MANILA - A 23-year old hip hop wizard from Mandaluyong has now something in common with the likes of emerging music icons Bastille and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Christopher John Rosales Ongkiko, better known as Shehyee in the bustling local music scene, has become the winner of the first Spotify Emerge program in Asia, a one-of-a-kind talent search which blends pin-point data analytics with genuine fan love.
Shehyee emerged on top of 10 Filipino artists picked by Spotify based on how viral their presence is on the music-streaming platform, measured on the increase in song streams and shares they are getting week-on-week.
“Emerge starts with Spotify’s favorite piece, which is data. We look at what’s really trending underground - what’s being listened in Spotify and artists and songs talked about on Twitter and Facebook,” Sunita Kaur, Asia Director for Spotify, said during the grand unveil held at the 12 Monkeys Music Hall on Thursday.
The public then cast their votes not just by “liking” a particular song but actual participation like listening and sharing. Spotify pushes engagement further by presenting this massive data on a graphic timeline via a branded microsite, which is sponsored by Globe Telecom in this case.
Artists who attract the most attention and listens are rewarded with more prominence on the site. The 10 contestants then get pared down each week until one is left as the winner.
What will Shehyee exactly get from being a champion? No monetary award will be given, but Kaur shared with adobo that Spotify will help promote and develop the young rapper - undeniably strong support from a global platform that have helped launch the careers of past Emerge winners.
Aside from the Mackelmore duo and Bastille, other music talents helped by Spotify Emerge are Jon Bellion, Sam Hunt, G-Eazy and Atlas Genius.
Kaur added that Emerge has also opened possibilities for Shehyee at Globe to become one of its newest ambassadors for its brands.
The Philippines is the fifth market globally where Spotify have launched Emerge, following the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Asked on why bring the program to Asia first in the country, Kaur said that it had “enough amazing talent to be able to produce a world-class Emerge program.”
The decision could also be owed to the Philippines being Spotify’s fastest growing market in Asia. A total of 3.5 million votes were sent in the last 10 weeks when the program was running - a turn out you can expect from a music-loving country that have already streamed 2.5 billions songs and played 6.8 million playlists since it Spotify launched here in April 2014.