Future Stars: Silentó (Capitol)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

We don’t see many novelty hits in the charts these days, and there hasn’t been one centred around a dance move since the Harlem Shake, but that’s about to change thanks to US teen rapper Silentó. The cute 17-year-old from Atlanta, whose real name is Ricky Hawk, is enjoying a huge breakout hit. Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) is about the hip-hop dance moves the whip and the nae nae, similar to Soulja Boy’s Crank That. The song became a viral hit while Silentó was unsigned, with fan dance videos spreading the word on YouTube and Vine. Now Capitol have propelled it to the top, reaching no.3 in the Billboard Hot 100. The video for Watch Me, which got nearly 50 million views in three weeks, positions Silentó right in one hit wonder territory, with kids, mums and cheerleaders demonstrating the routine. It will be a struggle for Silentó to forge a long-term career, but being much younger than the typical artist behind a novelty hit, he stands a chance if the label is prepared to stick with it. In the UK, Watch Me is already no.69 on streams alone, and it’s not out until 28th August. I smell a no.1!


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