Jessica Hernandez is a petite powerhouse of music. As she wiggles about on stage with hair that matches her teal skirt, charming the crowd, singing her heart out, and wailing on an floor tom, the audience gathered at the Mercury Lounge in downtown Manhattan realizes they’re in for one hell of a show, and inches steadily closer to the stage.
Originally hailing from Detroit, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas appeared on the Next Big Sound chart in February of this year, and have had a busy spring touring the US in support of their latest EP, a five-track compilation entitled Demons.
Think jazz-inspired, ska-influenced, funked up blues. In other words, a sound that is hard to pin down as any one genre, but nonetheless gets your hips swinging, and keeps the audience excited. The performance is reminiscent of No Doubt during the Magic Kingdom era, yet is uniquely different and fresh.
Still bubbling under, Facebook is where the band has their largest following, and it is growing at a rapid rate. They gained more 6,000 new page likes in just the past 90 days – a 258% increase from the previous three months, and not far off half their following – which is now upward of 15,000 page likes in total.
Instagram is where fans are most engaged with content the band shares. While their following is still fairly small at a little more than 2,000 total, this following has brought their total number of likes for posts to about 65,000. And there is plenty of room to grow. On Twitter, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas have less than 1,500 followers, and they have only seen about 78,000 views on their official YouTube channel.
As Hernandez jumps out on to the floor, and gets the whole room to crouch down at once, she proves she knows how to connect with the people she is performing to. Then the band launches into a track Hernandez explains they wrote about a week ago, and wouldn’t you believe it, that is amazing too.
It seems one of the bands greatest strengths lies in engaging fans during their live shows, a feat that can be difficult to translate to social content. Of those 78,000 YouTube views, more than 22,000 were for a video of a live performance.
The band seems primed for a late-night television performance, and we’ve previously found that smaller artists see a significant social lift from this type of exposure.
Australian indie crooner Courtney Barnett, who has an online following of a fairly comparable size, saw a big lift from her recent performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. In the past month she gained close to 6,000 new Facebook page likes, a 173% increase from the month prior, almost 2,000 followers on Twitter, a boost of 164%, and more than 18,000 Wikipedia page views - more than double that of the previous 30 days.
I had listened quite a bit to Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas before I went to this show, and believe me, I liked it. But by the time I left the Mercury Lounge that evening, I love, love, loved it. And that is the power of a killer live performance. Now it is just a matter of reaching the world faster than one crowd at a time.
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, Forbes, Billboard, Hypebot and more.