Top 10 Artists for January - Apple News

In top spots this month: LA pop phenom Haley Sullivan, indie soul beat-makers Yes Please, folk siren Kate Vogel, indie legends Los Lobos, and many others.

Top 10 Artists for January - Apple News

In Apple News, we had another big month. We topped out at close to 23k visitors in the 30 day period roughly halfway between December and January, and now for the 31 days of January, we came in at just under 20k unique visitors. That seems to be the new normal; as long as I can keep finding awesome new artists to write about, I would expect that number to stay pretty even, and maybe even grow some more. That is 3-4 times the web traffic I get in any given month, so it's a big deal in terms of exposure. Also, seeing that number of just under 500k impressions in a single month feels pretty important to me: brand recognition is everything these days, and that means that every month close to half a million people see CHILLFILTR in their news feed, next to top names like Vulture, Billboard, HYPEBEAST, Complex, and Variety, just to name a few. CHILLFILTR is in good company, and I am spreading the word about new, cutting edge artists when most, if not all, of my competitors are still talking about Christina Aguilera, R. Kelly, Billy Corgan, Gwen Stefani, and Michael Bublé. I get it; these are the stars of today. But CHILLFILTR is bringing some awareness about the artists of tomorrow, and that makes me happy - we are more or less alone in this space.

If you are a breaking artist, and want to get some coverage on Apple News - which serves only the top English-speaking markets of USA, Canada, Australia, and UK - then right now, submitting to CHILLFILTR is your only option. Even if you get someone to write a blog post for you on Rolling Stone, or Billboard, the chances of that content getting pushed to their Apple News channel is pretty slim. Why? Well, as I explained once to Hilary over at No Depression, the technological barrier for publishing to Apple News is pretty high. You need to wrap the content and the formatting in a JSON file, which for a lot of people is a non-starter. I spent some time working through the tech docs, and I now have a custom Ruby script that formats all of CHILLFILTR's content for easy publishing to Apple News. So when you apply for coverage with us, if your song is accepted, you are guaranteed a post to our Apple News channel. And if you can help drive engagement to the piece we write, you might end up on a Top Ten list just like this one.

Yet again, this month, we have a record-setting #1: Haley Sullivan's point total of 1765.1 is more than twice the 2nd place score, and is the highest ranking we've ever had. She continues "to show her evolution from apprentice to master in the fast-paced world of pop stardom."

Rising Star finds her Indie Pop Groove FFO Ariana Grande. - Haley Sullivan: Opinion (Music Video)
Haley Sullivan’s vocal performance shines with a showcase of some of the tricks she learned from singing her own versions of hits by Ariana Grande.

In 2nd place, with a score of 791.5, we have Yes Please and their ode to lusty passion, Bikini Bottom.

Soul Infused Anthem to Infatuation. - Yes Please: Bikini Bottom
Showcases both a light touch and serious premise: a lonely man will do just about anything to turn his luck around.

In 3rd place, at 741.3, we have Kate Vogel and her heartfelt confessional, The Cycle.

Emotional Folk Pop from Nashville. - Kate Vogel: The Cycle
Offers a blueprint for anyone that struggles to process emotional hardship without falling prey to a sense of helpless victimhood.

In 4th place, with a score of 693.4, is my first long-form piece of musical journalism: a story I wrote about catching up with Los Lobos for their show at the Fillmore in San Francisco last month.

Indie Rock Legends. - Celebrating Bill Graham’s 89th Birthday with Los Lobos.
The world loves their music because they have been playing it for more than 40 years, and because it reflects the cultural roots of who they are, and have always been.

In 5th place, with a score of 632.5, is Americana artist Jeff Crosby and his energetic track Northstar.

Nashville Americana for Fans of Lukas Nelson. - Jeff Crosby: Northstar
Splits the difference between Lukas Nelson and Gregory Alan Isakov, by joining the lyrical gravitas of gritty circumstance with the driving rock-energy of modern Americana.

In 6th place, with a score of 434.5 is LA rapper and scene-maker DMB Gotti with a banging music video for his track Peter Piper.

Red Hot Hip Hop from Los Angeles. - DMB Gotti: Peter Piper (Music Video)
As a commentary on hip-hop culture in Los Angeles, and an example of what raw inspiration looks like, this drop from DMB Gotti is as good as it gets.

In 7th place, with a score of 429.4 is Soul-crooner Jordy Searcy and his infectious track friendship?

Broken Hearted Soul Pop from Nashville. - Jordy Searcy: friendship?
Echoes the modern fusion of a broken-hearted Donny Hathaway with the pop-savviness of John Mayer.

Coming in at 8th place with a score of 368.8 is bandanna, and their bold indie-rock anthem Epilogue.

Powerful Indie Pop from Tallahassee for Fans of Big Thief. - bandanna: Epilogue
The truth is a poor substitute for self-congratulation, but it has a better shelf-life.

With a score of 350.9, in at 9th place is Hitsville hip-hop phenom MoCity Jones and his track Tortoise.

Lyrical Hip Hop from Detroit. - MoCity Jones: Tortoise
Mixes a rhumba-flavored rhythmic hook with a slick flow about doing the hard work of self-improvement while also getting away from the “rat-race.”

Last but certainly not least, in 10th place with a score of 281.6 is UK indie-rock outfit Sea Girls, and their ode to anticipation Ready For More.

Infectious High Energy Indie Rock from the UK. - Sea Girls: Ready For More
A direct inspiration for anyone caught in the messy turbulence of a fast life, with a simple message: life is short, so have fun.

If you want to be on this list, you just need to send us your song, and do what you can to get people to search for you. Always remember to share the blog pieces from our Apple News channel within the first few days of getting featured. That's it! Thanks for reading.

See you next month.


Krister Axel

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, + 5 albums later, Krister is ready to write about his favorite thing: music. Spotify username: AIO

Ashland, Oregon Krister Axel Krister Axel

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