30 – 07 – 2021

Indie Chart (Week 30, 2021)

Not only does this week's Indie Chart feature a diverse list of artists from around the world, but it shows the many routes one can take to success in the modern music industry. With TikTok, TV syncs, editorial playlist inclusions and classic album launches among the reasons behind this cohort's recent growth.

Over the past year, the music industry at large has watched in amazement as TikTok has proven itself time and again to be the best platform for new artists looking to grow their audiences. Now a year on since TikTok exploded in popularity at the start of the pandemic, it’s no longer a surprise when a seemingly brand new artist comes along with legions of listeners from the jump.

That is the case for both the #1 and 2 artist on this week’s Indie Chart. Indie Folk artist Leith Ross saw their first Spotify editorial placement in Fresh Finds four weeks ago, with their followers on the streaming platform increasing by 500% ever since. Despite only recently receiving official playlisting support from Spotify, Ross’ tracks have hundreds of thousands of streams already, owing to their 88k followers on TikTok. Ross posts snippets and teasers of tracks on the short-form video app, amassing a sizable following and over 1.3M likes across their videos.

In at #2, Italian acoustic singer-songwriter Etra also has a sizable following on TikTok, where he posts covers and clips from tracks. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen artists from mainland Europe creep into our charts across every genre - perhaps owing to COVID restrictions lifting across the continent and artists feeling more comfortable releasing music. In the past week, Etra’s Spotify following has grown by a massive 86% as his latest track ‘Lisboa’ has been picked up by popular Italian user-generated playlists.

At #3, neo-soul guitarist/vocalist Christian Kuria has seen 9% Spotify follower growth off the back of a sync in ABC sitcom Grown-ish. Our #4 artist Allison Russell recently featured on our list of LGBTQ+ folk artists you need to check out. She’s continued to see accelerated Spotify growth with 14 million cumulative playlist followers and 21% weekly follower growth on the streaming platform. Rounding out the top 5, indie pop vocalist-producer Kyle Reynolds is riding high following a feature on Gryffin’s ‘Best Is Yet to Come’, with the track and its various remixes featuring in numerous editorial playlists.

Representing South Korea, and once again showing the power of a sync on a TV show, RIO has grown rapidly on Spotify since featuring on the original soundtrack to K-drama ‘Nevertheless,’. In the past week alone RIO has seen 33% Spotify follower growth, with her track ‘Heavy Heart’ added to Spotify’s 1.3M follower Korean OSTs playlist. Another Italian entry, Comete features in a number of local editorial playlists on Spotify, including Indie Italia and Primavera. Meanwhile, Ethan Sak announced his new album ‘Blue’ and released the track ‘Bittersweet Goodbyes’ last week, boosting his Spotify following by 12% in the process.

Rounding out the top 10, Chilean duo FrioLento have tracks in several local editorial playlists such as Novedades Indie, while A-Wall has seen a massive boost in popularity for his track 2019 ‘Loverboy’ thanks to TikTok. The track now has over 9 million streams on Spotify, making it A-Wall’s most popular tune by far, while unofficial uploads of the track have racked-up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

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