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Best of 2022

Best of 2022

In 2022 the music industry continued to explore what it means to connect with one another. With live shows on full speed, slowed down and sped up versions of songs dominating the TikTok scene, and the ever-changing music space, many took on the challenge of rising to the top. 

Below are 22 of The Orchard’s partners who topped the year’s lists across genres, services, publications, and more, earning numerous milestones for their accomplishments, and what’s to come in 2023.

1. Bad Bunny (Rimas Entertainment)

In 2022, Rimas Entertainment artist Bad Bunny was ranked the No. 1 Billboard artist of the year and Spotify’s Top Global Artist for the third year in a row. On the live front, he was awarded Tour of the Year by Forbes Magazine. For Best Albums of 2022, Un Verano Sin Ti placed amongst numerous media publications including NPR, Complex, Pitchfork, and The Guardian. His song “Tití Me Preguntó” received the most praise and achieved Time Magazine’s No.1 status on their Best Songs of 2022 list, No. 9 on Pitchfork’s Best Rap, and No. 3 on Spotify’s Top Hit Songs. Special shoutout to “Me Porto Bonito” ft. Chencho Corleone, which was featured in Uproxx’s Best Songs of 2022.

From breaking GRAMMY® history, with a nomination for Un Verano Sin Ti as the first ever full Spanish-language album for Album of the Year, to surprise concerts in Puerto Rico, and now the recent announcement of headlining Coachella, we are excited to see what’s next for the artist.

2. Björk (One Little Independent)

Björk’s experimental pop does it again! In 2022, she released her album Fossora in which she explored themes of survival, death, ecological meditation, and mother-daughter relationships. Her album was met with great success as she received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. Her song “Ancestress” was named one of the Best Songs and Music Videos of the year by Pitchfork – they state, “Björk’s Fossora visuals blend majestic visuals and costumes with heart-wrenching pathos.” The Guardian and Pitchfork listed it as one of the best albums of the year and her song “Atopos” also made it on Best of 2022 charts for The Quietus

Björk will also be performing at Coachella this Spring.

3.  Joyce Wrice (Joyce Wrice Music)

R&B artist Joyce Wrice released her EP Motive in 2022 featuring hit track “Iced Tea” ft. KAYTRANADA. “Iced Tea” placed No. 9 on NPR’s Best 100 songs of 2022, No. 16 for Best R&B Song for Brooklyn Vegan, and charted on The FADER’s Best 100 songs. She also placed No. 2 for Best Music video on Elite Daily and was featured on NPR Tiny Desk for the first time, which has over 700k views! It’s no wonder she was featured on Refinery29’s Unbothered’s Favorite Albums of 2022 list.

4. Saba (Saba Pivot LLC)

There were much more than a few good things to say about Saba’s Few Good Things album in 2022. The Chicago-born artist/producer and Pivot Gang co-founder recruited a who’s who list of collaborators for the “meticulously arranged” (The New York Times) record including Black Thought, Krayzie Bone, G Herbo, 6LACK, Smino, Mereba, Fousheé, and more. The album further solidified Saba’s climb to rap’s upper echelon and highlighted his profound artistry speaking on generational dialogue, reflection, and community with an emphasis on Black ownership. The album was accompanied by a visually stunning, poignant and powerful short film written and directed by C.T. Robert. Few Good Things ranked No. 13 on NPR’s 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums and No. 16 on NPR’s 50 Best Albums. Other media publications praised the album including The New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, UPROXX, Complex, XXL Magazine, Vulture, and The FADER.

5. Kelsea Ballerini (Black River Entertainment)

Kelsea Ballerini “is definitely one of the most influential women in country right now… she’s defining the sound of the genre,” proclaims NPR. In 2022, Kelsea released her fourth album SUBJECT TO CHANGE. The lead single, “HEARTFIRST,” was the “most added song at country radio” the week of its release and was featured on Billboard’s 10 Best Country Songs of 2022. In the past year, Kelsea also earned a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Country Solo Performance for “HEARTFIRST,” sang alongside Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce at the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs), and performed “HEARTFIRST” live at Nashville’s Big Bash on New Year’s Eve. With show stopping performances like these and being one of the newest faces of COVERGIRL, Kelsea Ballerini is ready to continue making history in 2023 and beyond.

6. Nas (Mass Appeal)

Legendary Hip-Hop artist Nas did it again. With Hit-Boy’s production, their project King’s Disease III charted for one of the top albums of the year on Complex (No. 14), New Wave Mag, XXL, Good Morning America, HipHopDX, and more. Towards the end of the year, Nas kept it going with an unexpected collaboration between him and Hip-Hop artist 21 Savage titled “One Mic, One Gun,” the track simultaneously showcases two varying rap styles also under the production of Hit-Boy.

7. Bizarrap (DALE PLAY Records)

2022 was a skyrocketing year for top Latin producer Bizarrap. He received a nomination for Best Producer at the Latin GRAMMYs this year and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Global Top 200 Songs Chart with his track “Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52.” Since its release, the official YouTube video has racked up over 437 million views! More recently, his collaboration with Shakira has been featured on top charts worldwide.

8. KH (threesixzero / Ministry of Sound Recordings)

When it comes to Electronic music, KH’s “Looking at Your Pager” dominated the scene. It was featured on Pitchfork’s Best 100 and their Best Electronic Music of 2022. The track also ranked No. 5 on The Quietus!

9. Blxst (Red Bull Records)

Hip-hop/R&B artist Blxst ranked No.15 on Complex with his project Before You Go. This project featured Rick Ross, GrandMasterVic (Vic Ekpo), and Arin Ray, and debuted on the US Billboard 200. He was named Billboard’s 2022 Rookie of the Year, was nominated for a BET Award, a BET Hip-Hop Award, as well as to receiving a Grammy nomination for his feature on Kendrick Lamar’s song “Die Hard”. According to Blxst, Before You Go was all about appreciating his past while embracing his future.

10. Patoranking (AMARI MUSIQ)

Nigerian superstar Patoranking had a big year with his song “Kolo Kolo” ft. Diamond Platnumz, which received over 14M views on YouTube. He released his track “After Party” in November and was also invited to perform for the FIFA World Cup. He recently shared an interview with Hennessy where he stated that he wants “to give people hope” through his music.

11. IVE (Starship Entertainment)

K-pop fans everywhere are following 6-member Gen Z girl group IVE which is the 3rd fastest girl group in history to win a Daesang at Melon Music Awards (MMA) 2022, according to NME. Their hit song “After Like” is their third single and charted on Billboard’s Global 200 and Spotify’s Global Weekly charts.

12. Monaleo (Stomp Down Inc.)

Rapper Monaleo was featured on Pitchfork’s Best Rap for “We Not Humping (Remix)” ft. Flo Milli and achieved No. 21 on Pitchfork’s Best 100 Songs. She also successfully went on tour with Flo Milli, which allowed her to connect with fans in-person and grow her fanbase. In 2022, she released hits like “Body Bag” and “Miss U Already” which demonstrated the range of emotions and themes that the artist never fails to conquer.

13. Ivan Cornejo (Manzana Records)

In 2022, Regional Mexican artist Ivan Cornejo, charted No. 1 on the Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart for his project Dañado. His track “Está Dañada” blew up on TikTok and garnered so much attention that he collaborated with Jhay Cortez on the remix. 

We are excited to see what comes of his first-ever US Tour this year that kicks off January 31st!

14. Phoenix (Glassnote Records)

Phoenix released their highly anticipated album Alpha Zulu this year and was applauded by The Guardian as one of the best albums of the year. Their track “Tonight” ft. Ezra Koenig made Pitchfork’s Best 100 songs chart and was performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

15. RAYE (Human Re Sources)

RAYE is the talk of the town. In 2022, RAYE & 070 Shake cracked the Billboard 100 for the first time with “Escapism.” which was heavily boosted by TikTok with sped up and slowed down versions of the song going viral. She also released tracks “Black Mascara” and “Thrill is Gone” in anticipation of her upcoming album and tour in 2023. 

Look out for My 21st Century Blues. which debuts February 3rd!

16. Silvana Estrada (Glassnote Records)

The past year was rewarding for Mexican Singer-Songwriter Silvana Estrada. She released her album Marchita and her EP Abrazo, was nominated for and won a Latin GRAMMY® for Best New Artist, and was featured in Spotify’s EQUAL campaign. Silvana was featured in Best of 2022 lists on NPR, The Guardian, The Needle Drop, Billboard and SPIN.

17. Cris MJ (RIMAS Entertainment)

Cris MJ released his debut album in 2022, Welcome to My World. This was highly anticipated after his ever-growing traction on TikTok with “Una Noche en Medellín.” This even got the attention of media publications such as Brooklyn Vegan who included him in their 2022 TikTok Hitmakers article. He was recently featured on a collaboration titled “LOKOTRON REMIX” alongside big names in the Latin scene – Harry Nach, Pablo Chill-E, Polimá Westcoast, Aqua VS, and Tom fomt.

18. Lojay (Olalekan Oluwarantimi Osifeso p/k/a Lojay)

In 2022, Lojay released a remix of his single “Monalisa” with Sarz and Chris Brown and it instantly became a hit! Riding that wave of success he released his singles “LEADER!” and “CANADA.” Lojay’s track “CANADA” was featured in the Rolling Stone for Best Afropop Songs of 2022.

At the start of 2023, he teased new music on his instagram with the caption “It’s going to be a great year ❤️”

19. Santa Fe Klan (Cuatro Siete Tres Music)

Mexican artist Santa Fe Klan caught the attention of Billboard and Remezcla in 2022. He released his album Mundo in August and the song “Soy” in July with Marvel’s Wakanda Forever. With over 8M monthly listeners on Spotify we are eager to see what 2023 has in store for him.

20. Dylan Sinclair (Five Stone Records Inc.)

Toronto-based R&B Artist Dylan Sinclair released his EP No Longer in the Suburbs in 2022. He received critical acclaim by Complex and CBC Music as one of the Best Canadian Albums of 2022! REVOLT TV also listed his EP as one of the top R&B Albums of the year. 

We are excited to see what’s to come from Sinclair’s first-ever headlining shows this February which are already sold out!

21. Gloria Groove (SB Music)

Brazilian artist Gloria Groove is one of the world’s top drag queens and in 2022, her album Lady Leste hit #1 global on the Spotify Top Albums chart. More recently, she’s kicked off the year by sharing a collaboration with Anitta and Valesca Popozuda titled “PROIBIDONA,” and we’re excited to see what the rest of the year will bring!

22. Isabella Lovestory (Isabella Rodriguez p/k/a Isabella Lovestory)

Isabella Lovestory is a name that you want to remember. The Tegucigalpa-born and Canada-based artist presented her debut album Amor Hardcore in 2022. Lovestory is all about self-expression, desire, fashion, freedom, and more. Whether it’s walking the runway in tracks like “Fashion Freak” or admiring Keratin in her song “Keratina” she finds a way to make visuals a key part of her artistry. NYLON named “Keratina” one of the Best Music Videos of 2022.

The artist went on tour at the end of 2022, but she’s made it clear there’s more to come with her very soon mentioning 2023 in this tour post.

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