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HOMEMADE’S HOMERUNS

Label and management company Homemade Projects has been on a tear this year. With her “Mad at Disney,” which has topped Spotify’s U.S. and Global Viral charts while reaching new peaks on the Top 200, Salem Ilese becomes the third Homemade act in a row to score a breakthrough single. It’s now inside the Top 70 in the U.S.

Before “Disney,” alt-pop rockers Peach Tree Rascals caught fire with their earworm, “Mariposa.” That song has racked up 100m streams at Spotify as it approaches Top 20 at Alternative radio.

Kicking the door down early this year was Surfaces’ “Sunday Best.” The infectious track is close to 2 billion global streams, becoming one of the spring’s biggest pop hits and and stirring up Grammy buzz. All three rising acts are distributed through Caroline

The common denominators behind all this action are Homemade co-founders Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo. Following strategic partnerships and investments from 10K Projects and Create Music Group a year ago, Homemade has emerged as a consistent new talent incubator, with Friedman and Talamo utilizing their A&R and digital-marketing chops—and knowing exactly when to pull the TikTok lever.

Along with setting TikTok ablaze with a viral track this year, each of those acts writes and produces their own music. “That’s the case with Surfaces, Peach Tree Rascals, Salem and our new signing, wizthemc,” said Friedman. “In fact, each of those artists literally recorded their songs in their homes, so they’re right in our sweet spot at Homemade. We’re great at social-media marketing, but at the end of the day, it’s really about good A&R and great songs. It’s not hard to make a track blow up on TikTok.”

Their digital expertise comes from experience with the biz’s most powerful new gatekeepers: Gen-Z influencers. “At the end of the day, good music is good music,” Talamo explains. “If you put that in front of the masses, you will see a reaction. That’s how we look at TikTok—like it’s one giant synch that exposes the song to music fans. The only difference with us is that we know how to effectively leverage the platform, because we have been working in the influencer space for the last six years, and we’ve built an incredibly smart team.” 

With “Mad at Disney” still going strong at TikTok—it was the 13th most-popular song within the app last week with more than 200m creations—along with placements in Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits and the cover of Pop Rising, it’s clear the Homemade team knows precisely how to navigate the current digital-music landscape.

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