Kevin Stapleford


Kevin Stapleford is the Senior Director of Programming at Slacker Radio. He accidentally got into radio way back in the last century, answering the request lines for a boring classic rock station that one day morphed into one of the most influential Alternative stations in the nation.

He worked his way up from the phone room to the Program Director’s office, and went on to program and consult stations in far flung places like Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Minneapolis.

Kevin now oversees the radio and content development at Slacker, where he gets to boss people around.

Favorite Interview: Joey Ramone

Favorite Band: The Beatles, of course

First Concert: ELO!

Best Concert: Roxy Music, The High Road Tour

First Album Ever Purchased: Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

3 Things I Can't Live Without: My Family, my dogs and cognac

Foo Fighters Top 33!

Foo333Who doesn’t love Dave Grohl? The Foo Fighters front man turns 45 this week, and since he’s currently in the studio hard at work on the band’s eighth album, Slacker celebrates with a station counting down your favorite Foo Fighters tracks. That’s right, this countdown uses what we call the Engagement Quotient, or EQ, which just tallies up the plays, hearts, skips and bans to get a definitive Top 33. By the way, a single artist station like this is usually only available for our Premium users but thanks to a special arrangement, we can offer this station to everyone for a limited time. It’s the Foo Fighters Top 33, something that could only happen on Slacker.

This Week’s EQ Charts Are Here!

TOP 40-COver the Christmas holidays, Slacker’s EQ charts were overcome with holiday songs across nearly every genre. Who knew that there was such a thing as EDM Christmas music? Now that we’ve all settled in to 2014 and the seasonal songs have subsided, here are some insights from Slacker’s EQ charts for the week of 1/8/14:

Queen Bey is predictably taking Slacker’s Hip Hop/R&B chart by storm—she moves up 14 spots to crack the top 10 with “Drunk In Love,” and her “XO” debuts this week at number 38, moving up 115 spots. And after being featured as the “New Music First” pick on last week’s Slacker Top 40 countdown, Jason Derülo’s “Talk Dirty” shoots up a remarkable 124 spots to debut on the chart.

Phantogram’s “Fall In Love” is the most engaging new song of 2014 thus far amongst Slacker’s Alt/Indie listeners—it moves up 48 spots to debut at number 31 this week. We also see significant spikes in listener engagement on Echosmith’s “Cool Kids,” and NoNoNo’s “Pumpin Blood.” This is likely due to these songs’ inclusion and exposure on Slacker’s new “Artists To Watch 2014” station.

At Pop, Katy Perry pulls an EQ hat-trick; her “Roar” continues to hang in the top 5, her “Unconditionally” moves up 7 spots to land at number 11, and her “Dark Horse” jumps up 16 to crack the top 20. That’s 3 songs in the top 20 for Ms. Perry. A favorite of your Slacker curators continues to win over new fans in the Slacker nation: John Newman’s “Love Me Again” moves up 13 spots to land at 26, and his new album “Tribute” is Slacker’s Album of the Week!

EDM is by no means a new art form, but the idea of DJ or producer as international mainstream superstar is a relatively new idea. And when it happens, it happens in a major way. To wit: based on Slacker EDM listeners’ preferences and engagement with individual artists and songs, 7 out of the top 10 songs on the chart belong to 3 artists: Avicii, Zedd, and Calvin Harris.

Two things have become clear when we analyze Slacker’s Country EQ charts over the last 6-9 months. Slacker country listeners are adventurous—they embrace new artists as much as the established super stars—and they are fully embracing the pop-crossover sound that is currently taking Nashville by storm. For example, Cole Swindell’s “Chillin’ It” is number 1 by a healthy margin for the 4th week in a row, Frankie Ballard’s “Helluva Life” is the fastest mover of 2014 thus far, as it moves up 6 spots and cracks the top 15 for the first time, and Luke Bryan has 2 songs in the top 10.

And finally, we predict that 2014 is the year that Rock evolves. Much like the Alternative charts of a few years ago, the Rock chart in 2013 was dominated by a small handful of legacy artists, like Alice In Chains, Papa Roach, and Three Days Grace. But in recent months, we’ve seen a shift: the Slacker rock audience is starting to engage with newer, more contemporary rock artists in a significant way. Artists like Black Veil Brides, Bring Me The Horizon, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and Gemini Syndrome are all present on the chart as 2014 begins and they are all on the rise.

You can listen to the  Slacker Top 40 station here–a countdown featuring the 40 most engaging tracks of the week, hosted by Slacker DJ Parker. And check back next week to see how millions of Slacker music fans just like you push songs up and down the charts—just by listening, skipping, Hearting, and banning the songs that you hear!

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

Coachella 2014!

HAIM-472x472The 15th Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will be held over two consecutive weekends in Indio, CA- the first on April 11-13 and the second on April 18-20. The 2014 line-up includes headlining performances from OutKast, Muse, and Arcade Fire. Coachella 2014 also features some of the best EDM artists around like–The Knife, Zedd, Girl Talk, Skrillex, Pet Shop Boys, Disclosure, Alesso and much much more. Hear all of this year’s Coachella artists in one place- on the Coachella 2014 station on Slacker Radio!

Bruce Springsteen Top 33!

SPINGSTEEN 33 NT-1Bruce Springsteen has sold over 60 million albums in his career, making him the 15th highest selling artist of all time. At age 64 he shows no sign of slowing down. His 18th studio album “High Hopes” comes out next week, and in celebration Slacker counts up your song plays, skips, hearts and bans to create a station counting down the biggest Boss songs of all time. It’s the Bruce Springsteen Top 33, something that could only happen on Slacker.

Artist Of The Week: Dave Matthews Band!

AOTW DAVELegendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews may have a light touch musically, but he’s had a huge impact on the world of music. The Dave Matthews Band was the highest grossing touring act of the first decade of the 21st century, and they’ve been nominated for 14 Grammys over their career. Dave himself turns 47 this week, and in celebration, Slacker has created a station that includes his own discography as well as inspirations, collaborators, and musical kin. Dave Matthews Band is Slacker’s Artist Of The Week!

Album Of The Week: ‘Tribute’ from John Newman

AOTW NEWMANAs we kick off the new year, your Slacker curators are focused on finding the best new music for 2014. Enter John Newman—he’s a soulful singer from the UK, and his vocals have been in high demand; he sang on Rudimental’s “Feel The Love” and “Not Giving In,” both of which were international hits. We introduced you to his first single “Love Me Again” last year, and it’s gone on to be a number one record in the UK and beyond. This week he releases his debut album, called Tribute. It’s an apt title, as it mixes the sound of ‘90s house music and classic soul in a very modern context, and we think that he is poised to break out in the US in 2014. John Newman’s Tribute is Slacker’s Album Of The Week.


Rudimental’s “Feel The Love”

Rudimental’s “Not Giving In”

Artists To Watch 2014!

ARTIST TO WATCH N&T2Welcome to the 2014 edition of Slacker’s Artists To Watch! At Slacker, we’ve got a team of expert curators—those are the real people that put together the hundreds of radio stations that you listen to. It’s their job to always be on top of new music, and here we’ve assembled their picks–across all genres–of artists that we think will go big in 2014. On last year’s Artist To Watch station, we introduced you to A$ap Rocky, Baauer, CHVRCHES, Alt- J, Thomas Rhett, Emeli Sande, Dustin Lynch, Kacey Musgraves, Passenger, HAIM, Icona Pop, and many more artists that went on to have big years in 2013. If you’re ready to discover what’s next, these are Slacker’s predictions for Artists To Watch in 2014.

Album Of The Year: Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”

EM AOTYThere was no greater comeback in 2013 than the return of Eminem. In November he released  “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” a sequel to his classic album from 13 years ago. It debuted at #1, selling more records in 2013 than only Justin Timberlake. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s at the top of his game; Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2” is Slacker’s Album of the Year.

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