South African duo Easy Freak joins 2019 Deezer Next acts

South African pop duo Easy Freak has been selected as a Deezer Next regional act for 2019.

The duo is the first pop act from the coastal city of Durban to be announced as a Deezer Next act. The pair was selected alongside global artists Lewis Capaldi (Scotland) and Sam Fender (UK). Deezer Next will announce two additional global priority artists and a selection of regional artists across multiple markets during 2019. 

Deezer Next is an annual artist development initiative designed to identify and champion emerging talent around the world. Last year’s acts experienced a boost in streams of more than 3 300%.

“This year just keeps getting better, we just want to thank Deezer for the massive opportunity,” Easy Freak wrote on Facebook. “We can’t tell you all how excited we are to announce that we’re South Africa’s Deezer Next artist for 2019. We can’t wait to drop some fire this year.”

Lewis Capaldi said: “I’ve been absolutely blown away by the support from Deezer since I started releasing music. To be told that they’ve chosen me as their Deezer Next global artist for this year is a huge honour and I’m massively looking forward to the year ahead. I have had thousands of messages of people discovering my music through Deezer.”

Sam Fender said he was happy to be listed among the beneficiaries of the project. “Buzzing to be a part of Deezer Next and super excited to share some new tunes with you all,” he said.

Deezer chief content and product officer Alexander Holland  said the project had helped grow the career of many artists.

“As a streaming platform we have the privilege of connecting artists and fans all over the world,” he said. “We also have the opportunity to help talented acts take the magic step that brings them from being a local gem to an international phenomenon.

“We’ve made that journey several times with artists like Rag’n’Bone Man, Anne Marie and Jorja Smith and I’m very excited to add Lewis Capaldi and Sam Fender to the list. They all have a unique sound and they represent exactly the kind of artists that make us crank up the volume in the office.”

Easy Freak is known for tracks such as ‘Good Times’, ‘Let Go’ and ‘Cap2vated.’ Their music is a blend of pop, funk and R&B. The duo is set to release their sophomore album titled No Lies in May 2019.

Lewis Capaldi is the first artist in the history of Deezer Next to become a global priority act following participation in the local UK programme. In the previous UK Deezer Next programme, Capaldi experienced a 110% increase in streams and a 438% increase in his fan base. His latest track ‘Someone You Loved’ recently hit the Top 10 UK singles chart.

Sam Fender is also Deezer’s new global priority artist. Fender gained attention last year with his introspective indie rock debut EP Dead Boys and fans can look forward to an exciting debut album and sold out shows during 2019.

Returning for its third consecutive year, the programme supports developing artists and provides them with an avenue for new exposure to local and worldwide audiences. The new class of Deezer Next will receive 12 months of dedicated support from Deezer’s artist marketing and editorial teams. This includes playlisting and creative marketing campaigns involving special content, fan events and social media amplification.