Stem artists wasted zero time claiming 2023 as their own. Here’s what the first three days of our new year looked like:
SoFaygo’s “Hell Yeah” #6 on Rap Caviar
After reaching the #4 spot at the end of ’22, SoFaygo’s “Hell Yeah” remained high on one of the most competitive rap playlists. Not many 21-year old independent artists can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Drake, 21Savage, Metro Boomin, Future, and Polo G, but more than 2 months after its release, “Hell Yeah” remains solidly in the top 10.
Stem’s push: Delivered a fast-turnover bundled EP and video release. 4 songs placed on over 60 official playlists.
After Apple Music tapped SoFaygo as their UpNext featured artist in October, he became a playlist favorite, getting spots in Most Necessary, Get Turnt, New Fire, Breakthrough Hip-Hop, and more.
Because of the urgency of the Apple Music project, Stem had to quickly distribute a complicated release including an EP bundled with a documentary, as well as a preorder through Apple’s Instant-Gratification Tracks.
An artist with a dedicated tastemaker following who signed to Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack for the release of his album “Pink Heartz,” SoFaygo blasted into ‘23 with unstoppable independent momentum.
Justine Skye’s “Collide (Sped Up)” #1 on TikTok
“Collide,” a catalog classic from a 2014 album, had a viral spike in September 2022 before exploding right at the new year. The combined streams of the original track and the sped-up version broke one million per day, making it the #1 TikTok track of the week.
Stem’s push: 5 Scale advances. Funded a marketing & promo team and a radio campaign.
After leaving a major label, Justine fueled her career with Stem Scale. Over the past three years, she has taken out five advances, the most recent of which went toward maximizing the success of her viral catalog hit.
Stem supported Justine as she built her independent business. Her Stem releases were her first to be featured on key playlists including New Music Friday, Are & Be, Hot Rhythmic, and Big on the Internet. Stem strategically supported Justine as she assembled her team. Before the release of her 2021 album, Stem sent custom-branded wine bottles to editors and tastemakers. And to pay prominent collaborators including Timbaland, Justine uses Stem Splits.
MIKE’s “Beware of the Monkey” rated 8.1 on Pitchfork
After an incredible lead-up to his December 2022 album that included 3 singles getting raves from Stereogum, The Fader, Brooklyn Vegan, and more, MIKE dropped his “Beware of the Monkey” album to acclaim from SPIN, HipHopDX, and Pitchfork, who wrote, “MIKE continues a long run of great records with his self-produced 10th album, a self-assured current of shifting emotional states.”
Stem’s push: 5 songs placed on 25+ official playlists.
MIKE’s zero-filler album made it easy for playlist editors to pick and choose between a wide variety of tracks. “Stop Worry!” a track featuring the legendary Sister Nancy, was one of their favorites, as well as the fast and dayglow “No Curse Lifted (rivers of love).”
An independent artist and tastemaker favorite from day one, MIKE’s career is looking brighter than ever in 2023.
At Stem, we push our artists’ wildest creative visions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 2023 is barely on the calendar and our 24/7 dedication is already paying off.