Elton John, Drake and more reveal their fave songs of the moment
Top DJs and guest voices for Apple's Beats 1 Radio tell EW about the music they have on heavy rotation this summer
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Apple’s Beats 1 Radio, EW asked the DJs behind some of the service’s hottest shows to name the songs they can’t stop listening to at the moment. The Haim sisters are obsessed with Grimes, Drake’s deep into one of the U.K.’s brightest new R&B stars, and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig’s been kicking it old school. See their choices below.
1. Drake’s pick: Jorja Smith, “Where Did I Go?”
On an 18-hour flight, this song will keep you sane.
2. Elton John’s pick: Christine and the Queens, “Tilted”
I first heard this record in 2015 and I love it even more today. This is how music should sound in 2016—catchy, haunting, and a fantastic groove. The perfect pop record.
3. Charli XCX’s pick: Cuckoolander, “Beating Myself Up”
I totally adore this song. CuckooLander is an incredible new artist with a melancholic and mysterious take on pop. She worked with one of my all-time faves, Rostam [Batmanglij], on this song and the two of them together are like the ultimate dream team. All I wanna do is cry and kiss when I hear this song. It’s so pretty. And then so powerful.
4. Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme’s pick: Dean Martin, “Volare”
I’ve been listening to this song every morning because its impossible to be grumpy after listening to this song. It’s an immediate catapult into wonderful.
5. Haim’s pick: Grimes’ “California”
We saw her perform and we were just mind-blown in the pit, dancing, sweating, and just going bats— crazy in the crowd. Her record is amazing and we listen to it all the time in our bunks while we’re out on the road. She just put out an awesome music video for this song—if you haven’t seen it, go watch it!
6. Chance the Rapper’s pick: Fred Hammond, “Let the Praise Begin”
I remember listening to this song as a kid, on car rides on the way to church. This song was the central theme and inspiration for my latest project, Coloring Book. I realize the reason why gospel artists are so successful is because they’re always singing about something they truly believe in, with fervor and dedication.
7. Zane Lowe’s pick: The Avalanches’ “Colours”
Sixteen years, worth the wait. This is 100 percent summer vibes. I love the way they’ve treated Jonathan Donahue’s vocals, sort of reversing them and yet giving you something to sing along to. This is pure feels.
8. St. Vincent’s pick: Antony and the Johnsons’ “Fistful of Love”
Antony is the best at music. Period. That’s all. That’s all I have to say about Antony.
9. Skrillex’s pick: Josh Pan and X&G’s “Platinum”
We just put this record out. [Josh Pan] is one of my favorite producers coming up right now, ever. He’s doing incredible things with sound and songwriting. He does all his own vocals, and produces, and is a very smart person as well. You can talk to him about aliens, and theories—he’s one of the smartest people I know, actually.
10. Pharrell Williams’ pick: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum”
When I first heard “Bonita Applebum” it was like that whole entire song sent me into some kind of trance. I was like, “Okay, how does this happen?!”
11. Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig’s pick: Prince’s “Another Lonely Christmas”
Prince was so funny. He’d write a great song that’s kind of serious but then he’ll throw in this kind of, like, funny detail. Christmas in Minnesota: It’s freezing, and for some reason he’s making himself this tropical drink, banana daiquiris. There’s something about that to me that is such a great example of this incredible mixer, impeccable musicianship, and just humor.