Top Artists of 2020
2020 was a significant year for House Music. We watched on as artists released some of their finest creations to date. We saw unexpected collaborations, stunning songwriting and even large-scale recording sessions with orchestras. The leading lights of our scene continued to transmit hope by putting out a number of feel good future classics. The bar was set high on January 1st and remained high throughout the rest of the year as all ends of the House Music spectrum came to life. Here we select the Top 10 Overall Artists of 2020 - a huge feat given the standard on display this year, but nevertheless there can only be one winner. We listened back to the biggest cuts of the year and compiled a list based on sales figures, data and a good measure of intuition. So without any further delay, let us celebrate the top 10 artists from the year that was!
30. Yam Who?
Known for: SIRS, Stee Downes - Forever (Yam Who? Main Vocal Remix) Risk Assessment - Bad Times (Yam Who? Extended Vocal Remix) Phil Jaimes, Amma - My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way) (Yam Who? Extended Club Mix)
29. Jihad Muhammad
Known for: ATFC - Das Dope (DJ Spen & Jihad Muhammad Remix) Tasha LaRae, Jihad Muhammad - Till You Get There (DJ Spen & Sean McCabe Remix) Yass - I Look To You Feat. Francine Ealey Murphy (Jihad Muhammad & Shawn Lucas Bang The Drum Remix)
28. Jay Vegas
Known for: South Soul Symphony - Call Me (Jay Vegas Remix) Jay Vegas - Body & Soul (2020 Retouch) Jay Vegas - Move That Body (Original Mix)
Known for: Penelope Calloway - STRONG ENOUGH (Kings Of Tomorrow Classic Mix) United Future Organization - Flying Saucer (Kings Of Tomorrow Remix) Kings Of Tomorrow - Finally (Original Extended Mix)
26. Mike Dunn
Known for: Mike Dunn - If I Can't Get Down (Mousse T.'s Funky Shizzle Extended Mix) Caiiro - Drummotions (The Mike Dunn Movement Mix) N-You-Up, Mike Dunn - Jack My Body (David Penn Remix)
Known for: Risk Assessment, Jemeni G - Remember Me (Yuksek Extended Remix) Sidwho? Shake (Your Body) (Yuksek Extended Remix) Yuksek - The Rollercoaster (Original Mix)
24. Kenny Dope
Known for: Moon Boots, Steven Klavier - Tied Up (Kenny Dope Remix) SunPalace - Rude Movements (Kenny Dope Dancefloor Powder Remix) Kenny Dope - Happy Song (Kenny Dope Remix Extended Version)
Known for: Cada Noche (Original Mix) - Joeski Traicion (Original Mix) - Joeski Tierra Linda (Original Mix) - Joeski, Canalón De Timbiqui
Known for: Groove Junkies, Solara - I Am Groove (Junkies, Reelsoul & Munk Julious Main Mix) DJ Spen, Reelsoul - Never Fall In Love With A DJ Feat. Carla Prather (DJ Spen & Reelsoul Disconovo Full Vocal Mix) DJ Spen, Monique Bingham, Roland Clark - The End Of It All (DJ Spen & Reelsoul Original Mix)
21. Angelo Ferreri
Known for: Joe T Vannelli, Eartha Kitt - Where Is My Man (Angelo Ferreri Deep Vocal Mix) Mousse T, Cleah - Melodie (Disco Town Remix) [Feat. Cleah] Angelo Ferreri - Dance with Me (C'mon) (Original Mix)
20. Art Of Tones
Known for: Sebb Junior, Eider - Come Back (Art Of Tones Remix) Art Of Tones, Anduze Flower Child (Original Mix) Danny Kane, Princess Freesia Wonderland (Art of Tones Extended Remix)
19. Terry Hunter
Known for: Melba Moore - Just Doing Me (Terry Hunter Club Mix) Lady Alma - Make You Move (Terry Hunter Club Mix) Wayne Williams, Laurneá - Stand Up (Terry Hunter Remix)
18. Doug Gomez
Known for: Peri X - Little Closer (Original Mix) Tracebeatz & Bob, Milton Lee - Wish Upon A Star (Doug Gomez Mix) FutureFue, Nuzu Deep - Woman So Strong (Doug Gomez Merecumbe Soul Remix)
17. Dr Packer
Known for: Dr Packer - Get Some Soul (Original Mix) ATFC, Lisa Millett - Bad Habit (Dr Packer Extended Remix) Cleptomaniacs, Bryan Chambers - All I Do (Dr Packer Extended Remix)
Known for: St Germain - Rose rouge (Atjazz Galaxy Aart Remix) Sunlightsquare - Oyelo (Atjazz Love Soul Remix) Lea, Muzikman Edition, Tweety - Songbird (Atjazz Love Soul Remix)
Known for: Moodena - The Rattlesnake & The Ant (Original Mix) Joey Negro, The Sunburst Band - Big Blow (Moodena Remix) Moodena - Sartorial Got That Feeling (Original Mix)
Known for: Luisito Quintero, Louie Vega, Nina Rodriguez - Yemaya Manoo's Touch Dj Kabila, Wendysoni - Somnyama Manoo Remix Blaze, UDAUFL, Joi Cardwell - Be Yourself Manoo Main Remix
13. Harry Romero
Known for: Byron Stingily - Get Up (Everybody) (Parade Mix - Harry Romero Edit) Jack Back, CeCe Rogers - Freedom (Harry Romero Extended Remix) Dave + Sam, LATASHÁ - You Da Shit Girl Harry Romero Extended Remix
Known for: David Penn - The Heat (Qubiko Remix) Qubiko - Question (Original Mix) Qubiko - If (Extended Mix)
Known for: Hatiras, Sebb Junior - Undisputed Queen of Disco (Extended Mix) Peter Brown Say It Again (Hatiras Remix) Hatiras - Richness (Original Mix)
10. David Penn
David Penn proved yet again that he is truly unstoppable. Having topped last year’s rankings, the Madrid based producer showed no mercy and took a solid run up at 2020! Rounding off the year as our #2 House Artist of 2020, the Urbana Recordings boss harnessed his two decades of momentum and hit us with big release after big release. He was responsible for a number of this year’s anthems such as his killer remix of Heller & Farley Project’s ‘Ultra Flava’, and then straight into a rework of another classic: Blue Boy’s ‘Remember Me’. He added his magic touch to N-You-Up and Mike Dunn’s ‘Jack Your Body’ on Papa Records, brought heat to Groove Culture with his remix of ‘Found Love’ and delivered one of Club Sweat’s biggest releases of the year - ‘The Heat’. His signature thunderingly crisp drums gave us plenty of reasons to feel good and want to dance this year. Long live David Penn!
9. DJ Spen
The phenomenon that is DJ Spen continues to burn just as intensely, and as colourful as he always has! Our #1 Soulful House Artist of 2020 continues to demonstrate all of the hallmarks of a true great. He is an ambassador for our scene, a tastemaker, a pioneer who is not afraid to take risks, and a character with roots firmly planted within soul and hypnotic grooves. Music that takes us away to new places, the very fabric and foundations of House. He dropped a number of successful collaborations throughout the year, teaming up with other like minded artists: label partner Thommy Davis, Reelsoul, Sean McCabe, Gary Hudgins and Jihad Mihammad. His music connected with talented vocalists such as Tasha LaRae and Carla Prather, making for feel good music with substance, emotion and most importantly, DJ Spen’s trademark - longevity. Congratulations DJ Spen, here’s to next year, because we know you are itching to get back out there and in the booth ripping up dancefloors around the globe!
Italian House Music masters Micky More & Andy Tee had an immensely successful year. The duo’s versatility shone through as releases came in their droves - notching up leading positions within our Soulful House, Soul Funk Disco and Nu Disco Artist of 2020 rankings. Appearing as a pair for the first time, the creative forces behind Groove Culture Music are of course talented artists independently, too. Their reimagination of ‘Gypsy Woman’ stood out as a beautifully original approach to an iconic track - dropping their signature style, bolstered with soulful, saxophone driven goodness. The remixes kept coming, as did the original productions - the work rate remained high! ‘Time’ feat. Angela Johnson appeared in our charts, both Traxsource and guest DJ’s alike, for a stretch of many weeks - a master class in production.
7. Mousse T
The man from Peppermint Jam brought it home yet again this year. One of the brightest lights from within our scene, Mousse T continues his reign as one of the real music makers and master of the funk! Following a year jam-packed with releases from beginning to end, the German maestro showed us time and time again exactly why he remains one of the most prolific figureheads of House Music. He secured this year’s #1 House Artist of 2020 spot, fending off close competition, up from #4 in 2019 showing us that he’s a force to be reckoned with - albeing a fun one! He delivered several number one tracks this year with original productions and remixes coming in from all angles. He added the magic Mousse T touch to DAVIE’s ‘Testify’ on Defected, slammed the funk with his remix of Mike Dunn’s ‘If I Can’t Get Down’, reworked Michael Gray’s 2005 anthem ‘The Weekend’, sprinkled glitter on The Vision’s smash ‘Heaven’ and went full disco on Glitterbox refix, rework and reimagination with ‘Hooked On Bad Habits’. Relentlessly brilliant, consistently moving forward. Thank you for the music Mousse T!
The North Londoners had another strong year, as both their own productions and remixes flew high amongst our charts consistently throughout the year - alongside releases from their burgeoning No Fuss Records label. Following the music they put out, it was inevitable that the duo would land the #1 Deep House Artist of 2020 spot, making it for an impressive third year in a row. They rounded off the year with 20 tracks in our Top 200 Tracks of 2020, which is no mean feat, of which 5 rank in the top 20! Saison’s ongoing association with quality continues, as selectors, producers, label owners and A&R. Their ear for music continues to help shape the scene by introducing other artists and new music to our world. With releases on Z Records, remixes for the likes of Kevin Yost, N-You-Up, Roy England and Soulmagic on Soulfuric - it was a sprint of good music from start to finish. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for us next year - congratulations Saison!
5. Louie Vega
The legend of Louie Vega continued, stronger than ever this year. Harnessing time out otherwise spent touring the globe in the studio and on the airwaves, the original master kept the House Music community alive and wanting more. With his much anticipated ‘Expansions in the NYC’ album looming on the horizon, 2020 saw a number of previews arrive, setting the stage for what is undoubtedly going to be a standout album and yet another hugely significant year for the Master at Work. Ranking #2 and #5 as our Top Soulful and Top Soul Funk Disco Artist of 2020, respectively, it was a productive year. Louie’s debut collaboration with The Martinez Brothers feat. Marc E. Bassy ‘Let It Go’ was, and continues to be one of the anthems of the year, soundtracking a sweltering NYC summer for many. ‘A Place Where We Can All Be Free’ feat. Janine Sugah Lyrics Lyons reminded us how a Grammy Award winning artist gets down in the studio. Flawless execution. It wouldn’t be a year without at least one of his remixes blowing up the Traxsource charts, and 2020 was no exception with his remix of Tony Momrelle’s ‘My Paradise’ - the slice of summer that we all needed.
4. Moon Rocket
The stars were already written for Moon Rocket, 2020 was always going to be his year. Following an incredible 2019 packed full of releases and collaborations showing off his talents and unique sound - bringing his own touch of musicality to multiple sub genres. It was like he was getting warmed up for this year! His label, aptly named Moon Rocket Music, also saw another strong year in its story with a non-stop flow of releases from some of the most exciting producers, a mix of established and emerging artists - displaying its DNA as an inclusive and music-first label. Not only is he our Afro House Artist of the year, he also managed to score the #8 House and #55 Nu Disco Artist of 2020 positions as well. Inevitable given his impressive workrate, but easy? No way. His releases remained original, his vision consistent and he is most certainly responsible for the ongoing injection of real instruments into our digital world of music, Congratulations Moon Rocket - may your talents and ear for quality music continue to blow us away next year!
3. Dave Lee ZR
2020 was another remarkable chapter in Dave Lee’s story. His Z Records imprint celebrated reaching its 30 year milestone - showing us that he remains one of the most consistent and influential figureheads in music today. Drawing on his roots in Soul, Funk and Disco, this is where he continued to excel, landing the #2 Soul Funk Disco, #6 Soulful House and #28 Nu Disco Artist of 2020 positions. His discography continues to rack up big hits, spanning the likes of High Fashion, Glitterbox and Salsoul with a number of big remixes that we know will stand the test of time. He also found time to drop the bumper 30-track ‘Dubstrumentals’ compilation, amongst a string of other big remixes and original productions. If there’s one thing the scene always needs, it’s someone like Dave Lee - setting the standard for others to follow. A real music man who keeps things fresh with a nod to the important roots of our scene.
2. Sebb Junior
Sebb Junior keeps going from strength to strength with no sign of slowing down. Riding high on an upward trajectory that’s been elevating his profile as an accomplished artist for some years now, the La Vie D’Artiste Music label owner took things to the next level in 2020 - resulting in a shift of 9 places from last year, up to the position of #2 Overall Artist of 2020! Sebb’s versatility sees him rank #2 within our Deep House, #3 House and #8 Jackin House Artists of 2020. From original productions, remixes and new collaborations - it all went down for the French music maker this year. From DVINE Sounds to Let There Be House, his collaborative debut with Hatiras on Milk & Sugar Recordings, heaters on Motive Records and his remix of Ben Delay’s ‘Freedom’ - his signature clean-cut production remained high amongst our own Traxsource weekly charts and guest DJ charts alike, receiving love from all over the scene. Congratulations Sebb Junior, long may your journey continue!
1. Michael Gray
What a year that was for Michael Gray - one of the most respected and talented artists on the global dance music stage. He dominated our charts with a stream of highly-successful releases and brought his 2005 anthem ‘The Weekend’ back into 2020 in mighty fine shape to widespread acclaim. As a producer, Michael, one half of Full Intention, continues to make music seemingly wherever his creative compass takes him. In this year’s artist of 2020 categories, he’s ranked #2 in Soul Funk Disco, #4 House Artist, #31 Nu Disco Artist and #36 Soulful House Artist. These achievements are testament to an artist whose vision remains constant, and delivery exceptional. His presence alone makes House Music a better place, bringing together the history of the past with the possibility of the future - with a release schedule as relentless as his, it’s clear that we are witnessing an artist not only in his prime, but most importantly - having fun.