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A Year For Newcomers: Sowmya Krishnamurthy's 2012 Music Survey

The hip hop journalist gives her take on the past twelve months in music.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kendrick Lamar, Music Matters Tour, Toronto 2012 (flickr/thecomeupshow)

For hip hop journalist Sowmya Krishnamurthy, 2012 was all about newcomers -- namely, the young rapper Kendrick Lamar, and R&B singers The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. The trio of breakout stars, ranging in age from 22 to 25 years old, all made critically acclaimed major label debuts this year -- topping Sowmya Krishnamurthy's Soundcheck 2012 Music Survey for Favorite Song, Favorite Newcomer and Favorite Album, respectively. 


Sowmya Krishnamurthy Answers Soundcheck's 2012 Music Survey

1) Favorite Album -- Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

"Sonically interesting, very eclectic -- part of this new wave of R&B."


2) Favorite Song --  Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools (Drank)"

"What a great song -- very murky and hazy. Lyrically, it sounds like a party song upon first listen, but when you actually decode it, it goes into the ills of addiction. The beat by producer T-Minus out of Toronto, just amazing."


3) Favorite new band / newcomer -- The Weeknd

"Someone like The Weeknd -- he has a very signature sound. It's this coo, mixed with a wail. All of his songs tend to have subject matter like addiction, and sex, and excess -- it's a hip hop sensibility mixed with this new wave of R&B."


4) Biggest Musical Surprise -- Frank Ocean "comes out" on the eve of his album debut.

5) Biggest Musical Disappointment -- Rick Ross's over-hyped God Forgives, I Don't.

"To me, this was just a miss. It was too long, it was very monotonous, and there was nothing new. It showed that groupthink and hype does not always mean a good record." 


6) Music Trend of 2012 -- Group songs 

"Every song featured a cavalcade of other artists. It was the year of collectives, from Maybach Music Group, to Kanye West's GOOD Music, Little Wayne's WYCBM. There was a lot of love going on in hip hop this year." 


7) Most Memorable Concert -- Drake's OVO Fest and Jay-Z at Barclays Center

8) Worst music –- Psy, "Gangnam Style"

"The moment happened when my dad, who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, said, 'Yeah, I really like that song!' That was when the shark had been jumped, so to speak." 


Sowmya Krishnamurthy

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