Scissor Sisters – ‘Only The Horses’ (prod. Calvin Harris & Alex Ridha)


Taken off their forthcoming album, ‘Magic Hour’, Scissor Sisters have premiered the next single moments ago on Fearne Cotton’s Radio 1 show. Slightly different to the Kanye West track I gave you all this Good Friday morning, but still a really good track for me! Calvin’s impact on the track is obvious, one of the best working producers in my view, this is coming close to ‘We Found Love’! Production also coming from Alex Ridha, from Boys Noize, completes the track, and although it’s a  probable chart climber, it maintains a different feel to a dead-cert number 1.

On Calvin, front man Jake Shears said, “”I’ve known Calvin for quite a while, we met originally making some music with Kylie for the ‘Aphrodite’ album. He’s just a lovely guy, he’s so wonderful.”

The track is due to be released on 13th May, with the album on May 28th. The album features very talented people, not just Calvin and Alex Ridha. None other Pharrell Williams! Shears told Fearne: “I was a little bit intimidated, because I think Pharrell’s really amazing… dare I say it, I think it might be some of our best work on this album.”

Calvin Harris – Let’s Go (ft. Ne-Yo)


I happen to love Calvin Harris. Don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed one of his songs, and his next single, ‘Let’s Go’ is no exception. ‘Let’s Go’ is the third single from his upcoming album, and feels exactly like a number 1, if I’m honest, it feels like ‘We Found Love’. Don’t hold that against the track though, just enjoy it.

Dizzee Rascal added to Wakestock headliners!


The third and final headliner at this years Wakestock Festival has been announced this morning – and from the title, you’ll be able to see that it’s Dizzee Rascal!

He joins, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris, for the North Wales festival, from the 6th-8th July!

Bex Tappin (Wakestock spokeswoman) said on Dizzee’s announcement, “We’re mega excited to welcome legendary rapper, songwriter and record producer Dizzee Rascal to Wakestock 2012,” adding, “Dizzee is a Wakestock favourite after paying us a visit back in 2009 where as well as proving to be a top man, he made the crowd go wild with a set that included smash hits Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me.”

On Sheeran, who’d performed there last year, she said Wakestock were “honoured” to have him back again this year!

And on Harris: “Calvin’s sets are something to behold and he’s sure to get the party going at Wakestock this summer.”

More acts to be announced soon!

Interesting, in that Glastonbury, Big Chill have both decided to stop for this year – due to the Olympics and everything that comes with that. So, it’s nice to see a festival getting fairly big acts to headline there!

Festival Announcements | Coachella (California)


arguably one of the most well know international festivals worldwide has announced it’s line-up. To proceed Kanye, Arcade Fire and Kings Of Leon last year, it’s managed to pull out some more massive names.

Main headliners – The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

Bon Iver, Madness, Florence And The Machine, Justice, Arctic Monkeys and The Horrors, Calvin Harris, Nero, Swedish House Mafia, Frank Ocean, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are the other main names to be playing.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to even consider going, I have a whole lot of envy for you. Great line-up! Especially in a year without Glastonbury and Oxygen, it seems big acts are going to be more available this year?

Full line-up below.Image

 

Top 50 Singles of 2011!


This opening is effectively a disclaimer. These are my Top 50 Singles, I didn’t get any outside opinions, as I really couldn’t be bothered to spend time putting a poll together. Also, the shortlist was put together in a couple of hours, so I may have made a big mistakes in leaving a couple of great singles out. But I’m pretty pleased with the 50, and I could reorder them tomorrow, and they’d probably come out in a different order – so keep that in mind. Right, on with the countdown.

50. Chris Brown ft. Benni Benassi – Beautiful People.

Released: 11th March 2011/Charted: #4Image

I’d like to state for the record, that I thoroughly despise Chris Brown, especially as a person. He’s nicked one of my favourite all-time tracks, ‘I’m Not Alone’, and used it in one of his ‘own’ songs. And the obvious reason, of being a woman-beater. But to be fair to him, this is a belter (all puns intended). Even Calvin admitted he loved it, despite Brown earlier taking parts of his track – apparently they’re ‘best mates’ now?

49. Katy B – Broken Record.

Released: 25th March 2011/Charted: #8Image

There’s been a lot of hype around Katy B this year, and for good reason too. NNE, The Guardian and lots of other critics loved her album. Which, if I’m honest, I found strange. I mean, I liked the album, not loved, just liked. But I thought it would have been an album critics would’ve slated? Anyway, ‘Katy On A Mission’ is by far her most recognised, and my favourite, track – but it was released in 2010. So, this is my second choice, and it’s a very good second choice. I could’ve also picked ‘Lights On’ or ‘Easy Please Me’, which shows the multi-genred singer’s consistency to produce great singles.

48. Jai Paul – BTSTU.

Image

Released: 21st April 2011/Charted: #139

This track went absolutely massive in late 2010/early 2011, with seemingly every Radio 1 DJ expressing their love for it. Zane Lowe had it as his ‘Hottest Track In The World’, and I’m pretty sure Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’ too. Annie Mac also include it on her ‘Annie Mac Presents 2011’ compilation album. And perhaps most impresively of all, Drake and Beyonce have sampled it on their own tracks.

47.  The Vaccines – Norgaard.

Image

Released: 19th August 2011/ Charted: #84

The surprisingly short single release (1:39) off their brilliant album, ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’, features, in my view, one of the best hooks of the year: “Her mind’s made up/ She don’t wanna go steady/ She’s only 17/ So she’s probably not ready.” It’s not the most intellectually challenging hook – but since when did that matter. I see it as a great song to sing, especially when drunk.

Image46.  Fenech-Soler – Stop And Stare.

Released: 15th April 2011/ Charted: ?

It’s been a right up-and-down year for the amazingly talented Fenech-Soler. In March, Ben Duffy, was diagnosed with testicular cancer – which luckily, he fully recovered from. But it did result in the cancellation of their planned 9 date UK tour – but obviously on the wider scale of the things, it didn’t really matter. All proceeds of ‘Stop And Stare’ were donated to ‘The Teenage Cancer Trust’ – which I think is just amazingly thoughtful. The band would have been forgiven for slowing down, but they came back in the summer, and remarkably played at 23 festivals, including V Festival and Glasto.

Image

45. Kasabian – Re-Wired.

Released: 20th October 2011/Charted: #96

Re-Wired is the second single off of Kasabian’s album ‘Velociraptor!’ Obviously, the decline in guitar/band based music has meant it didn’t achieve anywhere near what their previous albums did, which is an actual shame. But chart positions aren’t everything, and to be honest, it was just great to see Kasabian back. Especially in this track, as it beautifully features Noel Fielding on a bike.

Image

44. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream.

Released: 3rd March 2011/ Charted: #136

It was always going to be tough for James Blake to follow up ‘Limit To Your Love’ – which drew in large amounts of people, and it seemed to split people down the middle. Some loved, some hated. Well, I loved it – and the album, which is one of the best from 2011. It didn’t have the success it deserved, probably as it was available on the album before the single release date, but it just didn’t get the same hype that his previous single had rightly got.

Image43. Jamie Woon – Lady Luck. 

Released: 21st February 2011/Charted: #76

‘Mirrorwriting’ is Jamie Woon’s debut album received a great reception, and it backed up the 4th place in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 poll. It’s so obvious he’s talented, and Lady Luck has always been my favourite from him. If you haven’t heard or listened to Jamie, then please buy ‘Mirrorwriting’ – you really cannot go wrong.

Image42. Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.

Released: (digitally) 16th April 2011/Charted: #28

This, I’m sure would have been a contender for number one. But it was released the day/day after of it’s first ever radio play, and only digitally. This meant there was very little promo time, and they were limited in how many people could buy it. But it’s Arctic Monkeys, anything they do is right in my view. It was the lead single to their ‘Suck It And See’ album, which again for me, doesn’t do what the Arctic Monkeys do best. But as I said, it’s the Arctic Monkeys, they can’t be bad – ever.

Image41.  – Aloe Blacc – Loving You Is Killing Me.

Released: 7th March 2011/ Charted: # ?

Much like James Blake, how Aloe Blacc could ever match the success of ‘I Need A Dollar’, I don’t know. But this track gives it a fairly good go at matching it musically anyway. It’s one of the many great songs off Aloe’s album ‘Good Things’ – a much recommended album to buy.

Image40. Hard-Fi – Good For Nothing.

Released: 17th June 2011/Charted: #51

Similarly to Kasabian, we saw a return from the brilliant Hard-Fi in 2011, with their album ‘Killer Sounds’. I was lucky enough to catch them at V Festival where they put in a great set on a small little stage. But I can’t help imagining the size of stage they would’ve been on off the back of their debut album ‘Stars Of CCTV’ though. However, the sinlge is great and so is the album, so check out both if you haven’t already!

Image39. Olly Murs ft.Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat.

Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #1

This is the first UK Charting #1 in my Top 50, but if this was a year ago, an Olly Murs song would’ve been no-where near my Top 50. But his 2011 campaign has converted me some-what. I find him so lovable, so hard to dislike now. Even Example realised how nice he was this summer at V Festival, after hating him for so long. Also, the way he added to Rizzle Kicks’ budding success in summer was a great touch.

Image38. Avicii – Levels.

Released: 28th October 2011/Charted: #4

Got to admit, didn’t know anything about this track, or where it came from. All I know is, it’s such a great summer anthem. Just a shame it’s been released in late October really. But I really look forward to what the Swedish house producer has to offer next!

Image37. Yasmin – Finish Line.

Released: 8th May 2011/Charted: #13

I’ve been a big fan of Yasmin ever since she was announced as a support act for Example on one of his earlier tours – and there’s no doubt of her immense talent! If she doesn’t have a very successful 2012, I’d be very surprised!

Image36. Chase & Status ft. Delilah – Time.

Released: 29th April 2011/Charted: #21

Truly brilliant track this. But what more could you expect from Chase & Status and Delilah. Time is just one of the great collaboration on one of the biggest album of the year, ‘No More Idols’! Oh, and it’s not the only time (this time there was not pun intended) Chase & Status or Delilah feature on this Top 50!

Image35. Magnetic Man ft. P Money – Anthemic.

Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #50

Originally released on Magnetic Man’s self-titled album, Anthemic was then released as a single, but this time incorporating P Money. It’s really worked a treat, possibly an unexpected successful collaboration. It still keeps the, funnily enough, anthemic sound from the Magnetic Man trio, but also then added a grime edge to it – which worked brilliantly.

Image34. Coldplay – Paradise.

Released: 12th September 2011/Charted: #2

Like ‘Don’t Sit Down…’, ‘Paradise’ didn’t get the immediate chart success, as it was available for free when pre-ordering Coldplay’s newest album, ‘Mylo Xlyoto’. But since is chart eligible date, it’s had great success, and is currently riding high in the iTunes charts still – when I last looked it was above Little Mix. Thank God. It is a really addictive track, which has to be one of my favourite Coldplay tracks, just after ‘Fix You’.

Image33. Nero – Promises.

Released: 5th August 2011/Charted: #1

The track which took Dubstep to number 1. It’s a massive song, and not just in terms of it being a great single – it’s effectively a landmark for Dubstep, in a year which has seen it take of massively. Partly down to Nero. Number 1 album and single really showed doubters that Dubstep can be properly commercially successful.

Image32. Nero – Guilt.

Released: 22nd April 2011/Charted: #8

A Nero double here. I imagine if I reordered some time in the near future, I would’ve placed ‘Guilt’ and ‘Promises’ a bit higher, but ah well. 32 and 33 isn’t too bad really. ‘Guilt’ is, well, just massive. There’s not really a better way to describe it. Nero at their best for me! (They will also feature as the producers of a single later on, ant guesses?)

Image31. Ed Sheeran – Lego House.

Released: 11th November/Charted: #5

This single is the first entry from the immensely talented Ed Sheeran! (Read here about his ground-braking 2011: https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/who-does-2011-belong-to-ed-sheeran/) It may seem low, but he has 2 other singles in my Top 50 so, it’s not too bad. This one will probably be remembered for it’s video. Staring Rupert Grint as a weird stalker of Ed Sheeran. It’s just an instant classic!

Image30. Emeli Sande – Daddy.

Released: 27th November 2011/Charted: #21

Emeli is by far one of the most talented singers in the world. That’s a big statement I know. But watch her this year, and you’ll be agreeing very soon! Her album will put so many other artists to shame early next year. But for now, we have to make do with ‘Heaven’, and her latest single, ‘Daddy’. I was unsure which to put in here, but went for ‘Daddy’ as it shows her amazing consistency. (Again, she’ll be back on this list, as a featured artists this time.)

Image29. Wiley – Numbers In Action.

Released: 5th April 2011/Charted: # ?

A single release from Wiley’s 7th (yes, 7th!) album. And he kept the standards we expect from one of the most influencial grime artists -if not raised them! Great beat, and ever greater lyrics. Oh, and the video’s great. Just generally great really.

Image28. Jay Z and Kanye West – Otis.

Released: 20th July 2011/Charted: #28

The lead single from the massive ‘Watch The Throne’ collaboration album. And surprisingly, the single was massive as well. Jay and Kanye at, if not their best, very close to it! Get ready for more collabing between these two in 2012! (https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/jay-z-and-kanye-to-release-solo-albums-oh-and-a-second-watch-the-throne-all-in-2012/)

Image27. Delilah – Go.

Released: 6th September/Charted: #17

An amazing debut single from the beautifully talented Delilah. Obviously known from her collab with Chase & Status with ‘Time’ featured at Number 36 earlier. This time it’s her track which enters the Top 50. It really is a stunningly soulful track from her! Much like Emeli Sande, watch out for her in 2012! (again, not the last time you’ll see Delilah in this post!)

Image26. SBTRKT – Wildfire.

Released: 23rd May 2011/Charted: # ?

One of the hottest producers out there right now, already with a brilliant, and critically acclaimed studio album out! If you haven;t bought it, I now urge you to! Wildfire was released as a single, and luckily it also happens to be my favourite from the self-titled album.

Image25. Sway – Still Speedin’

Released: 4th December 2011/Charted: #19

Another showcase of the diversity of British music in 2011. I can’t really think of anything similar to ‘Still Speedin” really. Which again shows the originality, which can often be ignored when pummelled with X-Factor finalists. Wish it charted higher to be fair, 19’s great, but it deserved more!

Image24. Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump.

Released: 16th December/Charted: #18 (so far!)

This is the first of two individual entries from the hottest duo in music right now. Their rise of success has been failry sudden. In the last 6 months, it’s really taken off for them, and right so! I’ve met them, and they are so down to earth, and exactly how they seem in the cheeky, yet great, videos and songs – and Mama Do The Hump epitomizes that!

Image23. Lewi White ft. Ed Sheeran, Devlin, Griminal and Yasmin – Young Guns.

Released: 8th July 2011/Charted: # 86

A fairly unknown track, unless you’re big fans of these artists. But it’s a track all of you should learn about! Premièred on Mistajam’s show a while back in summer, it showcases UK at it’s finest. Ed was still fairly unknown at this point, so it was even more underground than you might have thought.

Image22. Maverick Sabre – Let Me Go.

Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #16

The debut single release from the versatile and massively talented Maverick Sabre. A release which drew large amounts of new fans in, especially the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show Team, who’ve had him on the show a couple of times – most recently to perform a cover of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – which was stunningly beautiful. Again, another one to expect big things from!

Image21. Wretch 32 ft. Etta Bond – Forgiveness.

Released: 11th December/Charted: #49

The first of 4 entries from Wretch 32 in my Top 50! In my view, despite the shunning from the MOBO Awards, he’s had a massively successful year. Forgiveness has the added brilliance of Etta Bond! (who’s singed to Labrinth’s record – so you know she’s good!)

Image20. Ed Sheeran – The A Team.

Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #3

Some of you may be surprised to see this single at 20, amybe it should be higher? But I see it as released in 2010, on the ‘Loose Change’ EP – so to me, it’s already been there for ages. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and it’s the song that got Ed to where he is now, so it’s obviously important!

Image19. True Tiger ft. Professor Green and Maverick Sabre – In The Air.

Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #52

True Tiger deserve all the accolade they will rightly get in 2012! I’m certain things will really take off for them, and I really hope I’m right! This track sees them collaborate with Pro Green and Mverick Sabre again, after the success of Pro’s single, ‘Jungle’. It was performed live on Radio 1 from the Olympic Stadium – and I think they boys managed to get a cheeky 100m race in too! The video’s also worth watching, showing a mad mass of pigeons chasing someone. Yeah, it really does.

Image18. Calvin Harris – Feel So Close.

Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #2

This was the last song I saw performed at V Festival in the summer, so I have a real connection to this song. It was the perfect set from the Scottish producer, and ‘Feel So Close’ was the perfect way to round off an amazing weekend. Calvin is featured again in the Top 50 again, so keep looking!

Image17. Example – Stay Awake.

Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #1

This is the first entry from Example – an artist who has had an incredible 2011, with a number 1 album, and two number 1 singles – ‘Stay Awake’ being one of them! It’s produced by the immensely talented Nero, so you couldn’t really have a better combination. Another track which was a real highlight of the summer just gone!

Image16. Delilah – Love You So.

Released: 18th December 2011/Charted: (charts on 25th I think?)

The third inclusion of the supremely talented vocalist. ‘Love You So’ is my personal favourite of her ever growing collection of tracks, and I’m really looking forward to see what her album in the new year will be like! (I bet it’s probably pretty good?!)

Image15. DJ Fresh ft. Sian Evans – Louder.

Released: 3rd July 2011/Charted: #1

Probably helped by it’s inclusion in the Lucozade adverts, DJ Fresh’s track, ‘Louder’ went down an absolute storm! Played all over radios, watched all over TV, played everywhere by DJs! It was definitely another massive summer track!

Image14. Rizzle Kicks – Down With The Trumpets.

Released: 10th June 2011/Charted: #8

This was their second single, but their first to get properly noticed. I remember not being to sure of the newly produced version of ‘Down With…’, (yes, there is an older version…) but it really grew on me, and I was so glad they were finally, and deservedly, noticed for their talent – especially after Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’.

Image13. Example – Midnight Run.

Released: 4th December 2011/Charter: #30

My favourite album track (until it was then released as a single off the back of the ‘Playing IN The Shadows’ album obviously). The EP features some amazing remixes of ‘Midnight Run’ by the way – especially courtesy of Example’s bassist, Sheldrake! The production from Feed Me (who’s on the Deadmau5 label!) is unbelievable too!

Image12. Calvin Harris ft. Kelis – Bounce.

Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #2

This is the second time Calvin has featured in the Top 50. It’s also the second no.2 hit he’s had this year. Both times I think he was beaten by Example, with his two number 1 singles. But despite that, ‘Bounce’ was heard everywhere over summer, a properly addictive track!

Image11. Jay Z and Kanye West – N***as In Paris.

Released: 13th September 2011/Charted: #6 (US Billboard)

An unbelievable record from my two favourite Hip-Hop artists of all time. The beat is just indescribably good! Apparently Jay and Kayne performed it about 8 times in 1 set – got to say, I really wouldn’t mind that, at all! My favourite off the ‘Watch The Throne’ album by a mile!

NOW WE’RE GETTING INTO IT! TOP 10:

Image10. Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah – Earthquake.

Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #2

Labrinth is without doubt, on of the biggest producers out there, so it’s no surprise that the beat he created to his single, ‘Earthquake’ was unreal! Tinie also showed us that he will never forget his roots and the people who helped him – obviously Lab produced and collabed with Tinie on his debut album. Labrinth’s going to be huge in the upcoming year, I’m sure of it! It was the highest selling number 2 single of the year, losing out only to…

Image9. Professor Green ft. Emeli Sande – Read All About It.

Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #1

…to this single. The incredibly emotional ‘Read All About It’. Which features the chillingly talented vocals of Emeli Sande, whilst Professor Green spills his heart out on one of the deepest records he’s ever made! Rightly his first massive number 1 hit – and rightfully in the top 10 on here too! (It was also the first track I reviewed, ever!)

Image8. Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.

Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #4

Despite charting one place lower than ‘The A Team’, it sold more copies in it’s first week, and helped promote the number 1 smash album, ‘+’. This sing has so many different versions, and it was great to finally see it get some rightful accolade. My favourite Sheeran song? Well, maybe. But definitely my favourite Sheeran single.

Image7. Wretch 32 ft. Josh Kumra – Don’t Go.

Released: 14th August 2011/Charted: #1

This is Wretch 32’s second entry into this Top 50. And it was his first number 1, at the third attempt, he’d finally done it! Helped by the little known Josh Kumra. Little known, but hopefully not for much longer – his beautiful soulful voice really added to the single! (Expect to see Wretch again in the next few tracks…)

Image6. Maverick Sabre ft. Chipmunk and Benny Banks (New Machines Remix) – I Need.

Released: 4th November 2011/Charted: #18 (Official Single Version)

Right, this is technically a remix. Technically. I wanted to include ‘I Need’ in the Top 20 or so, but I though the New Machines remix deserved a Top 10 place, so there you go! This is by a long way, one of the best remixes of the year! It’s hard to improve an already beaut of a track, but these guys managed it! (Look out for a New Machines feature on the ‘Soundhall‘ blog soon!)

NOW FOR THE TOP 5!

Image

5. Flux Pavilion and Doctor P – Superbad.

Released: 9th December 2011 /Charted: #61

As I’m writing about this track, I can’t help but listen to it on repeat, and just sing it to myself. It’s the most addictive track I have ever heard! I mean, the lyrics are simple, but that’s good – as I can actually remember them. But the beat created by these two amazing producers is incredible! Can’t wait to see what they come up with in 2012!

Image4. Wretch 32 ft. L – Traktor.

Released: 16th January 2011/Charted: #5

This was Wretch’s first big hit. Right back in January, before touring with Example, a tour of his own, and many massive festival performances. At all of these, ‘Traktor’ was live! Famously featured on Jamal Edward’s Google Chrome advert as well! The beat, incredible. L’s vocals, incredible. Wretch’s lyrics, incredible. It was the start of a roll which saw him rise and rise in popularity!

RIGHT, FINALLY, THE TOP 3!

Image3. Example – Changed The Way You Kiss Me.

Released: 5th June 2011/Charted: #1

Example’s anthem. Everyone knows or has heard this track somewhere. Whether on radio, TV, or at the typically ravey end to an Example set! It’s by far one of the biggest tracks of the year, and was a proper contender for my number 1! It really was the start of the fame for Elliot Gleave, but it wasn’t a sudden rise to fame – he’d worked for this, and got the number 1 album spot, which he considered more important – correctly so!

Image2. Wretch 32 ft. Example – Unorthodox.

Released: 17th April 2011/Charted: #2

Yeah, so that wasn’t the last time Example features on the Top 50. His epically catchy chorus on Wretch’s second single – the follow up to ‘Traktor’ enhanced the brilliance! Sampling the ‘Fools Gold’ track from the Stone Roses was such a good idea, and it really didn’t harm the orginal in my view – Ian Brown even said he liked Wretch’s version!

SO, NUMBER 1?

Image1. Chase & Status ft. Tinie Tempah – Hitz.

Released: 15th July 2011/Charted: #39

The perfect combination between underground and commercial. The Chase & Status production, in my view, at it’s best, and also Tinie at his hardest too! I didn’t really want a number 1 track, which already would have massive attention being my number 1 as well, and this was my favourite track off ‘No More Idols’. Also, no joke here, it was the highlight of my life, seeing this track performed live TWICE with Tinie Tempah there as well! A full deserved winner in my view!

WELL, YEAH, THAT’S THAT THEN…

Well 2011 has been a mentally good year for music, especially for the UK scene – partly down to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. We’ve seen rises from great arists this year, and small rises from even newer artists, who will have stunning 2012’s. Click here to read further about the biggest stars of 2011!

Who Does 2011 Belong To?


2011 has been one of the best years for music in a very long time. With so many artists finally ‘making it’, how can you say who has had the better year? Do you base it purely on chart positions? If so, it counts out some artists. Do you base it purely on breaking through? Again, that counts some artists out. So you have to try find that middle ground. This post is effectively like a ‘BBC Sound Of’ post, but for the year just gone. So often we’re caught just looking forward, rightly so on occasions, to the new, fairly unknown, exciting artists. However, we need to hand out some credit to the people responsible for the music that shaped 2011. Shaped it in the good way, by the way. (Don’t expect to see a section on LMFAO.)

In terms of charts, it’s hard to look past Adele. ‘Someone Like You’, off of her ’21’ album took the worldwide charts by storm – number 1 in 24 separate countries! ’21’ also overtook Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’, as the highest selling album of the, funnily enough, 21st century. I mean, that’s quite a good year, I guess.

Image

But so many artists have had a really good 2011. Calvin Harris, with the massive summer anthems, ‘Bounce’ and ‘Feel So Close’, not forgetting his Rihanna earworm collaboration, ‘We Found Love’. Also, Chase & Status, with the massive singles, like, ‘Let You Go’ and ‘Blind Faith’, off one of the biggest albums of the year, ‘No More Idols’. This list is endless! (Obviously it isn’t endless, but yeah, you get the idea.) There’s just been so much great music in 2011! Image It did seem to be some of my favourite music was finally getting recognised, Professor Green finally getting a massive number 1, with ‘Read All About’, Example smashing the summers festivals, with 2 number 1s, ‘Stay Awake’, and possibly many peoples’ favourite single of the year, ‘Changed The Way You Kiss Me’ – not to mention the number 1 album spot, with ‘Playing In The Shadows’. Image Rizzle Kicks have really grown in the past 6 months. Their rise to success was fairly sudden. I met them outside the Barfly in Camden ahead of their gig. This was in July – just 5/6 months ago. This was around the time ‘Down With The Trumpets’ took off, not long after this, ‘When I Was A Youngster’ was released, and also their feature on Olly Murs’ number 1 single, ‘Heart Skips A Beat’. Their newest single, ‘Mama Do The Hump’, off the back of their brilliant album, ‘Stereo Typical’, features James Corden in the video. Just another example of their progression. They’re now one of the hottest duos out there. Image An album which went fairly, and annoyingly, unrecognised, in terms of acclaim, was ‘Black And White’, from the supremely talented Wretch 32. For me, it’s one of the albums of the year. It flows together better than any other album I’ve heard in a long time, let alone 2011. ‘Traktor’ hit number 5, bringing in a wide range of new fans, as well as touring with Example in early 2011 – it set out where Wretch was going. The second single release followed – ‘Unorthodox’ feat. Example. In my eyes, this is one of the best tracks of the year. (Oh, and Adele agrees with me.) Unfortunately though, it only charted at number 2. I remember the first set I saw at V Festival, was Wretch 32’s. It was also the weekend that the beautiful ‘Don’t Go’ feat. Josh Kumra, charted at number 1, and you could tell from the performance he gave that he was enjoying all this success so very much. Soon after the album followed, but for some reason, it didn’t have the success that other artists were rightly getting around that time, and even more strangely, Wretch didn’t receive any MOBO Awards. But even so, he’s definitely had one of the best years imaginable. Image As I’ve mentioned, many artists have broken through in 2011. But Nero have been influential in the break through of a whole genre. A year ago now, Nero were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 longlist. But no-one could really have imagined how they’d progress. They brought Dubstep to number 1. Single charts with, ‘Promises’, and album charts, with ‘Welcome To Reality’. Even Lupe Fiasco featured a couple of Nero’s tracks on his latest mixtape! Image There’s almost too much choice! Jessie J was the eventual winner of the ‘Sound Of 2011’, giving her much deserved acclaim. ‘Do It Like A Dude’ was released in 2010, but Price Tag’ was one of the biggest singles of the 2011! In fact, it was the biggest collaboration single of 2011, with B.o.B. As well as that, her album, ‘Who You Are’ is the biggest selling debut album of the year! Image Obviously, you’ve got the likes of The Vaccines, Katy B, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Jay Z + Kanye, who have all had good years as well – and I’ve probably left a few out, but there really has been so much success this year in music! Image

Tell you what though, 2012, will be even bigger! Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande and Delilah are definitely three to watch out for. But you should probably know that by now.

Image

But there’s one artist I’ve significantly left out of this review so far. Ed Sheeran…

Image