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Artists to Watch: Black Music Month - Part 1

Artists to Watch: Black Music Month - Part 1

In recognition of Black Music Month, we’re featuring some of our favorite artists throughout the month of June - when you discover your new favorite, be sure to like, love, and share!

Jayla Darden

Jayla Darden | Black Music Month | Music Audience Exchange“I pull inspiration from everywhere—I might be listening to a song or just find myself being inspired by life. Then I’ll open my laptop and create a beat. I usually start with beats and melodies...”
- Jayla Daren

Jayla Darden is in complete control of her music, from start to finish. She has a degree in sound engineering—which makes her a standout already in a male-dominated field—and she writes, performs, produces, and engineers all of her own tracks. She began crafting her sound (which has been likened to 1990s Brandy, Aaliyah, and Destiny’s Child) when she realized how difficult it was for new artists to find songwriters. Instead of trying to force tracks to work when she didn’t really like what she was hearing, she decided to start making her own. Her SoundCloud caught the attention of Sickamore, a senior exec at Interscope, and led to a recording contract and her first EP. She recently partnered with Fender as part of their “Artist Check-in” series.

Listen to Jayla Darden on YouTube or Spotify

MAX Artist Insights*
10 attributes that make Jayla Darden's audience unique

  1. Evenly split between male/female, skews young
  2. Entertainment News TV Viewers + 0.48
  3. Fruit Juice + 0.41
  4. Cosmetics + 0.34
  5. Health Conscious + 0.28
  6. Brand Name Retail Customers + 0.27
  7. Football Fans + 0.23
  8. American Car Loyalists + 0.19
  9. Premium Liquor Drinkers + 0.17
  10. Music Podcasts Listeners + 0.16


IDK | Black Music Month | Music Audience Exchange“I don’t know if I really realised I was a teacher … it was later on that I started to realise how much I love to teach people.”

Singer, songwriter, rapper, and producer IDK (aka Jason Aaron Mills) stays busy. In addition to working with high fashion brands like Dior, hosting a podcast, featuring on the cover of CLASH, writing a new album (release date TBD), and shooting a video for his new single with Offset (released in April), IDK can add “teaching at Harvard” to his list of accomplishments. He sees his music as a way to share knowledge and his platform as an opportunity to influence and teach other artists how to create a sustainable career. His passion for teaching—and learning— has led him to advocate for criminal justice reform, economic empowerment within the Black community, investment in public education systems, and a holistic, equitable approach to career education.

Listen to IDK on YouTube or Spotify

MAX Artist Insights*
10 attributes that make IDK's audience unique

  1. Skews male (62%) and Black (+ 0.96)
  2. Fruit Juice + 4.13
  3. Snack Food + 3.58
  4. Men's Fashion + 3.17
  5. Ridesharing Users + 2.42
  6. Super Premium Whiskey + 2.04
  7. Mobile Wallet Users + 1.96
  8. Xbox Gamers + 1.85
  9. Poetry Readers + 1.80
  10. American Car Loyalists + 1.75

Cautious Clay

Cautious Clay_1An outer layer of sarcasm + wit to protect my inner layer of compassion + empathy. A ‘deadpan love’ is what I have inside me + what I use to cope with the worst of what humanity has to offer.
- Cautious Clay

Cautious Clay’s voice flows over the multi-instrumentalist’s carefully crafted tracks, with a mix of sharp percussive beats balanced with his flawless falsetto. He has carved out his own niche style, blending his extensive jazz education with influences from pop, indie, R&B, and beyond. His lyrics are relatable, as he explores heavy emotions with a sense of distance and detachment, allowing himself to process and heal through his music. After an extended period of collaborating on singles with artists including John Legend, Anderson Paak, John Mayer, and Taylor Swift, Cautious Clay will debut his first studio album, Deadpan Love, on June 25.

Listen to Cautious Clay on YouTube or Spotify

MAX Artist Insights*
10 attributes that make Cautious Clay's audience unique

  1. Skews Black (+ 0.71), Asian (+ 0.39), and Hispanic (+ 0.34)
  2. Pop Culture Podcasts Listeners + 1.21
  3. Poetry Readers + 1.10
  4. Men's Fashion + 1.09
  5. Ethnic Haircare + 1.00
  6. Hard Seltzer + 0.86
  7. Mobile Wallet Users + 0.82
  8. Domestic Light Beer Drinkers + 0.72
  9. LGBTQIA + 0.72
  10. Premium Cosmetics + 0.70

Mickey Guyton

MickeyGuyton_1“...Something happened where everybody only wanted light and fluffy party songs, and it was really difficult for me to find my footing in that. So I just made my own footing.”
- Mickey Guyton

After a frustrating start to her career in country music, where she often felt lost and unseen, Mickey Guyton found her voice; in her words, she stopped running from her truth when she wrote “Black Like Me.” The song, which she released without promotion on her Instagram page, was largely ignored by commercial radio but became a streaming hit and social media sensation, earning Guyton her first GRAMMY nomination. Mickey Guyton also made history in April of 2021 when she became the first Black woman to host the Academy of Country Music Awards, alongside Keith Urban.

Listen to Mickey Guyton on YouTube or Spotify

MAX Artist Insights*
10 attributes that make Mickey Guyton's audience unique

  1. Audience skews female (67%), white (+.77), and middle income
  2. Moms + 1.73
  3. SUV Drivers + 1.13
  4. Homeowner + 0.95
  5. Suburban + 0.93
  6. Standard Wine Drinkers + 0.88
  7. Auto Racing Fans + 0.87
  8. Women's Soccer + 0.82
  9. Veterans Causes + 0.81
  10. Traditional TV Viewers + 0.80

*Powered by MAX Artist Matching Engine™

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