Ed Sheeran – No.5 Collaborations Project EP | Just Over A Year On!


I thought I hadn’t written a longer piece in a while, and I sort of wanted to, seeing as I’ve just passed the 5,000 views mark. And I was trying to think of something, thinking while I was listening to my music in that little world I head off to. And I was listening to, in my view; Ed Sheeran’s best ever work. The No.5 Collaborations Project. I didn’t just listen to it once through. Probably closer to 7/8 times through. Which may sound ridiculous – but I just love it that much.

And I thought, it’s just a bit over a year since its release, so I could do a piece on what’s happened to Ed since, but I’d already done that HERE, so I was stuck. But I thought why not just do a year on review of one of my favourite EP’s since I’ve been alive. So I did. Try and enjoy it!

When I bought this EP, in physical form, and off iTunes, I had known about Ed’s talents for a few good months, so I’d already bought and listened to everything of his so far. And at that point, I wasn’t a massive grime fan. (I wouldn’t say I am now, just I enjoy a bit of it) So I remember being unsure as to what to expect.

But by the first track, I was blown away. However, I can never decide which of the tracks is my personal highlight.

I mean, ‘Lately‘ has Ed and Devlin rapping supremely.

You‘ has Wiley flowing quite deeply, surrounded with Ed’s enticing chorus. Always had a connection with Wi’s, as usual, brilliant lyrics on this track!

Family‘ has P Money going deep on his car crash, and, I’d say, has the best production – as always, courtesy of Jake Gosling.

Radio‘ has the brilliant JME, and again, has Ed’s chorus’ at their best. And also, ironically, got a bit of radio play – which was right at the start of Ed’s radio playlist domination.

Little Lady‘. Well, does it need bigging up? Mikill Pane story-telling over the already beautiful ‘A Team‘ chords and chorus. Everyone’s supposed to remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Well, I wasn’t alive then. So, my version of that is that everyone should remember where they were when the first fully listened to ‘Little Lady‘. I was ‘doing’ revision, and it came on, and I was just captivated in the heart-retching tale of the girl Mikill portrays.

Drown Me Out‘ features Ghetts, with, I’d say, some of the best lyrics on the EP.

Nightmares‘, with Random Impulse, Sway, and, at that point, a fairly unknown Wretch 32. All of the artists smashed their respective verses on this one! (Oh, and big up to Random Impulse, who today, singed to Universal!)

The lastly, Dot Rotten’sGoodbye To You‘ – another deep, personal, and great, track.

It’s just impossible to choose a favourite track from that list!

I think what makes the EP so special is that. practically all the artists, including Ed, were fairly unknown. It was a proper ‘Project’ as Ed called it. Grime mixing with Ed’s vocals just work absolutely perfectly!

And furthering that, Ed was either lucky, or the artists were saving something big for the next big thing, which happened to Ed. Because, Wiley, P Money, Mikill Pane, to an extent, Ghetts, and Dot Rotten – all went deep and/or personal. Which will always make for amazing listening – especially when protected by Ed’s superhuman vocals.

I very often get carried away with a release. And to an extent, it does die down after a while. So it really shows a release’s class when I still have that same connection to it, that I had when I first plugged myself into it. And the No. 5 Collaborations Project does just that!

It also got another slice of radio love recently. With BBC Radio 1xtra airing live performnces of a few of the tracks, including, ‘Family‘ ft. P Money and ‘Letely‘ ft. Devlin, plus a couple others. You can check these brilliant performences on YouTube, but I thought I’d include ‘Little Lady‘ in this post:

It obviously also represents Ed’s first real musical chart success, as the top image shows, it peaked at number 2 on the iTunes chart. Which would be amazing on its own. But this EP had no promotion, or record label backing – only the likes of Twitter etc. So, even in that sense, it’s a special EP!

I’m finishing writing this off, as Ed prepared for his newest slice of collaboration to be played on Zane Lowe’s show – ‘You Don’t Know (For Fuck Sake)’ ft. Yelawolf (listen to it, and read my review on that link – oh and download it for FREE!). I do love it. There’s no denying it. But I’ve always preferred the thought of Ed with UK artists. But I guess it shows how far Ed’s come. He’s always said how much he’d wanted to work with American artists in this style of format, and he’s finally done it, and done it well! But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever not like an Ed Sheeran track.

I really want to say though, ‘You Don’t Know…‘ is a brilliant track, and I really cannot wait to the full release of ‘The Slumdon Bridge‘! – 4 tracks from scratch, in 10 hours… Incredible!

But I don’t think Ed can ever top it for me. Which could be seen as a saddening fact. But everyone has their favourites from him – and the Collaborations Project will, I think, always be mine.

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Ed Sheeran & Example To Collaborate | Nandos Skank Memories


Yesterday, while NME were trying to take down Ed Sheeran, the news emerged about this collaboration – with Ed and Example.

How long we’ll have to wait to hear it is uncertain, but the track has already been recorded – when both were over in America recently. Sheeran told Capital FM: “We’ve just done a song together so we were talking about shooting a video for that.”

Adding, about his and Example’s Brit nominations, Ed said: “We texted each other about the nominations which was nice – he’s got ‘Best British Single’ nomination as well which is good.”

I’m presonally really excited to hear what it’ll sound like! Will it be like a laid-back acoustic Sheeran based song, or the ravey sound of Example? Also, seeing as both of them are technically classed as singers, which one will do the chorus, which one will do verses… Or will it be completely rap based? I’d love to see a proper return to rap from both of them! But, whatever it sounds like, will it ever be able to beat this earlier collaboration…

Ed was taken on board by Example in one of his earlier UK tours in 2010, along with Yasmin and Devlin too. This tour support act announcement was where I first discovered Ed, and this ‘Nando’s Skank’ collaboration really cememted my love for both these aritsts… and Nandos.

One last thing Ed said, “There’s not really much competition. It’s like one big British movement moving forward.” So, NME, if you think you can bring down a whole British movement, then good luck to you.

Eric Turner (Featuring Kardinall Offishall, Wretch 32, and Professor Green) – Style Changer. [Prod. iSHi]


I’ve waited to review this track for a few days now. Basically me not being able to operate Hulkshare meant I couldn’t actually put a copy of the track into the review to listen to – which I always try and do. So I had to wait ’till I’ve found a radio rip on YouTube, and now I found that radio rip (it’s at the end of this post). So here you go…

Oh, quickly see if you can guess which radio DJ’s show it was premiered on…

Mistajam’s. Like so many great tracks are now!

Eric Turner will predominately be known for his superb feature on Tinie’s ‘Written In The Stars’, but my favourite track I’ve heard him on, was his collaboration feature with Sway on Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Break The Chain’. To be fair, both were, and still are great tracks. But now we have something he can credit himself on. Eric Turner (Featuring Kardinall Offishall, Wretch 32, and Professor Green) – Style Changer.

This is the first track heard off of Eric Turner’s upcoming mixtape, and the production is courtesy of iSHI, who is also responsible for some other great production work, funnily enough, for each of the artists in this Eric Turner track. My two favourite album tracks from Wretch’s ‘Black And White’ album were produced by iSHi, ‘Sane’s The New Mad’, and ‘Don’t Be Afraid (ft. Delilah)’. iSHi has also notably produced ‘Game Over’ which in my view included Pro Green’s been ever verse (the Kerry Katona line gets me every time!). He also produced the ‘Break The Chain’ track I mentioned earlier, and helped produce ‘Read All About It’. Devlin’s ‘Brainwashed’, Example’s ‘Two Lives’, and 4 tracks off Tinie’s debut album (including Eric’s featured track, ‘Written In The Stars’) were all, also, done by iSHI! So, with a list like that, it’s no surprise that the production on this track is supreme!

Wretch’s verse is top, and so is Pro’s – I wouldn’t say their best feature track verses, however. My favourite feature verse from Wretch, was on the remix of ‘Hitz’. And I’ve already told you that I think Pro’s was in ‘Game Over’! But, those set very high standards, which will be very hard to top! So, I’m in no way saying they’re lacking here – and the fact you can hear them on the same track, along with the brilliant Kardinall Offishall and Eric Turner, is more than enough talent for me!

If this level of production and featured artists is kept throughout the upcoming mixtape, then we shall count ourselves lucky!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?… Ed Sheeran.


(continued from the post below, I know it may not be continued, as this will appear before the first post, but yeah, read the one below first please…)

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I remember thinking after the BBC released their Sound Of 2011 longlist, ‘Oh, yeah, you’ve really missed someone out from that!’. They really did, didn’t they. Ed Sheeran. What a year he’s had! He stated his musical intentions, maybe indirectly in the charts too – with the release of his No. 5 Collaborations EP in January – featuring the likes of Sway, Random Impulse and Wiley. It shocked everyone, seeing it climb peak at number 2 in the iTunes charts – especially considering he was still an independent artist! Well, he was, but not for much longer, as on January 12th, Ed signed with Atlantic Records and it went from strength to strength from there on in.

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His first move after the record signing, was a good-willed one, as always. The ‘One Take’ EP was released for free, featuring a version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, a Jamie Woon cover of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, and a version of ‘UNI’. And like anything he’s released, it went down a storm with his ever growing fan base – with over 10,000 downloads in the first 12 hours.

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These were just a few highlights of the year for Ed. There’s so many I could write about. The free Camden Barfly gig being one. It attracted over 1,000 people, and if you’ve never been to the Barfly, you’ll know that, as great a venue as it is, it couldn’t hold 1,000 people. Not letting that stop him, Ed played 3 times inside the venue – until it shut. Then once more outside in the nearby car park for anyone that still hadn’t seen him.

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Also, Sheeran performed ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and debut single, ‘The A Team’ on ‘Later … With Jools Holland’ in April. With nothing but his vocals, acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal. The performance was stunning, proper goose-bump stuff!

Then the release of ‘The A Team’ just 6 weeks later. Things were moving quick, as his debut single charted at number 3 in the UK – selling 58,000 copies in the first week! It was the lead single from his debut album, ‘+’, released in early September. It showed, not just the progression throughout 2011, but the progressions since Ed started performing, writing, singing, and being around music. ‘+’ went straight in at number 1, the week after Example’s album had done just the same – and both were full of joy for the other one!

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From that last bit, it seems like Ed did nothing between April and September? Very wrong. Notably, he performed a headline set at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage. This was one of many summer festival performances, Bestival and Reading Festival to name a couple others.

He also released his second single in the run up to the album release. ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, and although it charted lower than ‘The A Team’ (number 4), it still sold more first week copies. But to be frank, this release wasn’t really about chart position. Obviously it was intended to promote the album. But it had much more meaning than that. ‘You Need Me…’ was the first introduction many people had to Ed – due to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. The song has changed through the years, with many new and retracted verses. So to see a final single was brilliant for Ed fans, even if they didn’t like the new beat put in, they understood it had to be done.

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‘Lego House’ was the next single, and the first off the back of ‘+’. I’m proud to say that I was there on Ed’s sell-out Autum Tour, when they filmed the iconic video – at Herts University Forum, with Rupert Grint. It was also my 17th birthday that day. So, yeah, it was a pretty good day really. Anyway, ‘Lego House’ peaked at number 5. Why it didn’t chart higher was because it was available from the album, so people just couldn’t wait to buy the single version. So to peak at number 5 is absolutely massive!

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There’s so much I could write about Ed Sheeran. I am one of the people that knew of him before ‘The A Team’ release, and I’ve actually met him a couple of times. Not that he’d, one; read this, or two; remember me, but even so. However, I don’t think when you discovered his music matters. As long as you support him, go to gigs, buy the singles, watch the videos, then why should it matter who saw him first?

It’s also strange to see an artist break through, and still manage to maintain their backgrounds. He’s kept the same support artists through the year close to him. Ryan Keen, Lester Clayton to name a couple.

It’s also shown by the No. 5 Collaborations EP (talked about earlier) – which came out in January 2011. Many artists would have left it behind. But not Ed. Because, as I’m writing this, I’m preparing to hear the specially recorded Live Lounge for the No. 5 Collaborations, featuring Wretch 32, P Money, Devlin and Mikill Pane for Trevor Nelson’s show on BBC Radio 1xtra. This is around 11/12 months after the release. What more could Ed do to show how committed to his music than this. (Listen and watch the whole sessions here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/sessions/2011-12-21_edsheeran)

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I think Ed is the perfect middle ground I mentioned earlier. He’s actually broken through – without having a big backing of influential music people at the start, like Jessie J. He was an independent artist at the start of 2011. He ends 2011, with a number 1 album – which sold over 102,000 copies in it’s first week, and was the most downloaded debut album in history, singles charting 3, 4 and 5, with live festival and TV performances as well. But most importantly, with a religiously following fan base, stronger than anything that could have been imagined. The future looks pretty good for him really.

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