Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip.
This week: Viewer fascination with HBO’s White Lotus spills over onto streaming, one TikTok user’s cosign changes a band’s commercial fortunes and Mac DeMarco fans get emotional over his (extremely unconfirmed) retirement.
Listeners Not Ready to Leave White Lotus Theme
One of the year’s most buzzed-about television seasons wrapped on Sunday (Dec. 11), as the much-anticipated finale of season two of HBO’s intriguing destination drama The White Lotus aired. Though none of the show’s many syncs — largely consisting of older Italian pop songs appropriate to its Sicily location — found viral success over the course of the season, the show has shown steady gains for its fan-favorite theme song, an elegant, lush and unexpectedly pulsing work from Chilean-born Canadian film and television composer Cristobal Tapia De Veer.
In the four weeks leading up to the chart week ending Dec. 8, weekly official on-demand U.S. streams of the striking theme (officially titled “Renaissance (Main Title Theme)”) rose from 82,000 to 283,000, according to Luminate — a 244% hike. After Dec. 11, viewers rushed to play the song like Lucia played Albie in the finale, with the song seeing a daily jump of 83% (from 53,000 to 97,000) on Monday. And though the White Lotus season is now over, interest in the theme may not be; it just received a new house remix from producer Enamour.
“Musta Been” a TikTok Endorsement Causing Próxima Prada to Go Viral
For all the random reasons a song can explode on TikTok, it seems pretty rare that it happens as a virtue of one user telling their followers, “Hey, listen to this song.” But that’s basically what happened with San Luis Obispo, Calif. band Próxima Prada and their unexpectedly viral song “Musta Been a Ghost,” which user Matt Firestone featured a short clip of in a video titled “Songs You Never Would Have Found Because Life Gets Really Busy Sometimes Part 2.” The video, posted on Dec. 9, ended up being over nine million times — leading to “Ghost” spiking from under 3,000 daily on-demand official U.S. streams to over 178,000 on Dec. 12, according to Luminate, a whopping 5,884% gain.
“I love how @fuego.stine (a guy we had never met or spoken to) made this short, simple video about our song and it went viral,” the band wrote on their Instagram page of the feel-good surge. “Real people sharing our music with other real people is how we’ve been able to slowly but surely grow. SO THANK YOU!”
Fans Have a “Heart to Heart” Over Mac DeMarco Retiring (Or Not)
Mac DeMarco has always performed well on streaming, but recently the indie singer-songwriter-guitarist’s 2019 track “Heart to Heart” (from Here Comes the Cowboy) has proved particularly explosive — doubling its weekly official on-demand U.S. streams over the last two weeks to 939,000, according to Luminate, and even making its way onto Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA chart for Dec. 12 and 13. Look for the song on TikTok, and you’ll find thousands of videos of emotional conversations being set to the song, many with captions (or users in the comments) bemoaning rumors of DeMarco’s retirement from music, whispers of which have swept through social media the past few weeks.
Is there any truth to them? Probably not — at least not officially, as DeMarco hasn’t announced anything besides some postponed tour dates while he works on his upcoming album, and there’s little sourcing on the internet for news of his supposed music-industry departure beyond anonymous quotes. But the whisper-down-the-lane effect of social media appears to have helped him score another viral hit, which should make for a nice early retirement gift if and when he does decide to hang up his six-string.
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