DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 40 Song Countdown of 2017

Happy New Year party people!

Methodology – I am a mobile DJ based in Central New Jersey and spin in a variety of settings from weddings to bars/clubs.  I am particularly fond of electronic and international music.  The selected songs below incorporate all styles of music and tempos with the songs in the #25 – #40 slots representing some songs that were personally enjoyable to me, but that may not have charted well or been heavily requested.  The Top 25 songs of 2017 are highly correlated to requests and dance floor impact captured at my 200+ performances during the year.

Musical Trends –  It’s a an exciting era to to be a DJ with so much music available across a variety of mediums.  The increasing popularity of streaming services like Spotify has enabled me to easily explore and organize all of the music from across the globe that I could ever want.  One of my other favorite places to research music is in the car listening to commercial-free Sirius radio.  Currently my favorite channels are Venus (Rhythmic Pop) and Chill (Channel 53).  Is there a catchy song in your daily travels that you want to identify?  Of course, use the free app Shazam.

As previously identified by my colleague Mike Bacon (aka, DJ Iron Mike), euphoric EDM music faded from the musical scene in 2017 and was replaced by a demand for mid-tempo tropical house compositions or collaborations between electronic producers like Calvin Harris with rappers like Migos.  “Trap Rap” (aka “drug music”) remained immensely popular with artists like Future, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert, and exotic dancer turned rapper Cardi B blew up big time with her hit song “Bodak Yellow.”  Ed Sheeran had a great year with Shape of You, Galway Girl and several ballads.  The members of “One Direction” also achieved great acclaim as solo artists in 2017 with hits like “Slow Hands” (Niall Horan) “Sign of the Times” (Harry Styles) and “Strip That Down” (Liam Payne).  Latin music was big in the pop arena, with mega hits by J. Balvin (“Mi Gente”) and Luis Fonsi (“Despacito”).

As we look into 2018, DJs crave a musical breakthrough with a new sound – and hopefully one that is more upbeat and dance floor friendly than trap rap at its dreary 60 to 70 beats per minute tempo.

Check out the list below, and you can listen to the songs on the Spotify playlist embedded later in this blog.

By, DJ Gregg Ambient, January 1, 2018

DJ Gregg’s Top 40 Countdown of 2017

40. Lights – Bobby Green f/ Whitney Philips (tropical house)

39. YES – Sam Feldt w/ Akon  (tropical house) * Love the warm happy feeling of this track and the synthesized Caribbean steel drums.

38. Strip That Down – Liam Payne w/ Quavo (R&B) * One Direction alumnus.

37. Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem (dance punk)

36. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (pop ballad) * The wedding ballad of Fall 2017 may become the wedding ballad of 2018!  A welcome development as wedding guests are tiring of Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”

35. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars (pop ballad) * Best suited for adult audiences.

34. Attention – Charlie Puth (pop) * I suggest using a remix to juice up the tempo and reduce some of the uncomfortable slowdowns in the original.

33. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles (pop) * One Direction alumnus

32. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt (Country) – the top pop country hit of 2017!

31. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (Country) – while this bluesy cover version was released in 2015, the song’s full power has grown on me like a fine Tennessee whiskey.

30. Game of Thrones Theme (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Ramin Djawadi (soundtracks/trance)  * “Winter is Coming” but this song can ignite dance floors.

29. New Rules – Dua Lipa (pop)  * part rap, part pop – Dua Lipa’s unique vocal delivery works.

28. Disco T*ts – Tove Lo (pop/electronic) * Definitely opt for the radio edited version of this Swedish star’s song when families are in the building.  For a good laugh, check out the music video.

27. Rockstar – Post Malone w/ 21 Savage (hip hop / R&B).  * 21 Savage’s deadpan rap delivery will grow on you with time.

26. I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd w/ Daft Punk (R&B) * One of the only songs to repeat from the 2016 playlist.  The Weeknd with Daft Punk is a divine collaboration.

25. It’s Everyday Bro – Jake Paul w/ Team 10 (YouTube Rap).  * This is an example of the type of track being requested by teen dance audiences.  Songs that may not be commercially available (although this one is).  This track logged 167 million YouTube views.

24. Passionfruit – Drake (R&B)  * DJs, be sure to edit out the false start to this song.

23. Dile Que Tu Me Quieres – Ozuna (Latin/Reggaeton)

22. Vente Pa’ Ca’ = Ricky Martin w/ Maluma (Latin)

21. Slow Hands – Niall Horan (pop) * One Direction alumnus.

20. Malibu (Lost Frequencies Remix) – Miley Cyrus (pop/electronic)

19. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato (pop)

18. Chantaje – Shakira w/ Maluma (Latin/Reggaeton)

17. Rollin – Calvin Harris w/ Future and Khalid (electronic / R&B)

16. Slide – Calvin Harris w/ Frank Ocean and Migos (electronic / R&B)

15. Unforgettable – French Montana w/ Swae Lee (Hip Hop / R&B)

14. Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled w/ Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (R&B) * DJs, of course you’d want to mix this with “Maria Maria” by Santana.

13. Humble – Kendrick Lamar (hip hop)

12. Mask Off – Future (hip hop)  * The hypnotic flute and Future’s chants of popular street drug names will draw you in.

11. Redbone – Childish Gambino (R&B)  * Such a soulful track!  DJ Iron Mike suggests the “Nick Bike Edit” – check it out here

10. Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man (alternative rock)  * Portugal.  The Man, a band from Alaska, has been together since the early 2000s and finally scored big with this hit!

9. Havana – Camila Cabello w/ Young Thug (pop)

8. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)  * Despite being released in 2016, the song’s presence and dance floor power remained strong in 2017.

7. Bad and Boujee – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert (hip hop).  * This song was massive in the first 4-5 months of 2017 but faded fast thereafter.  Lil’ Pump’s “Gucci Gang” (not included in this year’s countdown) could be 2018’s Bad and Boujee equivalent.

6. That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars (pop)  * This feel good sing-a-long by Mars is a great late night selection.

5. Mi Gente –  J. Balvin w/ Willy William (Latin/Reggaeton) * whether you opt for the original version or remix with Beyonce, this song’s intoxicating groove works on dance floors.

4. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B. (hip hop) * Cardi’s unique rap cadence and swagger made her an international superstar in 2017.

3. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran (pop) * A great party starter… for added percussion, we recommend DJ Cloak Dagger‘s Shape of You Moombahton Edit.

2. Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber (Latin/Reggaeton).  This massive global hit has scored 4.6 BILLION YouTube views just on the original version of the song alone.

1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (pop).  It’s my first ever repeat #1 song!  Released on November 18, 2016, I saw the power of this track early on.  As predicted, 24k became a massive dance floor success with the right energy to get guests moving and grooving.. “players, put yo pinky rings up to the moon!”

Worst Song of 2017“Everyday We Lit” – YFN Lucci f/ PnB Rock.  A childish, ridiculous song!  Runner-up would be “Get It Together” by Drake that bastardizes the original song “Superman” by Black Coffee.

Listen on Spotify

Take a listen to the Top 40 on the Spotify playlist below.

More Select Music Videos

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey and servicing the New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and New York City markets.  For more information about DJ Gregg Ambient or any of our other talented music mixologists, vist us online at www.ambientdj.com 

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The Top 100 Songs of 2017 – by DJ Iron Mike

Ambient DJs’ Mike Bacon, DJ Iron Mike, submits this Top 100 song list and commentary for the year past. The Top 30 can be listened to in the accompanying Spotify playlist below the song selections.  Enjoy!

With 2018 only days away, I took some time to reflect on the past year of 2017 from the perspective of the DJ booth. Before diving into my countdown, I want to share the methods of my madness that go into organizing such a list. My first rule is that I did not include ballads. While new popular ballads seem to be few and far between in terms of release in the present day, I like my countdown to be dance floor driven, focused more on “Peak Hour” tracks (songs ranked #1-30) and Party Starters (#31-100). Rule #2: The Top 100 is reflective of songs that were hot during the course of the year. Some choices may have been released in 2016 or even achieved some popularity during last year (Closer, 24K Magic, Black Beatles). In those cases, those selections sustained popularity in 2017, so I included them as well. There is a very autobiographical touch to these picks. The main determining factors were based on high amount of requests and live reactions at events and venues that I spin at. So while the Billboard Pop charts may feature many songs performed by country artists, it was tough for those hits to penetrate my playlist as in our part of New Jersey, country isn’t as hot is it might be in other parts of the United States.
The changing of the guard in pop music was very apparent in 2017. The high energy EDM scene almost entirely faded into the background away from the public ear in favor of “Trap Rap” or for lack of a better term, “Mumble Rap”. The likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black and Lil’ Yachty became names frequently requested by dance floor patrons as opposed to the dance music stars of the 2010’s such as Avicii, David Guetta and Afrojack. Meeting somewhere in the middle was Calvin Harris, who changed with the current trends and adopted a more mid-tempo sound suited for current rap powerhouses such as Migos to perform on his soundscape. Big name starlets such as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry fell short of their glory years with songs that didn’t connect as strong as previous efforts. Swiping the queen’s throne in 2017 was a name most DJs likely heard more than any other… “Cardi B”. While it’s extremely difficult to keep track of every single request made live at an event in a year’s time, I can honestly say that no one artist was asked for by name more than Cardi B. …The Clubs, Sweet 16’s, Grandmom’s birthday and the list goes on. “Bodak Yellow” and “No Limit” with G-Eazy and A$ap Rocky were massive hits. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey was easily the biggest sing-along song of the year, rare for me was the event that didn’t close out with the pop smash based on the cadence of Fetty Wap’s 2015 hit “679”.
Latin music made a profound impact on the topside of my winning anthems of 2017. The tour de force that was “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee & the hypnotizing rhythm of “Mi Gente” by J. Balvin & Willy William both benefited greatly in terms of mainstream success by respectively adding the likes of Justin Bieber and Beyonce to their remix renditions of their records. Even songs such as “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran “Unforgettable” by French Montana & Swae Lee & “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled, Rihanna & Bryson Tiller had a very welcoming tropical undercurrent. My personal favorite song of the year, “Redbone” by Childish Gambino was likely introduced to the public via the cinematic thriller Get Out . While many are mostly familiar with the cool, Bootsy Collins inspired funk vibe of the original version, I became a huge fan of the Nick Bike edit of this track which boosts the tempo for the dance floor and can really catch the attention of the party. Rounding out my big list at #1 was the virtuoso known as Bruno Mars with “That’s What I Like”. While some may argue that “24k Magic” was the more popular Mars hit, I began to feel an overplayed backlash in certain scenarios against the latter where “That’s What I like” maintained its popularity throughout the entire year. The made for late night parties R&B tune never seemed to fail me. The instantaneous resounding reaction to the first couple notes never seemed to go away. Maybe like R. Kelly’s 2002 chart topper “Ignition”, “That’s What I Like” will carry that beckoning to party feel from here on out where other songs are built to stay in 2017 and in our memories as time moves forward.
Feel free to debate, argue and or hopefully agree with where I placed the dance floor anthems of 2017 as in my humble opinion, that’s what lists are made for. Enjoy and have a Happy New Year! 
– DJ Iron Mike

The Top 100 Songs of 2017 – by DJ Iron Mike

  1.  That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars
  2. Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi f/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber
  3. Closer – The Chainsmokers f/ Halsey
  4. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B
  5. Mi Gente (remix) – J Balvin f/ Willy Williams & Beyonce
  6. Bad & Boujee – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert
  7. Redbone – Childish Gambino
  8. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  9. 24k Magic – Bruno Mars
  10. Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled f/ Rihanna & Bryson Tiller
  11. Unforgettable – French Montana f/ Swae Lee
  12. Mask Off – Future
  13. Humble – Kendrick Lamar
  14. The One – DJ Khaled f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil’ Wayne
  15. iSpy – Kyle f/ Lil Yachty
  16. Bounce Back – Big Sean
  17. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt
  18. Rolex – Ayo & Teo
  19. Slide – Calvin Harris f/ Frank Ocean & Migos
  20. Down – Marian Hill
  21. Know No Better – Major Lazer f/ Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo
  22. Congratulations – Post Malone
  23. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
  24. You Remind Me – Chris Porter
  25. Rake It Up – Yo Gotti f/ Mike Will Made It, Nicki Minaj
  26. Chunky – Bruno Mars
  27. Stay – Zedd f/ Alessia Cara
  28. Goosebumps – Travis Scott f/ Kendrick Lamar
  29. Questions – Chris Brown
  30. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd
  31. No Limit – G Easy f/ Cardi B, A$ap Rocky
  32. Xo Tour Lif3 – Lil Uzi Vert
  33. I Feel It Coming – The Weekend f/ Daft Punk
  34. All Night – Chance the Rapper f/ Knox Fortune
  35. Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers f/ Coldplay
  36. Havana – Camila Cabello f/ Young Thug
  37. Get Low – Zedd f/ Liam Payne
  38. No Lie – Sean Paul f/ Dua Lipa
  39. Party Animal (remix) – Charly Black f/ Luis Fonsi
  40. New Rules – Dua Lipa
  41. Tunnel Vision – Kodak Black
  42. It Ain’t Me – Kygo f/ Selena Gomez
  43. Strip That Down – Liam Payne f/ Quavo
  44. My Love – Wale f/ Major Lazer, Wizkid & Dua Lipa
  45. There’s Nohting Holdin’ Me Back – Shawn Mendes
  46. Feel It Still – Portugal The Man
  47. Passionfruit – Drake
  48. Rockstar – Post Malone f/ 21 Savage
  49. Swalla – Jason DeRulo f/ Nicki Minaj
  50. Feels – Calvin Harris f/ Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean
  51. Attention – Charlie Puth
  52. Pills & Automobiles – Chris Brown f/ Yo Gotti, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & Kodak Black
  53. Slippery – Migos
  54. Run Up – Major Lazer f/ PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj
  55. What Lovers Do – Maroon Five f/ SZA
  56. Slow Hands – Niall Horan
  57. Hey Ma – Pitbull f/ J. Balvin & Camilla Cabello
  58. Promises – Cheat Codes f/ Demi Lovato
  59. A Different Way – DJ Snake f/ Lauv
  60. Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift
  61. Heatstroke – Calvin Harris f/ Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande
  62. Shining – DJ Khaled f/ Beyonce and Jay-Z
  63. Timeless – A Boogie with da Hoodie f/ DJ Spinking
  64. Rockabye – Clean Bandit f/ Anne Marie and Sean Paul
  65. Magnolia – Playboi Carti
  66. Instruction – Jax Jones f/ Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don
  67. The Cure – Lady Gaga
  68. Come Closer – Wizkid f/ Drake
  69. Silence – Marshmello f/ Khalid
  70. No Fear – Dej Loaf
  71. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars
  72. Complicated – Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike f/ David Guetta & Kiiara
  73. Call Me – Neiked
  74. Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran
  75. DNA – Kendrick Lamar
  76. Love Galore – SZA f/ Travis Scott
  77. Good Day – Yellow Claw f/ Elliphant
  78. Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
  79. It Ain’t My Fault – Zara Larsson
  80. I Think of You – Jeremih f/ Chris Brown & Big Sean
  81. Friends – Justin Bieber and Bloodpop
  82. Heartbreak – Fat Joe f/ Remy Ma & The Dream
  83. Blem – Drake
  84. 1-800-273-8255 – Logic f/ Alessia Cara and Khalid
  85. My Kind of Girl – Throttle f/ Michael Buble
  86. Everyday We Lit – YFN Lucci f/ PNB Rock
  87. Cold – Maroon Five f/ Future
  88. Lonely Together – Avicii f/ Rita Oro
  89. Something New – Wiz Khalifa f/ Ty Doll $ign
  90. Sundown – Zara Larsson f/ Wizkid
  91. Text Ur Number – DJ Envy f/ DJ Sliink and Fetty Wap
  92. Call on Me – Starley
  93. Down – Fifth Harmony
  94. Still Got Time – Zayn Malik f/ PartyNextDoor
  95. Green Light – Pitbull f/ Flo Rida &  LunchMoney Lewis
  96. Mayores – Becky G f/ Bad Bunny
  97. Let Me Go – Hailee Steinfeld f/ Alesso & Florida Georgia Line
  98. Distance – Omarion
  99. Dreams – Dakota f/ Alex Ross and T-Pain
  100. Paris – The Chainsmokers

Listen on Spotify

Take a listen to Iron Mike’s Top 30 songs on the Spotify playlist below.  In many cases, Spotify doesn’t offer the clean radio-edited song versions that we prefer, so be forewarned.

For More Information

For more information about Ambient DJ Service or to book DJ Iron Mike, visit www.ambientdj.com.  Have a great 2018 everybody!