Amazon Music announces global developing artist program Breakthrough

Breakthrough is a long-term initiative aimed at supporting up-and-coming artists at the most important moment of their career

Amazon Music has launched Breakthrough, a new developing artist program aimed at championing emerging artists at the most crucial moment in their careers, accelerating them to the mainstream. Breakthrough will actively support artists across a wide spectrum of genres, encompassing country, U.K. rap, R&B, indie, and more.

Amazon Music’s first selections for Breakthrough are rising country powerhouse Gabby Barrett, emerging R&B singer Kiana Ledé, breakout U.K. Rap star JAY1, 19-year-old rising alt R&B singer/poet Arlo Parks, critically acclaimed folk pop group Provinz, and rising German pop sensation Malik Harris. Drawn from the U.S., U.K., and Germany, Amazon Music will work with each Breakthrough artist and their teams to develop a long-term, customized global plan tailored to their specific needs. This support includes video and audio content, global marketing support, custom merch stores on Amazon.com, increased visibility across Amazon Music’s playlists and programming, high-profile Amazon Original tracks available only on Amazon Music, support for the artists’ Twitch channels, and more.

“Amazon Music is uniquely positioned to support developing artists,” states Kirdis Postelle, Global Head of Artist Marketing for Amazon Music. “By using Amazon’s marketing resources, Breakthrough campaigns will be true collaborations between the artist and Amazon Music, with each campaign centered around the artist’s brand and vision.”

As part of Breakthrough, fans can look forward to mini-documentaries on JAY1’s rise in the Coventry U.K. rap scene, Kiana Ledé’s jump from acting to music, and Provinz’s place in the German music scene, and additional stories from Breakthrough artists. Amazon Music will work with each Breakthrough artist to create brand-new Amazon Original tracks, extensive out-of-home advertising in major cities across the globe, and much more. Amazon Music will also feature each artist extensively on key Amazon Music playlists — like Rap Rotation and Country Heat. Amazon Music has already devoted increased playlist space to songs like Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” and Malik Harris’ recently released Black Lives Matter anthem “Faith.”

“Amazon Music has accompanied me since I took my very first steps in the music industry. They invited me to play gigs for them long before I could see what they saw in me, and knowing that I’ve been having their support since the very beginning makes me deeply thankful,” shares Malik Harris. “But most of all, having them by my side as I release a song that stands against racism shows me that the people at Amazon Music are not afraid to speak up for what’s right — and that makes me even prouder to call them friends.”

Amazon Music launched Gabby Barrett’s Breakthrough campaign as she began prepping her debut album, Goldmine, in early spring of 2020. Amazon Music worked with the country singer/songwriter to develop a plan that included increased programming for Barrett on the streaming service, a spot on Amazon Music’s billboards across the U.S., a custom Alexa utterance for her new album (“Alexa, take me to the Goldmine”), a livestreamed Q&A with Barrett and Charlie Puth on Amazon’s homepage, and an exclusive listening event on Echo Studio smart speakers that featured select tracks from Goldmine in 3D Audio. Later this year, Amazon Music will also debut a mini-documentary on Gabby Barrett, a brand-new Amazon Original cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” and much more.

Released last month, Goldmine’s first-day streams exceeded any other debut country album ever on Amazon Music globally, and the album ended the week as the most streamed debut country album in history, with Amazon Music delivering the highest percentage of streams for the album of any streaming service in the U.S.

“I am very honored to be an Amazon Music Breakthrough artist,” states Gabby Barrett. The last two years have been such an exciting whirlwind with ‘I Hope,’ and to be chosen for an initiative like this is amazing. Thank you to Amazon Music, who has been so supportive of me and my music from the beginning, and to my team for always setting me up for success. I’m truly blessed and grateful, and can’t wait to put out more music for you to enjoy.”

As part of Breakthrough, Amazon Music is also revealing a brand new global playlist under the same name, which will serve as a new home for the best music from the best rising artists from around the world. Covering multiple genres and languages and available across all tiers of Amazon Music, the Breakthrough playlist is the destination for the best music from the emerging artists and can be heard here or by asking “Alexa, play Breakthrough.”

“Building a career as a developing artist is a marathon, not a sprint; that’s why we wanted to create a program like Breakthrough that makes a long-term commitment to the artists we work with,” adds David Stuart, creator of Breakthrough. “We wanted artists to be able to pick up the phone and discuss how Amazon Music can help make an idea they have a reality, and with Breakthrough, we’ll be able to do this while supporting the artists’ needs and goals.”

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.