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CRACK

The Class of
2019

What were your highlights of 2019? What needs to be left behind? We quiz eight artists on their best and worst moments of the year

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LONDON-BASED PRODUCER REARRANGING CLUB MUSIC

A personal highlight of 2019:
My FIGURE BESIDE ME audiovisual show at Goldsmiths, London – my first audiovisual work and first collaboration with Natalia Podgórska, whom I’d married two weeks before the show’s premiere. Months of work finally completed; we were euphoric.

The best and worst things about music culture in 2019:
Best: Accessibility to music making technology. So much talent is flourishing, I’m always excited by what lands in my inbox from around the world.

Worst: Independent promoters with small budgets and a whole lot of passion don’t get enough love or respect.

Hero of 2019:
Chelsea Manning.

Villain of 2019:
Epstein and his lot take the cake.

Something that surprised me this year:
CBD oil actually does shit? A godsend for my insomnia.

The album I had on repeat this year:
PYUR – Oratorio for the Underworld.

The 2019 releases which never left my record bag:
I don’t have a record bag, but never left my USB:
90 Process – Fuse [Lobster Theremin]
VTSS – Self Control [HAVEN]
Doubt – Steam Cycle [Flood]
Avbvrn – Caldera [DECISIONS]
Dynkur – Tschussi [FALK Disks]
Hoshina Anniversary – Zangai [MUSAR Recordings]
VA – En Famille [Little Corner]

What’s the year’s best kept secret?
How does everyone bounce back from benders so quickly? People seem to party way longer than me and recover way faster.

The most important thing I’ve learned in 2019:
Love prevails!

Wishes for 2020:
More nuance, less buzzwords.

One prediction for the next decade:
I’m hoping Prince Philip will finally die?

Rosa Pistola

REGGAETON'S UNDERGROUND INNOVATOR

The best and worst things about music culture in 2019:
Appropriation was both the best and the worst in all positive and negative ways possible.

Hero of 2019:
Omega el Fuerte.

Villain of 2019:
Trump.

Something that surprised me this year:
The fact that “corridos” are becoming part of pop culture.

The album I had on repeat this year:
The Green Trip by T3R Elemento

The most important thing I’ve learned in 2019:
Take it easy with the job and money is not everything.

Wishes for 2020:
Recognition and support for the people who really contribute to music culture.

Survival tips for 2020:
Learn how to receive punches… because this business is about how much you can take.

One prediction for the next decade:
More pop artists stealing ideas from underground culture.

Things that need to stay in 2019:
The “likes”. It should be about quality not quantity.

Oli XL

STOCKHOLM-BASED EXPERIMENTALIST

The year’s best clubbing experience:
I trainwrecked for the first time after seven years of DJing. I was on at peak hour at this festival Creepy Teepee and they didn’t have any booth monitors so I kept my headphones on. I mixed in the new track but accidentally brought up the wrong fader, and first realised after a minute of complete silence in the club, while I was head bobbing hard to the cued music in my headphones. Anyway it was a sick experience.

The 2019 releases which never left my record bag:
I don’t have a record bag but regarding my USB I want to shout out Emiranda, Lurka, Loraine James, BFTT, Lockbox and Shadowax.

Villain of 2019:
My hometown Stockholm, a truly depressing place that keeps getting worse. I’m writing this at 3pm and the sun is already down.

The album I had on repeat this year:
The past month it’s been two amazing debuts from my friends Ecco2k and Malibu, but prior to that I’ve barely been listening to any 2019 music. I’ve mostly been listening to Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and Laurel Halo’s Dust.

Wishes for 2020:
I want to become rich and famous. Also wishing for a new Laurel Halo album!

Survival tips for 2020:
Surround yourself with more flowers.

Nasty Cherry

NETFLIX-FAMOUS FOUR-PIECE CREATED BY CHARLI XCX

The least important thing we’ve learnt in 2019:
That Liza Minnelli is Judy Garland’s daughter (though it still blew our mind).

Hero of 2019:
Kacey Musgraves and our hair stylist Starlina.

The best and worst thing about music culture in 2019:
Genre being dead is the best thing. Pop music feels very diverse.

2019 releases that never left our record bag:
All the Nasty Cherry singles, Charli, Pang, Norman Fucking Rockwell! and Pony.

Underrated in 2019:
Matzo ball soup and Debbie’s custom pink drumsticks.

The year’s best clubbing experience:
DJing for Playboy in New York. We drank a lot of champagne and not much else.

Villain of 2019:
The power cable to Chloe’s pedal board.

A highlight from the comment section:
“Wass up. I’m into u. Are u a married woman?”

Things that need to stay in 2019:
Nothing. Let’s take all our bullshit to therapy in 2020 and work through things.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in 2019?
You can never pack too many pairs of leather pants.

Nilüfer Yanya

GUITAR-WIELDING BREAKOUT SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

The album I had on repeat this year:
My friend, M. T. HadleyEmpty. It only came out the other week but I was listening to the private link a lot prior.

Things that need to stay in 2019:
Hinge.

The year’s best kept secret:
This band called Chartreuse.

Wishes for 2020:
To spend a few days without my phone.

Survival tips for 2020:
Go to the dentist more often.

One prediction for the next decade:
I feel like we’re going to lose some of our luxuries.

The best and worst things about music culture in 2019:
A lot of people keep talking about the “death” of albums which I don’t think is the case or should be, but the bright side is everyone wants to talk about albums.

Underrated in 2019:
Grapefruits. Also Lime scooters.

Overrated in 2019:
People saying they hate adults on scooters.

Hero of 2019:
My mom.

Villain of 2019:
Boris Johnson.

A highlight from the comment section:
And thus is the birth of mumble rock.”

100 Gecs

DIVISIVE DIGITAL NATIVES MAKING MEME-WORTHY MUSIC

The 2019 releases which never left my record bag:
Laura: Black Dresses, six impala, Slayyyter, Deb Never, BLNTSMK, Billie Eilish.

Dylan: BLNTSMK, Ravenna Golden, Aaron Cartier.

Underrated in 2019:
Laura: Wind chimes.

Dylan: Hearing protection.

Overrated in 2019:
Laura: Government endorsed death.

Dylan: Fossil fuels.

Hero of 2019:
Laura: Estradiol 2mg tablets.

Dylan: Love.

Villain of 2019:
Laura: Billie Eilish, duh.

Dylan: Ketchup.

Something that surprised me this year:
Laura: Dylan is just two Metallica snares in a trench coat.

Dylan: Fortnite Laura.

Things that need to stay in 2019:
Laura: The death penalty.

Dylan: Ketchup.

Survival tips for 2020:
Laura: Dylan is wearing a wire. The venue is bugged.

Dylan: drINk wATterr !! yoo.

One prediction for the next decade:
Laura: 100 gecs EGOT.

Aitch

MANCHESTER'S NEW RAP STAR

The best and worst things about music culture in 2019:
The best thing is the fact that everyone’s got their own kind of style and flavour and there’s a mad variety of music in the scene. The worst thing is certain events getting shut down, stopping people from earning a living.

The year’s best clubbing experience:
Probably in Manchester, the night after my show on the Aitch 2 0 tour. I would explain more but I can’t remember most of it.

Underrated in 2019:
Most of the Manchester music scene!

Overrated in 2019:
Amiri jeans.

A highlight from the comment section:
Aitch or John Shelby.”

Something that surprised me this year:
The whole year was crazy. Taste going to No. 2, Buss Down at No. 8, Strike a Pose at No. 8. Everything was mad.

The most important thing I’ve learned in 2019:
To keep working hard and good things will come. There is always room for improvement.

One prediction for the next decade:
Aitch will be the biggest rapper from the UK.

Sherelle

THE UK’S FINEST PURVEYOR OF ALL THINGS FAST

A personal highlight of 2019:
Boiler Room.

The best and worst things about music culture in 2019:
The best? All the amazing women of colour and LGBTQI people coming through, reclaiming the dance scene again. The worst? Techno Twitter.

Underrated in 2019:
FlyLo’s new album.

Overrated in 2019:
The gentrified parts of east London. Still, to this day, full of pricks. Especially around the Old Street area.

Hero of 2019:
DJ Flight & L U C Y.

Villain of 2019:
Jacob Rees Mogg.

A highlight from the comment section:
If Sherelle would have legally been allowed to slap everyone who was touching the decks and getting in the way during this set I think she probably would’ve done it yknow.”

Big up.

The album I had on repeat this year:
IGOR by Tyler, the Creator.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in 2019?
Money management.

Wishes for 2020:
All white supremacists disappear.

Survival tips for 2020:
Stay cute. And support your squad at all costs.