We have previously dissected all the Top 5 losers of 2015, so it is only right we laud those who have taken 2015 by storm!
We believe 2015 will be remembered as year of comebacks, when everything was stripped down and the music was left to do the talking! Artist and fan power were dominant, especially in social media. Certain music scenes were given a new lease of life whereas others kept its culture and heritage against the serious threat of commercialisation.
Here are our 5 winners of 2015:
5. Streaming & Vinyl Sales
Although streaming is not strictly a 2015 phenomenon, it certainly shifted the landscape of the music business for many years to come. Streaming has altered the charts in a massive way. We now see the Top 10 dominated by superstar artists like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran; however, it has also allowed other genres a fighting chance of a Top 40. Due to streaming, emerging house artists like DJ S.K.T entered the charts, with little promotion and no major label deal, in with Take Me Away. Rap anthems like Fetty Wap’s 679 & Trap Queen were in the charts for 40+ weeks due to its streams on Spotify!
Vinyl also made a strong comeback in 2015. There was an increase in both its sales and record stores emerging. More independent labels are looking towards Vinyl distribution when pushing new music. It is difficult to pin point why Vinyl has become popular again – are people looking towards the past, do we want to buy music again?
What is clear is that the way we consume music is diversifying and this can only be healthy for the industry!
4.The Columbo Group
The Columbo Group are beginning to create somewhat of a monopoly in London’s nightlife! The owners of Xoyo and The Nest gave us a new nightclub called Phonox, replacing Plan B in Brixton. Since it’s opening late summer Phonox has received nothing but rave reviews. It’s policy of one night one room and one DJ is seen as a return to basics. No big projectors, no big lights, no stupid amount of DJs on the bill. It’s all about the music, the DJ and the people. With a new festival, Sunfall, appearing in 2016, the sky seems to be the limit for The Columbo Group. In times of threat for London’snight scene, The Columbo Group seem to be only be getting stronger!
3.Ibiza – The Old Guard Ruling
Sven Vath’s Cocoon and Matt Jam Lamont’s Redlight are two nights in Ibiza which could not be any more different. The former is all about thumping techno , the latter all about thumping basslines! However, both Redlight & Cocoon were two of the most successful nights in the island. While Papa Sven was the main attraction at Cocoon, Redlight welcomed a new breed of DJs to the island, names such as Low Steppa, Preditah & DJ Q were frequent residents at Sankeys, smashing the UKG to a new crowd of ravers.
With Redlight already confirmed for the 2016 and Sven Vath’s Cocoon a sure thing to return, we can expect both Techno and Garage to have a solid showing in Ibiza next year.
In 2015 the public definitely took an interest in radio again. Internet stations like the well-established NTS, seemingly unstoppable Radar and newly-founded Balamii were great in showcasing new talent, whether producers, DJs, MCs or presenters. Rinse FM continued to build with even more live sessions and a bigger roster! The inclusion of Apple Music’s Beats 1 to the mix allowed star names like Drake and Disclosure to bring the public the music they love. Radio 1 & 1Xtra continued to build on expanding their broadcasting, reaching bigger audiences through YouTube and iPlayer specials.
What 2015 proved was that radio, in all its form, is still a vital component for a flourishing music scene. Many claim the death of radio; however, to us it is still going strong and better than ever!
I think it is fair to say that 2015 was the year Grime finally grew from a scene to a genre. The appeal of the 140bpm art form has never been bigger. From MCs joining Kanye West on stage at the Brits to albums and singles charting in the Top 10 of the charts, Grime has officially come of age. We have new emerging talent like Jammz, AJ Tracey & Mez. New stars have been born like Novelist and Stormzy. The likes of Skepta and Butterz have been taking Grime all over the world with shows across Africa, North America and Asia.
Stations like Radar Radio joined BBC Radio 1Xtra and Rinse FM in committing to pushing Grime to the fullest.
There are now more events than ever before, from the usual Eskimo Dance, smaller raves like REP to large scale events such as Footsie’s King Original. Jme & Skepta shut down Brixton arena and Stormzy led out heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua in his latest fight.
Grime as a genre is finally making news reports and the papers for good reasons. It’s fanbase is more diverse than ever and are also willing to spend money on releases, events and merchandise.
If things continue as they are, who knows how big Grime as a Genre could end up, all we do know is that it certainly won over many in 2015!