Spotify's Safiya Lambie-Knight on the BRITs streaming boost for Wet Leg and backing UK talent

Spotify's Safiya Lambie-Knight on the BRITs streaming boost for Wet Leg and backing UK talent

The BRITs effect is taking hold in the charts.

Following the ceremony, there’s been an impact in the albums rankings so far this week. Big winner Harry Styles is climbing the albums and singles charts again.

Meanwhile, Wet Leg are pushing for a return to the Top 20 with sales of their eponymous album up 165% week-on-week. Following the Domino-signed duo’s double win at the weekend (Best Group and Best New Artist), their debut (released in April 2022) has soared from No.112 to No.21 in the latest Midweek Sales update.

A significant proportion of that BRITs boost is down to streaming, which makes it a particularly strong result for a rock/alternative act.

Here, Spotify’s UK/Ireland head of music, Safiya Lambie-Knight, shares streaming insights on Wet Leg and other BRITs winners and nominees, as well as the DSP’s support for UK talent internationally and the booming dance genre…

How have Wet Leg been supported on Spotify and what is their potential to build their audience on the platform? Does it show how Spotify can support guitar music/independent music?

Wet Leg have had an unbelievable year. Around this time last year, we were announcing them as Spotify’s next Radar Global Artist, and since then they’ve enjoyed 12 months of support and development where we worked closely with them and their team to get their music heard and deepen connections with their fans and audiences. We had a lot of fun collaborating with them and bringing their creative ideas to life. We produced a mockumentary video mini-series, Searching For Mopman, and also created a Band-Name Generator Instagram filter that we released for their album launch. 

“Now, they’ve won two Grammys and performed at Spotify’s Best New Artist Party in Los Angeles [pictured above], and won Best New Artist and Best Group at the 2023 BRITs leading to a 312% spike in streams of their debut album, Wet Leg. We’re proud to have been part of their amazing journey.”

We had a lot of fun collaborating with Wet Leg and bringing their creative ideas to life

Safiya Lambie-Knight

How significant has Spotify's support been to breakthrough UK rap nominees such as Central Cee?

Central Cee has had an incredible journey so far. The past few years have seen his career skyrocket and we’re proud to have supported him through Radar in 2021, so it was incredible to see him nominated for Best Artist at the BRITs. UK rap continues to be a focus for us, as such an important space that has become so successful globally, it is great to see its continued growth. Artists like Central Cee have also allowed us to support UK rap in a much more international way, he’s currently on the cover of our biggest rap playlist Rap Caviar.

“It’s been rewarding for us in seeing just how Radar can help boost emerging artists from the UK on a global scale. We’ve seen Radar artists increase their listeners by an average of 84% and their streams by an average of 88% in the first month alone. To then see artists like Central Cee go on to achieve recognition at the BRITs is so important for UK music culture.”

Beyoncé won two awards ahead of a big UK stadium tour in May - will that be a moment to build on streaming for Renaissance? 

“There is often an organic increase in streams around significant moments in music culture, especially when a global superstar like Beyoncé, who hasn’t been on tour for a long time, is in market. These moments are definitely reflected on Spotify too and we always look at ways we can align that on platform using different tools and editorial campaigns.”

There has been concern about the lack of R&B at the BRITs - how does Spotify support UK R&B?

“There is so much exciting R&B talent in the UK and we will be focusing even more on our work in this space in 2023. In December, we held a Riffs & Runs writing camp which saw artists like Mahalia, Bellah, Tamera, Tiana Major9 and FLO come together with producers ThankGod4Cody - known for his incredible work with SZA - and Rodney Jerkins, aka Darkchild, the man behind some of the biggest R&B hits of the past 20 years. They both worked on the current SZA album, SOS, which has broken many records and is still high in our charts. Riffs & Runs is one of our key R&B playlists in the UK supporting artists from all over the world.

Safiya Lambie-Knight

“We also worked really closely with Raye on her recent album launch, which combines genres including R&B. We have worked with Raye for a number of years, and as an independent artist it was our privilege to support her with an album launch event alongside a significant international campaign over the past few months. We are so happy to see Raye’s continued success and so glad we could play a part in the journey.”

How can Spotify help push UK talent at the Brits to global audiences? How does the UK team liaise with international Spotify colleagues?

“We work really closely with our teams internationally to help support UK artists on a global scale. Just a few months ago we announced Cat Burns as a Global Radar artist, equipping her with editorial, creative and marketing support which included a special Spotify Singles session. We have supported many of the artists nominated for the BRITs on an international scale including FLO, Nova Twins, Central Cee, Sam Smith, Wet Leg, Becky Hill, Lewis Capaldi, Aitch, Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama and more - it is a really important part of the work we do at Spotify.”

Dance music has made an impact at the BRITs across categories, how is Spotify backing the genre?

Eliza Rose had a stratospheric rise in 2022 thanks to her summer smash hit B.O.T.A (Baddest Of Them All) and Fred Again.. is undoubtedly one of the defining dance music artists of the past couple of years. Both of those artists, along with the likes of Nia Archives, have been supported on Spotify and featured in our flagship playlist, Altar, the home for alternative electronic music on the platform. 

“In fact, we recently took Altar to the next level through a partnership with Printworks, the home of electronic music in London, to bring fans a special day of genre-bending sounds from emerging and well-established artists that are driving current trends in the dance music scene including the legendary Maya Jane Coles, Swedish selector DJ Seinfeld with his new live show Mirrors, as well as Aluna, George Riley, Adelphi Music Factory, Anish Kumar, Effy and more.”

Read our full BRITs report here

PHOTO: Monica Schipper/Getty Images/Spotify


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