The heat is here, July is about done, and with August around the corner, I wanted to share some of my new favorites with you guys. It’s safe to say that this will be known as the summer of tropical music. Whether it is dance music (Major Lazer, Don Diablo, Kygo) or hip-hop (Fetty Wrap, Omi, Jeremih), the tropical sound is crossing over across all different genres.
I've been playing gigs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Los Angeles over the past couple of months and talking with my friends who have done the same. We’ve all seen the same trends happening in clubs all over the country. After years of hard-hitting EDM and slow-moving, harsh hip-hop, everyone just wants to dance and have fun again.
Speaking of all things tropical: The Mad Decent Block Party is going down in Fort Lauderdale next week and will feature a set from Thomas Jack, one of the biggest names in our season of the tropical house genre. It's worth noting that he got his start right here in South Florida. If you can deal with the hordes of kids in raver gear, it should be a great day of music.
At any rate, here are some new favorites for you to dig into:
The Weeknd, "Can’t Feel My Face (Rainer and Grimm Remix)"
Looks like after hovering near the mainstream for a couple of years, the Weeknd is going full crossover. This song is currently number one on the iTunes charts. Rainer & Grimm speed it up and dress it for a killer dance-floor remix.
Miguel, "Leaves (Adam Foster’s Sweet California Remix)"
This one is from Miguel’s beautiful new Wildheart album — I heard it on NPR’s prerelease stream, and this song just blew me away. This may end up being the album that starts to define Miguel as a serious figure in the history of R&B — it is full of beautifully written songs, has some really incredible moments, and really fits together as an album with a consistent theme and sound. Hope you guys enjoy my remix as well.
Outkast, "Spottieottiedopaliscious (Rad Stereo Remix)"
Rad Stereo took my favorite Outkast tune, slowed it down to a nice nu-disco shuffle, and added some extra horns to make this one of my favorite songs to play right now. Damn, James.
Freejak, "Street Level"
U.K. producer Freejak and singer Felicity produced this big-room, modern disco/future house that has been in heavy rotation in my sets.
Tchami, feat. Stacey Barthe, "Afterlife"
Future House producer Tchami made his foray into original music with this dark, atmospheric tune he wrote with singer/songwriter Stacey Barthe. She is also the writer behind some of Britney Spears', Estelle's, and Katy Perry’s biggest tunes, but her original songs and voice are incredible. It's great to hear her out on her own on this one.
No Way Back, "It’s Not Right"
Mystery producer No Way Back produced this ultra-modern future/deep house remix of Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right.” I’ve heard some of the early promos of the forthcoming releases, and there is plenty to look forward to from this project, which may or may not be from a name the South Florida club world knows very well.
Chris Brown & Tyga, "Bitches N Marijuana (RYLS G-House Remix)"
RYLS took one of the biggest hip-hop tunes of the summer and gave it a tough, dance-floor-ready remix. It’s cheesy. It has no substance. But, hey — it's fun. It’s summertime. Try not to sing along to this one.
Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding, "Outside (Pegato Remix)"
My favorite remix of this hit from Calvin Harris is this pitched-down, tropical version by Norway producer Pegato. This version may be more for the pool than the club, but it is a beautiful remix.
Jax Jones, "Luv Like This"
Jax Jones was the songwriter on Duke Dumont’s smash summertime hit “I Got U,” which started as an underground hit in the U.K. and ended up winning a Grammy here in the U.S. This track is another perfectly paced, soulful summertime house anthem.
Rescue, "Here & Now"
Rescue comes out bumping on this remix of this R&B classic. Guesthouse music out of San Francisco has been consistently putting out this same style of funky house for more than a decade, proof that once a genre of dance music gets established, it tends to stick around awhile.