Spotify: Lorde got famous thanks to Sean Parker's playlist

Commentary: Delve deep into the Spotify IPO filing and you'll find music legend.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

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I once saw Sean Parker in a San Francisco sushi restaurant. If only I'd walked up to him and said, "Hey, Sean. Big fan. Here's a link to my music . I hope it's good enough for your Spotify playlist."

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Oh, Lorde. Is it that easy to become a star?

Lester Cohen

This reminiscence of my failure slaps me on reading page 98 of Spotify's IPO filing, which was revealed Wednesday

For there, amid the streaming music company warning you of its potential threats and lauding its enormous successes, is a tale of how one music great came to prominence.

"Lorde started out as a singer-songwriter from New Zealand looking to break out with her new single, 'Royals,' when Sean Parker added her single to his popular playlist Hipster International," the filing says.

I know "Hipster International" is meant to be ironic. I still wish it were the title of an Arcade Fire album. 

The filing goes on to explain that the former Facebook president and founder of Napster had an enormous influence on Lorde's rise to credibility.

"After approximately one month, Lorde had jumped past prominent artists such as Katy Perry , Drake and Lady Gaga to land at the top of Spotify's Viral Chart, and after eight months, she had reached over 100 million streams on Spotify and was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100," Spotify says.

Was this all due to Parker? Spotify would make it seem so. Five years ago, Parker told Forbes how Lorde was everything Katy Perry isn't.

"I feel like in many ways she's the antidote to disposable pop music," he said. "I feel like it was accessible to the same people who listen to Katy Perry, for instance, but there's obviously something more authentic and personal to Lorde's music."

Did he really say La Grande Perry is inauthentic? Perish the sacrilege.

If all it takes to reach stardom is for Parker to give you his regal nod, he must be inundated with material every day.

Hey, Sean. Maybe we could lay down some tracks together? My rhymes, your tunes. Any genre. What do you say? I think we could be really authentic.

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