Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, the Billboard series where we highlight a musician or band who has recently made their debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is singer-songwriter Sara Kays, who debuted at No. 49 on the chart (dated Feb. 20) thanks to her single “Remember That Night?”
Though Sara Kays may be a newcomer to Billboard’s charts, you might recognize her from TikTok, where the rising star boasts over a million followers.
The Nashville-based singer/songwriter debuts at No. 49 on the Emerging Artists chart, marking her first career chart appearance, thanks to the growing success of her breakthrough single “Remember That Night?” The single earned in 3.9 million U.S. streams in the latest tracking week (up 23% from the previous week), according to MRC Data, and has been used nearly 50,000 TikTok videos to date — helping boost its profile.
“Remember That Night?” finds the 22-year-old reminiscing about an old romance, where she tells the story of moving on from a difficult breakup. Kays shared the story in a TikTok video: she was five months removed from the breakup, when she received a text from him. Rather than respond, she wrote a song.
“I write a lot about the most difficult things that I’m going through, so I know that my songs probably can’t be the light at the end of the tunnel for anyone because I’m still in search of that too,” she tells Billboard. “All I really hope for is that my songs can be comforting to people who are going through the same things, and that people can realize they’re not alone when they listen.”
This is just the beginning for Kays, who also unveiled her breezy track “Future Kids” on Feb. 12. Though she hasn’t been able to tour or perform live, she says the pandemic has given her more time to write new music, which she plans to gradually release over the coming months.
“I love what I do,” she said. “Writing songs is an outlet for me, and it’s such a fun process that I’m so grateful I get to do almost every day.”
Learn more about Sara Kays below.
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Recommended Sara Kays Track: “Remember That Night?”
Outside of the music: “Lately, I’ve been trying to spend more quality time with people close to me. I also love thrifting and croutons.”
What’s next: “I’ll be releasing a song every month for the next few months, so my next song will be out in March!”