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our favorite music moments of 2015 (and what we can't wait to hear in 2016)

We talk to musicians, designers, creatives, and the i-D crew about what they had on repeat this year and who they’re most looking forward to hearing more of in 2016…

by i-D Staff
|
Dec 30 2015, 3:10pm

Kindness, musician 

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Going on a studio visit with Dev and Robyn to hear unheard Aaliyah multitracks. That, and gracing the stage of the Apollo with Dev and Solange. 2015 felt like musical family bonds grew even stronger.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Kelela, Solange and Blood Orange (LPs please!).

Olivia Rose, photographer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
The epic moment when Stormzy came out in Pepstar's "Beats and Bars." Gospel choir backing vocals for life.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Zak Abel! He's disgustingly good and happens to also be a megababe. He's actually better live than recorded, which is always the dream but never the reality. Listen to "Alchemy" on repeat forever, immediately.

Julia Sarr-Jamois, Senior Fashion Editor

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
"My mama don't like you and she likes everyone." - Justin Bieber

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I'm loving Travis Scott at the moment; I think he's going to be big in 2016, especially after his song with Justin Bieber.

MØ, singer and songwriter

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Playing "Lean On" with Major Lazer on Jimmy Fallon and at this new festival called Tinderbox in my home town, Odense in Denmark. AND, more recently, playing at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. That was magical and unforgettable.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Tei Shi, Kiiara, and Santigold.

Kathy Iandoli, writer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video. Some saw it as the ultimate Mean Girls move (against Katy Perry), but I saw it as #SquadGoals.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
My 2016 vote goes to Leikeli47. She is low key changing the way we view women in hip-hop, mainly because her face is masked, thereby eliminating the superficial judgment of women based on aesthetic. Plus, she's dope as shit. Jay-Z cosigns her and so do I. That should be enough to qualify her as legendary.

Toddla T, DJ and producer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Chimpo getting a Chesney Hawkes dubplate. Only Chimpo.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Coco. I'm so exited for this lad. He's been doing this for a while, but 2016 is his time. One of the best MCs in the country.

Plastician, DJ, producer and label owner (Terrorrhythm)

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Damn. It's hard to pick just one. I have seen some amazing performances by Skepta and JME, and am lucky enough to have been a part of their performance in Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves. Seeing Skepta perform "Back Then" -- produced by myself -- in front of that crowd from behind the decks was great, because it reminded me how far this has all come in 2015. Ten years ago, Skepta and I were playing that track at gigs and he was freestyling over it to dark rooms of a few hundred people. One and a half million people have listened to "Back Then" on Soundcloud in the few months it's been out. Just this week, I had to do the honors for JME in Leeds. The entire venue was singing the words to "That's Not Me" so loud he didn't need to spit himself.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I've been supporting his productions on the radio for some years now, and in 2015 Mura Masa kind of matured into a fully fledged artist. But in 2016, I can see him making the full crossover into the mainstream. The fact that the BBC noted him for Sound of 2016 underlines his potential to do it.

I also had the privilege of playing directly after Kano in Brixton last week, and watching him perform "Garage Skank" was a real moment. I think if he gets a couple more tracks like that under his belt he could do "a Skepta" next year. He certainly never lost the underground's ear in his time flirting with the UK singles charts, and if "Garage Skank" was a sign of what's to come, he could really re-emerge in 2016 and surpass a lot of the acts bubbling up at grime's surface right now.

Mistajam, DJ and broadcaster, BBC

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
The Craig David "60 Minutes Live" he did on my show alongside the Kurupt FM crew, Stormzy, Big Narstie, MC Vapour and MC DT. The energy in that room really came across in the video and it's fast become my go-to piece of entertainment to get me out of a bad mood.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
2016 is going to be a great year for music. I feel we've got a few artists who will be around for a very long time who will be making power moves. Stormzy's album will be groundbreaking. Skepta's album will be the biggest international grime success. Anderson.Paak will bring the funk back. The Soulection crew will take over the universe. Zak Abel's voice will melt even the iciest of hearts. Mura Masa will have everyone wanting to move to Guernsey. Disposable house music will disappear (as all those jump-on-the-wave producers will move over to techno) to make way for the return of real house music led by the likes of Sonny Fodera, Apexape, Kokiri and Ryan Blyth. On the underground, everyone will be talking about Dave as the next young UK lyricist to do major work. And Craig David's new stuff is absolutely astounding. He will take his place back at the throne.

J-Cush, producer, DJ, one-quarter of Future Brown and label owner (Lit City Records)

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
I have two favorite moments in music for 2015: the Rinse FM family bringing me in -- catch me Monday nights every week. Also, joining the Newham Generals as their official DJ a few months ago was equally sick. I grew up listening to those guys on pirate radio so now to see both Rinse and the Generals growing at lightning speeds, and being involved in some minor way, has been major for me.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I have the highest hopes for Drippin, Sami Baha, DJ N.K, Prince Rapid, DJ Dotorado, DJ Manny, DJ Spoko, LAO, Blay and Paul Marmota. These guys are the new wave of the underground. There are projects with them all in the works for Lit City Trax in 2016. Worldwide link up! Also big up Trends, Dubbel Dutch & DJ NA from Nguzunguzu. Their output is seriously weighty.

MC-wise: I have no doubts that D Double E and Footsie are taking over in 2016. Hands down, they're the ones who are going to take grime to the highest heights this upcoming year. Skepta's record will be a major turning point for sure. When Dizzee drops his next record, it's going to do a lot. I heard an EPs worth of madness from him at Dirtee Stank HQ. YGG's PK, Saint and Lyrical Strally are the best of the new generation of grime in my opinion. Mez from Nottingham is doing stuff too. Also, hundred percent looking forward to more Migos and Jeremih material.

There's way too many brilliant DJ's to mention but hold tight Slimzee, Grandmixxer, DJ Marfox, Durban General Courts, Rude Kid, Maximum and the big bad DJ EZ. Lisbon is probably the most exciting city music-wise apart from London. Atlanta seems live as well, to be honest.

Ella Dror, Fashion and Brand PR

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Drake x Skepta at Wireless was so sick. I'm so happy I saw that live; it was pretty epic TBH.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Section Boyz. Their album is so good. I also love J Hus.

Marisa JiwiSeok, Jiwinaia

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Partynextdoor's "Recognize" really inspired me. I love it!

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Girli. I can't wait to see what she does in 2016.

Siobhan Bell, DJ and producer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
The hundreds of memes that were produced from Drake's "Hotline Bling" video.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
TTY (thetheyouth). A new, fresh act; they're too good. Their music is so ill.

Astrid Anderson, designer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Creating the track "Water" with Ferg for my spring/summer 16 collection and collaborating on a video vision for it. It was privileged moment that I will cherish forever.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I hope 2016 is a big year for Section Boyz because I love their vibe. There's no doubt Skepta's album will be important for 2016. I also massively look forward to Ferg's album, I have heard bits in the studio and can't wait for the release!

Matthew Whitehouse, i-D Development Producer

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
It's a straight toss-up between Fleur East's triumphant comeback performance of "Sax" on The X Factor (the minor fall, the major hair flick) and almost the entire 28:45 minutes of Royal Headache's second album High. It's a record so primal, so laugh-out-loud-on-the-bus honest, it single-handedly restored my faith in rock and roll's ability to move in 2015. The first straight "guitar album" I've loved since, well, I have absolutely no idea (The '59 Sound??). It is that very rarest of things -- a collection of songs that sound as great on a bad day as they do on a good. A true record for life.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I have a real soft spot for Peluché. They're the sort of band that make music to escape their jobs -- as I suppose, all new bands do -- but also in the hope that one day their songs will actually mean something to people other than themselves -- as not all new bands do. Oh, and they have the sound of London -- sprawling, streaming, struggling and chit-chattering -- coursing though every single note they play. Honorable mention to their suburban counterparts, the Rhythm Method.


Krept and Konan, rap duo

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
It's a personal one to us: being able to perform at our own headlining tour, especially in London, our home city.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
Drake. He always seems to do something different and special, so we really want to hear what he comes with next.

Lynette Nylander, i-D Deputy Editor

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Madonna. The BRITS. Always and forever.

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I am tipping Mabel for 2016. She's sweet and beautiful and has the voice of an angel. I really love Zak Abel after meeting him on set, and the amazing Lola Coca will set the world alight.


Hannah Diamond (PC Music) 

What was your favorite musical moment of 2015?
Being on the set shooting for my first music video, specifically the last scene where I was walking through doors and coming out to a crowd of paparazzi while being showered in confetti. It felt like a sparkly finale not just for the day, which had been so much fun, but also a celebration for all the work that had gone into finishing the track and prepping for the shoot day. It was also the moment I felt like everything had come together and I felt quite tearful!

Who are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2016?
I'm super excited about what Charli XCX has been working on with A.G and Sophie! And I'm really looking forward to see what K-Rizz is gonna do in 2016 -- she's killing it!