Did you watch the Grammy nomination concert this week?
The nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards were announced Wednesday night to great fanfare. Certain artists led the pack in terms of nominations, and others were conspicuously absent from the list, but when it comes to Best New Artist nods, these span the genre gamut from Folk to R&B. What most of them do have in common is numbers on the rise and having appeared on our Next Big Sound Charts.
New York indie pop band Fun. who snagged a slew of nods last night in addition to Best New Artist, have seen great success with what is in fact their second studio album Some Nights. The band can now boast 1.2 million Facebook page likes, of these close to 950,000 occurred since the release in February. In total they have more than a million video views on YouTube, 3 million plays on Rdio. Fun. appeared on the Next Big Sound fastest accelerating chart as early as March 2011, and are definitely still going strong, adding an average of about 7500 new Twitter followers each week in the past month.
Though they have a smaller fan base than Fun., southern rock band Alabama Shakes also received a nomination in this category. The quartet appeared on our fastest accelerating chart about a year ago, and are steadily building their fan base. Their first full-length album Boys & Girls was released in April, and since then they have seen more than 2.5 million Last.fm spins, attracted 28,000 new fans on Twitter, about 70 percent of their total following on the social network. At this point they only have about 150,000 Facebook page likes, but have almost 4 million views on their official YouTube channel, and more than a million on Vevo, where their single biggest spike in views coincided with the release of the music video for I Ain’t the Same. In a single day, they saw close to 70,000 video views.
Blasting onto the scene this summer and earning themselves a Best New Artist nod is Colorado-based folk band The Lumineers. While their eponymous album released just a few days after they hit the Next Big Sound chart in late March, the first single Ho Hey, which recently went platinum, didn’t hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart until June, before making a steady climb to the top five. The trio surpassed 200,000 Facebook page likes within the past two weeks, are approaching 1.5 million Rdio spins, and have more than 20 million video views on YouTube.
Another artist to garner half a dozen nominations this year including Best New Artist, is R&B sensation Frank Ocean. Ocean, who caused a ruckus releasing a digital version of his debut solo album a week before schedule, already had a solid fan base at the time with more than one million followers on Twitter. However, he has closed to doubled that number since release, and also saw 1.9 million of his 2 million total Rdio plays in that same time. Ocean appeared on our chart in March 2011.
The final Best New Artist nod went to Hunter Hayes. Out of Nashville, the young country artist has been melting tween hearts across the country since releasing his self-titled album last October (Note that his fan base is 80 percent female). While Hayes is the only one on this list who did not appear on our chart, he has definitely been on our radar. Following the release of the official music video for his second single Wanted in March this year, his YouTube numbers have blown up bringing his total to more than 35 million video views.
All told, we were happy to see that 4 out of 5 of these “Best New Artists” had at some point appeared on our chart. This definitely helps to confirm our belief that the social numbers do matter, and that the algorithm we are using to identify the most likely up-and-coming acts is working. Looking for the Next Big Sound? Look no further.
Photo Credit: Official Grammy Logo
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.