COVER TO COVER: BEST COVERS OF 2018.
2018 has been an incredible year for new music; with hit singles and albums coming from some of our favourite artists, as well as incredible new talent and ones to watch in 2019. Music from the likes of The 1975, Years & Years, Ariana Grande, MVTCHES, Kiana Ledé and more, have given us a bunch of unforgettable hits, many of which we will undoubtedly still be loving just as much in 2019. So in honour of the hits and absolute tunes that have been released by some of our favourites and talented artists this year, here’s a run down of some of my favourite 2018 covers of some of the big songs of the year.
First up is a cover of one of the catchiest tracks of the year, and a definite summer anthem, from one of the biggest names in rap, Drake. Taken from his latest album Scorpion (released earlier this year in June); Nice For What, the second single off of the rappers fifth album, was one of many tracks from the project that instantly had everyone obsessing. One cover in particular of Nice For What that quickly caught my attention was by incredible artist, JamieBoy. Putting a new spin on a 2018 favourite, Jamie stripped the upbeat, fast-tempo track back to give it more chilled out, acoustic vibe. Giving the track a more mellow feel and adding some R&B influences, Jamie truly transforms the energy of the song; taking it from an uptempo rap track to a melodic R&B/Soul cover. Adding his own energy and sound, Jamie gives us an almost unrecognisable version of the hit song, which is certainly no less addictive to listen to then the original. With impressive vocal skills, which have Jamie’s voice sounding effortless and smooth, this is definitely one track to add to your playlist.
One artist who has undoubtedly been on everyone’s lips and playlists this year has been Ariana Grande. From the release of her fourth studio album Sweetener, giving us God is a Woman and Breathin, to dropping of several tracks from her next project, Thank U, Next; we have been getting hit after hit from Billboard’s woman of the year. One of her biggest tracks of the year, and biggest songs of 2018, that people have been covering non-stop has got to be Thank U, Next. With the vast amount of attention this track gained, there have been so many ear-catching covers of the number 1 song. However, my favourite cover of Thank U, Next has got to be by John Conception. Switching up the track, John changes the lyrics and gives it a new perspective; one where he thanks his ex’s for all that they have taught him, and for getting him to “the one” and a place where “nobody’s next”. John also adds his own spin on the song by infusing a more rap/R&B vibe and switching up the beat, making it slightly more high-energy and up-tempo. As well as the impressive original lyrics, John’s vocals are equally ear-catching, with some memorable falsetto’s, riffs and runs alongside some strong rapping skills.
At the top of many “ones to watch in 2018” lists, and certainly someone who has been a huge name in music and on everyone radar this year, Ella Mai has undoubtedly delivered; releasing her debut self-titled album which features some of her biggest tracks including Boo’d Up and Trip. With an infectious R&B beat and highly relatable lyrics, Trip has been one Ella Mai track people have been tripping over this year. As well as grabbing the attention of millions around the world, the song also caught the eye of talented American rapper/singer song-writer Jacquees, who put out an incredible cover (or Quemix) of Trip, which fast became my favourite cover. Putting his signature Jacquees flare and sound on the track, he switches things up as he adapts and changes the lyrics, while still maintaining the songs original laid-back sound and R&B/Soul vibe. Impressive as always, Jacquees’ vocals are on point as he shows off a whole host of vocal techniques, giving us an array of perfect runs and riffs. With an incredibly smooth voice that delivers an infectious R&B/soul vibe, it is impossible not to get addicted to this track.
Last but not least, it would not be complete without mentioning one artist who I’m sure many will be thinking of as 2018 comes to a close, and who released some incredibly moving music, dropping one of his best projects to date in August; Mac Miller. One month before his devastating passing, which shocked and left friends, family, fans and the music industry alike heartbroken; Mac released his fifth studio album, Swimming, which debuted at number 3 on the US billboard 200 and is nominated for the best Rap Album at the 61st annual Grammy awards. One of the most soulful and beautiful tracks on the album has got to be the penultimate track, 2009. My favourite 2009 cover (and one of my favourite Mac Miller covers) was one I stumbled across, by YouTube cover artist S.T.K. Short but sweet, the sound remains stripped back and acoustic with a focus on the string instrumental. Retaining an element of rap within the track, S.T.K adds in more singing and incorporates some gentle vocal melodies and soulful runs into the track, which perfectly accompany the instrumental and the energy of the song. Beautiful melodies, along with some gentle rapping, S.T.K adds a something little different to the track while still retaining the easy-going, soulful vibe of the song that is delivered in Mac’s original recording.
So those are my favourite covers of some of my favourite, and the biggest, tracks of 2018. With some incredible hits from many of the big names in music, to unforgettable tracks by up and coming artists; 2018 delivered some big songs, and there is certainly plenty more to come next year! So keep your ears open for the big hits of 2019, as well as the incredible covers that put a new spin on your favourite songs.
Written By Stevie Carter