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Five Canadian Acts Named Spotify Artists to Watch in 2024

The streaming company thinks The Beaches, Alexander Stewart, Chxrry22 and more will be on everyone's playlists this year.

Alexander Stewart

Alexander Stewart

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Spotify has named its Artists To Watch for this year.

The list is chosen by both streaming data and Spotify editors. It's broken down into genres and their corresponding Spotify playlists: Viva Latino (Latin), Pop Rising (pop), Hot Country (country), juniper (folk), New Noise (rock), Lorem (indie), R&B Rising (R&B), Most Necessary (hip-hop) and mint (dance).


The list of 90 rising stars features five Canadian acts to keep tabs on, including Billboard Canada Breakthrough band The Beaches and recent Canadian Hot 100 first-timer Alexander Stewart.

Here are several Canadians who made the cut:

Pop Rising: Alexander Stewart

Toronto-born, L.A.-based musician and Tik Tok creator Alexander Stewart had a big fall, with the release of his EP if you only knew and a performance on The Tonight Show. Last week, he landed on Billboard's Canadian Hot 100 for the first time with the lovelorn single "i wish you cheated" charting at No. 100, and this week the song moved up to No. 72, indicating that Stewart's star is definitely on the rise.

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R&B Rising: Chxrry22

Scarborough artist Chxrry22 has a co-sign from one of Canada's biggest stars: Chxrry is the first woman signed to The Weeknd's XO Records, and in 2022 she released her debut EP, The Other Side on the label. Last fall, she followed it up with Siren, a seven-track EP full of sultry songs and led by Chxrry's commanding voice.

Hot Country: Owen Riegling

Owen Riegling rose to attention when he won the 2022 Emerging Artists Showcase at Ontario country music festival Boots & Hearts. Riegling is originally from Ontario himself, growing up on a farm near the small town of Mildmay. Now signed to Universal Music Canada, Riegling is set to tour the country this winter, followed by a performance at Live Nation's new Vancouver festival this April, Coast City Country, as part of its late night series.

New Noise: The Beaches

Named a Billboard Canada Breakthrough Artist of 2023, The Beaches could be poised for an even bigger 2024, building off the viral success of their 2023 album Blame My Ex. The Toronto rock quartet have already announced a performance at major festival Bonnaroo and just released a live performance of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry." Expect to see more from them as the year unfolds.


New Noise: ThxSoMuch

Toronto artist ThxSoMuch had a breakthrough moment at the start of 2023 when his independently-released single "Spit In My Face!" cracked the U.S. Hot 100. He followed that track with an EP, Sleez, amassing five million monthly listeners on Spotify, and placements on playlists like Indie All Stars and Spotify's Best Rock & Alt Songs of 2023.

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Spotify's Artists To Watch campaign comes shortly after a round of layoffs at the streaming giant. On Dec. 4, the company announced that it was cutting its workforce by 17%. Those affected by the layoffs included Spotify Canada's Nathan Wiszniak, Head of Artist & Label Partnerships. The layoffs took place shortly after Spotify's annual Wrapped campaign, a major year-in-review undertaking popular with users.

The company also recently announced changes to its royalties model. In the new model, songs that receive less than 1000 streams in a given year will not receive royalties, with their share of revenue redistributed to the tracks that qualify. For rising stars like Spotify's Artists to Watch those changes are good news, increasing the royalties available for more popular tracks. But the change has also received criticism for leaving emerging artists behind. Data company Luminate reveals in its newly-published year-end report that out of 184 million tracks streamed in 2023, 122.2 million of them (or 66%) were streamed 0-100 times.

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Placement on prominent playlists, though, is often a shortcut to higher streams, and these Artists to Watch could be in for a lot of them.

Find the full list of Spotify's Artists To Watch here.

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David Sims for W Magazine

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