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Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of 2016

December 22, 2016

Time to bid adieu to 2016, the year rap and hip-hop officially died.

The genre has been getting increasingly worse over the last few years, but this year really solidified its transition into an auto-tuned genre of its own called hip-pop. Yeah, I hate it. And unlike in 2015, this year we didn’t even have a Nic Nac Beats to swoop in and save the day with his supremely produced Chris Brown tracks. Whether it was rap, pop, electronic or otherwise, there definitely seemed to be more bad than good (in fact, you can check out my worst songs of 2016 list).

But, not all is atrocious. After much thought, I’ve managed to scrounge up a handful of redeeming tracks I genuinely love, and I’m sharing them below (in particular order):

20. “Champions” – Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz

Not a fan of Kanye solo, but I’ve always said that when he collabs, his songs tend to be much better—and this song is no exception. Great track-mates, great hook, great song.

19. “Might Not” – Belly f./The Weeknd

Honestly, this track may have made it higher up on the list if it weren’t for that gawd-awful 2 Chainz remix. Like if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it! Ugh

18. “Into You” – Ariana Grande

This song stands out because it is says OK, I can be sexy and I don’t even have to be trashy to do so! A rarity for this artist. Great track.

17. “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f./Gucci Mane

Mike WiLL Made-It + Gucci = no-brainer recipe for perfection

16. “Say It (Clean Bandit Mix)” – Flume f./Tove Lo

If you read my Worst Songs of 2016 post, you will see my distaste for nu-school Flume. But this track happens to be great, and might I add that Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album (though this song is not part of it) is the best of the year.

15. “Want You” – Bearson f./Cal

While Bearson definitely identifies with “electronica,” he hasn’t nailed a signature sound, which is great, because I love all of the varying tracks he sends (via airwaves) my way—and this song is no exception.

14. “Either/Or” – Mt. Si

If you dig Classix, you’ll love Mt. Si.—which makes sense, given that 1/3 of this trio is Michael David of the incredible electropop duo. Seriously, it does not get better than this sound.

13. “The Winds of Change” – St. Lucia

Granted, nothing by this artist compares to “Elevate,” but this jam is pretty darn awesome. If you like that sound, you’ll love this, too!

12. “Valley of Dreams” – Cavaliers of Fun

See No. 4

11. “Be the One” – Dua Lupa

Dua Lupa has a beautiful voice/face/hair/sound etc. That is all.

10. “Freeway Lights” – Goldroom

I’ve been listening to Goldroom since he first debuted in 2012—and while it was definitely weird (and a little hard) to see his album featured at the Interscope pop-up shop at Hollywood & Highland alongside Lady Gaga, among others, I refuse to call him a sellout, because while perhaps slightly more produced than before, his sound is overall the same, and this a very light, sweet track that should appeal to everyone.

9. “Bullet” – Chelsea Lankes

How this girl is not a household name is beyond me. Each of her songs are well-produced, well-articulated and relate to everyone. This track is super uplifting and empowering.

8. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake f./Justin Bieber

Personal woes aside, Justin Bieber is an incredible artist. Granted, this track goes to DJ Snake, but Bieber’s vocals are definitely an invaluable asset to this recording. This is a genuinely wonderful song from start to finish. It’s pretty, powerful and poignant.

7. “Innerbloom” – RUFUS DU SOL

This is your universally appealing track. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

6. “Into the Night” – Cardiknox

This track is fun and light. Do NYE makeup in your mirror to this! It will get you pumped up–promise!

5. “Goin Up” – Deorro f./DyCy

Let’s be honest—when we think of Deorro, we think “Five More Hours,” right? Welp, he’s got a catchy new little jam called “Goin Up,” and (no pun intended), it’s quite uplifting.

4. “Astral Division” – Cavaliers of Fun

Like their name suggests, these guys (guy?) are quite fun — well, at least judging by their music. Granted, I don’t know what this song means and I don’t know anything about the people (person?) on the track. They’ve done quite the job of maintaining a mysterious presence (we’re talkin’ 249 Twitter followers, folks!), but that’s what makes them all the more fun! Anyway, they are the only act to make this list twice (see No. 12), and I really hope to hear more (maybe learn more?) of them in 2017!

3. “Somebody Else” – The 1975

How this song wasn’t nominated for a Grammy is beyond me. Not only are the lyrics hard-hitting, but the melody is exceptionally beautiful. I will forever stay stumped while blasting on repeat.

2. “Kiss It Better” – Rihanna

I believe Rihanna was still dating Chris Brown when this song was in production, so it’s your guess as to whether or not he is the subject matter of this incredibly powerful song. But the highly underrated track allows you to feel both her desire and pain.

1. “In the Morning” – Kaskade/ZHU

I love this song from start to finish. I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it. It’s so reminiscent of old-school Kaskade, circa 2004. If all songs were like this, the world would be a much happier place.

**To note: “The Middle” by DJ Snake technically came out last year, so it was no. 3 on last year’s list, even though it didn’t break out until 2016. I feel the need to acknowledge that so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle 😉


Music Angelenos

PHOTOS: HAIM, Mark Ronson, The Knocks, Miguel and More Party and Perform During Grammy Weekend!

February 16, 2016

Yesterday concluded a four-day Grammy Awards weekend, and as one can expect, Los Angeles had no lack of activity throughout the celebration’s entirety. The prestigious weekend fell not only on Valentine’s Day, but also on Presidents’ Day, so bottle popping among industry elite was at an abundance. Aside from the Oscars, more parties and events are centered around this awards show than any other.

Each year, without question, music’s biggest names flock to the MusiCares and Clive Davis pre-Grammy events (and this year, a surprise Friday night concert by Adele at the Wiltern saw some incredibly famous faces). And record label after parties are where you can expect to spot many award winners. But with each Grammy weekend, there are also slew of more under-the-radar events that don’t fail to draw impressive crowds of celebrities and influencers.

Scroll below to see photos and read about everything from Mark Ronson and Jamie xx‘s intimate V-Day bash, to Miguel‘s first-ever DJ set at a party in Hollywood, and much more!

  • The dFm Presents: A Grammy Celebration at the Hollywood Roosevelt

This event – hosted by dFm founder Jesse Lee, Roc Nation manager Jon Lieberberg, Windish Agency founder Tom Windish and KCRW music director Jason Bentley – had all eyes on Miguel. The crooner treated guests at the Hollywood Roosevelt-held bash to a live, swoon-worthy singing performance and his first-ever DJ set. But that wasn’t to take away from the HAIM sisters, who performed a DJ set as well, for the second consecutive year at this particular party. Kesha and Rashida Jones were among the famous faces who took in tunes by these industry heavyweights.

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

Photo credit: Tibrina Hobson for WireImage

  • Jamie xx and Mark Ronson’s Valentine Special at Club James

What says pre-V-Day quite like a night in the company of some of music’s most handsome heartthrobs? This ultra-exclusive intimate bash, held at the newly opened Club James at the Goldstein Residence, featured a special performance by D.R.A.M, along with DJ sets by the two hosts Jamie xx and Mark Ronson. Guests at the sexy soiree also included Diplo, Florence Welch, Lorde, Danielle and Alana Haim, Rashida Jones, Rita Ora and Lily Allen. MasterCard provided a Priceless Moments photo booth for guests to capture their special date (or friends) night.

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

Photo credit: David Crotty for Patrick McMullan

  • Amplify Your Life Launch Party // The Knocks Wrap Party 

The El Rey Theatre was home to The Knocks‘ highly anticipated show in the earlier portion of Saturday night, but Mack Sennett Studios hosted a much more intimate gathering later in the evening to celebrate the NY-based duo’s performance, with a special DJ set that kicked off with their hit “Dancing with the DJ.” One of my favorite hip-hop producers Nic Nac popped up out of nowhere on stage mid-set, and the trio bopped heads and posed for photos. The night, hosted by Jack Daniels, also had another familiar face in the crowd: Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, who recently interviewed The Knocks for Interview magazine.




  • Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar 2016

Who can’t use a little touching up over the course of a long awards season weekend? Colgate hosted its fourth annual weekend of pampering for celebrities, bloggers and tastemakers on Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Hudson Loft in Downtown L.A., just minutes from where all of the Grammy rehearsals took place. One of my favorite electronic artists JES was in tow, swooping up some beauty products from Jouve. Guests also received complimentary nail, hair and beauty services from PRIV‘s on-the-go stylists, they noshed on a handful of salad and sandwich options and sipped on specialty cocktails, along with beverages from Lipton Sparking Iced Tea and Essentia alkaline water. And a photo booth is one thing – but this event also had a selfie mirror and an Instagram cut-out photo station.

Photo credit: Araya Diaz for Getty Images

Photo credit: Araya Diaz for Getty Images

Photo credit: Araya Diaz for Getty Images

Photo credit: Araya Diaz for Getty Images