Last week, we checked out five emerging UK artists blowing up in London. This time, we’re looking at music trends in London versus the rest of the UK to see if there are any differences between Shazam activity in the city, versus the rest of the country.
To get an idea of what music is getting people excited, we’ve compared the Shazam Top 50 for both London and the UK (including London). We aim to see whether we can differentiate city-specific trends from countrywide tastes.
On first look, the London Top 50 and the UK Top 50 are pretty similar. Of those 50 most Shazamed tracks for the two areas, there are 41 tracks in common.
That’s a lot. And based on that number, we can deduce that listeners in London have a fairly good grasp of what is popular around the country. Let’s break it down.
What are the sonic qualities of tracks that land with audiences both inside and outside of London?
We can tell a decent amount from even such a small amount of data. Listeners all over the UK (including London) feel compelled to Shazam sounds that feature:
- A solid mix of male and female vocals
- Dancy, Euphoric and Confident Moods
- Pop, Electronic, Afrobeat and Electro Pop Genres
It’s worth noting that this is a snapshot. We are coming out of an enormous festival season, where the likes of Bicep have taken their nostalgic 90s club sound to hundreds of thousands of people around the UK. So, as the weather gets wetter and colder, this sound may change.
What about the tracks that don’t appear in both UK and London charts?
On a national level, we see an increase in negative sentiment, but strangely this is paired with a preference for major keys. For the UK chart, there are also more tracks being Shazamed with danceable BPMs (120 to 129) when compared to London. Why could this be?
Could it be that listeners around the UK are most likely to Shazam tracks in clubs? Meanwhile, could the capital’s vibrant bar and live scene mean people are Shazaming more frequently, and picking up more varied BPMs?
It’s possible. And bolstering that theory is the fact that tracks Shazamed around the UK, compared to London, have a higher average energy.
Why is this data useful?
With any data analysis, one must always be aware of its limitations. We’ve only looked at one week of Shazam charts. But already, we can show how musical data can illuminate what is happening in any geography.
The differences between the UK and London are subtle. However, the data stands to get far more interesting when we cross international borders and compare cities and countries around the world.
Who could use it?
This data could be invaluable for labels and artists looking for a more granular understanding of what sounds currently work locally, nationally and internationally. Tracked over time, they could see the development of a sound and release music according to how music is trending.
There are also huge applications for music supervisors to understand music scenes in cities and regions relevant to film and TV productions. These micro and macro views could help them make informed and appropriate choices about music to represent on-screen action.
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