I’m sure we’ve all been there; your favourite artist just dropped a new track on Soundcloud, and you’ve eagerly jumped online to listen to the track from start to finish, gathering your thoughts as your first impression begins to take shape.
Then the next song starts. Thanks to Soundcloud, a complex algorithm decides what song is set to follow; it could be terrible, but sometimes the results may even surprise you and leave you with a new artist on your radar. For one lucky 18 year old rapper, he has an algorithm to thank for his shiny new record deal, and Kanye West (of course).
Rory Fresco has just put pen to paper on a record deal with Epic Records, after the rapper’s track, ironically dubbed Lowkey, was chosen to follow Kanye West’s Real Friends on the streaming platform. As faithful Yeezy flans flocked to the platform to hear Kanye combine with Ty Dolla $ign’s sultry tones, Lowkey clocked up 150,000 plays within 24 hours, as fans kept the music coming once their Kanye fix had been met.
— Hollywood Rory. (@roryfresco) March 9, 2016
In comments made to Pigeons and Planes, Rory Fresco detailed his euphoric rise: “The whole SoundCloud thing helped my record pop off, and they heard some other records.”
“I decided to sign because I wanted to get to the next level. My plan was never to be an underground artist. I want to be the biggest in the world.”
It’s definitely a sign of the times that an Internet algorithm can prove to be the catalyst that lands you a deal with a major. While there’s no doubt that Rory Fresco has talent, his story is a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time.
What a time to be alive. You can peep the song that started it all here:
Image courtesy of Epic Records/Pigeons and Planes.