Local DJs look back on 2021 hits, ahead to 2022

From Drake to Twenty One Pilots, artists produced and published a lot of new music in 2021―not to mention the classics that never go out of style.

We spoke with local DJs to get their view on the year’s music, and what to look forward to.

For Vinny Foo, producer of Magic 101.3 and 100.5 the Buzz, Drake’s “Way 2 Sexy” and Cardi B’s “Up” topped the year.

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“Those two by far are the strongest records, not just that I play but just period in my book,” Foo said.

Cardi B’s new song “Up” topped the charts in February, and Drake dropped the album “Certified Lover Boy” in September.

Foo also encountered artists for the first time this year. He says Giveon comes to mind as a top find in 2021 with “Heartbreak Anniversary,” even though the ballad-styled song isn’t something Foo usually goes for.

“This guy Giveon has such a unique voice,” Foo said. “I don’t think there’s any artist I can say sounds like that.”

For the stations, he guessed Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion ranked near the top of most requested artists of the years, along with older bands like Counting Crows and Collective Souls.

Cam Loggins, known as Cam That Dude, serves as DJ for Magic 101.3, and in the station's offices, he says anything by Silk Sonic would serve as his top new song of the year―probably “Smokin Out The Window.”

As far as a new artist he encountered in 2021, Cam named Baby Keem.

Drake, Kanye West and Tyler the Creator also came in high on Cam’s playlist as the artists he listened to the most.

For the year ahead, Cam said he’s looking forward to the Super Bowl. Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform live in one of the largest music performances each year.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Cam said. “It’s going to be very interesting.”

Locally, he pointed to Popout Riley from Gainesville and Donnie Tsunami from Tampa as new artists he heard.

Local DJs Vinny Foo and Larry Wilson share laugh at recent event

As for never going out of style, Livin’ Large Larry, DJ for 106.9 I Am County and 100.9 Classic Hits, said the last year meant more events and interaction with listeners after the pandemic shutdowns.

Classic Hits gave away 10 pairs of tickets for the Rolling Stones in October and visited the Williston Peanut Festival for the first time since the pandemic.

For 2022, Wilson says he’s looking forward to John Tesh’s national show getting underway on Classic Hits. The station added Tesh in mid-December for a 5-8 p.m. show Monday through Saturday.

On the music side, I Am County saw Garth Brooks at the top of the most played list, followed by George Strait. Wilson guessed that the station gets the most requests for notables like Luke Combs, Faith Hill and Reba McEntire.

Wilson said the station saw a surge of interest in Brooks in December as tickets went on sale for his show in Orlando.

He added that Combs gets a lot of attention as a newer artist with a classic sound and will be a surefire classic before long.

“Luke Combs is the new country’s greatest hits sounding artist―absolutely,” Wilson said.

For Classic Hits, Prince, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates and Journey topped the playlist for number of spins in 2021.

Wilson says 2022 will be a good year for the station and listeners. Classic Hits already has tickets for a July show featuring Motley Crue, Def Lepard, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts to give away.

The concert, planned for 2020, got postponed twice. But hopefully, the third time will be the charm next summer.

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