2018 saw a rise in some genre defining music with fuses of reggaeton, island beats and hip-hop underlying most of the biggest tunes to come out and dominate the charts internationally.
With influences that crossed borders and gave us lots of beats to rock out to, here is a list of CityFM89’s favorite tracks of the year.
18. Biryani Brothers – Ikisvi Sadi
17. Janoobi Khargosh – One
16. Ariana Grande – Thank u, next
15. Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It
14. Dua Lipa & BLACKPINK – Kiss and Make Up
13. BTS – IDOL Feat. NICKI MINAJ
12. Abdullah Siddiqui – Resistance
11. DJ Snake feat Selena Gomez, Ozuna & Cardi B – Taki Taki
10. Strings – Sajni
9. Silk City – Only Can Get Better
8. Sam Smith – Promises
7. Bad Bunny Ft. Drake – MIA
6. Kendrick Lamar, SZA – All The Stars
5. Troye Sivan – My My My
4. Loud Luxury Ft Brando – Body
3. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – Pray For Me
2. Drake – In My Feelings
1.Silk City feat. Dua Lipa – Electricity
Biryani Brothers – The charming pop duo behind the very creative name Biryani Brothers is, vocal powerhouse Natasha Noorani and the musical maestro Zahra Paracha. The two also co-created the Lahore Music Meet (LMM), an annual music fest that gives musicians (both up and coming and established legends) a platform to showcase & talk about their music.
After a number of live gigs, the two released their first and only single ‘Ikisvi Sadi’ with a video just as creative and the band name. One for the ages, the song and video complement each other in the best possible way, capturing all your senses.
Janoobi Khargosh – A Synth Pop band formed by the very talented Mr. Waleed Ahmed and a mix of friends from the music fraternity.
Their music is way ahead of its time, with psychedelic synth beats breaking through the rock mainstream of Pakistani music.
Sounding like Australian surf pop, with tracks such as ‘Super Cat’ ‘Cpt Space’ and their latest ‘One’; the only thing you need to do right now, is to push play on their music and take it along on that long drive to the beach.
Ariana Grande – Following her shocking split with former fiancé Pete Davidson, Ariana Grande reminded everyone that she is the princess of sass with a track titled ‘Thank U, Next’ a light hearted, positive albeit cheeky rendition of her experience. Unlike most breakup songs, she takes a different route emphasizing on the value in letting go- The lyrics in this track focus on themes of honesty and gratitude not just for the most recent ex, but all the ones in the past.
Cardi B – She made a splash in the music industry and tabloids for reasons beyond us, whilst entertaining she also managed to release yet another hit song in the likes of ‘I Like It’ by teaming up with Bad Bunny & J. Balvin. Classified across music charts as a summer hit, the trap-meets-salsa beat sampling a classic Pete Rodriguez ‘I like it like that’. Not going to lie, that beat drop does offer a lot more than the original, giving us a taste of Latin and Caribbean fusion in pop music – not to mention Cardi B’s very distinct & honest rap.
Black Pink – is the latest K-pop Supergroup, you might not have heard about yet, but the producers here at CityFM89 try to bring you up to speed with the coolest pop music out there. One such example is the colab between BlackPink and empowered pop princess – Dua Lipa, with their track ‘Kiss and Make up’. An electro-pop banger written by Dua Lipa who then shared it with the K pop girl group when she met them in Seoul. The collaboration proved fruitful giving audiences something to dance along to all through 2018.
BTS – The BTS army brought the popular K-Pop boy band on the Pakistani audience radar, with their multiple requests that almost broke our request server. One of their most notable additions to their music was a remix of “Idol,” which adds a guest appearance from rapper Nicki Minaj. With a mix of Korean and English the upbeat track transcends genres and provides a great blend of urban and reggaetón music cues.
Abdullah Siddiqui – A personal favorite, here at CityFM89, Abdullah Siddiqui is a one-man-powerhouse singer-songwriter and electronic pop music producer. He came onto the indie music scene in 2016 and ever since has released songs such as ‘Telescope Heart’ ‘Fiction’ and the most recent, ‘Resistance’ – that have dominated our airwaves; as well as earning him a nomination for an LSA in 2018 in the category of Best Emerging Talent in Music.
DJ Snake – A star studded, catchy track, celebrating island reggaeton beats for the dancefloor, featuring Puerto Rican Ozuna and critically acclaimed Cardi B broke the record for the most pre-saved song in history. Taki Taki’s success showed yet another example of how Spanish infusion into songs on dancehall beats, proved to be the biggest dancefloor bangers of the year.
Strings – One of the defining internationally acclaimed Pop bands in the Pakistani music scene, Faisal Kapadia & Bilal Maqsood have been fronting Strings since 1988. In 2018 they released their latest album, marking 30 years in music. Best known for their stringed rhythms and melodious tunes, Strings have a number of albums, singles, concerts across the globe and accolades under their belt. They also produced and directed Coke Studio Pakistan from 2013-2017. There are too many of our favorite Strings tracks to name here, so you’ll just have to go pull up their discography and cruise through their music yourself.
Silk City – Mark Ronson & Diplo’s side project, Silk City, is the best thing to come out of 2018. There we said it. With too many good songs to choose from, and more in the works, we chose to pick the first one that was dropped. Not only does the video give off retro feels, the song itself transports you through the decades of club music with beats meshed in using strengths from both Music producers. Both their styles are so different, so to see this blend of styles fall in perfectly – this partnership was all we were waiting for. We’d recommend starting with ‘Only can get better’ and listening to all their tracks.
Sam Smith – We have a feeling we will be including ‘Promises’ by Sam smith in our playlist for years to come. Disco infused and beat that makes you want to dance all night – Sam smith’s debonair vocal and baby blues provide a comforting space under which a dance beat provided by the king of dance music, Calvin Harris, teases the listener onto the dancefloor. The video is super cool too!
Bad Bunny ft Drake – Latin Trap music is whats all the rave these days. That is reinforced by the collaboration between Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and Drake with one of the most anticipated collabs of the year. A catchy dancehall tune with a steady kick-drum ensures it can be played anywhere between a club and a get together.
Kendrick Lamar – A commercial success, the song ‘All the stars’ had audiences of every age group requesting it for months after watching Black Panther.
It’s no surprise that Kendrick Lamar was chosen to produce the soundtrack for the film, the Compton based artist has a natural cinematic flair. An eclectic, melodic electro production backing Lamar’s smooth rap and SZA’s sweet vocals, the track is rhythmic, catchy and full of soul
Troye Sivan – Bouncy rhythm sitting perfectly atop heavy synths and Troye Sivan’s strained vocals, ‘My My My’ was a great single paving the way to even better singles released by Sivan in 2018. He later went onto collaborate with Ariana Grande in yet another song that hit the charts on a high.
Loud Luxury Ft Brando – The Canadian duo Loud Luxury gave us a reason to kick off our shoes and dance the night away to a bubblegum pop/EDM banger. The upbeat tempo keeps you on your toes throughout the song with lyrics that beg you to dance along; ‘Body’ proved to be one of the catchiest, top songs requested on 89 in 2018.
The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – We can all agree that Black Panther was one of the most talked about movie of the year – taking it one step further, here at 89 the soundtrack brilliantly curated by Kendrick Lamar, was even more talked about. Adding Weeknd to the mix made for the perfect collaboration. The heavy bassline layered with the Weeknd’s smooth vocals and Kendricks thought provoking rap made this one of the most requested songs on 89 along with being one of the biggest tunes of the 2018.
Drake – A list cannot be complete without some Drake, and that too the year that he put out some of his best work. With beat heavy tunes like ‘Nice for What’ and ‘God’s Plan’ to a posthumous collaboration with Michael Jackson – Drake dominated the charts month after month. His most viral song of the year came in the form of a challenge, that spread like wild fire across social media, with the ‘Kiki Challenge’.
‘In my feelings’ happened to be the catchiest song of the year and proved that some of the best content can come out from just a cool lyric from a Drake song.
Silk City Dua Lipa – The EDM/pop crossover that made it onto all the dance playlists of the end of 2018. Electricity, much like its title, sent shockwaves across the dancefloor with Dua Lipa’s powerful vocals perfectly complementing the dancehall beats curated by Diplo & Mark Ronson – and her dancing wasn’t bad either.