Shazam just shared their list of songs and artists most searched this year on the music identifying app which leaves us with one question. Why did no one know these songs in 2017? Most of these songs spent weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 list, but they were still songs people needed to look up when they played.
At the top of the list is “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran which logged over 15 million Shazams on the song-tagging app. Coming in at a close second was “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber. I have lost track of how many times I have heard both these songs being played in coffee shops, bars, or by people in parks with portable speakers. Given the number of times I’ve heard these songs while out and about, it makes so much sense that people are breaking out Shazam left and right to identify them.
Rock and Latin music made a notable impression this year compared to 2016’s list. “This year will also be remembered for the rise of Latin music, led by ‘Despacito.’ Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s track was already seeing a strong Shazam reaction before Justin Bieber jumped on the remix — bringing it to a new audience. In total, a Latin track was at the top of our Worldwide Chart for 24 weeks in 2017.” said Julian Marshall, Shazam’s Global Head of Content, to Billboard.
This song from Sheeran may have been a huge smash hit spending 12 weeks at the top of the charts, but everyone kept Shazaming it because most people think of him as the guy who writes sentimental love songs that play at a wedding and not this more upbeat track. In fairness, he originally wrote the song for Rihanna, so it doesn’t quite sound like his normal style.
Ed Sheeran / YouTube.
2. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber “Despacito”
Both the sustained hit status and the world’s desire to know what this track was are a case in point that Latin music is on the rise. While most of Justin Bieber’s fans will recognize his voice right away, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee aren’t as familiar to Bieber’s fanbase and Top 40 listeners; however, you might recognize Daddy Yankee’s 2004 song “Gasolina.”
Luis Fonsi / YouTube.
3. Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul & Anne-Marie “Rockabye”
Clean Bandit is a sleeper band. They seem to be able to produce mega hits without people knowing that it’s them. Like The Chainsmokers, the classically trained string quartet often work with guest artists on their tracks.
Clean Bandit / YouTube.
4. Charlie Puth “Attention”
His debut album Nine Track Mind got some major radio play with singles like “Marvin Gaye” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” This 2017 track has a much funkier vibe. The stylistic digression could throw fans off.
Charlie Puth / YouTube.
5. The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk “I Feel It Coming”
“I Feel It Coming” is a much more pop-friendly, bright track than the rest of The Weeknd’s hit singles — in fact, it sounds way more like a Daft Punk track. It is a total jam, but sound-wise it is not what one expects from The Weeknd.
The Weeknd / YouTube.
6. J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyoncé “Mi Gente”
Like the success of “Despacito,” Latin artists are seeing much more mainstream recognition. Adding a powerhouse like Beyoncé to the mix attracts droves of new fans clamoring for the next track by Queen B; however, it is not listed on her Spotify which could be cause for confusion and difficulty locating the track.
J Balvin / YouTube.
7. Kygo & Selena Gomez “It Ain’t Me”
This collaboration represents a significant production departure from what we are used to hearing from Selena Gomez, whose vocals are heavily treated on the track. You could easily listen to this song and not immediately know it was her.
Kygo / YouTube.
8. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay “Something Just Like This”
I bet that most people knew this song was by The Chainsmokers, but hearing Chris Martin’s vocals were not as recognizable without the usual Coldplay trappings of a piano-driven song.
The Chainsmokers / YouTube.
9. Harry Styles “Sign of The Times”
“You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” this is not. While most 1D fans will tell you that they can pick out each of their voices on a given track, hearing Harry Styles by himself and in a style completely different from his boy band days could cause even the most loyal of Directioners to double check.
Harry Styles / YouTube.
10. Burak Yeter featuring Danelle Sandoval “Tuesday”
Until this song, most of Burak Yeter’s success was in Europe. The song is very catchy, but since it is his breakout hit for United States listeners, Shazam is necessary to identify the newly popular artist.
Burak Yeter / YouTube.
11. Ofenbach “Be Mine”
The French DJ duo has gained popularity for remixing a wide variety of artists including James Bay and Portugal. The Man. They, like Burak Yeter have risen the charts in Europe before making the jump to the United States.
Ofenbach / YouTube.
12. Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean “Feels”
There are so many big names on this track. Who do you even look up first? For each featured artist, and Calvin Harris himself for that matter, this production treatment represents a departure from their usual style. Harris made a pretty big change by switching from building his tracks on his computer to using live instruments while recording this song so you think “This Is What You Came For” is his only aesthetic, this track may have thrown you.
Calvin Harris / YouTube.
13. Portugal. The Man “Feel It Still”
This song was everywhere, but before this, Portugal. The Man was more well known by indie and alternative listeners. It broke records for the biggest rock crossover in five years, the last one being “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye. The song won the Billboard Hot 100’s top airplay award for topping the radio, pop, adult pop, alternative, adult alternative, and dance/mix charts.
Portugal. The Man / YouTube.
14. Imagine Dragons “Believer”
This song has been everywhere, all year long. You heard it in Riverdale. It was in commercials for Nintendo Switch and Jeep. It was on Dancing with the Stars. It soundtracked a Murder on the Orient Express commercial. That sort of sustained exposure on TV, nearly year-round, made a lot of “Believers” scratch their heads and ask themselves now where have I heard this song before?
Imagine Dragons / YouTube.
15. Kaleo “Way Down We Go”
TV show and movie creators are among the song’s biggest fans. It has been in at least 18 TV shows and trailers according to TV Guide, including Grey’s Anatomy, Riverdale, and Orange is the New Black. This is what Shazam is perfect for, finding out how to listen to more from talented artists.
Kaleo / YouTube.
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