Spotify has just released Episode 7 of the Spotify: For the Record podcast featuring six up-and-coming artists from Spotify’s RADAR program: Young T & Bugsey, J.I the Prince of N.Y, Lous and the Yakuza, merci, mercy and Rina Sawayama. The hosts also talk with Andy Sloan-Vincent, a member of Spotify’s International Music Team about building and sustaining the program.
Launched in March of this year, RADAR is Spotify’s emerging artists program focused on spotlighting rising talent from around the world. More than 115 artists in 22 territories have been selected so far – and six months into the program they are already celebrating more than 2 billion streams between them. Just recently, Spotify announced a new global RADAR hub featuring 22 region-and-genre specific RADAR playlists.
Young T & Bugsey exploded on the scene in 2019, having released several hit singles including Platinum certified ‘Strike A Pose’ featuring Aitch and UK Top 20 hit ‘Don’t Rush’, feat. Headie One. Despite dropping their career-defining debut project ‘Plead The 5TH’ during a challenging time in the music industry in March 2020, Young T & Bugsey have made it their year and quickly cemented themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting acts hitting the global stage, with lots more to come.
Andy Sloan-Vincent, International Music Team @ Spotify on the definition of “emerging artist”: “For us, we defined it as an artist that’s moving into the next stage of their career… And the next stage for them is really recognizing what their artistic brand is. It’s more that we can help provide support for artists you know, at any stage of their emerging careers.”
On identifying local talent: “Each of the local markets is really empowered to look at what’s going on locally and see you know, if there’s cool new genres popping up. If there’s an amazing new artist that everyone’s talking about. If they’ve just seen someone at a local show and they’re like, wow, they’re incredible, I need to work with them.
On the range of artists in the RADAR program: “We have artists from a completely diverse spectrum of backgrounds, geographical location, musical styles, age, gender and everything in between. And so I think there’s really something for everyone in the program.”
Young T & Bugsey on the viral success of “Don’t Rush”: “It was crazy… We haven’t performed it since.” – Young T
On making it onto President Obama’s Summer playlist: “We were literally just chillin’ in the studio. And then [President Obama] just posted it. No one on our team knew about it so I just saw it when everyone else was. I was like wow, big Barack, yeah? It was sick to be acknowledged on that kind of scale.” – Bugsey
On bringing the rap scene to Nottingham: “And if I’m being honest, there wasn’t a rap scene. I’ll say like, when we started doing what we were doing in Nottingham, I will say we definitely birthed that.” – Bugsey
On Afrobeat influences in their music: “When people say we’ve got, like, Afro-infused sound into our music, it’s ‘cause it’s literally just us in it, like, it’s just our heritage in it.” – Bugsey
On the challenge of emerging artists: “In music, getting people to actually, genuinely support you, I feel like, is one of the hardest things.” – Bugsey