Five Artists That Can Help Us Decipher the Curious Language of Emoji

Early civilizations used pictures—hieroglyphs being the best known—to convey thoughts and ideas, stories and histories. Today, humans continue to communicate through pictures, though this time, it’s with a new, highly popular language known as “emoji.”

All joking aside, we as a society have come to use emojis anytime and anywhere. We use them to show when we’re happy, sad, or in love. We use them to punctuate what we’re thinking about or what team we’re rooting for. We use them in texts, emails, and on social media. We even use them in the titles of our Spotify playlists.

Yep, that’s right—more and more, we’re seeing that Spotify listeners have put this year’s new emojis in the titles of thousands of their playlists—1,267,463 to be precise. And what we’re noticing is that some emojis are being used much more frequently with certain artists. Why? That’s what we’re setting out to interpret.

From the typical to the completely unexpected, check out five examples of new emojis most uniquely associated with a certain singer or band, and our translations for just what this new language might be saying.

We’ll start with an obvious one—the songs most associated with the fountain soda cup emoji come from the cast of Glee, who were hit with it numerous times throughout the show. One of their album covers also has a blue slushee. Case closed. Some mysteries just beg to be solved.

Though Idina Menzel is known these days as the powerhouse behind Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, she’s left more of a… wicked legacy on the emoji world after originating the role of Elphaba in the Broadway game-changer Wicked.

Whether this emoji comes out of Biggie Smalls well-known cross-country fight with Tupac Shakur, or for the resulting song “What’s Beef?” could be anyone’s guess. Needless to say, the artist has left his emoji legacy.

This one’s a little harder. What does FOB have to do with rock climbing? Our first guess is the band’s classification as alternative rock. What fascinated us was that Portugal. The Man, Imagine Dragons, and Coldplay, also bands classified as alternative rock, were the next top artists associated with the climber.

Since songs from “The Greatest Showman Soundtrack” are most used alongside the pretzel, it’s pretty clear what snack circus-goers (and movie-goers?) are looking forward to. Plus, number two and three for this emoji are Hugh Jackman and Keala Settle, two singers on the soundtrack. (Also, circus-folk can contort themselves, kinda like pretzels.)

Check out our full list of emojis and artists below:

One more thing: If you’re curious about all the emojis used across Spotify (not just the new ones), check out our findings from last year .