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Meet the Latest Class of Independent Artists Taking Part in Spotify’s Fresh Finds Program

October 12, 2021

Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist brand is often the very first level of Spotify playlisting for independent artists. With a main flagship playlist, nine genre lists, and 14 playlists from regions around the world, it has served as a launchpad for countless artists who have gone on to reach widespread success. Back in May, we took it to the next level, launching a brand-new marketing program for independent artists centered around Fresh Finds. Our focus was to help developing artists learn, collaborate, and grow, giving them tools for long-term, sustained career success. 

Since joining the inaugural Fresh Finds class in May 2021, the first four artist partners—Wallice, Unusual Demont, Julia Wolf, and EKKSTACY—have seen a 50% average increase in Spotify followers, a 65% average increase in monthly listeners, and over 6 million discoveries, or first-time listeners. Now, following in the footsteps of the inaugural group of Fresh Finds artists, we’re welcoming four new up-and-comers to the program: Doss, Araya, TOLEDO, and Pom Pom Squad.  

“We are thrilled to welcome this new group of independent artists and producers into the Fresh Finds family,” says Jeff Stempeck, Head of Indies, Artist, and Label Partnerships at Spotify. “The sustained growth we’ve seen from our first Fresh Finds class earlier this year is exactly what we hope to bolster in this program—giving artists the tools to build long-term careers both on and off Spotify.”

Doss, Araya, TOLEDO, and Pom Pom Squad will receive access to opportunities and resources that will allow them to grow their careers, fan bases, and reach. Some of these include: 

  • Education & access to resources: Each artist will have access to personalized Masterclasses and mentorship, best practices and credits for Spotify for Artists tools like Marquee, and more. 
  • Marketing support: All four artists will be featured in a major marketing campaign on- and off-platform that includes a social content series, Spotify Clips, out-of-home advertising, and more.
  • Creative Collaboration: Each artist will be given the opportunity to create a Spotify Singles original song and record it at Electric Lady Studios in New York City for release in November. What’s more, Spotify’s songwriter and publishing Noteable team has paired the four artists with collaborators who understand each of their unique visions:
    • TOLEDO will be paired with producer Gabe Wax
    • Pom Pom Squad will be paired with producer Sarah Tudzin (aka illuminati hotties).
    • Araya will be paired with producer Mindchatter.
    • Doss will be paired with songwriter/vocalist Cecilia Gault.

And while these artists are “fresh,” they’ve already been honing their skills for years. Get to know them below.

TOLEDO

The New York City-based duo and BFFs Jordan DunnPilz and Daniel Álvarez de Toledo released their most recent EP, Jockeys of Love, earlier this year. It’s a lush dream-pop soundtrack for those long drives when the entire world seems to be in harmony with you, and your thoughts seem monumental because of it. The pair’s emotional clarity, boldness, and lyrical maturity span across all of their music, including a handful of singles and their 2019 EP, Hotstuff. “A lot of the advice we’ve gotten has come from watching videos and interviews from other producers and artists,” the duo shared. “One of our favorite videos to revisit is the ‘making of’ video for Feist’s album The Reminder. In that video, she records with Chilly Gonzales at La Frette in France, and there are shots of her tracking vocals through guitar amps, recording noise from the outdoors, and to this day we use almost all of the methods we saw in that video. The way they recorded and worked on the songs felt so impulsive, and we often find ourselves trying to capture that impulse. So, although Feist and Chilly Gonzales have no idea who we are, we thank them for giving us the best advice of our career.”

Araya

Araya strikes with precision and heart on his latest Y2K-produced single, “Archon,” and his forthcoming album, Ethos, which will come out in early 2022, less than a year after the Thai-Chilean songwriter’s breakout debut and critically acclaimed Atlas. “The best piece of music advice I’ve gotten was from Thaddeus, my producer,” said Araya. “He told me that as an artist, it’s important to remember to live life, to step outside of my work space and continue to seek inspiration.” As such, Araya grapples with purpose, identity, and spirituality through his music as he mixes vintage and futuristic sounds into a transfixing blend of R&B, soul, hip-hop, and electronic. 

Doss

Raised in Texas and based in New York, Doss first appeared in 2014 with her EP Doss, which evokes the playful maximalism of the early 2000s with equal parts sincerity and humor. Fast-forward to this year. It’s been a full seven years since she released her cult favorite self-titled debut. Following her tours with Porter Robinson and the late SOPHIE, she has returned with an impressionistic dance EP, 4 New Hit Songs, that mirrors a daydream of nights past—equal parts ennui and euphoria. I come from a collaborative background,” she shared. “I am excited to reconnect with that structure and practice—explore new ideas and ways of working alongside someone I might otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet.”

Pom Pom Squad

Mia Berrin first played under the name Pom Pom Squad in 2015 after moving to New York, where she eventually linked up with Shelby Keller (drums), Mari Alé Figeman (bass), and Alex Mercuri (guitar). “My mom once told me, ‘Any space you want to take up, you’ll have to make yourself,’” Mia told For the Record. “When I first moved to New York, I tried to assimilate into certain social scenes or cliques and always ended up feeling like I was compromising my own wants, needs, or interests to fit in. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my career so far is that I have to forge my own path. It sounds cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason!” So with their 2021 album, Death of a Cheerleader, Pom Pom Squad offers a cathartic, punk, and decidedly queer take on picking up the pieces—from heartbreak, from injustice—and creating oneself anew.

 

Catch all four Fresh Finds artists on the titular Spotify playlist below.