It’s no secret that Spotify has changed the music industry with its playlists feature. One large playlist adding one song can change an artist’s life forever. While Spotify has its own network of playlists they curate themselves, there is an endless number of independent curators who are influencing the industry just as much, so we decided to get ahold of just a few of the most influential curators of independent playlists across multiple genres. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Lynette Stewart

Friday Afternoon: 13,449 Followers

When asked about herself, she said:

“Appreciator of music, wearer of band t-shirt, and pedantic about tracking my ‘listens’ on LastFM. The older I get, the less live gigs I go to. I don’t like it.”

Curation philosophy:

“I select tunes based on the the theme and mood of what I want this playlist to be. I’ll try and cut across a few genres to appeal to a broad range of tastes – particularly on playlists I know will listened to by a group of people. I’ll add as I go, and often go back and reassess tracks to kill off some which I may have added when trigger happy. That said, at the end of the day I only really put songs in there that I like and listen to.”

Artists that she feels are the “next big thing”

Annie Bass, Bay Ledges and Sean Bradford

 

Simon Grum

NEW SH*T | Updated Daily: 136,659 Followers

Simon is a 30-year-old long time fan of hip-hop, living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has curated the NEW SH*T playlist since 2012, which currently has 136k+ followers – making it one of the biggest hip-hop playlists on Spotify. He started the list to make sure his closest friends could stay updated on new music, but quickly found that people from all over the world were happy to tune in and do the same.

Curation philosophy:

“I only add brand new tracks that I really like, and all added tracks stay on the list for good, with the newest additions at the top. This challenges me to stay updated, and makes the list perfect as the one list to follow if you want to easily keep being updated on new and upcoming rap hits.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

“070 Shake is crazy nice, but XXXtentacion and Playboi Carti are also exiting artists that really challenges the current sound scheme of rap.”

 

Onur Baykal

iTunes US Top 100 Charts: 52,779 Followers

When asked about himself, he said:

“I live in New York City, and am a College Student majoring in Psychology. My interests include Music, Technology and the Arts. I started my Top Charts playlist around the time Spotify first launched in the United States, after noticing that there was no easy means to organize and listen to the top trending songs in the US at any given time. I update both playlists, namely the Itunes© US Top 100 Charts and the American Top 40© Charts every Friday.”

Curation philosophy:

“My Curation Philosophy is heavily influenced by what I personally listen to. I keep up to date with Musical Moments as they occur, (Ex: New Release Albums, Rising Artists, Major Music Events etc.) and I try and reflect these conditions when I update my playlists. I also take into account the top trending songs on Radio Airplay, along with the Most Streamed Songs Across various Streaming Services, especially on Spotify. Any new Albums/Artists/Songs which I may come across throughout the Internet (Ex: Social Media Feeds, Recommendations by Friends etc.) I also take into account in curating my playlists.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

Camila Cabello, Halsey, Hailee Steinfeld and Julia Michaels

 

Eduardo Kaiser

Tomorrowland 2017: 29,526 Followers

When asked about himself, he said:

“I am from the south region of Brazil, and I do postgraduate studies in Geography.  I am a person who appreciates every kind of musical genre, but mainly electronic music. My dream is to go to Tomorrowland.”

Curation philosophy:

“All the playlists I have been created from my musical taste, so I listen while performing everyday activities such as working, studying and sleeping. According to the availability of time, I update each of them daily from the releases that I observe in other playlists that I follow and also on youtube. In my playlist are mainly the most famous songs, but I also try to elevate the beginning artists.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

Alan Walker, Sebastian Mateo and Kaaze

 

Gereon Sommerburg – CloudKid

CloudKid Uploads: 40,981 Followers

When asked asked about himself, he said:

“I’m Gereon, a 22 year old from Germany and I run the Youtube music curation channel and label known as CloudKid. I started the channel in 2013, with the goal to support unknown, yet talented, artists from all around the world. Backed with hand painted visuals, the channel is not just a curated playlist, but an audiovisual experience for anyone, anywhere to enjoy.”

Curation philosophy:

“I curate music completely from an emotional perspective. I don’t care about big names involved, artist reach or commercial value of a track. It’s not a specific genre, but rather a vibe that I feel when I hear the tracks that I curate.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

“There are too many amazing artists out there to pick my favourite 4, but these are the ones I think everyone should look out for in the near future: TRAILS, FRND, Pham, Adam Jensen.”

 

Robert Bar – Robaer

EDM House 2017: 403,910 Followers

Robert Bar has been working as a DJ under the artist name Robaer since 1994. Under this name, he has also worked since 2007 as a producer and released many of his own singles every year. In 2008 Robaer founded his first Label “Robea5Records.” Robaer is currently the head of “Betty Beat Records / Beat Bite Records,” and he is the curator of the biggest independent EDM playlist on Spotify (EDM House 2017) and other electronic playlists.

Curation philosophy:

“The curation philosophy depends on high quality music and an internally consistence of the playlist which invite you to stay a while.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

Luca Schreiner, Alok and Two Friends

 

Carlos Lopez – Indiemono

NEW Indie Alternative: 5,378 Followers

The curator and co-founder of the brand is Carlos Casany, a former doctor who decided that curating playlists as a profession was his true path. He’s been working for more than 5 years in elaborating strategies and concepts for playlisting, and you can see the results in the Indiemono Spotify profile. He also works as curator and strategy designer for Filtr Spain.

Curation philosophy:

“When talking about playlists, Indiemono has its foundations and core in them – not only for entertainment but with a focus in the evolution of the independent side of the music industry. Devoted to support music, mainly independent music projects, they connect artists and bands with a community of independent curators. The goal is to offer streaming expertise to boost their careers while giving a full catalogue of playlists for an audience to enjoy.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

Dope Lemon, Haux, Tara Corosielli, Vera Blue and The Aces

 

David Del Rey

Reggae Summer Beach: 44,556 Followers

When asked about himself, he said:

“I am 36 years old. I studied to be a teacher but I have always worked on the radio. I would like to make a school radio with projects for children.”

Curation philosophy:

“I am a dreamer. I believe in people. I think there are many good people in the world. I am a person who smiles easily. Creating a positive environment around you is positive.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

Anthony Souffront, Pshycotic Beats, Edeema andJack and the Wheaterman

 

Jay Felicio

2017 Country Concert Tailgate Mix: 4,248 Followers

When asked about himself, he said:

“I’m a die-hard sports fan born in New York, but raise in North Carolina. My parents instilled a love for all music in me from a young age, especially classic rock. I actually didn’t care much for country music until my girlfriend (now wife) convinced me to go to my first Kenny Chesney concert, and I’ve been hooked ever since. We have an amazing one year old daughter, who the funniest and sweetest human being I’ve ever met.”

Curation philosophy:

“I keep true to the original reason I created the playlist. If I can see myself listening to a song in a parking lot on a sunny day, playing corn hole and hanging out with friends before a concert, it goes on the playlist. I work hard on the order of songs, the ebb and flow really matters. One thing that will never change, “Summertime” by Kenny Chensey will always be the first song on my playlist.”

Artists that he feels are the “next big thing”

“I’ll go for two lesser known artists and two bigger artists that I think all are the “next big thing”. Eric Dodd and Erik Dylan are both amazing artists that I think will be all over country radio soon. “Rain, Rain” by Eric Dodd and “Willie Nelson T-Shirt” by Erik Dylan are songs that get stuck in your head the first time you hear them. Two bigger artists that I see headed for Superstardom are Luke Combs and Kane Brown. Luke has already had a #1 hit with “Hurricane”, and I see plenty more in his future. He’s a storyteller that you don’t see a lot of in Country anymore. Kane Brown’s a more contemporary country artist, but his baritone voice has a classic sound to it. His song, “Better Place” is one of current favorites.”

 

Kari Castro

Girl Power: 44,409 Followers

When asked about herself, she said:

“Growing up in the lively city of Los Angeles, California and raised by my grandparents has molded me into the music enthusiast I am today. Nothing gets me going more than turning on my favorite songs to start the day. From Latin, to country, to Kpop, you can find me listening to all kinds of music depending on my mood.”

Curation philosophy:

“In my ‘Girl Power’ playlist contains a mixture of different music genres to different eras of music. To decide what songs and artist to add to the playlist, I think of the impact it has made to people and the music industry and then there are times where I want the playlist to have a certain theme or vibe for the week. I also like to give opportunities to uprising stars for a chance to be heard and known of their talent.”

Artists that she feels are the “next big thing”

“I recommend to keep an eye on uprising singer LOLO, former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello, and Korean Hip-Hop artists, DEAN and Jay Park.”