama Riverdale and most recently at the end of the season 7 finale of the USA legal drama Suits.
Judging by Lewis’ activity over the past month, that finale must have been a dramatic one. Month on month, Lewis has doubled his number of artist station adds, while track station adds for “Waves” have increased by 230 percent. (Like Eilish, Lewis’ artist station adds are significantly outpacing station adds for “Waves.”)
He’s also seen an 85 percent lift in Facebook page likes and a 120 percent increase in traffic to his Wikipedia page month-on-month.
“Waves” recently appeared for a week on the Hot Rock Songs chart, bowing at No. 47 (Oct. 7).