Best of 2019 | Hoang Nguyen
Artist of the Year
Juliana Huxtable redefines beauty in representation as well as in her sounds, in which beats are majestically crafted together. She is a model, painter, and DJ as well as a former ACLU advocate working in the organization’s legal department. However, when one thinks of an artist that tries everything, they could consider that they’ve succeeded at nothing. Yet, Huxtable has achieved it all. She’s modeled for DKNY & Kenzo, her artwork as held exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (no kidding, MoMA), and she’s the founder of ‘Shock Value’ an artist collective run by women in New York while having consistent Boiler Room performances.
One can only imagine what she has gone through as a trans woman growing up in the conservative part of Bryan-College Station, Texas. It hasn’t stopped her continuously climb to push for diversity in artistry.
Most recently, she released “Infertility Industrial Complex”, a set of paintings inspired by her upbringing in the agriculture heavy town in which she grew up in while paying homage to the New York-inspired punk concepts of where she lives now. In May of 2019, her music mixes ‘fused harmony and dissonance’ stating a dreamy ‘FACT’ release. You can tell how this has brought together all her past industrial sounds to date.
Best New Artist
The L.A. based artist, Taylor Chung or otherwise known as Wenzday who heartbreakingly gave up a vocal career after being classically trained for decades due to health constraints redefined herself as a producer. She has gone on to release acclaimed singles on Dim Mak, Gold Digger, Doom Records, Play Me Records, and Popgang; garnering support from blogs such as Bassrush, Your EDM, and This Song Slaps. Her October release of “Everyday” is on Bijou’s label DND Recordings.
Track of the Year
Bok Nero and Shizz Lo – “Hood Anthem”
Mentored by Steve Aoki, both these Dim Mak artists are making quite the name for themselves in garnering hundreds of thousands of streams via Spotify & Youtube in just months for their critically acclaimed release of ‘Hood Anthem’. The track is a mix of their ‘Hood EDM’ movement as Philadelphia natives who rep their hometown as much as possible with every performance.
Remix of the Year
Dope Lemon vs. Cedric Gervais – “Hey You (Cedric Gervais Remix)”
The powerhouse titan of a Grammy-winner has hit the sound-waves again with his newest release in November 2019. Known for his feel-good vibes, he’s been touring and is determined for even bigger 2020 projects.
Album of the Year
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
I mean, obviously this album is going to get the Grammy bag. However, let’s talk about how much it took for Lizzo to get to where she is – and even despite a confidence-driven album – she still gets critiques on not her astounding music writing or composing abilities, but her looks as a female. For her, ‘Anything can happen in a decade.’
EP of the Year
Dom Dolla – San Frandisco
A tribute to his American tour, this Melbourne producer has become an international success in such a short time following his 2018 release “Take It”, which earned him the title of “Future Star of 2019” by Pete Tong and “One to Watch” by Billboard Dance. San Frandisco rapidly flew to the #1 most played track on Triple J, hit the global viral top 50 and entered Shazam charts across Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Europe. I mean, seriously, it’s great and his performance live was even more stellar.
Favorite Show of the Year
CID @ U Street Music Hall [March 1, 2019]
Carlos is talented with a consistent profile, as the Grammy-winner has stayed true to his craft for many years. Working alongside greats like Cedric Gervais in which remixing Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” won him a Grammy in 2014 but continuing his craft landed him a Grammy nomination in 2019 for remixing Sia’s “LSD” – he is a true no-frills producer through and through. He continuously talks about the long hours, and the work it takes to “reimagine” songs to perfected remixes that get the crowd going. His current label Night Service Only continues to grow under the international powerhouse, Spinnin Records umbrella.
Label of the Year
DC Artist to Watch
Manila Killa, Chris Gavino
He is a local hometown hero whose first EP 1993 got a Forbes review after it’s 2019 drop. Shortly afterward, he had a sold-out show at U St Music Hall and then embarked on his first tour. Yet, the DC concert crowd was familiar and filled with intense friends of his that were generally supportive alongside new fans who read about his work. It wasn’t pretentious set, you can tell he poured his all into this initial release. The album is a representation about his roots, alongside careful and concise electronic compositions.
He is quite the rising star to keep a lookout for, as he’s going to be international. And yet, he’s the type of person who stays humble about his achievements.