Music Playlist Curators – Are You Lucky Enough ?

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The Playlist – Gateway to Riches

We used to create our own playlists, select the songs we like and then stick them in a folder together and away you go, but in today’s “Need Now” society how many of us still do that ?
How many of us instead search for playlists, whether it’s for workouts, chilling or driving we let others select what we listen to. Our currency is our time, the currency of those who generate playlists is knowing we don’t have time, by letting them create playlists are they playing God with musicians ?

FROM PLAYLISTS TO BILLBOARD
Ricardo Valentine, who goes by the name 6Lack (pronounced black), entered 2016 as a 24-year old aspiring R&B singer. Prior to signing with the Love Renaissance label, had spent years wallowing in obscurity, essentially homeless at a different indie label. Outside of a niche fan base developed through disparate releases on Soundcloud, 6Lack was a nobody.

Then something big happened — something that 6Lack’s manager Tunde Balogun tells Digital Trends “pretty much changed our lives from that point.” Chery started spreading 6Lack’s song Prblms throughout Apple Music’s playlist ecosystem.

“One of the artists that I championed before anybody was 6Lack. He sent me Prblms [in May 2016]. At that point, I remember looking on Twitter, — 6Lack had 5 or 6,000 followers,” Chery said. “So I put Prblms on a few playlists, and by the end of that week, he had a million streams, and based on placement on iTunes of that song in Hot Tracks, he sold 10,000 units, independently, before he got signed.”

In 2016, 6Lack hardly performed live, and by Balogun’s admission, the Atlanta-bred crooner’s fan base wasn’t, and still isn’t, listening to radio. For many, 6Lack existed only in the streams. In the 18 months after Chery helped him ascend the playlist hierarchy, 6Lack released his debut album Free 6Lack through Interscope Records, toured with multi-platinum phenom The Weeknd, received two Grammy nominations, and watched the song that started it all be certified platinum. All for an artist who, just a few short years before making Apple Music playlists, was living out of a ripped backpack.

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