Music Business

Stanaj, Drake’s Maybe BFF, Makes His Debut

1In this edition of Pandora Predictions Chart, we observe how much it helps to know someone in the biz as we look at rising stars such as Stanaj, Phoebe Ryan, and Wrabel helped along by the likes of Ke$ha, The Chainsmokers, and Drake.


Guest post by Emily Blake of Next Big Sound

Take it from the artists on the Pandora Predictions Chart this week: If you’re an up-and-coming artist looking to make it big, knowing people really, really helps.

Several artists on the chart — which tracks the up-and-coming artists Next Big Sound predicts are most likely to debut on the Billboard 200 Chart in the next year — first popped on the mainstream radar after getting a co-sign from a major music star, whether in the form of a full-on collaboration or a simple snap on Instagram.

Phoebe Ryan

Considering they’ve got what is arguably the biggest song of the year, it seems like the Chainsmokers are good guys to know. As the Halsey-featuring Closer enjoys its eighth week on top of the Pandora Top Spins Chart, their latest single, All We Know, is starting to gain steam on Pandora, and its featured vocalist, Phoebe Ryan, is rising right along with it.

Phoebe Ryan saw a significant increase in Facebook page likes after the release of “All We Know,” her collaboration with the Chainsmokers, on September 29.

As soon as the Chainsmokers started promoting the single, the New Jersey-born singer-songwriter saw a flurry of attention on social media. In the following month, she saw a month-on-month 1,558.3% increase in Facebook page likes, a 439.4% and a 67% increase in Artist Station Adds on Pandora.

This week, Ryan rises to #7 on the Predictions Chart. Even though she hasn’t quite reached the social status of fellow Chainsmokers featured vocalists Halsey and Daya — she is about to head on tour as an opener for reigning Cool Girl Tove Lo, so give her some time.


Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Wrabel got a serious boost back in June when Kesha promoted his single 11 Blocks on Instagram with a rather, uh, touching message: “He’s actually, literally made me pee my pants on multiple occasions.” Wrabel immediately saw a huge uptick in activity across social media: A week-on-week 1,298% increase in Instagram followers, a 3,195% week-on-week increase in Twitter mentions and a 741% increase in YouTube Likes.

After Kesha promoted Wrabel’s song “11 Blocks” on both Twitter and Instagram, the singer saw over 6,000 Twitter mentions in a single day.

Now, he hits #16 on the Predictions Chart this week after he was featured on Ritual, the latest single from EDM up-and-comer Marshmello. This week compared to last week, he saw a 248% increase in Facebook page likes and a 36.6% increase in Instagram followers.


Long before R&B singer-songwriter Albert Stanaj released his debut EP “The Preview” in August, he had been spotted in photos with Drake and Jay Z, played the piano at Drake’s mansion, gotten co-signs from Chris Brown and Kim Kardashian, and performed at one of the largest music festivals in the country.

That’s all to say, even before he had an official release — he was known posting covers on YouTube — a good number of Drake followers and Justin Bieber diehards had seen his face and asked, who is that guy? Enough interest had been piqued for Complex to publish: Here’s What We Know About Albert Stanaj, the Singer/Songwriter Who’s Been Working With Drake.

Fast forward to now, and the New York-based singer makes his debut on the Predictions Chart at #11 following a performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on October 26, after which he saw a week-on-week 594% increase in Twitter mentions and 291% uptick in Pandora Spins. Oh, and that’s where he met another A-list musician: Justin Timberlake. Naturally, he snapped a pic and shared it on Instagram, racking up over 22,000 likes.

Elsewhere on the Predictions Chart, 16 year-old rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again — known as NBA Youngboy for short — debuts at #18 following the release of his buzzed-about “.38 Baby” mixtape. And Canadian country singer Lindsay Ell debuts at #13 after she made a grand appearance the CMA Awards, performing guitar for Carrie Underwood. In the past week, Ell has seen a nice uptick in Pandora Spins (+17.7%) as songs like Shut Me Up and All Alright saw 100.6% and 34.7% week-on-week increases, respectively.

And as Dua Lipa makes her debut on the Top Spins Chart with her standout single Blow Your Mind (Mwah), Swedish rapper Yung Lean takes her spot at #1, with Portland rapper Aminé close behind at #2.

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