As 2021 draws to a close, Amazon Music’s Emily Cohen reflects on a year of great music and is proud of the role her company has played in supporting the rise of talented newcomers like Niko Moon, Gabby Barrett, Anne Wilson. and Morgan Wade. as continuing to create opportunities during the pandemic for fans to stay connected to their favorite artists.
“At the onset of the pandemic, our team created program content to help clients adjust to a more home-based lifestyle,” said Cohen, senior curator of Amazon Music at SLN, citing playlists such as “Feel Good Country” and “Liquor Cabinet” as examples.
Amazon Music has also given fans stuck at home more entertainment options through live streaming. “It was pretty amazing to see our team prioritizing live streaming as a key mechanism to continue to forge strong relationships with fans in the absence of touring,” said Cohen. “This is something we definitely looked at and in August 2020 we teamed up with Twitch to also combine live streaming and on-demand listening in the Amazon Music app. Since last spring, we’ve hosted live broadcasts with Keith Urban, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Tim McGraw, and Gabby Barrett. We continue to work with artists and their teams to create these virtual events and we are excited to do more in 2022. ”
Cohen has been with Amazon Music for five years and his passion for his work is evident in the interview. “My job is to program country, Christian, folk and American playlists and stations on Amazon Music,” she says. “Maybe that shows my age, but it’s kind of like that record salesman back when you asked them, ‘What do you think? “What should I do if I want relaxing or country music or workout music?” It’s deciphering and listening to full records thinking about where I can put music on new release centric playlists like “Country Heat” or “Fresh Country”. Where can I put music for training? Love songs? Cooking or something like that that really sets the mood for a certain activity? This is what I look for every day, to serve the best music to our customers and for the experiences they seek in soundtrack.
Cohen says her favorite part of her job is discovering and supporting new artists. “To be there early in someone’s career and feeling like you’ve witnessed lightning in a bottle or discovered something new that consumers love is really amazing,” she says. “Having a helping hand, even as a small part of their overall success in this industry, is truly rewarding and fulfilling. This is the reason why I love to do what I do.
Cohen and his team are always on the lookout for new, quality music. ” I like to learn. I’m voracious, ”she says,“ and I think a lot of us on the programming team read blogs and listen to the radio. I listen to what my other curators and other members of my team are planning. I think I’m constantly trying to find artists and watch stuff on TikTok. For me, it always starts with music. It sounds very simple, but is it good and how do we go from there? What else is going on with this artist in the general music market? Are customers really reacting favorably? “
Cohen says there have been several smash hits that topped Amazon Music’s country charts, citing Carly Pearce, Niko Moon, Gabby Barrett and Tenille Arts among the 25 Most Featured Artists on “Country Heat” in the United States. “I think back to how it all started with Gabby Barrett,” she says. “It was before, I think, that she was even signed to Warner. We saw a reaction and the song ended up on our charts. Obviously she was coming out of American Idol and I had that fan base, but for me, I’m like, ‘Okay, he’s a whole new artist, making original music, let’s look at that.’ It was an easy decision for me to continue programming Gabby Barrett.
Moon also had a banner year. “It was amazing to see Niko’s trajectory over the past two years,” she said. “We saw him as really vibrant, contagious and energetic, radiating positivity. It’s something that people were really looking for this year, just to see someone being happy all the time and doing some really positive music, so it’s wonderful to see “Good Time” being one of our country songs. the most broadcast this year. What I kind of see in the general trends is a mix of these superstar artists with developing artists really having moments that are really, really exciting for the genre in general.
In addition to curating country playlists, Cohen also works with American, contemporary Christian, folk, and gospel music. “We have certainly seen that worship music still has a time and that Christian in general has a time. Gospel music is great music and certainly for us it has increased, ”Cohen said, citing“ Christian Hits ”,“ Relaxing Christian ”,“ Feel-Good Christian ”and“ Divine Sound ”as some of the most popular Christian playlists. popular from Amazon. “We have also seen continued growth for ‘Divine Sounds Radio’, our primary destination station for the genre. Some of the top 10 Christian songs released this year included Lauren Daigle’s “You Say”, Phil Wickham’s “Battle Belongs” and Zach Williams’ “Less Like Me”. “
Cohen singled out Anne Wilson as one of the most successful breakout artists in the Christian community. “I’m really excited about Anne Wilson’s trajectory,” Cohen said. “She had a huge hit this year with ‘My Jesus’ and from June to November of this year her monthly Amazon Music streams in the US were more than fivefold. That’s pretty impressive for an emerging artist. . For being so young and having been through everything she’s been through, it’s pretty amazing and she’s doing great tours. I just think 2022 is going to be really, really important to her and I can’t wait. “She stepped out. his first album, my Jesus, in April and since May, its flows have been multiplied by 18.
Cohen also predicts that 2022 will be a great year for the DOE. “I’ve seen how her music reacts on our ‘Gospel Now’ playlist and on the gospel lineup, which is really exciting,” she says. “I know she’s not entirely new, but she’s someone I’ve always been excited about. It’s a powerhouse and I’m delighted to see what it will bring in 2022. “
Reyna Roberts, Morgan Wade, Breland, Allison Russell and Lily Rose are among the newcomers to the American and country genres that Cohen expects to see shine in 2022. “Reyna is pretty amazing. I really think it’s going to take this industry by storm, ”Cohen predicts. “I think Morgan Wade is going to continue at an even faster pace than it did in 2021. This whole record is amazing. Personally it’s one of my favorite records of the year from start to finish. the end. And Lily Rose has also been someone I’ve been watching for a while now. I saw on her Instagram that her song “Villain” went gold, which is incredibly exciting. This is one of my favorites from her, so I can’t wait to see what she’s up to in 2022 as well.