Tommy Farrow: 0 to 1 million streams

Tommy Farrow is one of the most talked-about new artists in the U.K. dance music scene. His debut release 'Let’s Just / Can't Explain' has over 1 million streams on Spotify.

So how has Tommy Farrow and the label Stress Records produced such results?

This week's Blueprint breaks it down.

The blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.

Signing To The Right Label

Tommy started making Let's Just in an apartment in Ibiza in 2019. All of his close friends who heard it for the first time told him this could be a hit record.

When Tommy started to send Let’s Just and Can’t Explain out to labels, he received no response. He soon realised why when Stress Records replied to Tommy telling him the link he had sent didn’t work. After receiving a link that worked, Stress signed the record on the spot.

Stress Records label strategy

When Stress signed the record, they had a real challenge in building an identity and momentum for Tommy as he was a brand new artist starting from ground zero. Sean Brosnan of Stress Records & Material Music told me “By working really closely with Tommy, we managed to keep the record moving for months. We communicated with retailers and radio all the time to ensure we developed the campaign to not only drive the record to fans but to ensure we could garner more support with playlisting.”

Support from BBC Radio 1

Let’s Just/Can’t Explain was released in May 2020. A week before the release, Let’s Just received high praise from Danny Howard live on BBC Radio 1 describing the lead track as “epic and emotional”. After playing the track on the radio for the first time, Danny said, “if I heard this in a club at the right time, I would be in tears.”

Danny played the record again two weeks later, claiming he had received tweets and direct messages about the track days after his show aired. The support on major stations continued on Kiss FM with Charlie Tee and Ben Malone supporting their weekend shows.

A few weeks later, Annie Mac supported the record on her show for the first time in mid-June. A few weeks later named 'Let's Just' the hottest record in the world by MistaJam who was covering for Annie Mac on her show.

New opportunities: Tommy's follow-up was a remix for Rudimental on Atlantic Records

The success of Let’s Just and Can’t Explain attracted the attention of Atlantic Records. Atlantic asked Tommy to remix Rudimental’s new collab with Anne Marie and Tion Wayne. Tommy’s second release was a remix for some of the leading names in the U.K. house scene.

‘Come Over’ was supported by dance music’s biggest names on BBC Radio 1.

Marketing the record in the pandemic

The crazy thing about these results is this was Tommy’s first-ever release. How many underground music artists do you know who have generated over 1 million streams on their first release? In a pandemic?

These insane results have happened without Tommy playing it out in clubs and festivals across the summer. When clubs do open again in the U.K., how many music fans will hear this record for the first time?

This record is going to keep going and going.

Thanks for reading.

Andrew at Socially Sound 🧢