Consistency has been key and has been Aidonia’s main asset for 2017. As one big song starts to fade, out comes another smash. ‘Banga’, ‘Trigger Work It’, ‘Krazay’ and the summer anthem ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ has solidified Aidonia’s, right, top spot.
Top Lady Of 2017: Spice
Spice, right, had incredible momentum coming into 2017. Did she keep the wheel spinning? She certainly did. From hits records like ‘Sheet’, memorable stage performances such as the one she gave on the Jamrock cruise and even online skits with the like of Missy Elliot has her crowned as ‘The Queen Of The Dancehall’.
Producer Of The Year: DJ Frass
This is a very hard one to pick as there are so many different factors that can come into question. However, the reason I have chosen DJ Frass is because he ticks so many of those boxes. His work ethic cannot be questioned with relentless releases from the likes of Mavado, Alkaline and Jahmeil and pushing the boundaries with remixes like ‘Extra Lesson’ that featured UK dons Chip & Kojo Funds.
Dancehall riddims like ‘Crazy Glue’ or one drop riddims like ‘Reggaefest’. Frass has shown this year that he has the lot.
The Online Champion Of 2017: Foota Hype
Love him or hate him, Foota Hype cannot be ignored. His live Instagram sessions have been the topics of many a barbershop conversation. His topics can range from social matters, relationship problems or getting more cross, angry and miserable with Bounty Killer. Always engaging, often controversial but he has carved a lane for himself.
Album Of The Year: Damian Marley, ‘Stony Hill’
I gave up on the amount of times I had to make mention of a new release date for this album on my 1Xtra radio show. But was it worth it? Hell yeah. From the full lush musical productions or the honesty in Damian’s lyrics I found this to be my 2017 musical masterpiece for long drives.
Top Riddim Of The Year: Genna Bounce
What makes this bouncy, energetic riddim special for me is that we already had the big song – which was Aidonia’s ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ – but now so many other songs are getting their fair share of the limelight. Govanna’s ‘Gyal Clown’ or the title piece from Ding Dong ‘Genna Bounce’
are all taking dance a big step forward. Look out for more from the German (he’s actually from Germany but is part of the BigShip family) and the Emudio label.
The Whappen To Them In 2017: Tony Matterhorn
The biggest question at the end of last month was: How come Tony Matterhorn never won the Soundclash at Sea on the Jamrock Cruise? 2017 was the opportunity of Tony Matterhorn to avenge his loss to the hands of Mighty Crown. He had the momentum and the support of the crowd going into the Dub for Dub round, but what happened next is a question that we may never be able to answer…
Global MVP: Chin from Irish and Chin
I admire hard work, determination, drive, passion and creativity. Chin has all of this in abundance and this has contributed to his stock worth in this industry. Chat Show Radio host, Mighty Crown Manager, Global soundclash series RUMBLE promoter are just some of the things he lends his hands to. Based in New York City, Chin is a influencer and gatekeeper which is why he is 2017 Most Valuable player.
The Not To Be Missed Live Event Of The Year: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise
Welcome To Jamrock Reggae cruise is always an incredible experience. The event has grown from its inception four years ago, but lost none of the family feel. This is the feeling I get everytime I’m onboard, cruising in the Caribbean sea with the very reggae best music and family.
Greatest Progress In 2017: Masicka
I’ve been supporting this Portmore artist for more than five years, so to see his rise in 2017 makes
me feel especially proud. Masicka has always been potent with lyrics, but this year he has had songs in heavy rotation. Massive collaborations with dancehall pillars like Vybz Kartel and Bounty Killer has helped cement his place and set up what should be an exciting future.
Soca Boss of 2017: Bunji Garlin
Bunji is a musical beast, and this year his output was as strong as ever. His affiliations outside of soca has seen him become an ambassador for the music and the region, and it’s a role that he completes admirably.
One To Watch For Next Year: Alicai Harley
One of my jobs is to seek out new talent, but sometimes it just lands at your feet. I think I can say I simply stumbled across this south London-based Jamaica-born singer, songwriter, rapper and dancehall diva. She can effortlessly go from spitting the most heartfelt bars to slipping into Dancehall drenched bravado and swag, with the accents added for extra effect. I think a storm is about to hit the UK!
So there you have it – my big picks for what was a whirlwind year in music from the Caribbean. Many thanks for all of your support during 2017, and myself and the BrukOut team would like to wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year. See you