I Hope by Gabby Barrett is on fire. It’s a song that has taken a life of its own.
So Gabby finished 3rd on the 16th season of American Idol. The show for the most part that has lost its luster. After idol she independently released the song “I Hope” in 2018. At this point, artist generally fade away, but not Gabby. A year later she signed with Warner Music Nashville after she performed the song as guest performer on American Idol 17th season.
Good move by the label. A year later, the song topped the country charts.
Then she released a new version of song that features Charlie Puth and the song landed on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s the first time Charlie landed on country radio as well.
Why is it a big multi format hit? Because it’s one of the few songs today where the words perfectly connect with the music. And it’s a cheat song. You cheated on me, and I hope you fall off the earth. Who never felt that? We all did, it’s a universal theme. Songs with attitude and intensity also do quite well if the artist can pull it off and Gabby did. The track you hear on the radio has the original vocals she cut on the demo. It’s one and done. When artists recut vocals, it loses intensity. Any producer will tell you this.
Now the song landed on Billboard’s Hot 100 in August and is climbing up the top 40 charts. I won’t be surprised if the track grabs the #1 spot.
Let’s see if radio comes around and takes more chances. The biggest songs this year don’t fit neatly into a format. Lewis Capaldi’s two number one songs are down tempo tear jerkers. Not great for formatting, but that’s what people want to hear. Give people what they want and change with the times.
Check out Self Control by Phem. She’s been featured on and co-wrote with G-Eazy, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Tracy, and Iann Dior. She’s toured with artists such as Lil Xan and Grandson. Speaking of touring, do you remember when artists toured? It’s been so long and some say the summer of 2021 could be off the books. Check out Phem and her track that.
Watch out for Nashville based trio The Brummies. I listened to the track After Midnight and I was pretty hooked. Why? Maybe it made me feel good – the vibe, the mood, the groove, everything. According to the band, these songs were written before shit hit the fan in March 2020.
John Davidson notes, “I’m happy that these songs are feel good because we really need some positivity in times like these. If our songs can make somebody smile and dance then I think that’s a win.”
They also collaborated with Kacey Musgraves on a song called Drive Away and also co-wrote The Band Perry’s 2013 hit “Done”.
The band landed on several Spotify playlists including Fresh Finds: Rock and Wild & Free. Give it a stream on KOAR’s Indie Invaders Playlist.
With each release, I’ve become a bigger fan of Ben Wylen. Of course he nails it with his latest release Nicotine. It’s one of my favorites, but I still love his previous release I Beg You. He steals from the greats like Dylan, Coldplay, and Hozier. He’s dropping a song per month that is leading to a full album titled “People Say”. After a trip to London, he met with producer Danton Supple (Coldplay, Morrissey, U2). They ended up working together at London’s State Of The Ark Studios. Check out the track on KOAR’s Indie Invaders playlist.
I’m going through the daily charts and I click on the Spotify US top 50. As I’m scrolling down I spot Ritt Momney. I’m asking myself why the heck would Utah Senator Mitt Romney make a debut at #42 on the Spotify Charts. Did he trade his political career for a singing career. But then I stopped for a moment and looked at the name again. It wasn’t Mitt Romney, it was Ritt Momney.
Here is the deal. Ritt Momney is the alter ego of ex mormon and Utah based Jack Rutter. He made a splash on TikTok with a Corinne Bailey Rae cover Put Your Records On. The track picked up steam when Skiian had started a make up trend using the song. Soon after, he was on zoom calls with labels and he signed a deal with Disruptor/Columbia Records last week.
Like most artists Rutter didn’t expect to release a viral cover song.
For the last several months, music labels have been chasing artists with tracks that are ticking upwards on TikTok. It makes sense to jump on a moving train but how far are the tracks and how long the train moves is in question.
A track going viral on TikTok is not enough. Let’s say the track gets 10 million TikTok views, then what? It’s over, it burns out. It’s back to step one. TikTok can skyrocket the track up the streaming charts, but faster the rise, the faster the fall. The spike in your analytics will disappear and nothing tangible would have been built and the artist remains faceless.
Slow and organic growth always proves to be the winner. One fan at a time. One shows up, then two shows up. If you’re good, then the crowd becomes larger over time and begins to spread the word. Building over time means you grow with your audience. An artist that catches “Algorithmic luckiness” isn’t growing anything and in fact, may not even have a fan in the world.
Oh, and how long will viral TikTok songs last? As long as it takes until we reach herd immunity. We’ll all become immune, it will be a daily part of lives, and nobody will care anymore.
By the way, I like Ritt Momney. And who knows? Maybe he’ll catch fire agin. Remember, success is not a matter of luck—it’s an algorithm.