Skip To Content
  • Bestof2020 badge
  • seasonedbf badge

24 Songs You Missed This Year That You Need To Add To Your Playlist

I'm not a music expert, I just like to listen to music.

2020 has been a tough year, but it wasn't all bad – here are some songs from the year that you'll want to add to your playlist, ASAP.

1. Leven Kali feat. Syd – "MADE 4 U"

I need everyone to stop sleeping on Leven Kali. Leven gave us back to back albums and they are perfect from top to bottom. This collaboration with Syd is their second track together and they are a match made in heaven, their voices are made for each other.

2. Phony Ppl feat. Megan Thee Stallion – "Fkn Around"

This is arguably my favourite song of 2020 because never in my dreams did I imagine Phony Ppl and Megan Thee Stallion coming together. Neither parties compromise on the style they're used to but somehow they join on this funky beat and make a song you want to run to the roller disco (and I don't even rollerskate)!

3. David James feat. Ari Lennox and Manny Welz – "Marigold"

Just like Ty Dolla $ign, Ari Lennox is a cheat code. When Ari slides onto a track, art is made. This is the second of the two songs Dave James has dropped this year after two years off while he works out of the limelight, we can only hope more is to come in 2021.

4. Rejjie Snow feat. Snoh Aalegra and Cam O'bi – "Mirrors"

Irish rapper Rejjie Snow came together with his second track of the year with legend that is Cam O'bi, and an icon in her own, Snoh Aalegra. Remember in summer when you had a park meet up every other day because you hadn't seen your friends in months and the sun was actually shining? That's what this song takes me back to, happier days. Shout out to Tier 4.

5. Odeal – "More Life"

South London artist Odeal has been busy this year, proving time and time again he's going for the top spot in the UK. "More Life" is a celebration of life, and it makes you do just that. A song that got replayed all throughout summer, spreading good vibes.

6. Thundercat feat. Ty Dolla $ign and Lil B – "Fair Chance"

Being a close friend with Mac Miller, Thundercat dedicated one of the most beautiful songs of the year to him. Paired with Ty Dolla $ign's heavenly vocals, you can't help but get emotional listening to this one. RIP Mac.

7. Chika – "SONGS ABOUT YOU"

I was first introduced to CHIKA with her caucasian meme video a couple of years ago, IYKYK. 2020 has been a year for CHIKA and her ball has just started rolling, I could've linked out to her whole EP but HAD to pick one song. CHIKA makes songs for the underdog who knows they're great, but the world doesn't want to give them a chance yet.

8. Little Simz – "you should call mum"

Little Simz is the best female rapper in the UK and I'm tired of her not getting her flowers. Little Simz dropped a small EP in the first half of the year, having written and produced the whole project within the space of a month, and every lyric still rings true to this day.

9. Jacob Collier feat. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign – "All I Need"

Jacob Collier is one of those incredible musical super brains, that plays almost every instrument and creates complex music that you fall in love with. Nominated for three Grammys this year, with four already under his belt, Jacob Collier is a name you should get to know.

10. RAAHiiM – "Twos"

If you're a fan of DVSN and The Weeknd, you want RAAHiiM on your list. Dropping his second project and the end of this year, it's one his fans have been begging for after Peak (Fed Up) in 2019. If I could sum up RAAHiiM in three words – baby-making music.

11. PYJΓ†N and Odette Peters – "Gold Plated"

PYJΓ†N are a modern day Jazz band – just five lads and vibes. I 100% recommend everyone checking out of their EP Sage Secrets, it will honestly make your day, you cannot have a sad day after being uplifted like this.

12. Adekunle Gold – "Something Different"

Who doesn't smile when they hear "AJ Baby is your baby?" Adekunle Gold's Afro Pop Vol.1 is in my top 10 projects of the year. It's so refreshing to see Adekunle's amazing growth over the years, moving out of Nigeria and hitting the global stage with authority.

13. Charlotte Day Wilson feat. Syd – "Take Care Of You"

Syd decided not to drop anything this year, and that's okay because her features have been incredible. And you know when someone's is so unique, your own voice glitches even trying to emulate it – that's Charlotte Day Wilson's voice. Charlotte has a voice that I describe as "on the floor" because her deep tones are really down there, just incredible.

14. cktrl – "Robyn"

I'm not a jazz expert, but I was recently introduced to cktrl and it took me places. Rarely do you get a song where you wish it just kept going for hours and hours, but "Robyn" is just that. It's powerful but peaceful, painful but poetic – for me it perfectly defines 2020 in five minutes and 30 seconds, but hey, that's just me.

15. Phora feat. Kehlani – "Cupid's Curse"

Let me start with saying Kehlani's album is one of the best of 2020. Phora is 26 with 10 projects out with a minimum of 15 songs each, can we all please deep the work rate. Phora has had some of the best features of the year, from Kehlani to Jhene Aiko, creating songs that play heavily to their strengths and having a final project that's nothing less than perfect.

16. Jazmine Sullivan – "Lost One"

Okay, if you're a true R&B fan there's actually no way you missed that Jazmine Sullivan dropped a new track this year, but there was no way I was going to write a list and not mention this song right here.

17. Pa Salieu ft Mahalia – "Energy"

Gambian-British rapper Pa Salieu came out with his debut mixtape in November, showing the UK and the rest of the world there is talent outside of London. From having 20 shotgun pellets taken out of his head last October to releasing a project highlighting Black boy joy, Pa Salieu is one to watch for the future.

18. Tiana Major9 – "Think About You (Notion mix)"

Tiana Major9 has finally dropped her debut album and the world is thanking her. This reggae-influenced hit shows that Tiana can slide onto any track with her soulful voice and make it her own.

19. Tame Impala – "Borderline (Blood Orange Remix)"

Okay, you may not have missed Tame Impala – "Borderline," who did? Everyone and their mum had it on their Instagram stories at some point this year. But you might have missed this Blood Orange remix. Devonte Hynes is one of the greatest musicians of our generation and anytime he breathes on a track magic is made. This is a whole new song, and dare I say an improvement the original?

20. SAULT – "Wildfires"

SAULT is a British collective that has an air of mystery around them. They've had next to no interviews, but just drop the music and lets it speak for them. Usually focussing on Black-centric issues, SAULT's music was definitely needed in a year like 2020.

21. WizKid feat. Tems – "Essence"

If you knew anything about Afrobeats there is absolutely no way you would have missed WizKid's album. WizKid managed to release late in the year an album so perfect it hurts my heart. It's hard to choose the best song on an impeccable album but I had to go with "Essence" because it's a song to fall in love to.

22. Jarreau Vandal – "Midnight"

The sample at the end beginning of this song is nothing short of perfection. Jarreau Vandal has been very much in his bag this 2020 so it was hard to pick just one song you should listen to, but put this on and maybe you can imagine you're not trapped indoors and are on a beach in Bali instead.

23. Knxwledge – "dont be afraid"

I'm not going to lie, I heard this song a day before I started writing this, but it hit me like a tornado and I couldn't not include it. This is one of the best songs to open an album to – please listen to the whole project.

24. ENNY feat. Jorja Smith – "Peng Black Girls Remix"

Earlier this year ENNY dropped Peng Black Girls, an ode to Black girls everywhere – "Dark skin, light skin, medium tone, permed tings, braids, got minis afros." Recently Jorja Smith jumped on the remix for a COLORS video and this collaboration warms the heart of the little Black girl inside of me.

Check them all out here!