Columbia Records has signed Arizona Zervas, the artist behind viral hit “Roxanne,” Billboard has confirmed.
Since the Maryland-born artist released “Roxanne” on Oct. 10, the track has earned nearly 50 million streams on Spotify, with placements from heavy-hitter playlists such as Today’s Top Hits and Pop Rising. It topped the platform’s U.S. top tracks chart from Nov. 7-13 with more more than 1 million streams daily, making Zervas the first unsigned, independent artist to achieve that honor in at least three years.
On TikTok the song has taken off too and has been used more than 320,000 videos to date. It’s also found support on SiriusXM channels Hits1, The Heat and Hip-Hop Nation.
But Zervas isn’t exactly a newcomer. He has released more than 30 singles since 2016, the top 10 of which all have at least 1 million streams on Spotify. He’s been touring too, with more than 50 shows across the country, including such notable venues as New York’s Webster Hall and The Fillmore in his native Maryland.
Still, as much as Zervas has been racking up followers, “Roxanne” is hit first true hit and sparked a bidding war among labels. The song hit the Hot 100 this week at No. 34, marking his first entry on the chart.
Under chairman and CEO Ron Perry, this is Columbia’s second major signing of a viral star this year following the label’s deal with Lil Nas X around runaway hit “Old Town Road,” which went on to set a new record with 19 weeks atop the Hot 100 chart.