Artist of the Year
In a male-dominated industry it was awesome to see Peggy’s growth in 2019. In a such a short amount of time, she went from DJ, to launching her own label Gudu Records, to becoming a major trendsetter with a fire style, she’s got a streetwear brand called KIRIN that’s pretty legit, an eyewear contract with Ray Ban, a massive legion of fans who chant “Peggy fucking Gou” wherever she goes, and two hot EP’s that really showed off her range as a producer. It was most definitely her year.
Best New Artist
She’s not technically “new” but for A LOT of people 2019 was the year they were introduced to the talent of Lizzo and now she is a without a doubt, a household name.
Track of the Year
I devoured this track in 2019. It’s a gorgeous deep house instrumental from a Dutch act called 16BL. I love everything about this and immediately connected to it; the romance in the strings, the deep synths, the amazing buildup… plus it’s called “Vette” which has been my nickname from close friends since forever, so that was the cherry on top for me.
Remix of the Year
Marc Bianco & Ethyene – Solomundo (Jacques Renault BK Remix)
Oh man, just listening to this for the sake of this post gives me every feel I need right now. Plagued with beach vibes, cookout vibes and rooftop vibes (to name a few), Jacques Renault polished an already banging track into pure perfection. I will forever be reminded of Summer 2019 when I hear it.
Album of the Year
Moodymann – Sinner
The Detroit O.G. quietly dropped an album this past Spring with very (very) little explanation and background info on it. It’s only 7 tracks but like we’ve come to expect from him, it’s dark, sexy, eclectic, mysterious, and is best consumed on a late night in an intimate setting with the volume extremely loud.
EP of the Year
T.U.R.F. – Have A Nice Day
This anticipated three-track gem is a perfect blend of subtle house & disco that served as a vibe setter for me all summer long.
Favorite Show of the Year
Escort @ U Street Music Hall [April 18, 2019]
Watching a disco band perform live is always a fun experience and when BK’s Escort hit U Street Music Hall back in April to perform cuts off their 2019 album, City Life, they absolutely killed it. With the extraordinary Adeline Michelle riding the wave of her successful solo career, former backup singer Nicki B has taken over the reins giving the band a fresh and even more energetic “makeover.” JKriv (who’s own independent work this year has been stellar) on bass & guitar tied the whole disco together, his talent shined bright that night and because of him, NO ONE stopped dancing from start to finish.
Label of the Year
RNT was my steady go-to for all things house and disco – both originals and edits. The BK based label constantly put out quality music throughout the year giving us everything from serious funk edits from Frank Booker, a beautifully crafted solo disco album from Adeline (former lead singer of Escort), handfuls of goodness from J Kriv, a recent/much need vibe from Felipe Gordon, an intro me to some oddball afro boogie via Em Vee Edits. In 2019 RNT steadily introduced me to new artists and producers as well as kept me updated on ones I’ve followed for years more than any other label I can think of.
DC Artist to Watch
April + VISTA
Eyes have been watching for a few years now and while the buzz has been there I feel this dope ass DMV duo deserves even more. The recently dropped a new single called “Every Void” which gracefully blurs the lines of R&B and electronic – giving me a little bit of Sonnymoon and the Internet vibes, while still keeping it all their own with their beautiful harmonies and stunning lyrics. April + VISTA continues to push the envelope and I’m really hoping that a major breakthrough is coming for them soon.