If you're an artist active on Spotify, you've probably noticed your unique set of "Related Artists" chosen by the platform. For us, this has ranged from well-known artists who really have inspired the band, to label mates of the band, to totally unrelated artists who shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence. Unfortunately, there's no way to directly edit these suggestions. Lucky for us, there are a few back door ways to influence Spotify's algorithm and genre mapping to get the proper Related Artists on your page.
Create a Last.fm Account
Spotify has mentioned that their algorithm crawls from the "semantic web" to gather genre and related artist information. One big purveyor of this metadata is Last.fm. Formerly a music streamer itself, Last.fm has pivoted to be the #1 crowdsourced "listener history" site for music. Sign up for an account, and link your Spotify and other streaming accounts so Last.fm can generate accurate related music based off your own listening history. Then, find your artist profile on the site and add tags, genres, pictures, and locations. The more metadata the better!
Last.fm has their own "Similar Artists" section. If you're matched up with someone undesirable, check the tags and listening sources to see if you can un-link yourself with that connection.
Create a Playlist of Similar Artists + Your Own Music
By manually relating yourself with other artists on your own playlist, you have a good chance of influencing the generated Related Artists. Maybe it's "Music That Inspired [The Band]" or "On Rotation," but make sure the playlist includes some of your own tunes. For best results, boost this playlist on social media because more streams means more votes for this artist correlation.
Use Spotify's Metadata Tools
Every Noise at Once is a scatter-plot of Spotify artists, mapped out by genre. Many of these genres are unique to Spotify's own algorithm, so it's worthwhile to get familiar with their naming system. First, go to Every Noise at Once and search a few of your desired related artists. Find out how Spotify is categorizing them, and copy down those genres if they fit you as well.
Then go to Spotify's new metadata platform Line-In and search your own artist name. Add as much relevant metadata as possible, including the new genres and tags you pulled from Every Noise at Once.
Do a Pin-Swap with Another Artist
This suggestion isn't for everybody, but if you're hip to the idea of co-promotion with another artist, consider endorsing them by "pinning" one of their songs to your Spotify profile for a few weeks. If you're already receiving a lot of monthly listeners, some of those will likely listen to your highlighted pin. To take it one step further, ask the other artist if they'd be willing to do the same for you.
Collaborate With a Potential Related Artist
Last but not least - if you really want to relate yourself to another artist, there's no better way than to actually release a song with them. Rappers already know what's up with this. While it's not always logistically or financially possible, collabs and features are the most surefire way both of your fans (and the algorithms) will start associating one artist with the other.