Tennessee takes charge this week with two Memphis-based rappers making their debut on our Trendsetters Chart! Key Glock and BlocBoy JB are two rappers on the rise thanks to the support of big names in the industry. They’re all over our radar and they should be on yours too!  

Key Glock Feb 19

It’s Key Glock Season!

Nineteen-year old Key Glock is the protégé of fellow Memphis rapper Young Dolph and is currently signed to Paper Route Empire. He released his anticipated debut mixtape, Glock Season, last year and a brand new mixtape, Glock Bond, earlier this month, which helped him generate some exciting buzz. Key Glock makes his first Trendsetters appearance this week at #10 after seeing a 225% increase in Instagram followers and a 150% increase in both Twitter followers and Pandora artist station adds.

BlocBoy JB Feb 19

BlocBoy JB Experiences the Drake Effect!

Although BlocBoy JB has been rapping since he was ten years old, nothing could have prepared him for the attention that comes with collaborating with one of the biggest names in music today. The 21-year-old rapper released his collaboration with Drake “Look Alive,” last week and the Drake effect has been in full force ever since. This week compared to last week, BlocBoy JB saw a 125% lift in artist station adds and a 90% increase in track station adds, landing him a spot in our Top 20 Trendsetters this week.

Artists and musicians aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using the unique tools within AMP. With the increasing popularity of stand-up specials and podcasts, comedians have also learned to harness the power of Artist Audio Messages (AAMs) to connect with their fans and grow their audiences. This week we spoke with Drew Miller, Head of Comedy Programming at Pandora, to get more insight into how comedians are finding success using AMP!

“Comedians have incredibly multi-hyphenated careers which makes AMP the perfect marketing tool for them. They can use AAMs to promote the latest episode of their podcast, or geo-target the messages to promote tour dates across the country,” explains Miller.

dan cummins circle

Case in point: Comedian Dan Cummins saw huge growth after running two separate AAMcampaigns to promote different projects of his. The first campaign promoted his Pandora exclusive album and included a personal voice message from Cummins as well as a link into Premium Access so fans could listen to the album. This proved to be highly effective with the message reaching 394K listeners with a click-through-rate over 5%, which                                                                         ultimately resulted in 13K clicks!

His second campaign focused efforts towards driving listeners to his podcast and had similar success. As outlined in a recent article highlighting comedy on Pandora, this particular campaign helped Cummins see a 300% increase in podcast downloads during the first month the AAM was live, jumping from 22K downloads to 88K downloads! Six months later, the podcast garnered almost a million downloads.  

As comedy grows on Pandora, comedians should follow Cummins’ lead and take advantage of the AMP tools they have at their disposal. As Miller states, “We’ve already seen great engagement on their Artist Audio Messages (comedians are professional talkers after all) and I’m really excited to get the platform into more of their hands.”

To get started using AMP, please click here.

This week we introduce two fresh faces to our Trendsetters Chart! Viral artist Layton Greene and emerging rap collective Shoreline Mafia both make their debut on our list. Take a listen to these young trendsetting artists on Pandora today!

Layton Greene Feb 12

Layton Greene Rolls in at #7! 

When 19-year-old Layton Greene uploaded her cover of Kodak Black’s “Roll in Peace,” she never anticipated that the short clip would go viral and launch her into a full-time career in music. In just two short months, the Illinois-native’s version of the song has racked up almost 10 million plays on SoundCloud and the song has earned a spot at #12 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. With over 5,000 artist station adds in one week and her rendition of “Roll in Peace” approaching 600,000 weekly spins on Pandora, Layton Greene’s career is certainly off to a promising start!

Shoreline Mafia Feb 12

Shoreline Mafia Brings the West Coast Rap

The Los Angeles-based rap group Shoreline Mafia dropped their first full-length mixtape, ShorelineDoThatShit, last November and have been on the rise ever since! Their breakout hit “Musty” has been contributing to the group’s strong performance on Pandora, leading to around 3,800 artist stations adds and almost 750 track station adds each week. Although Shoreline Mafia’s fanbase is currently concentrated in Los Angeles, the group’s unique take on west coast hip hop has them earning fans all along the shoreline!

Making the Most of Your Artist Audio Messages

Now playing AAM

Artist Audio Messaging
is a unique, effective to
ol available to all artists using AMP, which allows you to speak directly to your fans as they interact with your music. These messages are a great way for you to share specific content and promotions with your fans, as well as provide them with an intimate window into your creative process. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most of Artist Audio Messages:

Be sure to introduce yourself at the beginning of the message

Letting fans know who is speaking at the beginning of the message is a great way to grab their attention and make them excited to hear what you have to say. Introduce yourself as you would in a normal conversation in your own style and voice.

Speak enthusiastically and sincerely

Artist Audio Messages aren’t advertisements. They’re personal, conversational soundbites that showcase your personality as an artist and make your fans feel as though they’re speaking to you one-to-one. Be sure to sound lively and energetic as you record your message – it makes a huge difference!  

View messages as a unique opportunity to connect with fans

When else can you give fans insight into your music right as they’re listening to it? Artist Audio Messages are a great opportunity to give an inside look into your creative process or what your songs means to you as you introduce them to listeners on Pandora.

Include call-to-action links

As fans listen to your message, they will be serviced with an image that can include a button with a call-to-action link. Even if your message isn’t encouraging a specific action, don’t let this space go unused! Instead, link to your artist website, social media profile, etc. to increase engagement with your fans. Be sure to tell your fans to “tap the screen,” so they know they can further interact with your message.

Share these messages on your social media platforms

All Artist Audio Messages that are not attached to a specific track come with an artist share URL that allows you to share the message across your social media profiles. Doing this brings more people to your Pandora station which ultimately means more listeners and more royalties!

For more detailed information on how to use the Artist Audio Messaging tool, please see the Artist Audio Messages user guide and product walkthrough videos here.

This week’s Trendsetters Chart is full of both new and familiar faces! Highlights include newcomer and rising rapper YBN NAHMIR, who makes his premiere in the Top 5, as well as the country quintet LANCO who have been steadily climbing up the chart for the past few months. Take a listen to these Trendsetters on Pandora today!


YBN NAHMIR Makes an Impressive Debut at #4!

It was only a few months ago that YBN NAHMIR shared his breakout hit “Rubbin Off The Paint” on Worldstar Hip Hop, a move that catapulted the 18-year-old to viral success. The video has over 86 million views on YouTube and the buzz led to a co-sign from Chris Brown as well as a remix of the song from Vince Staples. This is an impressive feat for the Birmingham teen who now has multiple record labels fighting to sign him and a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Move over Worldstar, YBN NAHMIR will soon be taking the whole world by storm!


LANCO Soars to #9 with Hallelujah Nights

LANCO is no stranger to our Trendsetters Chart. This is the 22nd straight week that the Tennessee-based country band has appeared on the chart. However, the release of their long-awaited first album Hallelujah Nights this month bumped them up five spots, bringing them into the Top 10. Hallelujah Nights also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Albums Chart, a accomplishment that hasn’t been achieved since Lady Antebellum released their debut album back in 2008. This buzz helped them see a 33% lift in artist station adds just in this past week!

This week we welcome two newcomers to the Trendsetters Chart! Bazzi and Derez De’Shon both make their Trendsetters debut after seeing some major spikes in their social media engagement. Keep your eyes peeled for these two promising artists!

Bazzi Jan 29

Vine Star Bazzi is Back!

Detroit-native Andrew Bazzi has been quietly making a name for himself after his successful Vine career and he premieres at #7 on the Trendsetters chart this week. The R&B singer-songwriter grew a loyal following after posting covers of popular songs on Vine and has since been working hard releasing new original songs after signing with Warner Music. His third single “Mine” follows the successes of “Alone” and “Beautiful” and has helped him see a 365% increase in artist station adds month on month along with a 300% increase in Instagram followers.

Derez De'Shon Jan 29

Atlanta’s Derez De’Shon Debuts at #8!

Derez De’Shon already has the seal of approval from Cash Money CEO Birdman. The Rich Gang rapper signed with Cash Money Records and his single “Hardaway” has people taking notice, including Birdman himself who released “Heart Away,” a remix of the song featuring Toni Braxton, earlier this month. Derez De’Shon was also featured on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 list this week and saw a 125% increase in Instagram followers and a 25% increase in artist station adds.

An Interview with Emily Blake, Data Journalist for Next Big Sound



You would be hard-pressed to find an artist that Emily Blake hasn’t heard of yet. Emily is a data journalist for Next Big Sound, and each week she curates three exciting charts – Pandora Predictions, Pandora Trendsetters, and Pandora Top Spins. Emily is at the forefront of what’s up-and-coming in the music industry, so we asked her to share her insights on discovering trends, best practices for artists using data, and her favorite features of Next Big Sound!

AMP: What are some trends/themes that you notice in artists appearing on NBS Trendsetters/Pandora Predictions?

EB: First and foremost, Hip hop dominates the Trendsetters Chart. On any given week, I would not be surprised if over half of the artists on Trendsetters are rappers. And within that, a lot of these newer kids are going by Lil something or Young/Yung something. The Lil’s are back!

Predictions: Genre-wise, I’ve been seeing a lot of dancehall artists, Grime acts, and K-pop. All these genres, of course, have their roots overseas, but all of them seem to making serious impacts in the States.

On Top Spins: Collaborations are everywhere. Last week, for example, more than a third of the songs on the Top Spins charts were collaborations, which is a huge increase from say, five or 10 years ago. And these collaborations are happening across genres, with pop singers recruiting rappers to be featured on their song. American singers linking up with Latin acts, and more traditional artists like Coldplay teaming up with super streaming-friendly acts like The Chainsmokers.

AMP: What trends in the music industry are you expecting to see in 2018? (ex. 2017 was a big year for the Latin-pop revival)

EB: I expect to see more and more collaborations on the charts. And I expect these collaborations to get more and more “weird” with time. For example, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line come from wildly different musical worlds, but have a song in the top 10 on the Top Spins Chart. I think more and more unlikely collaborations like this will keep happening. And I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years, this cross-pollination – country artists working with rappers and EDM acts – starts to change the genres themselves.

AMP: When artists make it onto Trendsetters/Predictions, how can they capitalize on their chart position to generate the most buzz for their career?

EB: I really think Pandora’s Artist Audio Messages and Featured Tracks tools are really great ways to give an artist an extra boost. What better way to connect with your audience than to actually talk to them? Charting on Trendsetters is a good indication that the iron’s hot – so strike away.

AMP: Some artists can feel intimidated when they start to work with data. What advice would you give artists as they start to incorporate data into making career decisions?

EB: I think it’d be more intimidating to make career decisions without data than with it! Artists should always follow their intuition, but data is the best way to validate it. Through Next Big Sound, every artist on Pandora gets access to their spins count, audience demography and a number of the tools that make sense of how their songs are listened to on the platform. By knowing where their audience is, and which song they are reacting to the most, artists can use these signals to push the right content, to the right audience. For artists who have never worked with data before, they shouldn’t be intimidated in using Next Big Sound. NBS is for everyone, from data novice to experts. For the novices, we have notification emails that will let you know when something exciting is happening – no math or analysis needed! And once you get more comfortable with using data, we have an array of tools that allow you to do some deeper analysis.

AMP: What common themes have you seen among artists who have moved through the charts, from Predictions to Top Spins, as they developed?

EB: Most of the time when an artist is moving from Predictions to Trendsetters to Top Spins, they are also moving up and up in artist stages. Next Big Sound divides artists among five stages based on social and streaming reach: Undiscovered, Promising, Established, Mainstream, and Epic. How does this look in real life? A good visual is the closer the artist gets to Epic, the bigger the font they get in a festival lineup. See here.

AMP: In your opinion, what is the most unique feature available for artists on NBS?

EB: I think our artist notification emails are awesome and something you can’t really find anywhere else. One email alerts you of any notable streaming and social spikes for you or any of the artists you follow on NBS, along with context as to why these spikes may be happening. It’s a great way for artist who are too busy or too unfamiliar with data to get meaningful insights into what’s working for them.