Amapiano was probably the biggest music story of the year, and 2021 was the year where many great south African rhythms hit the mainstream. Drill continued it’s rise, and in Ireland, new drill artists emerged left, right, and centre. I wrote about this a few times in this column, but it was great to see some of Ireland’s drill artists explode, both here and abroad. It doesn’t get the media coverage or airplay that it merits, but drill is here to stay and it’s massive in Ireland and the UK. Both Drill and Amapiano are genres which have existed for a while and which are both morphing into new areas all the time.
This is one of the wonderful things about music. It will merge with new styles and become something new again.
We live in turbulent times, and I’ll sum up the year in full next week, but today let’s talk about some of the tunes which lit up my sets in 2021.
My only big regret is that I didn’t get to play more of these out in clubs and at festivals and parties.
Here are 10 of my favourites, in no particular order.
Ireland’s new sound, from a charismatic young Clondalkin rapper who is going places fast.
This was the year where he really got his mojo back, and the world is a better place when he’s in this form.
Galway based Melanin Tee has loads of attitude and sass and the “Brown skilled girl and Irish beauty” is one to watch for sure!
There were so many great tunes from PinkPantheress herself too in 2021, including ‘Just for me’, the origin of Central Cee’s track.
It’s been a good year for music.