Kes and Machel neck-and-neck.

Kes' Spotify Monthly Listeners surge.

Since January 2022, Kes’ Spotify Monthly Listeners has grown +80% – from ~285K on January 1, 2022, to todays’ staggering 520K.  This inches him just barely ahead of the King of Soca, Machel Montano, who during the same period grew his Monthly Listeners by 5% to ~518K Spotify Monthly Listeners.

This moment, however grand, has not come out of nowhere.  According to Adam Gross, President of Ineffable RecordsKes is a generational talent. The quick audience growth is testament to years and years of hard work paying off. The band has toured relentlessly and been a real cultural ambassador. Consistent, cohesive, quality content in perpetuity released with the understanding of audience growth techniques presents incredible opportunities for independent artists in 2023 and beyond. I’m a strong believer that Soca music and music from Trinidad is just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s to come, and we are honored by the opportunity to help it reach higher heights in the years to come!”

In fact, since January 1, 2022, Kes has unleashed a pack of music that his widening audience has been holding dear.  Jolene produced by Dwala, kicked off the bunch with nearly 2 million Spotify streams, just shy of Liki Tiki with J. Perry, with 2.4 million and counting.  These two songs released within Q1 2022, have together generated nearly 4.5m Spotify streams.  Liki Tiki with J.Perry would be the first of a few collaborations that have helped to enrich Kes reach and base audience.

The Liki Tiki Tour that began in 2022 had stops not only in known Soca stalwart areas such as Brooklyn, NY & Philadelphia, PA, but the tour also extended to Anaheim and San Diego with upcoming tour dates in Monterey, California.  These California locations are not regular stomping grounds for most Soca artists, making it ripe for Kes to acquire new ears interested in the music.

Kes closed off 2022 releasing Jub Jub produced by Tano, off the High Street Riddim.  With 800K streams in under 6 months, the song is well on its way to reaching the million-mark before its first birthday. In January 2023 within weeks of each other, Kes would release two songs: Mood & Honeycomb with Reggae/Dancehall icons Shaggy & Busy Signal respectively.  This pair of songs has generated over 1 million streams in less than 3 months, with Mood leading the way with +675K and HoneyComb with ½ a million and trending heavy.

Kes has also provided his mainstay Soca audience with songs like Mental Day (~300K) off the Spirit of Carnival Project produced by Papo Productions, Fuh Spite (~260K) produced by N.M.G. Music and Mechanic (~125K) off the Rocket Fuel Riddim, produced by King Bubba FM and DwaingerousKes also gave his audience collaborations with Soca songstresses Patrice Roberts with Feelin’ It (~200K) off the Drive In Riddim by Jonny Blaze & Stadic and Timeless with Nailah Blackman (41K) off the Timeless Riddim produced by Advokit Productions.

With last week’s release of the Reggae Remix of Liki Tiki, the collaborations and audience extend beyond the diaspora with the inclusion of Maoli & J Boog on the track.  In less than a week, this version of Liki Tiki already has 60K Spotify streams – trending at nearly 10k a day! 

The collaborations, tour and increasingly big hits seem to have paid off in terms of Kes’ growing reach and exposure.  Today, Kes officially has more Monthly Listeners on Spotify, one of the largest music streaming and discovery tools, currently by a hair (0.4%) – over the King of Soca, Machel Montano.  Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.

Listen to the Soca Top 40 for many of these tunes and more!

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