Trending Up: Troye Sivan Soars Overseas — Plus Fergie’s ‘First Class’ Bump, Jelly Roll, Leah Kate & More
Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, 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: Troye Sivan’s “Angel Baby” is flying high overseas, Jelly Roll has a couple of treats for radio, Fergie’s “Glamorous” gets a seat upgrade, and more.
Troye Sivan’s International “Angel” Anthem
Troye Sivan has long thrived as a critically acclaimed cult favorite in modern pop, but the Australian singer-songwriter has also scored a handful of minor crossover hits over the course of his career. Those have included six Hot 100 entries since 2014, with “Youth,” from his 2015 debut album Blue Neighbourhood, achieving his highest peak to date of No. 23. Last year, “You,” a sleek dance single by Kosovo-Albanian producer Regard that featured Sivan and rising pop star Tate McRae, reached No. 58 on the Hot 100, but also enjoyed prolonged runs at multiple radio formats — topping the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart for 11 weeks last year and reaching No. 11 on Pop Airplay last August.
As he makes more inroads with U.S. audiences, Sivan is also introducing himself to listeners around the globe with “Angel Baby,” a solo electro-pop ballad released last September. The track is flying up the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, climbing 29 spots to No. 84 in its third week on the tally, and as noted last week, Billboard’s newly launched Hits of the World chart explains why: “Angel Baby” is a smash in Asia. This week, the song spends a fourth non-consecutive frame at No. 1 on Malaysia Songs, holds at No. 2 on Indonesia Songs, climbs to No. 3 on Singapore Songs and rises to No. 8 on Philippines Songs. mainstream momentum.
Part of the song’s international success can be chalked up to Sivan’s draw in the eastern hemisphere – the Asian leg of his last world tour, in support of 2018’s Bloom, earned $685,000 per night, according to Billboard Boxscore – and another part is due to Sivan leaning into the song’s slow growth with a series of TikTok posts about its lyrics. The latter may eventually help “Angel Baby” become a U.S. chart hit, too: although the song has yet to hit the Hot 100, it’s up 30% week-to-week in U.S. on-demand streams to 920,000 in the week ending April 21, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data. – JASON LIPSHUTZ
Radio Spreads Jelly Roll Across Multiple Formats
Tennessee rapper Jason DeFord, better known as Jelly Roll, has been releasing albums and cultivating a fan base for over a decade (and hitting the top half of the Billboard 200 albums chart with 2020’s A Beautiful Disaster) without ever really impacting radio. But in 2022, he’s doing it with two songs at once — “Dead Man Walking” and “Son of a Sinner” — and both across completely different radio formats.
What’s more, despite Jelly Roll operating primarily in the hip-hop space for most of his career, it’s not rap radio embracing either song. Instead, the grungy “Dead Man Walking” is climbing on rock radio, bulleting at No. 10 this week on Rock & Alternative Airplay with a new weekly best 3 million audience impressions, while the twangier “Son of a Sinner” is scaling Country Airplay, up to No. 30 on the listing with a 16% gain in audience impressions (all data according to Luminate, Formerly MRC Data). It’s a rare audience overlap — Chris Stapleton is one of the few artists in recent years who’s managed to have any degree of success on both charts simultaneously — and one that certainly makes Jelly Roll one of the more intriguing breakout artist candidates of 2022’s first half. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Leah Kate’s Lovable “Hate”
Between her irresistible new track “10 Things I Hate About You” and her all-star team – including Joel Madden’s Mddn management company, Elliot Grainge’s label 10K Projects, and investments from Indify and Alexis Ohanian – Leah Kate has the ingredients to become alt-pop’s next big star. A seeming nod to the title of the cult classic 1999 teen film 10 Things I Hate About You, and lyrics on-trend with the play-on-words style popularized recently by artists like Salem Ilese and GAYLE, Kate’s newest track is a surefire hit, and she’s already got the numbers to prove it.
“10 Things” earned 5.73 million streams in the week ending April 21 – a gain of 64.5% over the prior week’s total – and currently sits at No. 4 on Spotify’s Viral 50 (US) chart, while also being ranked third on the TikTok US Top Tracks Chart this week, with over 243,000 videos made to it to date. A middle finger anthem, the track is also the singer-songwriter’s first song to gain traction at pop radio, hitting No. 50 with 200 spins this week. – KRISTIN ROBINSON
Fergie Rides “First Class” Bump Skyward
Perhaps the biggest 2022 artist level-up story thus far belongs to rapper Jack Harlow, who cemented his stardom earlier this month with the release of his long-teased “First Class” single, leading to its No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has risen so high so quickly that it has also elevated the song it samples — Fergie’s pop gem “Glamorous,” a Hot 100-topper itself back in 2007 — along with it. “Glamorous” rose 42% in streams (from 1.33 million to 1.89 million, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data) for the week ending April 7 (the week leading up to “First Class,” with Harlow teasing the song and its sample extensively), and then another 53% (to 2.89 million) the week ending April 14, upon the song’s release. Ultimately, the song’s consumption more than doubled – an enormous seat upgrade for the 15-year-old smash, and a secondhand testament to Harlow’s piloting prowess.. — AU
Q&A: Bryant Pino, Director of Latin Music Programming for SiriusXM, on What’s Trending Up in His World
What Latin songs or artists have defined the first quarter of 2022?
“Tacones Rojos” by Sebastian Yatra. This feel good song was accompanied by his participation in the Disney film Encanto that featured “We Don’t Talk about Bruno.” Pop has gone global and dominated with songs like “Envolver,” from Brazilian superstar Anitta.
Are there any trends in the space that particularly intrigue you?
I am really liking how artists like Karol G, Anuel, J Balvin, Feid and Farruko have experimented with EDM/dance music. And the genre-defying sounds from Rosalía, Kali Uchis, Rauw Alejandro to the R&B sounds from artists like Dalex, María Isabel and Lyanno.
The past few years have been huge for the mainstream growth of Latin pop. How has your programming focus evolved over that time?
My programming has always embraced, adapted and evolved over the time. From Brazilian funk to dembow, we have been able to be progressive and stay on top of the trends. Luckily, SiriusXM has various genre specific commercial-free Latin channels to help with music discovery and I love creating exclusive content for artist development.
Fill in the blank: this summer, Latin music listeners will be obsessed with ________.
Dominican dembow music! This movement has artists like El Alfa, Rochy RD, La Materialista, Tokischa and Chimbala, among others who are currently transcending borders with some of the most infectious rhythms and collaborations out today. – JL
Trending Back Then: Two Biggest Boy Bands in the World No Match for Gotye and Kimbra
The boy band boom of the early 2010s wasn’t ultimately as big or consequential as the prior ’80s or ’90s waves, but it did launch two British groups to stateside stardom in 2012, and two signature hits along with them: One Direction, with “What Makes You Beautiful,” and The Wanted, with “Glad You Came.” Both songs hit new Hot 100 peaks in the last two weeks of April of that month, with “Came” reaching No. 3 and “Beautiful” nestling in behind it at No. 4. But that was as high as either song would get, in large part because of a much-less-likely pop behemoth zooming ahead of them: “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a skeletal post-breakup duet between a pair of singer-songwriters with minimal U.S. chart history, Australia’s Gotye and New Zealand’s Kimbra. “Somebody” would top the Hot 100 for the first of eight weeks on April 28 — such a commercial force that it had also already earned its own Glee Cast cover, which debuted and peaked at No. 26 the same week. – AU
Trending Up: Troye Sivan Soars Overseas — Plus Fergie’s ‘First Class’ Bump, Jelly Roll, Leah Kate & More Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, 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…