Cast your mind back to early January – before Theresa May’s dancing robot became a meme, before Drake’s Scorpion dominated every music streaming service… and before most of us knew who Stormy Daniels was (and with whom she might have shared her bedtime).
For the music industry, it was a time of year rife with influential tipster lists, hyping the hottest new acts on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the UK, these bulleted predictions came no more anticipated than the BBC’s annual Sound Of Poll, which this year was ‘won’ by Island-signed Sigrid, as the fast-rising (and AWAL-signed) Rex Orange County took the runners-up spot.
Elsewhere, other major players released their own UK lists – Vevo’s, for example, highlighted the likes of IAMDDB, Billie Eilish and Superorganism – while the BRIT Awards crowned Jorja Smith the ‘Critics Choice’ winner in its emerging artist category, ahead of Mabel and Stefflon Don.
All of these artists have gone on to grow their careers to different levels.
But one name you wouldn’t have found on any of these ‘rising’ lists was London-born singer/songwriter Freya Ridings. It’s becoming an increasingly interesting omission.
Amid plenty of curious debate surrounding the struggle for new British artists to break through on global streaming charts, Ridings’ 2017-released track, Lost Without You, is steadily becoming a hit.
Following a one-off sync on UK reality show Love Island in July, Lost Without You climbed to a No.7 peak on the UK Shazam Chart (it remains in the Top 25). The track became one of the most Shazamed tracks of all time from the programme.
23-year-old pianist Ridings now has close to 23m cumulative plays on Spotify, where she can also boast over 1.6m monthly listeners.
As a result of this early streaming success, Lost Without You has now sold over 100,000 unit equivalents in the UK market, and on Friday (August 31) climbed to its highest peak yet on Blighty’s Official Singles Chart, at No.36 (in Scotland, it rose to No.9).
On yesterday’s (Sunday) midweek UK chart, it had risen by another ten places, to No.26.
Ridings is signed to London-based Good Soldier, the independent company founded by former Warner Music UK boss Christian Tattersfield, which is also home to The 1975 (publishing) and Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James.
The experienced British exec – who has enjoyed worldwide success with the likes of David Gray, Damien Rice, Biffy Clyro, Birdy and the Wombats in the past – is in no doubt as to the level of Ridings’ global opportunity.
“Freya has the potential to be the biggest artist in the world,” says Tattersfield.
“She’s travelling in a musical lane owned by Ed Sheeran and Adele which is so difficult to break that it’s currently only occupied by George Ezra in the UK.”
“Freya has the potential to be the biggest artist in the world.”
Christian Tattersfield, Good Soldier
Tattersfield’s comments arrive as many leading US executives are beginning to question where the next UK world superstar is coming from, following an unprecedented run a few years ago as Adele, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith broke records in the States.
“If you have a song that connects and a great artist who can play live the market is universal – you stream, sell tickets and you can still even sell CDs,” says Tattersfield.
“Freya fits perfectly into the tradition of the classic British artist that resonates globally.”Music Business Worldwide