It all started out as a bet, of sorts. Maybe more like a challenge. In 2014, when a previously unknown artist is being called the next big superstar after their first YouTube video, how "new" can you really get? Just like it's (nearly) impossible to come up with a Google search that yields only one result, is it even possible to find an artist with "Under 1K" Twitter followers, Soundcloud streams, Youtube views, Facebook likes, etc? And better yet, is it possible to find an Under 1K artist who's any good?
For the inaugural edition, we stuck with just Twitter followers, but since Nathan is the meanest boss of all time, he thought that was too easy. So now, we are taking it one step further; no form of social media or music streaming service can boast more than 1K. Here we go...
Stich Eartly (@TheNatn) 198 Followers
The line that stands out to me on Stitch's "Free" is also the perfect way to describe this whole under 1,000 shtick; "Look at where they going not where they are." With only 198 followers, its safe to stay Stitch is definitely in the early stages of a promising rap career, but if he can produce more efforts like "Free" (featured last week) he will go very, very far. I love the way this tune progresses. It has a really nice ebb and flow and I love the way that each verse builds into the explosive hook. When the beat really starts knocking, paired with his fiery flow, it's hard to resist; great energy. So, yeah, I'm looking at where he is, but I definitely have an eye on the future. You can check out his project, All Rise, via his Bandcamp.
Dominate (@domiNATE416) 70 Followers
What the fuck, Toronto? The T-Dot is just teeming with talent. Case in point, the undiscovered Nate G (AKA Dominate). We all know about Drake, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez and so on, but even the artists who nobody (yet) knows of are dope! Nate has under 100 followers! Damn, under 100?!?! (Do I get a raise or something?) And yes, I understand, followers are not a sign of guaranteed talent (especially because you can buy them). If we're being real, Dominate is a little rough around the edges--that's fine, we can't all have Ali mixing our tracks--but there is some serious potential here. I really love his flow. It's passionate and fiery, but has a nice fluidity to it. I hear a ton of potential. I love finding these hidden gems because they give me somebody to root for. Nate, I'm rooting for you.
Kristie McCracken (@kristiemmusic): 89 Followers
Another member of the exclusive Under 100 Club. If you played Kristie's music and asked me how many followers I thought she'd have, I'd most likely to say 89,000-- not 89. Honestly, when I found her, I was blown away. Her four track EP, For Brothers and Past Lovers, is a thing of beauty. There is so much depth and emotion in her music and her voice is, to quote Z, "dynamic." Even more incredible, this EP is her first ever recorded project. Seriously, her first. It's baffling to me how refined her sound is and she has no other solo material. I don't really do the whole low-key, minimalist R&B thing that much, but I absolutely love Kristie's sound. I was sold at the 3:13 mark of "Share." If you listen you'll know exactly what I mean. For the love of god, check out her EP and her DJBooth featured tune, "Retrograde."
There you have it, three artists, all under 1K errythang. And they say it couldn't be done. I really love creating these features--finding new artists and giving them a place to shine is one of the best parts of my job and this is the ultimate way to do it--so expect more in the near future.
Of course, any and all suggestions are welcome!
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]