Adam Richard Wiles, known professionally as Calvin Harris, is a Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter and record producer. The most "summer" track Calvin has ever done, it's a shame he's moving on from this sound now! For ages I thought the lyric was "don't be afraid to catch fish"
Anton Powers is a British DJ, record producer, remixer & radio presenter. Victoria Louise "Pixie" Lott is an English singer, songwriter, and actress. One of the most basic dance tracks of the year became one of my faves! Just dead catchy, good melody and decent vocal from Pixie.
CamelPhat are a British DJ and production duo, formed in Liverpool in 2008. Alexander Kotz, known professionally as Elderbrook, is a British musician, songwriter and producer. CamelPhat have released so many great tracks over the last 4 years so it was amazing to see this murky deep house track become a proper hit!
Robin Schulz is a German musician, DJ and record producer. Pierre David Guetta is a French DJ, songwriter, record producer and remixer. Cheat Codes is an American electronic music DJ trio consisting of Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford, and Matthew Russell based in Los Angeles. Considering this has Guetta on it, it was uplifting, catchy and very listenable! Technically it's 2016 but I played it so much in early 2017 that I kept it for this year. Love the numerous vocal hooks so much and the member of Cheat Codes who sings it has a great voice for dance music. I wish more stuff like this would materialise!
Elizabeth Humfrey, known professionally as Betsy (stylized as BETSY) is a Welsh singer from Pembrokeshire. As I've mentioned, I saw the Welsh songstress live back in May in a tiny Manchester venue and she was absolutely marvellous - a strong, booming vocal to match Cher and Annie. This is my favourite BETSY track as it's just a perfectly packaged mature pop song with a similar melody to Gabrielle's Dreams.
Bruce Fielder, known professionally as Sigala, is an English DJ, record producer and remixer from Norwich, Norfolk. Ella McMahon, known by her stage name Ella Eyre, is an English singer and songwriter, signed to Virgin EMI Records. At first I was a bit "hmmm, generic Sigala", but NO! Ella's vocal soars for miles on this summer bop - it's overtaken Sweet Lovin' for me as my favourite Sigala production. I love the way it builds steadily through the verse and bridge before that massive "IIIIIIIII... want you to reach out!" which signals the chorus is coming big time. Ella should do a dance album.
Adam George Dyment, better known by his stage name Duke Dumont, is a British musician, songwriter, DJ and record producer. Gorgon City are an English electronic music production duo consisting of producers Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott. Two of my favourite acts of the last five years team up with NAATIONS, an Australian electronic act who I love and want to have their own success. This is the sort of music that was doing well in 2013/4 and I'm glad it was a semi-hit for them, proper commercial house with a great female vocal that we don't hear enough of anymore.
Sam (SG) Lewis is a producer, songwriter, and DJ from Reading, England. This song hit me like a tonne of bricks the first time I heard it - that production is so clean, funky and infectious. Coupled with a soulful vocal from singer Toulouse it became one of my summer anthems. Love the way the verses bubble along and the track rises during the bride before fully opening up for the chorus... this is possibly the best track Disclosure never did.
Dua Lipa is an English singer, songwriter, and model. Released just before she hit the big time and therefore overshadowed forever by New Rules, this funky 80s-influenced R&B/pop jam is one of the best Dua Lipa tracks so far, let alone a firm car favourite of mine last year. I try to recreate the Miguel vocal but can't quite manage it the production is top notch and I love the flow of the verses, especially when their voices intertwine!
Jennifer Kate Hudson is an American singer, actress and spokesperson. I've slept on Jennifer Hudson for much of her career since the late 00s but this was such a strong, emotional vocal performance and the I really loved the production kicking in, adding drama and passion to the track. I feel like it would've been a bit of smash if she'd released it nearer the beginning of her career.
Jess Higgs (George Maple) is a singer/songwriter from Australia. George has had some great tracks over the past three years or so, including Kryptonite also from this year, but it's Hero which is her shining moment for me. Interpolating the sample that Mylo took from Boy Meets Girl, it's a brooding, powerful ballad that oozes class and soul - that final chorus with the added production is so good.
Clean Bandit are an English electronic music band formed in Cambridge in 2008. Their big name collaborations are becoming ten-a-penny now but they hit something special when they enlisted Zara to front Symphony, it's easily Zara's most flawless, powerful and emotional vocal. It's an orchestral pop masterpiece, with the strings in full force and when that final chorus hits and we get the full Clean Bandit force, it's magic.
Alma-Sofia Miettinen, professionally known as ALMA, is a Finnish singer and songwriter. With a look of Beth Ditto, ALMA is a striking popstar with a right set of pipes on her. I liked Dye My Hair a lot, loved Karma but LOOOOOVED Chasing Highs the most of all. With a hint of trop-pop but far from generic, it's all about that build up to the pounding, sing-along chorus - such a moment when that beat drops.