The force of Dua Lipa seems to be never ending right now. A packed Brixton Academy in London played host to one epic gig!
What a year, eh. I was almost tempted to not write up a random list for 2016 on the count of me wanting it to end as soon as possible. But alas, in a year of many disasters, there were a few nice things to come up which made everything OK for a little while. It’s a condensed list this year, so here’s looking to an awesome 2017. Anyway…
The guy who made a song two years ahead of it’s time
This song by UK talent Ragz Originale is basically a view of the future for me. It bounces between dark samples while keeping a gritty rawness. All the while still sounding slick. I see this sound taking off majorly in 2018.
The song most likely to turn you into an emotional wreck
I am not a huge fan of covers, however, when I stumbled across this Kanye West rework by Daniel Caesar I was an emotional mess. Stunning, beautiful, flawless… Everything that reminds you that the world can still be a beautiful place.
The boyband that got it right
Most epic Scandi pop
Smith & Thell have been on my radar for a really long time. This Swedish duo haven’t been afraid to change musical directions, and with the release of ‘Row’ this year I can’t think of any other Scandi act that has managed to come up with a song as intense and catchy as this one.
Most listened to song on my iTunes
I’ve surprised myself with this one. And I’ll be honest, I did consider leaving this category out for 2016, but f*ck it. For the second year, Dua Lipa is behind my most listened to song on my iTunes. This time it’s with ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – a pop banger through and through. It’s not edgy, nor does it push any boundaries. But it’s everything you want from a big pop sound, and that’s all I need to hear a song on loop.
Most likely to be huge in 2017
It’s been a while coming but I am finally excited to see that Rag’n’Bone Man is certain to be the biggest new act to hit the mainstream in 2017. Well deserved too.
One of my favourite songs from 2015 gets a live working for BBC’s Sound of 2016.
Gutted to be missing her London show in Oslo, but you can still catch some other dates:
16.01.16 Bristol, Louisiana
17.01.16 Brighton, The Hope
26.01.16 Glasgow, O2 ABC
27.01.16 Manchester, Soup Kitchen
29.01.16 Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge
30.01.16 Nottingham, Stealth
02.02.16 London, Oslo Hackney
As has become tradition, here’s this year’s Random List. A collection of music highlights that have caught my attention in the last year. I spend the whole year featuring new and edgy stuff, so it’s nice to put up the last post of the year as a little fun. For previous years, head here.
Most Underrated Talent Of The Year
Kwabs has been a dilemma in 2015. He’s so good, so talented, and the songs are so on-point. But he’s still not tapping the mainstream the way he deserves to be. Maybe it’ll change in the next twelve months.
Most Random Act To Pick Up Recognition In Sweden
Just before the world was introduced to MNEK’s work with Zara Larsson (one of pop’s biggest successes in 2015 in my view), Sweden took an unexpected liking to MNEK’s ‘The Rhythm’ to the point where the track picked up Gold sales. Which is nice since it hardly made impact in the UK. And let’s face it, Sweden knows good pop.
Most Played On My iTunes
Dua Lipa. Emerging from the same team behind Lana Del Rey only less of the weirdness. This is a fresh slice of pop.
Best Pop Banger That No One Will Hear
Hottest Fans At A Gig
HONNE are a staple on this blog. This year I managed to catch them live and not only was the gig sold out but it was packed with Abercrombie model look-a-likes. Fancy yourselves a hot boyfriend / girlfriend? Catch HONNE live…
Scandi Country Of The Year To Pull It’s Act Together
Biggest Turnaround Moment
Justin Bieber… Where did that come from? Seriously- everyone seems to be on Justin’s side this year with the release of ‘Purpose’ and the random pop gems that are contained within that record. Just goes to show that kid stars can make good as they grow.
Act Who Owned 2015
Act Who Will Own 2016
Jack Garratt. No one’s even pretending that Jack won’t take over the next twelve months. It’s great though; he’s showing off a new style of dark soul-pop that’s touching people in a way I wouldn’t have expected.