It’s an annual tradition – my Top 25 song countdown! First, let’s recap 2015’s top songs:
(1) Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon, (2) Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson w/ Bruno Mars, (3) Cheerleader – OMI, (4) Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – Silento, (5) Trap Queen – Fetty Wap.
2016 Was Not a Great Year for Dance Music. Innovation was lacking overall. Importantly, there was no summer smash hit like “Uptown Funk” or “Blurred Lines” of years past. We, as mobile DJs, kept waiting for this epic record to drop, but it never arrived! Instead we got recycled tracks like Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Nor were there powerful new sounds or genres created in 2016. It was more of the same.
On the urban dance front, Drake continued to pump out hits, but at dreary tempos. Catchy tracks like Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” (Mannequin Challenge), Desiigner’s “Panda” and Young M.A.’s “Ouuu” became embedded in many a DJ’s cranium.
And of course music lovers mourned the loss of icons Prince, David Bowie, George Michael and DJ David Mancuso – among others.
Selecting a top track for 2016 was no easy task. However, my selection for the #1 reflects a belief that this track’s full power will be seen in 2017! Behold the Top 25 playlist, listed in countdown fashion: (note: you can listen to all of the songs in the Spotify player found later in this blog. Also at the bottom of this blog, check out my New Years Eve party mix that includes many of these tracks along with tributes to the fallen musical heroes of 2016).
DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 25 Tracks of 2016
25. Feel – Mahmut Orhan w/ Sena Sener (take a trip to a Middle Eastern bazaar. While the song didn’t hit critical acclaim, it was a personal favorite)
24. Be Here – Duke Dumont (Dumont channels early 90s house music. Another personal fave)
23. Broccoli – D.R.A.M. w/ Lil Yachty (fun song, even if they’re rapping about a different kind of broccoli)
22. Give It Up – Nathan Sykes f/ G-Eazy (Sykes breaks away from British Boy Band The Wanted to drop this huge, soulful performance)
21. Juju On That Beat (TZ Anthem) – Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall (feel energy levels explode when playing this track in a gymnasium packed full of teenagers)
20. I Took a Pill in Ibiza – Mike Posner (a super cool song that showcases Posner’s silky smooth voice)
19. Fade – Kanye West (this song has a deep dance groove and gives a nod to Master at Work’s “Deep Inside” – check out the souped up Freejak dance remix)
18. I Feel it Coming – The Weeknd w/ Daft Punk. (This dreamy collaboration delivers with Daft Punk’s production magic and the Weeknd sounding amazingly like Michael Jackson)
17. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd w/ Gucci Mane (this song became synonymous with 2016’s mania, “The Mannequin Challenge”)
16. BOSS – Disclosure. (what Top 25 playlist would be complete with a track from Disclosure?)
15. Millionaire – Cash Cash w/ Digital Farm Animals, f/ Nelly (raise the energy with this feel good party track. Cash Cash performed this song live at the 2016 DJ Expo!)
14. My Boo – Ghost Town DJs (this song from 1996 was resurrected when it came to be associated with dance craze “The Running Man” Challenge)
13. All the Way Up – Fat Joe, Remy Ma w/ French Montana (sounds like that real hip hop that’s been in short supply these days)
12. Ginza – J. Balvin (Colombian artist J. Balvin produced this sleek reggaeton track. Honorable mention goes to J. Balvin’s “Safari”)
11. Gyal You a Party Animal – Charly Black (a joyous Soca/Calypso track to jump start your Caribbean set!)
10. My House – Flo Rida (Flo Rida continues to apply his winning formula of rapping with swag over hot dance beats)
9. Cake by the Ocean – DNCE (a song about cake enjoyed at the ocean? Who would have thought it possible? A fun party track reminiscent of 80s new wave)
8. Feel Like I Do – Disclosure w/ Revd. Al Green (soup up your wedding sets with a R&B love song over Disclosure’s groovy beats)
7. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (one of the most requested songs of 2016. Great to jump start a party!)
6. This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners (an infectiously fun track that makes you want to get out of your seat and start dancing)
5. One Dance – Drake w/ Wizkid and Kyla (the dance floor power of Drake cannot be denied. One Dance was his biggest floor filler of 2016).
4. Cheap Thrills – Sia w/ Sean Paul (dancers consistently enjoyed this song. I recommend raising the 90 BPM tempo by 7-10% for more energy)
3. Let Me Love You – DJ Snake w/ Justin Bieber (DJ Snake has the hot electronic sound, and JB’s vocals take this track to the next level and make you want to sing along. Honorable mention for JB’s 2016 hits “Sorry” and “Cold Water”)
2. Closer – The Chainsmokers (the nonsensical lyrics of this track did not prevent it from becoming a huge peak hour track! Listening to this song repeatedly is much safer than chainsmoking)
1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (this song – the title track off Bruno Mars’ new October 2016 album is all about the party! The track sounds timeless and pays homage to vintage funk. Look for 24K Magic to wield its full power in 2017. And don’t forget to “PUT YOUR…. PINKY FINGERS… TO THE MOON”