How Wiki, Dreezy, and Conner Youngblood Made It
In this new video series we talk with three artists to find out about their hustle, their creative journey, and the knock-on effect pitching their music for playlist consideration has had on their career.
In a world where music fans are presented with more choices than ever, we recognize the importance of taking strategic moves to amplify your art and at Spotify for Artists, helping you reach new listeners is crucial. So in 2018 we gave artists and their teams the ability to pitch new music directly to our editorial team for playlist consideration. Since we launched the feature in Spotify for Artists, over 72,000 artists have been playlisted for the first time.
All the details are here, but to boil it down briefly—all you have to do is make sure to pitch a new song at least seven days before the release date, make sure all the metadata is filled in (get specific!) and don’t be afraid to get detailed with the description of the song. Once pitched our editors get listening and select songs for placement on the editorial playlists best suited to the release. (Editors playlist around 20% of the tracks pitched through Spotify for Artists.) Plus, your tracks plug into Spotify’s algorithmic playlist ecosystem too — including Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Daily Mix, and more — ensuring you’re always reaching the right listeners.
Since the launch of this new functionality we’ve been talking to artists to find out how pitching their music, and subsequently getting playlisted has worked impacted their career—chatting with everyone from Shura to Georgia to Elohim and more. Now we’ve decided to dig a little deeper with our new video series, How They Made It. For the first three episodes we zeroed in on rapper, singer, and mogul Dreezy (above), straight-talker Wiki (formerly part of hip-hop group Ratking), and soft-spoken, folktronica troubadour Conner Youngblood. We wanted to find out more about their story, their creative processes, but also all the strategic moves they’ve made (and are making) to get where they are today.
First up, we joined Conner Youngblood in his hometown of Nashville to find out how and why nature and travel is such a driving source of inspiration for his music. We then followed him on tour to the UK. For the 30-year-old multi-instrumentalist pitching his music to playlists and utilizing Spotify for Artists’ data has been instrumental in spreading his music far and wide—this in turn enables and fuels his passion for travel, which then feeds back into his music.
After spending time with Conner we headed out to LA to catch up with Dreezy in the studio, before flying to her hometown of Chicago. Once there we learned all about her origins (told in part through a raucous family dinner at her auntie’s house), to find out how the 25-year-old went from a teenager scribbling in her journal to becoming a sensation in Chicago and beyond. Plus we dig into her journey to find her authentic voice—as both a rapper and a singer. When Dreezy pitched “Chanel Slides” for playlist consideration at the tailend of 2018, it was selected for seven editorial playlists, with editorial and algorithmic playlists driving over 40 percent of all streams. It was a moment for Dreezy—one more chess move in her career.
To complete this trio of mini-docs we set off to meet Wiki in Brooklyn. The Irish-Puerto Rican rapper and producer initially found fame as a teeneager in Ratking. Now solo, we caught up with the 26-year-old while he planned the rollout for his latest record Oofie. Wiki lifted the lid on his mindset and his 360 degree vision for his LP—from the artwork to the videos to his live shows. Working closely with his manager, who pitched his track “Elixir” in November 2018, the track landed multiple editorial and algorithmic playlists, culminating in a selection of interesting data points. For instance, since that song’s release Wiki's followers on Spotify have grown by a whopping 92 percent.
Watch these three episodes of How They Made It to find out more about Wiki, Dreezy, and Conner, as well as pitching music to editorial playlists. For more information on how playlisting works check out our episodes of The Game Plan here.
—Spotify for Artists