By Kaushik Ghosh & Maradon D'Souza, Editors - JioSaavn: English
2021 has been another tumultuous year in human history. From the scary hours of the pre vax era to the rosy optimism of the post vax society, one of the most non-intrusive and safest ways of entertainment, continues to be the music that keeps us sane.
Let’s take a look back on these past 12 months in International music with its most notable genres and artists along with some of our favourite playlist artworks.
The Rise of Afrobeat
Multiple Viral Afrobeat songs
Shut Up! & Start Over…
From the days of Akon, we’ve all had a soft corner for African pop, always keeping an eye on the notable faces of the genre like Burna Boy and Davido. So when artists like C-Kay, Master KG, Kidi and Wizkid came along, powered by the massive hype on social media, it resulted in an Afrobeat explosion on the global stage. You can barely look at any short format video app without folks shaking a leg to ‘Touch It’ or ‘Love Nwantiti’. Mainstream artists too have started to get in on the action with Drake and Biebs leading the charge with some amazing collaborations.
Justin Bieber is a God of pop!
No.1 International artist on JioSaavn
If any non-Beliebers had hoped that Justin could not reach new heights in 2021, after last year’s blockbuster album ‘Changes’, they have been sorely mistaken. From the feel good earworm of the year that is ‘Peaches’ to ‘Stay’, the viral heartbreak anthem he was featured on with The Kid Laroi and even the constant airplay of catalogue hits like ‘Baby’, ‘Sorry’ & ‘Let Me Love You’, Bieber has been and continues to be the God of Pop on JioSaavn.
BTS Stays Gold!
every 2021 release has been a hit
After the ‘Dynamite’ success of last year, BTS continues to build on their global fanbase with stellar hits like ‘Butter’, ‘Permission To Dance’ & their dream collab with Coldplay ‘My Universe’, which shot through the roof the minute it dropped. K-Pop is here to stay and BTS remain the undisputed kings of the genre globally.
Latin Debut that got mainstream pop album numbers
Selena Gomez dropped her first latin EP ‘Revelación’ to the great delight of her adoring fans. With fabulous songs like ‘Baila Conmigo’ and the party song of summer 2021 ‘Selfish Love’ ft. DJ Snake, Selena has continued to rule the charts and our hearts as usual.
Swifties Own The Industry!
‘Take The Power Back’ Tay Tay Style!If you are not in the habit of saying ‘You Go Girl!’, every time a Taylor’s version of her catalogue get’s unleashed from the vault, then you are in the wrong company.
If fans had become somewhat nostalgic for the old T-swizzle after the Folk Rock-y sounds of ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, which were released to great critical and commercial success; not to worry, because the war with Scooter has taken an interesting turn of events this past year. In order to ‘own’ her earlier albums back, Taylor Swift has had to re-release editions of her classic catalogue along with new unheard tracks and collaborations, which in turn are now dominating the charts.
If it’s hip hop it’s gotta be Drake! Drake! Drake!
With the ChampagnePapi, the hits just keep on rolling. After dropping ‘Scary Hours 2’ in March 2021 to his usual chart dominance, the Drake-ster decided to release ‘Certified Lover Boy’ on the week after the most hyped Hip-Hop Release of the decade so far ‘Donda’ by Kanye West, thus putting the final nail on the coffin of his ‘beef’ with Ye. Suffice to say the Canadian Hip-Hop Mogul was ‘Way 2 Sexy’ for anybody to handle, continuing to prove why he is one of the biggest artists of the past decade.
We Walk with Alan!
No.2 International artist on JioSaavn
Alan Walker has been one of the most consistent DJs of the past decade. From his gaming music driven solo releases like the ‘Walker Racing League’ EP to the hotshot collaborations like ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Paradise’, the ‘Faded’ DJ continues to ‘Ignite’ the scene with the most amazing drops, year after year.
Lil Nas X is the LGBTQ+ Icon we all needed…
Lil Nas X has come a long way from his country-rap roots of ‘Old Town Road’, with his LGBTQ+ anthem for the ages that is ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’ and the hypebeast that is ‘Industry Baby’. The most ingenious promos before the album release; the gloriously explicit music videos, the superstar collaborations and even the way he slays haters, Lil Nas X knocks it out of the park with ‘MONTERO’ while continuing to be one of the most prominent faces of the pride community and a voice for change.
Tesher has had an amazing year, after the virality of ‘Young Shahrukh’, the man managed to create yet another undeniable hook that started trending almost instantly. And when you add Jason Derulo to the remix you just ensure that ‘Jalebi Baby’ remains a staple in everybody’s party playlist for years to come.
‘Runaway’ by Aurora
With the world caught indoors in the pre vax era, the virality of ‘Runaway’ by teen pop sensation Aurora brought us some much needed glimpses of the world that was waiting for us, once the pandemic was over. Thanks to the trend of people sharing their best wanderlust pics and videos to this amazing song on social media.
‘In Da Getto’ by J. Balvin, Skrillex
You know the song, you know the steps, & you know the beat…all that’s missing is the shopping cart or a public area and then you can dance your way to virality, thanks to this absolute banger from legendary DJ/producer Skrillex and Latin pop icon J.Balvin.