This year’s Class of 2017 sees Helena Hauff, Octo Octa, Mykki Blanco and Kali Uchis, amongst others, let us in on their personal highlights of the year. From throwing up backstage to nose hair extensions and extra garlic sriracha sauce, we uncover the standout moments from eight artists and discuss what should be left behind in 2017.

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Helena Hauff

Hamburg's purveyor of dark forces for the dancefloor

A personal highlight of 2017:

Definitely puking up all over the backstage five minutes before I was on at Brickworks Nottingham. I ate something that disagreed with me and felt sick during my whole set. Brilliant!

The best and worst things about music culture in 2017:

The worst thing is not being able to smoke in clubs outside Germany. Half of the people disappear outside all of the time. Be careful, they are gonna ban drinking next. Best thing is people are still well up for a night out dancing to banging music.

The year’s best clubbing experience:

Playing at Closer Kiev, what a fantastic club! Got a few presents from people in the crowd as well, like flowers and a little toy kitty.

The 2017 releases which never left my record bag:

Norwell – ODD EP

Cassegrain – Trappist (The Mover Remix)

Umwelt – Slave To The Rave

Underrated in 2017:

Children Of Leir.

Overrated in 2017:

Social media in all its wondrous forms.

The album I had on repeat this year:

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost

Things that need to stay in 2017:

Nose hair extensions and furry lips.


LA-based jazz surrealist

Favourite song this year?

Bodak Yellow. We all want to see Cardi B win. She’s come from nothing to something in a real way. And that song is just dope. I like saying ‘lil bitch’ really loud.

Most beautiful place I saw in 2017:

The inside of the tour bus. It’s very inspiring being able to hang out with my friends, play video games, be idiots all day and consistently think creatively.

Best and worst things about music culture in 2017:

People are still creatively inspired. On the darker side there’s a lot of regurgitated vomit. Vomit doesn’t taste great. Everything in the mainstream feels unchallenging. There are a few artists on top who are killing the game, of course Kendrick goes without saying, but right underneath is a bit muddled. There’s a gap that hopefully will become repaired and bridged over the next few years.

Villain of 2017:

Richard Spencer. He takes the cake for Lex Luther of the year. Full on white supremacist asshole.

Wildest show of 2017:

In Illinois the kids were moshpitting to jazz fusion. I was like, hell yeah!

Advice for 2018:

Play more video games. Love one another a little bit better. Try to be as honest and open with people as you can. And watch your ego. I’m talking to myself as well.

Perfume Genius

Mike Hadreas' powerful pop project

Personal highlight of 2017:

All the people I’ve worked with. There have been so many dream opportunities. My producer. Inez & Vinoodh shooting the album cover. Andrew Thomas Huang and Floria Sigismondi directing the videos. It all felt really fancy!

An album I’ve had on repeat:

Fever Ray – Plunge. I’m so into her whole like crackly skin, desert zombie vibe. I’m sort of obsessed with her.

A highlight from the comment section:

Someone said I looked like Ripley from Alien. I think they were trying to diss me, but that’s like the best possible thing you could say about someone else.

Routines that kept me sane:

Cosiness. Face mists. Skincare.

Something that surprised me this year:

It’s been kind of a shithole lately, but I feel like Twitter can still be good. You’ll see some tweet that’s been retweeted like 30,000 times and it’s some bizarre, really goofy thing. That makes me feel less alone in being of the opposition to all the horrible things that are happening.

Favourite internet person of 2017:

Cher! She’s doing a good job and she’s very political, too. She’s got 280 characters now, we’ll see what happens.

Wishes for 2018:

I’d like to do a lot of napping and then make something new and even bigger than before.

Octo Octa

The producer lifting dancefloor spirits worldwide

Personal highlight of 2017:

Putting out an album, Where Are We Going? It took four years because I want my albums to have emotional work behind them. I want a story and ideas to fill it, so I was so happy when it started to come together. And then terrified when it was coming out. A super thanks to Jackie House for like doing 1,000,000 things for it. It would have been a mess without Jackie.

The year’s best rave accessory:

My wife found me a small green canvas and leather backpack which is the perfect rave bag, plus it didn’t leave marks on my colorful crop-tops all summer!

Describe the best party you experienced this year:

This year was packed with excellent party experiences. I think one of my standouts was playing Strange Allure in Buffalo, NY. The venue was small and they gave me the space and time to play whatever for hours. I played until I had to essentially go to the airport which felt amazing.

Hero of 2017:

My wife is my hero of 2017. This year has been nuts (like nuts nuts) and I wouldn’t be out here without her.

What needs to stay in 2017:

Racism and prejudice.

Hopes for 2018:

Fuck me, any positive moments would do. While parties and music are a great thing to be involved in, my personal hopes are to get out there and do more for people in general.

Kali Uchis

Effervescent LA-via-Colombia singer

The most beautiful place I’ve seen in 2017:

Colombia takes the cake every year, truly.

Album of the year:

My baby SZA’s Ctrl of course.

Favourite show this year:

Jimmy Fallon with Tyler was fun because it was scary, Jools Holland in London too.

2017’s best meme:

Any meme with Soraya Montenegro or Joseline Hernandez hits me right in the feels.

Heroes of 2017:

Everyone with the courage to fight and speak up for what they believe in. People that take the time to defend others who cannot defend themselves. Anyone who lost or risked their lives standing up to a corrupt system.

Villains of 2017:

Trump & the administration, the Patriarchy, Racism, Discrimination, Anti-LGBTQ, the court system every time it failed people who don’t have money just to fill their private prisons, the people in the education system who fail our children, the people who choose to mass produce food that makes us sick, the people who treat immigrants like criminals, and everyone else who takes advantage of their power to hurt instead of help others.

Aspirations for 2018:

Global Domination.

Joe Talbot

Frontman of breakthrough Bristol punk band IDLES

The best and worst aspects of music culture in 2017:

The best thing in music culture is the perpetuality of diversification and the worst is television.

The most ridiculous thing written about my music this year:

Naming me as a voice of the working classes.

The best and worst food trends:

The best is extra garlic Sriracha and the worst is retro crisp buffets.

A political movement that inspired me:

Brexit has inspired me to be more European.

The year’s tour rituals:

We treated each other kindly and didn’t do drugs.

The most memorable moment from our tour:

Watching a knife fight from our van in Nottingham. Our van broke down outside the venue. We had just played and then the venue turned into a club at 11pm, next thing we know there’s a bunch of boys swiping bread knives at each other. Savage.

My heroes of 2017:

My girlfriend. She went through something that would break most people but has come through strong and has helped me along the way. Her and Steve Lamacq.

Avalon Emerson

Berlin-via-Arizona DJ and Whities producer

The clubs I discovered this year:

Blitz in Munich, Ankali in Prague, London Printworks, Nowadays in NYC.

Tracks that never failed to bring me joy in 2017:

Some unreleased fire by Aurora Halal and Nathan Micay.

2017’s most memorable clubbing moments:

Too many to list, since now such a huge chunk of my life exists in clubs. Closing Panorama Bar during Klubnacht for the first time, then closing it again with Roi Perez and ND Baumecker. Closing De School for six-something hours at ADE. Playing new Nathan Micay songs when he’s with me at Panorama Bar. Also when I played Ringfinger by Nine Inch Nails there and my best friend ran up through the crowd to give me two middle fingers straight up in the air. Friends bonding through music basically.

The year’s best rave accessory:

Finally got custom moulded earplugs. Hearing protection is a big mood for me from now on.

The album I had on repeat this year:

Honestly I loved the new records from Lorde and Lana Del Rey. Also Fever Ray’s Plunge and JASSS’ Weightless.

The best book I read this year:

Kill All Normies, What’s Love (or Care, Intimacy, Warmth, Affection) Got to Do with It?

Survival tips for 2018:

Loving more.

Mykki Blanco

Fearless rapper, performance artist and political activist

The most beautiful place I saw in 2017:

It’s a tie between going to Rio De Janeiro for the first time and Columbia.

A lyric I’ve enjoyed performing in 2017:

Protect black children, protect trans women“.

Challenges I’ve managed to overcome this year:

It wasn’t necessarily a challenge, but I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and it’s the longest really serious relationship I’ve ever had, so that’s really cool!

The most exhilarating show of 2017:

It would have to be my sold out show at Berghain.

The artists with the best style in 2017:

My best friend Yves Tumor. And Cardi B!

2017’s most inspiring internet movement:

While some people kind of view the #MeToo movement as a bit problematic because it only gained a following behind these powerful white actresses, I think it’s important because it opens up sexual trauma and sexual abuse into the public dialogue, which is something that needs to happen for both men and women to heal and recover. I think that was honestly a really powerful thing to happen in the public consciousness.

Hopes for 2018:

I hope that they can impeach Donald Trump. And I hope that America and the rest of the world can continue to improve conditions for job equality with people who are transgender and genderqueer.


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