Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Greatest Hits of 2017


2017 was the year of Ed. With monumental sales for his third studio album Divide (÷) as well as its titanic lead single, Shape of You, Sheeran reignited traditional Pop as a mainstream genre worldwide. The magnitude of this influence was far reaching, as his singles and album redefined pop culture during the year making a massive impact on various global charts and paving the way for other Pop artists to achieve chart success. However, Sheeran was not the only influence in 2017. 

The year also witnessed the resurgence of Latin music which seeped into the mainstream in the form of Spanglish remixes. The foundation of the Latin dance mega hit Bailando, which Enrique Iglesias laid in 2014 was exponentially heightened by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee this year with a Spanglish reworking of their song Despacito with Justin Bieber. This proved to be extremely successful, commercially and critically, breaking many records all over including tying with the 22-year old record held by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s One Sweet Day for the longest streak at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and also becoming the most-watched music video in the world.

The year was also marred by death and destruction, tragedy and commotion throughout the industry. As a result several charity songs also achieved chart success although none of which managed to enter here. Apart from Ed Sheeran, several artists who have been in the industry managed to release their biggest hits i.e. Kygo, French Montana, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato and some of the newer artists such as Post Malone, Dua Lipa and Camila Cabello achieved immense success. Moreover, another point to note is that all the former One Direction members (excluding Zayn who already proved that he had potential for a solo career in 2016) released hit singles out of which only Louis Tomlinson failed to achieve enough success to be included in this list.

In terms of genres, Rap and R&B took over the mainstream initially as Reggae Fusion and Dancehall which was popular in 2016 disappeared from the mainstream. Later on Pop and Latin music took over the charts globally and their stronghold could not be swayed as Rock, EDM and Country took the backseat this year. However, mainstream music in general seemed to be influenced with a very tropical flavor, possibly a remnant from the Dancehall of yesteryear as genres ranging from Pop, House and Rap seemed to inculcate the new sultry beats.  

Ed Sheeran, Taylors Swift and Alessia Cara have the highest number of entries with 3 followed by Zayn, The Chainsmokers, DJ Khaled, Quavo, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Beyonce, Lil Uzi Vert, Katy Perry, Clean Bandit, Imagine Dragons, The Weeknd and Daft Punk with 2 each. The list this year was compiled based on worldwide charts alone mainly considering the US and UK charts but also giving weight to the success achieved in the European markets as well as Canada and Oceania. So here are the best 50 songs of 2017:
  1. Ed Sheeran – Shape of you 
  2. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito 
  3. Bruno Mars – That’s what I like
  4. DJ Khaled ft. Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper & Quavo – I’m the one 
  5. Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – Havana 
  6. French Montana ft. Swae Lee – Unforgettable 
  7. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something just like this 
  8. Taylor Swift – Look what you made me do 
  9. Kendrick Lamar – Humble. 
  10. Dua Lipa – New rules
  11. Kygo & Selena Gomez – It ain’t me 
  12. Shawn Mendes – There’s nothing holdin’ me back
  13. Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert – Bad and boujee 
  14. Calvin Harris ft. Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams & Big Sean – Feels 
  15. Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – Rockstar 
  16. Clean Bandit ft. Anne Marie & Sean Paul – Rockabye 
  17. J Balvin & Willy William ft. Beyoncé – Mi gente 
  18. DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild thoughts 
  19. Sam Smith – Too good at goodbyes
  20. Pink – What about us 
  21. Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé – Perfect 
  22. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk – I feel it coming 
  23. Zayn & Taylor Swift – I don’t wanna live forever 
  24. The Chainsmokers – Paris
  25. Charlie Puth – Attention 
  26. Liam Payne ft. Quavo – Strip  that down
  27. Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255 
  28. Imagine Dragons – Believer 
  29. Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson – Symphony
  30. Ed Sheeran – Castle on the hill  
  31. Zayn ft. Sia – Dusk till dawn 
  32. Zedd & Alessia Cara – Stay 
  33. Future – Mask off 
  34. Harry Styles – Sign of the times 
  35. Julia Michaels – Issues 
  36. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk – Starboy 
  37. Imagine Dragons – Thunder 
  38. James Arthur – Say you won’t let go
  39. Niall Horan – Slow hands 
  40. Cardi B – Bodak yellow (money moves)
  41. The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer 
  42. Lil Uzi Vert – XO Tour Llif3 
  43. Drake – Passionfruit 
  44. Demi Lovato – Sorry not sorry 
  45. Rag n’ Bone Man – Human 
  46. Portugal. The Man – Feel it still 
  47. Alessia Cara – Scars to your beautiful 
  48. Taylor Swift - …Ready for it? 
  49. Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – Chained to the rhythm
  50. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane – Black Beatles 
Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Xposition - November, 2017


The awards season was in full swing this November. First up was the 2017 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. Chris Stapleton was the big winner of the night winning Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for From a Room: Volume 1. The other winners were:
·         Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
·         New Artist of the Year: Jon Pardi
·         Entertainer of the Year: Garth Brooks
·         Single of the Year: Keith Urban – Blue ain’t your color
·         Song of the Year: Little Big Town – Better man
·         Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
·         Music Video of the Year: Brothers Osborne – It ain’t my fault
·         Musical Event of the Year: Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson – Funny how time slips away

Next up we have the MTV European Music Awards which was hosted by Rita Ora at the Wembley Arena, London. She gave a brilliant performance of her songs Your Song and new hit Anywhere and was also bestowed with the Power of Music Award. Other good performances of the night were Camila Cabello’s Havana, Eminem and Skylar Grey’s Walk on Water, Shawn Mendes’ There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back and Clean Bandit’s medley of Symphony, Rockabye and I Miss You with Zara Larsson, Anne-Marie and Julia Michaels. Shawn Mendes was the big winner of the night taking home four awards including Best Artist and Best Song for There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back. Other significant wins include:
·         Best Video: Kendrick Lamar – Humble
·         Best New Artist: Dua Lipa
·         Best Pop: Camila Cabello
·         Best Electronic: David Guetta
·         Best Rock: Coldplay
·         Best Hip-Hop: Eminem
·         Global Icon: U2

The 2017 Latin Grammys were also held in November with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee both leading with 4 awards for their mega hit Despacito winning Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban/Fusion Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. Some of the best performances of the night included CNCO with Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos), Luis Fonsi, Bomba Estéreo, Victor Manuelle and Diplo with Despacito and Maluma with Felices Los 4. Some of the other significant winners were:
·        Album of the Year: Rubén Blades with Roberto Delgado & Orquesta – Salsa Big Band
·         Best New Artist: Vincente Garcia
·         Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album: Shakira – El Dorado
·         Producer of the Year: Eduardo Cabra
·         Best Urban Song: Residente – Somos Anormales

The 2017 American Music Awards is the final major award ceremony for the year. Bruno Mars had an almost clean sweep grabbing 7 out of his 8 nominations of the night including Artist of the Year, Favorite Male Artist Pop/Rock, Favorite Male Artist R&B/Soul and Video of the Year for That’s What I Like. There were amazing performances by Marshmello and Selena Gomez with Wolves, Imagine Dragons and Khalid with a mashup of Thunder and Young, Dumb and Broke, BTS with DNA and Diana Ross who was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award sang a medley of her hits I’m Coming Out, Take Me Higher, Ease on Down the Road, The Best Years of My Life and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The other major wins include:
·         New Artist of the Year: Niall Horan
·    Collaboration of the Year: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
·         Tour of the Year: Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
·         Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock: Lady Gaga
·    Favorite Song - Pop/Rock: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
·         Favorite Artist - Rap/Hip-Hop: Drake
·         Favorite Artist - Latin: Shakira
·         Favorite Artist - Electronic Dance Music: The Chainsmokers
·         Favorite Soundtrack: Moana

Lastly in awards news, we have the most anticipated nominations in music - Grammys. The 2018 Grammy Nominations were announced at the end of the month with Jay-Z leading with 8 nominations followed by Kendrick Lamar with 7 and Bruno Mars with 6. The following are the nominees under the 4 main categories:
1.       Record of the Year
·         Childish Gambino – Redbone
·         Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
·         Jay-Z – The story of O.J.
·         Kendrick Lamar – Humble.
·         Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
2.       Album of the Year
·         Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love
·         Jay-Z – 4:44
·         Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
·         Lorde – Melodrama
·         Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
3.       Song of the Year
·         Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito
·         Jay-Z – 4:44
·         Julia Michaels – Issues
·         Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255
·         Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
4.       Best New Artist
·         Alessia Cara
·         Khalid
·         Lil Uzi Vert
·         Julia Michaels
·         SZA

In other news, Selena Gomez was named the Billboard’s 2017 Woman of the Year. The singer was honored at the annual Women in Music gala at the end of the month. This year the Rising Star was awarded to 2016 America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal.  The other honorees were:
·         Rulebreaker Award – Kehlani
·         Icon of the Year – Mary J. Blige
·         Breakthrough – Camila Cabello
·         Powerhouse – Kelly Clarkson

Meanwhile in chart news, in the US, Post Malone ft. 21 Savage’s Rockstar reigned supreme throughout the month although Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug’s Havana peaked at No.2 and came extremely close to dethroning Rockstar. During the month Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé’s Perfect, Lil Pump’s Gucci Gang and Maroon 5 ft. SZA’s What Lovers Do all entered the top 10.  

In the UK, Rockstar opened the month at the top although here Camila Cabello managed to overthrow Post Malone and stayed at the top for the remainder of the month. During the month Rita Ora’s Anywhere, Charlie Puth’s How Long and Eminem ft. Beyoncé’s Walk on Water all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were: 
1.       Selena Gomez & Marshmello – Wolves
2.       Big Shaq – Man’s not hot
3.       Taylor Swift – Call it what you want
4.       Clean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels – I miss you
5.       NF – Let you down
6.       Sam Smith – One last song
7.       Post Malone – I fall apart 

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Ultimate Christmas Party Playlist


Tis the season to down the eggnog, snog under the mistletoe and of course rock around the Christmas tree to some awesome jingle bell rock. The yuletide brings with it office parties, family lunches and dinners and gatherings of friends. Such parties need uptempo music and not slow carols like Silver Bells, Silent Night and Joy to the World. This compilation provides you with the best Christmas party songs and if the original is too slow the best version for a party. 

Taking the crown is Jessica Simpson's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, originally sung by Brenda Lee. At a close second place is A*Teens' I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, originally by Wizzard. The only two carols to make it to the list are Boney M's versions of Mary's Boy Child and Zion's Daughter. While we have the usual songs such as Jingle Bell Rock, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town to the newer ones such as Santa's Coming for Us, Santa Tell Me and Underneath the Tree. So here are the top 40 songs for a Christmas party:
  1. Jessica Simpson – Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
  2. A* Teens – I wish it could be Christmas everyday 
  3. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Jingle bell rock
  4. Jane Krakowski – Run run Rudolph
  5. Boney M – Feliz navidad
  6. Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is you
  7. Justin Bieber – Santa Claus is coming to town 
  8. Britney Spears – My only wish (this year)
  9. Chris Young – Christmas (Baby please come home) 
  10. Jane Krakowski – I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus 
  11. Boney M – Mary’s boy child/Oh my Lord 
  12. Elton John – Step into Christmas 
  13. Hillary Duff – Sleigh ride 
  14. Sia – Santa’s coming for us 
  15. Cascada – Last Christmas 
  16. Jackson 5 – Frosty the snowman
  17. Kylie Minogue – Christmas isn’t Christmas till you get here
  18. Selena Gomez and the Scene – Winter wonderland 
  19. Steps – Merry X-mas everybody 
  20. Spice Girls – Christmas wrapping 
  21. Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas everyone 
  22. Jim Reeves – Merry Christmas polka 
  23. Pussycat Dolls – Santa baby 
  24. Lady Antebellum – Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 
  25. Kelly Clarkson – Underneath the tree 
  26. Michael Bublé  – Jingle Bells 
  27. Kylie Minogue – At Christmas 
  28. Sia – Ho ho ho 
  29. Glee Cast – Here comes Santa Claus 
  30. Boney M – Zion’s daughter 
  31. Echosmith ft. Hunter Hayes – Happy Xmas (War is over) 
  32. Jim Reeves – Dear Senor Santa Claus 
  33. NSYNC – Merry Christmas, happy holidays 
  34. Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton – You make me feel like Christmas 
  35. Leona Lewis – One more sleep
  36. Ariana Grande – Santa tell me 
  37. Destiny’s Child – 8 days of Christmas  
  38. Mariah Carey – Oh Santa 
  39. LeAnne Rimes – Must be Santa 
  40. Katy Perry – Every day is a holiday 

Till the next carol...

At Ease!!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Xposition - October, 2017


The month of October commenced with a tragedy where 58 people were shot dead and around 546 injured in a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival. The shooting took place when headliner Jason Aldean was performing and the death toll makes this the largest mass shooting in US history passing the 49 killed in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The perpetrator Stephen Paddock was a former auditor and real estate businessman who was gunned down during the shooting.

In more tragic news, US musician Tom Petty passed away at the age of 66. He was found in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home, but could not be revived at the hospital. Petty was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and was also a co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys in the late 1980s.

The BET Hip Hop Awards 2017 took place in October where Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled and Cardi B were all leading the nomination with 9 nods each. However, the show’s most memorable moment was when Eminem dissed President Donald Trump in a freestyle rap calling out the leader for focusing on the NFL players’ protest during the national anthem instead of Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The big wins of the night include:
·         Best Hip Hop Video: Kendrick Lamar – Humble.
·         Best Collab: DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild thoughts
·         Lyricist of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
·         DJ of the Year: DJ Khaled
·         Single of the Year: J. White Did It – Bodak Yellow (Cardi B)
·         Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar – Damn.
·         Best New Hip Hop Artist: Cardi B
·         Impact Track: Jay-Z – The story of O.J.

The BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards 2017 winners were also held in October with brilliant performances by Dua Lipa, James Arthur, Liam Payne, Rita Ora and Camila Cabello. Dua Lipa took the coveted Best British Single for New Rules while Ed Sheeran was honoured as the Best British Solo Artist. Among the other winners were:
·         Most Entertaining Celeb: Stormzy
·         Best International Group: The Chainsmokers
·         Best British Group: Little Mix
·         Best International Solo Artist: Ariana Grande

The big winners of the night at the 2017 Latin American Music Awards were Enrique Iglesias, Prince Royce and new boy band CNCO. There were incredible performances by Camila Cabello with her new hit Havana and Pitbull and Fifth Harmony took to the stage to perform their new collab Por Favor. Pitbull was honoured with the first ever Dick Clark Achievement Award for his contribution to the Latin music industry. Other winners of the night were:
·         Artist of the Year: Enrique Iglesias
·         Song of the Year: Prince Royce & Shakira – Déjà vu
·         Album of the Year: CNCO – Primera Cita
·      Favorite Collaboration: Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno, Zion & Lennox – Súbeme La Radio
·         Favorite Artist-Urban: J Balvin
·         Favorite Song-Pop/Rock: CNCO – Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos)
·         Favorite Crossover Artist: Selena Gomez

Taylor Swift leads the nominations for the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards with six nods followed by Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes. Rita Ora is to host the event this year and will be performing one or more of her latest hits. Swift who scored her first No.1 in the UK with Look What You Made Me Do is up for Best US Act, Best Artist, Best Look, Best Pop, Biggest Fans and Best Video.

Nominations for the 45th annual American Music Awards were also released with Bruno Mars leading the nominations with 8 followed by Drake, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd. Diana Ross former lead singer of The Supremes and Motown legacy with a monumental solo career after her girl band days will be bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the end of the ceremony.

It was confirmed by Justin Timberlake on his Twitter account that he will in fact be headlining the Super Bowl LII halftime show in 2018. JT will literally have big boots to fill after the critically acclaimed powerful performance of Lady Gaga at the 2017 halftime show. However, this is not the first time JT will be at the Super Bowl as he was the culprit of the infamous Nipplegate. This was when during his stint with Janet Jackson in 2004 (who headlined the show), JT accidentally ripped Janet’s outfit to expose her breast.

In the US, Cardi B opened the month at the top with her debut hit Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) which removed Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Do from the helm. It continued its reign for 2 more weeks before being replaced by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage’s Rockstar. During the month Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry entered the top which became her highest charting single in the US peaking at No.6 and she was joined in the top 10 by Portugal. The Man’s Feel It Still, Imagine Dragons’ Thunder and J Balvin & Willy William ft. Beyonce’s Mi Gente.  

In the UK, Sam Smith’s Too Good at Goodbye’s continued its reign into the first week of October after which Post Malone dethroned Smith with his global hit Rockstar which remained at the top for the rest of the month. During the month Logic ft. Alessa Cara & Khalid’s 1-800-273-8255, Mabel ft. Kojo Funds’ Finders Keepers, Marshmello ft. Khaild’s Silence and Stefflon Don ft. French Montana’s Hurtin’ Me all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       Rita Ora – Anywhere
2.       Charlie Puth – How long
3.       Liam Payne – Bedroom floor
4.       Louis Tomlinson – Just like you
5.       Taylor Swift – Gorgeous
6.       Maroon 5 ft. ASAP Rocky – Whiskey
7.    RedOne ft. French Montana, Daddy Yankee & Dinah Jane – Boom boom 

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Xposition - September, 2017


The month of September opened with the announcement of the nominations for the 51st Annual CMA Awards with Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert leading with five nods each competing against each other in 3 categories: Music Video of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year. Little Big Town is close behind with four nods which also helps Taylor Swift garner a nomination at the awards in three years after her transition from County to Pop for her songwriter credits for Better Man. The awards will take place on 08 November hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

The coveted Mercury Prize 2017 was awarded to Sampha’s Process. His win is quite significant as he battled for this award against the short listed fan favorites Ed Sheeran and Stormzy as well as 9 other nominees including Blossoms, J Hus, Kate Tempest and The xx. Actor Idris Elba gave Sampha his £25,000 prize at a ceremony with performances from the shortlisted artists at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.

The Latin Recording Academy has decided to bestow Lifetime Achievement Awards on the Macarena hit makers Los Del Rio along with Lucecita Benitez, Ilan Chester, Victor Heredia, Guadalupe Pineda, Cuco Valoy and Joao Bosco as a prelude to the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards which will be held in November.

The Corrs announced their much awaited comeback through their seventh studio album Jupiter Calling which shall be preceded with a show at the Royal Albert Hall. The Corrs are not the only ones who had returned to the studio, as Shania Twain announced her fifth studio album Now 14 years after her last album.

Linkin Park announced that a special show in honor of their former member Chester Bennington titled Linkin Park and friends will be held in October to celebrate the life of the 41 year lead vocalist of the band who committed suicide earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Demi Lovato was named a Global Citizen Ambassador at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival. She along with the fund will expansion of a Save the Children pilot program, Healing and Education through the Arts, to violence scarred youth living in Iraq’s Kirkuk and Salah al Din areas.

The latest victims of copyright law suit are Taylor Swift and Mark Ronson. The songwriters behind 3LW’s Playas Gon’ Play Sean Hall and Nathan Butler has sued the female superstar over her hit Shake It Off. This may be a tough one for the songwriters to win as the Copyright Act does not protect short phrases including catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans or short advertising expressions. Ronson was sued by Lastrada Entertainment Company Ltd, the music publishing house that holds the copyright for Zapp’s More Bounce to the Ounce, which claims that most parts of the 2015 year-end no.1 was copied from Zapp’s 1980 classic. Lastrada is seeking damages of up to USD 150,000 per infringement, a permanent injunction against profiting from the alleged infringement and a jury trial on the matter.

Avril Lavigne has been named the most dangerous person online. Cybersecurity firm McAfee said that Lavigne is the most likely celebrity to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware. Bruno Mars was second on the list followed by Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik and Celine Dion.

Moving onto chart news, in the US, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber’s Despacito continued its reign at the top accumulating 16 weeks at the top and tying the record of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s One Sweet Day for the most number of weeks spent at No.1 in the US. Despacito could have broken this record by spending a 17th week at the top if not for the ascension of Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do, which soared to the top of the charts with huge sales in its second week. It remained at the top for the remainder of the month. During the month Liam Payne featuring Quavo’s Strip That Down, Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj’s Rake It Up and Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid’s 1-800-273-8255 all entered the top 10.

In the UK, Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do started off the month at the top which effectively ended the reign of Dua Lipa’s New Rules. Swift was dethroned in the third week by Sam Smith’s Too Good at Goodbyes which ruled for the next two weeks of the month. During the month Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry, Zayn & Sia’s Dusk Till Dawn and Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug’s Havana all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       Taylor Swift – …Ready for it?
2.       Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – Rockstar
3.       Avicii ft. Rita Ora – Lonely together
4.       Macklemore ft. Kesha – Good old days
5.       Mabel ft. Kojo Funds – Finders keepers
6.       Maroon 5 ft. SZA – What lovers do

7.       Khalid – Young, dumb & broke

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Xposition - August, 2017


The month of August was all about Taylor Swift. Not about the old Taylor though, cause she’s dead. Not much has changed about the new Taylor, except for maybe a haircut. She is still vindictive and self-obsessed as ever. However, now she has clearly embraced all the mud that was slung at her in the past two years. On the heels of winning her sexual assault case against ex-radio DJ David Mueller for groping her at a 2013 concert, Swift blacked out her social media before teasing her fans with GIFs of a snake, which everyone assumed was Kim Kardashian’s reference to her as a snake in the Kanye-Swift Famous debacle.

She next revealed that her newest album would be titled Reputation with its lead single Look What You Made Me Do released soon after. The lyric video itself gained more than 19 million views on YouTube within 24 hours breaking the record of Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s Something Just Like This. The official video premiered at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards where she went on a rampage with her contemptuous references to Calvin Harris, Kanye West, Kim Kardashia, DJ David Mueller, Katy Perry, the mainstream media and concluding the video with scathing remarks at her old self. The official video became the most watched music video within 24 hours with over 43 million views and breaking the record of Psy’s Gentleman which had only 38 million views. (The chart performance of the song will only be available for September).

As said earlier the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards was held this year with less drama than usual. Pink was bestowed with the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award which she accepted after a medley of her hits and concluding with an emotional driven performance of her newest single What About Us. Other great performances of the night included Julia Michael’s Issues, Kendrick Lamar’s medley of DNA and Humble, Logic, Khalid and Alessia Cara’s 1-800-273-8255 and Shawn Mendes’ There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back. Kendrick Lamar who led the nominations with 8 also won the most awards with 6 including Video of the Year and Best Hip Hop Video for Humble. Ed Sheeran won Artist of the Year while Khalid won Best New Artist. The other significant wins of the night included:
·         Best Collaboration: Taylor Swift & Zayn – I don’t wanna live forever
·         Best Pop Video: Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – Down
·         Best Dance Video: Zedd ft. Alessia Cara – Stay
·         Best Rock Video: Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul
·         Song of the Summer: Lil Uzi Vert – XO tour llif3

The Teen Choice Awards 2017 were also held in August where Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber received the most nods. Great performances of the night included Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson on a medley of their hits Rockabye and Symphony and French Montana, Swae Lee and Rae Sremmurd on a medley of Unforgettable and Black Beatles. Harry Styles and Ariana Grande won Choice Male and Female Artist respectively while Fifth Harmony won for Choice Music Group. Some other important award recipients were:
·         Choice Country Artist: Carrie Underwood
·         Choice Electronic/Dance Artist: Calvin Harris
·         Choice Latin Artist: CNCO
·         Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Artist: Beyonce
·         Choice Rock Artist: Harry Styles
·         Choice Song Female: Camila Cabello – Crying in the club
·         Choice Song Male: Niall Horan – Slow hands
·         Choice Song Group: Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – Down
·         Choice Collaboration: Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson – Just hold on
·         Choice Breakout Artist: Chance the Rapper

During the month of August the video of Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber’s Despacito passed Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth’s See You Again as the most watched music video in the world and also passed 3-billion views. It is considered the most viral video of all time reaching this mark within a span of only 8 months. It is also the most liked video on YouTube.  

In terms of musical talent, the biggest music content is coming to Asia. The first ever Asia Pacific Eurovision Song Contest was announced as Eurovision Asia was formally launched with 20 countries coming together to compete in an annual grand finale. Another music show called Your Song was announced by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment to be hosted by Big Brother and The Voice host Emma Willis. The show is for the public to nominate people who think they deserve the performance of a lifetime from their musical hero.

In August, Country music bid farewell to another legend as Glen Campbell passed away at the age of 81, following his long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Campbell will be remembered as one of those rare breeds that brought Country music to the mainstream with a Pop infusion and influenced the artists of today such as Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett and even Taylor Swift. 

Moving onto chart news, in the US, Despacito ruled the roost accumulating a whopping 14 weeks at the top. Meanwhile, Charlie Puth’s Attention and Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) all entered the top 10. In the UK, Despacito regained its top position which it lost to DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller’s Wild Thoughts but after two weeks was dethroned by the all-star collaboration Feels by Calvin Harris featuring Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean. The final week saw Dua Lipa’s addictive New Rules reach the pole position. During the month Pink’s What About Us, CNCO & Little Mix’s Reggaeton Lento, J Balvin and Willy William’s Mi Gente and Justin Bieber & Bloodpop’s Friends all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       James Hype ft. Kelli-Leigh – More than friends
2.       Louis Tomlinson ft. Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals – Back to you
3.       Echosmith – Goodbye
4.       Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255
5.       Portugal. The Man – Feel it still
6.       Kesha – Learn to let go

7.       Macklemore ft. Skylar Grey – Glorious 

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Latin Resurgence


Despacito is the newest buzz word in town for any dance party. The global phenomenon of this titanic hit has led to the mainstream resurgence of a genre that has been dormant for sometime. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee never expected their music video to go viral, neither did they expect the Justin Bieber remix of the song to become one of the best-selling singles of all time. 

Latin music has been a genre since the 1940s but it was only in the 1980s that it became quite popular with hits from Julio Iglesias, Juan Gabriel, Roberto Carlos and Celia Cruz. The early 90s saw the gradual rise and decline of Eurodance wherein certain hits were infused with Latin music. Selena's contribution to Latin music via her push for Tejano was short lived following her tragic death in 1995. 

By the mid 90s it was clear that Latin music was here to stay with the mega hit Los Del Rio's Macarena taking the world by storm with its Bayside Boys Mix. The hit which was accompanied by a step dance and a memorable music video was the biggest hit of the 90s. Post Macarena era witnessed Latin Pop becoming the ambassador for Latin music in the mainstream. Young artists such as Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony and Shakira entered the mainstream with monumental force in the late 90s and ruled the charts in the early 2000s. Particularly songs such as Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca, Iglesias' Bailamos and Shakira's Hips Don't Lie made a massive impact on the charts. 

After Latin Pop's gradual decline, Reggaeton took over in the mid 2000s with artists such as Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel and Nina Sky. However, while their songs were a staple on the dance floor at the time, they did not make much of an impact on the charts. The last of the sub-genres of Latin music to crossover to the mainstream was Bachata where Prince Royce and Romeo Santos are making a recognizable impact. After 2010, Latin music was all but in the past, with no real presence in the charts except for the one off hit by either Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez or Shakira. 

In 2014, Iglesias made a huge comeback with Bailando which soared to the top in many charts and was a global floorfiller at parties. However, it never managed to score success in the charts that mattered - US, UK and Australia. While proving to be definitely one of the best Latin songs of all time, it was evident that the mainstream was not ready to embrace Latin music as a whole. 

All of this changed with Despacito. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's original Spanish version did not fare all that well in the English speaking countries. However, the Bieber remix proved to be more successful than the collaborators ever imagined. Justin Bieber not only contributed his vocals to the remix perfecting the Spanish lines, his association with the single alongside the fact that he is the most influential and successful artist of yesteryear not to forget the fact that he is also the most sought after artist to be featured at present made this song the Song of the Summer of 2017 and also equaled a record which was set in 1995. 

With Despacito it is clear that Latin music is enjoying more popularity than before. The first song to experience this is J Balvin and Willy William's Mi Gente. Next up we have Iglesias re-releasing his Súbeme la Radio as a Spanglish version with X Factor winner Matt Terry and Sean Paul. This was followed by Jennifer Lopez's newest single Ni Tú Ni Yo. The last to enter this party was Little Mix where they collaborated with the new Latin boy band sensation CNCO and re-released a Spanglish version of the latter's hit Reggaetón Lento. 

Others that could possibly join this fold include Pitbull, Shakira, Sean Paul, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Don Omar, Wisin, Camila Cabello, Kat DeLuna and even Ricky Martin who might use this opportunity to make his long awaited comeback. All in all this resurgence could very well be a result of the mainstream swaying gradually towards a more tropical taste given the rise of Reggae Fusion as well as tropical beats entering Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B and Rap. It could also be just a fluke with the recent resurgence attributable to the Bieber Remix of Despacito. At the end of the day we will have to wait and see, whether Latin music is here to stay in the mainstream or will disappear as soon as whence it came. 

Till the next rhythm...

At Ease!!!