Year-In-Review: MMXVIII

December 24, 2018


Wrapping up an outstanding year, we put together a Spotify playlist celebrating some of 2018's chart-topping releases from around the world by our acclaimed roster of songwriters and monumental new signees, including Jimmy Napes, Chase & Status, Paloma Faith, Theophilus London, and Mr. Probz.

Our MMXVIII playlist also includes tracks with Beyoncé and Jay-Z as The Carters, Camila Cabello, Charli XCX, Drake, H.E.R., Jillian Jacqueline, Wyclef Jean, Logic, Mae MullerNaughty Boy, OneRepublic, Rhye, and Shawn Mendes, to name just a few — as well as some incredible global collaborations from our Songwriters Without Borders initiative.

With 15 of our clients having contributed to 18 works which received 20 nominations for the 2019 GRAMMY Awards, our playlist includes some GRAMMY-nominated songs created with the assistance of Downtown clients Gabriel Garzón-MontanoHiatus Kaiyote Kendell MarvelAnthony RossomandoZach SkeltonRyan Tedder, and Andrew Wyatt, among others — including the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper hit “Shallow” from the film A Star Is Born, which has already earned four nods from the Recording Academy and a 2019 Golden Globe nomination. 

With writing and production by Austin-based writer-producers Niles City Sound, Leon Bridges’ Good Thing is up for Best R&B Album — featuring Best Traditional R&B Performance-nominee “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and the soulful single “Beyond.”

His 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction nomination on the table, as well as three for the GRAMMYs, John Prine also had a stellar year. We decided to include his beautiful Best American Roots Song candidate “Summer’s End” from his Best Americana Album contender The Tree of Forgiveness on our playlist.

Our year-end review also showcases hits like Diplo, Lil Yachty & Santigold’s “Worry No More,” Paul McCartney’s “Fuh You” with Ryan Tedder, “Before You Get a Boyfriend” by Phony Ppl, Zayn’s “Dusk Till Dawn” featuring Sia (co-written by Saltwives), and much more.

Atlanta-based songwriter and producer Vedo — who began his career writing for artists like Chris Brown and Lil Dicky — collaborated with K-pop sensation NCT 127 on the lead single “Regular” from the group’s debut album Regular-Irregular. A product of Downtown’s newly launched Songwriters Without Borders initiative to foster global collaboration between our clients from around the world, the song also sampled “Din Daa Daa” by German writer, singer, and instrumentalist George Kranz — which Downtown represents on behalf of Berlin-based Budde Music. Intended for a global audience, with Latin and trap influences, “Regular” was NCT 127’s first track recorded in both English and Korean.

Also on our global collaborations list, from Amsterdam, is the smash hit “Crazy” by Belgian DJ and Producer Lost Frequencies alongside Dutch EDM duo Zonderling.

We had some major releases from Australian artists down under as well, like new signees John Butler, the Teskey Brothers, and Stella DonnellyMMXVIII features the latter’s hit "Boys Will Be Boys" from her Thrush Metal EP, which was recently named one of the "16 Most Powerful Anthems for the #MeToo Age" by Paste Magazine — who praised the singer-songwriter for packing "more political punch into two verses, a chorus, and an outro than many writers could manage in a dozen thinkpieces."

Our 2018 recap wouldn’t be complete without songs that helped ring in the holiday season. Sia’s “Round and Round,” a remake of the Perry Como classic (Kassner Music), was featured prominently in Target’s holiday ad campaign and released as a bonus track on her album Every Day is Christmas, created exclusively for the brand.

As we close the year, to round off our list, we have Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, and special guest Sean Ono Lennon’s new cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1972 single “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” — released just in time for Christmas.

We hope you enjoy our MMXVIII playlist. Happy New Year from your friends at Downtown!