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OLC! Top 20 Songs of 2018

20. Lauv and Julia Michaels – “Theres No Way”: Coming in at number 20 is the chart topping single by two singer-songwriters Lauv and Julia Michaels. After this song the two artists became a real life couple, and “There’s No Way” led the way for that romantic spark to happen. The song describes a tale of romantic feelings that are impossible to ignore. “You touch me and it’s almost like we knew, that there would be history between us two,” Lauv sings on the opening line, which sets the tone for the rest of the flirtatious love song. The video is just as bittersweet as the lyrics of “There’s No Way,” starring Michaels and Lauv and bringing the tale to life. As they sing the track, the two make eyes at each other as the chemistry flares, but eventually end the night going their separate ways.

19. Noah Kahan (feat. Julia Michaels) – “Hurt Somebody”: This song by Noah Kahan was released on September 15, 2017, as the lead single from his extended play of the same name. The song was written by Kahan and Scott Harris in Nashville and was recorded with Joel Little in Los Angeles. In an interview with Billboard Kahan stated; “‘Hurt Somebody’ is about the paralyzing fear of not being able to cut loose ends – even if it’s ultimately for the greater good. Ending things can be painful, and ‘Hurt Somebody’ illuminates the inner dialogue of trying to stomach the weight of that decision.” The single went 2 x platinum in Australia, and charted as high as number 8 in Belgium. At one point this year “Hurt Somebody” was the number one most played song on Australian radio. That’s pretty impressive for a 21-year-old who comes from a small town of 1,000 people, in Strafford, Vermont.

18. Tiësto & Dzeko (ft. Preme & Post Malone) – “Jackie Chan”: “This song was a smash hit combining vocals by Canadian rapper Preme and American rapper Post Malone. The track was originally featured on Preme’s debut full-length album, “Light of Day”, released on May 4, 2018. After hearing the vocals, Dutch DJ Tiësto and Canadian DJ Dzeko decided to produce an alternate version with crossover club appeal. The single peaked at number 52 on the Billboard charts, and made it into the top 10 of several countries including Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and the United Kingdom as well as the top twenty of the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.

17. NOTD – “I Wanna Know (feat. Bea Miller)”: NOTD (pronounced “noted”) is a production duo from Sweden composed of Tobias Danielsson and Samuel Brandt. After being nominated in 2017 for remix of the year at the EDM awards on the song “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, NOTD struck it big with “I Wanna Know”. “I Wanna Know” featured the vocals of Bea Miller and was released in March 2018. The song charted in several countries, including Australia, Canada, and Sweden. For those not familiar with Bea Miller, she first came to our attention when she was mentored by Britney Spears on the US version of The X Factor season two. She went on to come ninth in the show and later released a few singles, a debut EP, and a debut album. Then, last year, she dropped three EPs segmenting them into chapters using the primary colours: Blue, Red, and Yellow. Last month saw her collect the EPs and add a few additional tracks to create a second studio album, titled “Aurora”.

16. Halsey – “Without Me”: Halsey released “Without Me” on October 4, 2018, through Capitol Records. It was written by Halsey, Delacey, Amy Allen, Louis Bell, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Scott Storch, and was produced by Bell. Many people have speculated the song was about Halsey’s ex-boyfriend, G-Eazy, as they had recently split not long before the release of the music video. Halsey disputed those rumors after posting the reasoning behind the song on Instagram. She explained that this song is about several different relationships she’s either experienced and observed, and that it’s a reminder that you shouldn’t allow others to take advantage of you. The single debuted at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and after the release of the music video, “Without Me” jumped to number nine, giving Halsey her first top 10 single since “Bad At Love” which had reached number five in January 2018.

15. Zedd (featuring Maren Morris and Grey) – “The Middle”: Zedd teamed up with American country music singer Maren Morris and American musical duo Grey for this smash hit single. It was written by Sarah Aarons, Zedd, Grey, and The Monsters and the Strangerz, with production handled by the latter three. The song was released commercially on 23 January 2018. It has reached the top ten of the charts in the US, the UK, and several other countries. It was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards. The song reached No. 5 on Billboard Hot 100. It has sold 734,000 copies in the United States as of November 2018.

14. Khalid, 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign – “OTW”: “OTW” (which is an abbreviation for “on the way”) is a song by singers Khalid, Ty Dolla Sign and 6lack. The artists co-wrote the song with Brian Alexander Morgan, Idan Kalai and its producer Nineteen85. It peaked as high as number 11 on the New Zealand charts and number 14 on the Billboard charts. This song was no doubt the best R&B song of the year, and was a top 20 hit in various countries.

13. Kygo & Imagine Dragons – “Born To Be Yours”: Produced by Kygo, “Born To Be Yours” was released by Sony and Ultra Music on 15 June 2018. It is also included on the international deluxe edition of their fourth studio album, Origins. The single was a global top 10 smash hit in Mexico, Australia, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and many more. Kygo is no stranger to rock crossovers. He’s worked with U2, One Republic and The Night Game. “Born To Be Yours” is broad sweeping radio rock with a hint of folk. Hand claps and acoustic guitars shape verses over a chill electronic beat, and when the hook hits, it comes in form of a classic Kygo track.

12. Why Don’t We – “8 Letters”: Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery, Zach Herron and Daniel Seavey are the newest pop sensation, recording group Why Don’t We. The single peaked at number 15 on the US charts, and garnered a huge amount of fans, plus lead the way for a smash hit debut album with the same name. The band originally formed on September 27, 2016, and announced it the next day via their YouTube account. Since then, the band has released five EPs and five singles and released their first album on August 31, 2018, called “8 Letters”.

11. Benny Blanco (featuring Khalid and Halsey) – “Eastside”: It’s been a huge 2018 for Benny Blanco, Khalid and Halsey, so what better then these three powerhouse artists teaming up. “Eastside” was released on July 12, 2018 as Blanco’s debut single. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the issue dated July 28, 2018, at number 56, and has since peaked at number 16 on the chart. Outside of the United States, it reached number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore, and number two in Australia and Denmark. A bunch of stellar artists contributed to this song, including Ed Sheeran and Cashmere Cat. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Blanco explained “This is how I work on records, I’m not a part of this like old school, like, one person does this. If I have a homie over, and they’re listening to the song and they’re like, ‘Oh, I got a guitar lick for that,’ or ‘Let me throw some drums on that,’ ‘Let me let me do this’… For me, it’s just the way music comes together. It doesn’t have to be like a job. It is supposed to be fun.”

10. Joyner Lucas – “I’m Not Racist”: Sure this song never catapulted into the charts, probably because of the message this rapper was trying to convey. For it’s artistry and truth, this song had to make the top 20. Without a doubt it was the most powerful song released in 2018. It is controversial for rapping about race and society and depicts a heated discussion about race relations from the perspective of a white man and a black man. Lucas has said that the song’s lyrics represent the uncomfortable race talk that people shy away from. “I’m Not Racist” was first released as a music video on Lucas’ YouTube channel and has since garnered over 100 million views. It was directed by Lucas and Ben Proulx. You can read more about this song here.

9. Why Don’t We – “Hard”: This song appears on the groups debut album “8 Letters”, and would have to be my favourite song on the whole album. From the lyrics, to the vocals, to the instrumentals, it makes for a perfect all round song. If your a fan of old school pop music from groups like *NSYNC, Backstreetboys and 98 Degrees, your going to want to check this song out.

8. Post Malone – “I Fall Apart”: This song was a strange scenario, “I Fall Apart” was included on Post Malone’s 2016 album, “Stoney”, and never originally released as a single, but a live performance of the song on September 24, 2017 went viral. Video of the performance was posted by a fan on Twitter, and has earned more than 200,000 retweets. It was later uploaded on Facebook, and has tallied more than 7.9 million global views. The hit the charts again in 2018, it peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as peaking at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart, making it Post Malone’s highest charting single from “Stoney” in the United Kingdom.

7. Iggy Azalea (feat. Quavo) – “Savior”: Australian rapper Iggy Azalea dropped this smash hit song back in March, it featured American rapper Quavo and was written by Azalea, Quavo, Verse Simmonds, Akil King, Myjah Veira, Kyle Owens, Ian Devaney, Lisa Stansfield, Andy Morris, Cirkut, and Dr. Luke, with production handled by Cirkut, Manhun Glow, and Luke. The song was released via Island Records on 2 February 2018. It features an interpolation of co-writer Lisa Stansfield’s 1989 single “All Around the World”. The single made it into the top 20 charts in various countries including as high as number 7 on the Billboard charts. The music video for “Savior” was directed by Colin Tilley, and takes place inside a “neon church” and features a a collection of religious imagery and symbolism such as neon halos and crosses, burning roses, and a scene of Azalea being baptized.

6. DJ Khaled – “No Brainer” (feat. Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo): DJ Khaled has always been known for creating number 1 smash hit singles every year. 2018 was no different, “No Brainer” featured guest vocals from Justin Bieber and rappers Chance the Rapper and Quavo. The song was released on July 27, 2018 and the second single from Khaled’s eleventh studio album, “Father of Asahd”. It marked the second collaboration between Khaled, Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo, following “I’m the One”. “No Brainer” peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

5. Maroon 5 – “Girls Like You” (feat. Cardi B): “Girls Like You” is taken from the bands sixth studio album “Red Pill Blues”. A second version of this song featuring rapper Cardi B was released by 222 and Interscope Records as the album’s third single on May 30th. This version was written by Adam Levine, Cirkut, Cardi B, Starrah, Jason Evigan, and Gian Stone and was produced by Cirkut and Evigan. The single reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it Maroon 5’s fourth and Cardi B’s third chart topper. It spent sixteen weeks atop the Radio Songs chart, tying Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” as the longest-leading number one this century. Additionally, it reached number one in eleven other countries, including Canada and New Zealand.

4. Kanye West & Lil Pump (feat. Adele Givens) – “I Love It”: American rappers Kanye West and Lil Pump, teamed up with comedian Adele Givens for this rap hit single. The song was produced by West himself alongside DJ Clark Kent and frequent Lil Pump collaborator CBMix, with additional production by Ronny J. The track was written by West, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp. The song premiered at the 2018 Pornhub Awards. “I Love It” reached number one in Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden, as well as the top 10 in Australia, the UK and the US.

3. Benny Blanco and Calvin Harris – “I Found You”: Producer Benny Blanco and DJ Calvin Harris recently joined forces for one of the biggest hits this month. “I Found You” was released as a single on November 2, 2018 and Blanco first mentioned the collaboration in an interview with the British radio show The Vodafone Big Top 40 in August 2018, and officially confirmed it through his Twitter in October. Blanco previously stated that he has been a fan of Calvin Harris, and that he “was always attracted to how much soul and musicality he brought to the table… he also has one of my favorite recorded voices ever.. even tho he thinks it sounds like shit… I love it!” The single smashed the charts including peaking as high as number 13 on the Billboard dance charts, and number 3 on the New Zealand music charts.

2. Khalid & Normani – “Love Lies”: Taken from the movie soundtrack for “Love, Simon” , this single was marked Normani’s first solo release outside of Fifth Harmony. The single which was recorded by R&B superstar Khalid and Normani, It was written by Khalid, Normani, Jamil Chammas, Ryan Vojtesak and Taylor Parks, with production handled by Charlie Handsome and Chammas. In the United States, “Love Lies” debuted at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100, opening with 11.7 million streams in its first week. After the pair performed on the Billboard Music Awards on May 20, “Love Lies” entered the top 40 on the Hot 100, moving from number 47 to 36. It has so far reached a peak of number nine. “Love Lies” topped the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 pop radio airplay chart, with Khalid and Normani each earning their first number one. It claimed the longest climb to number one for a duet, doing it in its 24th week, and the third-longest among all songs. Outside the United States it peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland and the top twenty of the charts in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

1.Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”: Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes tops our chart with one of the biggest hits of 2018. For myself I loved everything about it, from the vocals, the lyrics, the production and even more so, the story. It was written by Geoff Warburton, Scott Harris and its producers Mendes and Teddy Geiger, and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. “In My Blood” tells the story of Mendes’ struggle with anxiety. It marks the first time the singer has publicly discussed his experiences with the mental health disorder. On his decision to write the song, Mendes said he wanted to “make something as serious as anxiety tangible where everybody can listen to it and either connect with it or understand it”. He then added that, “sometimes it lasts two hours, sometimes it lasts a day and sometimes it lasts five minutes. The point of the song is that no matter how long that lasts, you can come out the other end stronger and you come out of the other end always”.

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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