One of the best things about using Spotify is getting to access the rewind feature at the end of each year. I honestly think this is a very underrated tool to honestly see what the most popular music in the world is today. I mean obviously there are quite a few people who exclusively use Apple Music and because of this their streaming stats aren’t calculated(I would guess that about half of streamers mainly use Spotify and half mainly use Apple Music), I still think that Spotify’s Wrapped Stats gives us a pretty solid idea of what the most popular music in the world is for any particular year. It’s honestly kind of sad that so many artists and people put so much weight in award shows like the Grammys, because these shows are funded by the same companies that own the biggest and most corrupt music labels, and therefore will always be biased. Streaming stats are probably the best way for us to see what music the world likes. Ok, now it’s time for me to be narcissistic and assume that y’all think my own Spotify Wrapped Stats would be important. It is very interesting to thoroughly go through and see what kind of music I liked at certain times in my life. For the most part from 2014-2016, I mainly was listening to hard ass trap and party/druggy EDM music exclusively. It is almost astonishing how similar my most listened to artists were for that time period; I have always prided myself as being someone who listens to everything and I’m sure I was keeping it diverse on some level, but, man, the music I was listening to the most at the time is probably too indicative of my lifestyle at the time. Over the last few years, particularly in 2018 and 2019, my music choice has truly spread out and diversified a ton. In fact, I was kind of surprised at how close my percentages were in the tab that shows my favorite genres. It was also cool to see how mu h international music and different types of artists I listened to; my 2019 playlist(which I will link at the bottom of the article) is actually pretty rad in fact that it is so random and non-typical. It is obvious from the playlist I don’t mainly listen to a few different kinds of artists and sounds. With all of that being said, let’s dive into my Spotify Wrapped Stats. Let me know what your favorite songs, artists, and genres were in the comments below because I am genuinely interested one what everyone listens to!
I started mostly using Spotify to consume music in 2013, and I have listened to at least 25,000 minutes of music every year on the app since then. Ironically, the year that I used Spotify the least was this year, the same year that I started a music blog. I believe this is because I have been trying to use SoundCloud and Youtube more to discover new music. If you have been paying attention to this blog for a while, you should know about how much music I find just from going on little Youtube rabbit holes. I started out my time on Spotify at the tail end of high school and my emo phase, as is pretty evident from my Spotify Wrapped stats. In fact, my top artist from 2013 was the screamo-punk band A Day To Remember, and my top played song from that year was ‘You Be Tails, I Be Sonic’ by A Day To Remember. I am a pretty big believer of that idea that the types of people you are surrounding yourself with will have a big influence on what you listen to and the types of media you consume, and that was definitely the case when I was on that ADTR binge. I would say that is, even more, the case for the kind of music that I really go into for the next few years. From 2014-2016 my top artist was Schoolboy Q if the top song was not by him, it was definitely by a similar artist to him. If you check the playlist that was considered to be my top songs of 2016, you can tell that the music that I listened to started to change up and diversify. I do know that at this period in my life, I had moved to Downtown Milwaukee and cut off quite a few people in my life that I had felt were dragging me down, and I subconsciously stopped listening to so much party and druggie type music. I seemed to get really into alternative funk and EDM funk at this time. Some artists that I seemed to really listen to a lot in 2016 were Cherub, GriZ, and Daft Punk. I think it is looking at these stats is pretty rad because I like to try to remember why I had started listening to neo-funk music so much. Also, seeing these tracks in this playlist makes me realize that I need to start listening to some of these songs again because they obviously made me happy.
In 2017, my music catalog started to open up and diversify even more. One artist that I know I discovered in 2017 that had a lot of influence on the other kinds of music I got into as well was Brockhampton. It is crazy that one artist can start getting you to listen to other types of artists that you may not have even given a chance to previously, but BH is definitely one of the polarizing kinds of artists that can have this effect. A few artists that I had started to also listen to because of listening to Brockhampton would be Kyle, Injury Reserve, and Amine. It is pretty apparent from what my stats and most played songs before this point that when it comes to rap music, I mainly listen to trap, but 2017 it seems like I definitely opened up to listening to a lot of other kinds of new age melodic rap music. There are a couple of types of music that I started to get into in 2017 that have become really prevalent are Latin Music and futuristic hyper pop music. If you check out the kind of music that I typically listen to on my own today, these two genres are definitely up towards the top. One artist that I really got into in 2017 was Charli XCX. This was the year that she released two of her most popular and important projects to date, Number 1 Angel and Pop 2. Songs like ‘3 A.M.,’ ‘Backseat,’ and ‘Dreamer’ helped shape what Charli’s sound is today, and in turn, heavily influenced what pop music has become in 2019. If you want to hear where the influence for artists like Slayyyter comes, from, check out those 2017 Charli XCX mixtapes. I also started to listen to quite a bit of music in Spanish in 2017. The kinds of Spanish music I was listening to at this time was pretty random, to be honest; I was frequently bumping songs by Marc Anthony, J. Balvin, Shakira, and Selena, who are all obviously very different from each other. In fact, the only thing that these artists really have in common is the fact that they all make music in Spanish. As far as electronic type music, 2017 was once again a very big funk year for me. One artist I know that I got really into in 2017 was Calvin Harris. Around this time, he was dropping a tone of 70s inspired dance-funk type music, and songs like ‘This Is What We Came For,’ which features Rihanna, and ‘Faking It,’ which features Lil Yachty and Kehlani, have become some of my favorite songs by Calvin Harris to date. Another kind of EDM I really started to like around this time was Downtempo House music and Deep House music. I have always loved melodic and funky type songs with repetitive beats that make you want to groove and dance, as is pretty apparent from most of the electronic music I have written about in this blog up to this point. Some of my favorite songs from 2017 that would belong in those categories would be ‘This Girl’ by Kungs, ‘Go To Work’ by Nadina Coyle,’ and ‘One Night’ by Mura Masa and Charli XCX. If you are in need of some good music to bring some energy and get everyone dancing at the function, try playing one of these songs; they are so infectious and you have to make an effort to not jam out to them when they are on.
From what I can gather from my top songs from 2018, it seems like my music taste was just an extension of what I liked in 2017. I still gravitated towards the same kinds of popular melodic trap artists, with multiple songs that I was really into coming from people like Travis Scott, Future, and Playboi Carti. My most played artist of the year, in fact, was Lil Uzi Vert; I would say that this is pretty obvious if you look at my playlist of top tracks from 2018. It seems like I really started to get into some classic artists that I loved growing up again in 2018. One artist, I noticed, in particular, being pretty frequent on this list is Lil Wayne. Considering how much I praise that guy, it only seems right that my playlist would have a bunch of music from Weezy F Baby. A couple of other hip hop artists that I really got into again in 2018 were Ol’ Dirty Bastard and The Clipse. ODB is someone that I liked a lot as a teenager, as this is when I really got into the Wu-Tang Clan. I have always thought he is one of the most underrated hip hop artists ever in terms of influence; I mean everything about his sound, voice, flow, and style was so iconic, and there are multiple artists today who yell and use similar sound effects to ODB. He was also one of the first rap artists to fully embrace and make pop music; without the Ol’ Dirty Bastard appearing on songs like ‘Fantasy’ by Mariah Carey or ‘Ghetto Superstar’ by Pras, there is a good chance that hip hop would not be nearly as prevalent in the mainstream and in pop music as it is today. The Clipse are another hip hop artist that I loved in the early 2000s that I really got into again in 2018. The Clipse, which was made up of brothers Pusha T and No Malice, was one of the first hip hop acts to embrace the sparse and bare-bones production style that they ultimately became known for; this style of hip hop, which is highlighted by mouth sounds and beats that sound like they come from banging on a set of bleachers or a cafeteria table, has been very popular since The Clipse were doing it in the early 2000s, and elements of this sound are still used regularly today. If you can not picture what this type of beat sounds like, just check out ‘Grindin’ by The Clipse, which you can listen to in my 2018 playlist. Besides the pop music, I really was loving last year by artists such as Ariana Grande and Carly Rae Jepsen, another kind of music I re-embraced in 2018 was alternative music, particularly alternative art-pop and synth-pop, such as Grimes, and alternative funk music, such as the Gorillaz. These are two artists that I have really loved for a very long time that I have been gravitating back towards as I realize how important they are and how influential they are on a lot of music today. The Gorillaz are not only the first virtual music act, which forces the listener to focus on the music and storyline of the characters rather than what the people making the music look like or believe politically, but they are also one of the first artists to truly incorporate all genres of music. From alternative rock to funk to hip hop to EDM to synth-pop, it seems like the Gorillaz have successfully been able to mash up pretty much every and any kind of music. This is super rad because there is literally something in their discography for everyone. There really is no reason for anyone to not have a least a few songs by the Gorillaz that they are into, as they really do make all kinds of music. I would not say that Grimes covers every kind of music in the same way that the Gorillaz have, but she is still easily one of the most innovative and creative artists of today. Everything about her sound and style and aesthetic is so cool; every she makes paints such a vivid picture, with her music videos almost being like mini-movies, containing so many moving parts and intricate stories. Grimes has been able to combine really weird and opposite sounds to make truly innovative alternative pop music; I mean, there is literally no other artists making music today who can incorporate elements of Black Metal and industrial music so fluidly into pop music. I guess my playlists truly are reflective of what I tend to want to write about, as I have written full comprehensive articles on the importance of both Grimes and the Gorillaz in the last few months. If you need some more alternative music to listen to or just are curious as to why I love these artists so much, definitely check those articles out because they are two of my personal favorites that I have written(I genuinely think they are two of my best and most complete pieces, I am not just saying they are my favorites because I like the artists so much).
As I stated before, in 2019 I expanded what my pallet of what I listen to even more. Since I knew that I wanted to start this blog, starting in January I really tried to listen to as many kinds of music as possible. If you look at my stats, I think that it shows that I accomplished this goal pretty well. Even within pop-rap music itself, which is obviously my favorite genre from all of these stats, the artists that I listened to were different. I listened to more Young Thug this year than ever before, which is obviously a great thing; I think gravitating towards Thugger was almost subconscious for me, as Lil Wayne has always been my favorite rapper and Young Thug really is like the new version of Weezy. Because I got into Thugger so much this year, I seemed to listen to a ton of his frequent collaborators as well, mainly people like Future or rising stars like Lil Keed. My favorite thing about my top songs from 0f 2019 playlist is how many female artists I listened to this year. I mean, my love for pop music was as evident as ever, as quite a few of my favorite songs this year were by people like Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, Grimes, which is obviously not surprising. But I think it is cool that I listened to so much hip hop music being made by women. Hip Hop has been such a male-dominated genre forever, and it seemed like lady rappers would unfortunately never be considered more than a novelty in the grand scheme of the genre. 2019 has seen that idea turn on its head completely, with artists like Lizzo and Megan Thee Stallion becoming some of the biggest artists in the world this year. I personally really got into Rico Nasty’s music this year; I have known who she was for a while, but she truly became one of my favorite artists this year, as is evident from my favorite artists of 2019 list and playlist. There are so many other female artists in so many different genres I got into this year as well. I really started to dig alternative artists like Clairo and Beabadoobee, futuristic hyper-pop music like Slayyyter and LiZ, and rising female rap stars like Flo Milli and Tommy Genesis. Overall, 2019 was an excellent year for women in music, in turn making it an excellent year for music altogether. With so many musicians pushing their own boundaries and experimenting with bigger and bolder sounds, it seems like the music world is in great shape. I, for one, can’t wait to see what all of my favorite artists have in store for us next!
I think that it is very safe to say that my music catalog has evolved tremendously since I was 19 years old. I mean if you look at what I was listening to in 2013 and look at what I am listening to today, it seems like I have become a totally different person. For me, personally, I feel like this is a great thing. It probably is not safe to exclusively consume only one kind of media, as you will become extremely biased very quickly. I mean, to each their own, I guess, but expanding your interests and trying to appreciate all kinds of art can not be a bad thing, right? Like I keep saying, I can not wait to see what the music world has in store for us in the future. With how diverse music is becoming and how many genre boundaries are being broken today, I think that the music world is in an excellent place.