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TBC Selects

Sound Signal: Anime-Inspired Rap, Colorful Pop, and More

May 12, 2023

Sexyy Red's name says it all, and Jay Eazy is back for more. Four artists to watch.

Sound Signal is a biweekly music intelligence newsletter, produced in partnership with Chartmetric, in which we identify emerging artists and tracks as well as other scenes, trends, or new genres. The four artists below are featured in our latest installment. If you like knowing what's next, you can sign up for Sound Signal here.


Jay Eazy

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

TBC Score: 69

Almost a year after he released his 2022 song “Tomioka,” 24-year-old New York rapper Jay Eazy decided to heavily re-promote it on TikTok this March, determined that it would again be “the song of the summer.” After one TikTok featuring Eazy's girlfriend got 5.5M views, the Demon Slayer-referencing track became a sleeper hit and spawned 251.1K videos. Though Jay Eazy had his first minor hit with the 2021 gimmick song “Pinkeye,” he’s been able to reel in his core audience of anime fans (which he’s built from his many anime-inspired songs), yet also appeal to a mainstream crowd with the catchy Ponderosa Twins Plus One sample on "Tomioka." The success of “Tomioka” is also translating off TikTok, as Jay Eazy’s Spotify monthly listenership has climbed from 226.6K to 686.6K since March.


Genre: Electronic

TBC Score: 75

Equal parts gaudy and gloomy, 6arelyhuman’s take on dance pop is introducing a new generation to the forgotten sounds of the Myspace era. Self-described as “the hottest alien in the club,” 6arelyhuman makes colorful pop songs that recall the Pixy Stix-snorting energy of 2000s Eurodance and the chaotic scene-dance of once-maligned acts like Brokencyde. The Auto-Tuned EmoDM banger “Hands up!” is 6arelyhuman’s first viral hit, garnering 73K TikTok creates and placements on playlists like Spotify’s hyperpop and Ultimate Pop Gaming. But other tracks like “XOXO (Kisses Hugs)” and “Death City” are on the rise too, each generating millions of streams of their own. No doubt, 6arelyhuman is set to bring some chaos to the club this summer.

Sexyy Red

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

TBC Score: 71

For St. Louis rapper Sexyy Red, desire is an art. A string of viral tracks has kept her on rap's radar, with her brazen bars catching everyone's attention. Her breakthrough single "Pound Town," a collaboration with Memphis producer Tay Keith, is a maximalist's approach to bedroom banter. With an 89.1K increase in Shazam counts, it's clear that fans want in on Sexyy Red's charisma. Since March, the track's popularity soared and led to the artist’s rise on Spotify: She has 431 percent more monthly listeners (1.8M in total) and has received placements on prominent Spotify playlists like Get Turnt and Feelin' Myself. Sexyy Red's stellar features—on tracks including NLE Choppa’s similarly ribald “Slut Me Out” and Memphis rapper Gloss Up’s confident “Check”—has only left fans wanting more.


Genre: Regional Mexican

TBC Score: 59

As a new signee to Latin Grammy winner Carin Leon’s label, Kakalo is the latest musician to successfully bring regional Mexican music to the global stage. Together, the two Hermosillo natives released “Mil Maneras de Morir,” inspired by American folk while using mariachi and crooning '50s rock to convey all-consuming heartache. The song has racked up 4M streams since its release on March 28 and has been added to major Spotify playlists like Top México (500,000 likes) and La Reina: Éxitos de la Música Mexicana (2.5M likes). With an influx of listeners, a viral hit, and the backing of one of the genre’s most established artists, Kakalo is finding his footing as a pioneer of this rich Mexican movement: Since April, his Spotify monthly listeners have increased from 50K to 1.6M.

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