Words by The Heatwave
We’re less than a week from the official start of Notting Hill Carnival, and days from the pre-game ritual of bashments and fetes that lead in to Europe’s No. 1 street party. For a taste of what to expect at Notting Hill 2017, we had U.K. bashment bosses and longtime LargeUp contributors The Heatwave organize a playlist featuring all of the tunes set to run things in London over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Notting Hill has never been as rigid as other Caribbean carnivals when it comes to adhering to the standard soundtrack of soca and calypso, and The Heatwave’s playlist reflects the continued broadening of the festival’s sonic parameters. In addition to dancehall from Vybz and Alkaline and soca by Machel, we also have recent pop hits from Ed Sheeran and DJ Khaled/Rihanna, the latest from current U.K. top boy J Hus, Afrobeats from Mr. Eazi and Efya, and quintessential London fusion like Giggs and Donae’o‘s “Lock Doh.”
Known for their parties and superb mixtapes, The Heatwave have recently expanded their own repertoire to include original productions, and the playlist also features two of their first tracks, “Stopwatch” with K’More and “Walk Out Gyal” featuring Mr. Lexx and Kedia. Considering their years of experience getting bodies moving on the road as DJs, expect these tracks to inspire a similar reaction come Carnival Sunday and Monday.
Listen to The Heatwave’s Carnival 2017 playlist on Apple Music, and read on for Gabriel and Benjamin D’s track-by-track commentary.
Kartel’s clipped throwback delivery and the percussive energy makes this his standout release of 2017.
Huge singalongs for this everywhere we’ve played this year, bonafide anthem for carnival.
Tune of the year.
Probably the most hype dancehall artist right now, and defo most loved by school kids in London.
Drake – Blem
This tune works for everyone on every level surely.
Classic combination style: Keida channelling Jr Demus on the hook and Lexx’s deep voice mastery.
This came out last year but is fast becoming another national anthem. Will shut down carnival for sure.
Hus is the golden guy right now, and he’s made another certified banger with this. That’s three years in a row he’s had one of the biggest tunes on road.
A welcome return to hardcore bashment for the UK dancehall leader: minimal and bass-heavy.
From the moment we heard this on route to Jamaica in January, it was clear it was gonna be a summer smash.
Pure energy coming out of Trini Carnival as always. Every truck will be playing this on repeat at Notting Hill.
Strong contender for biggest dancehall tune of the year.
Sound of the summer – Afrobeats meets bashment meets rap.
This song should be used for foreign language students trying to perfect the London accent.
Wine and Kotch reboot plus mesmerising vocal sample plus France and Colombia in combination equals irresistible banger.
Benjamin D. and Gabriel Heatwave
This will get a LOT of rewinds, especially on the more ‘road’ sounds. Aidonia is killing it at the moment – has been for a while. His wave is very strong right now.
Fast wine perhaps, but slower and more spacious than a lot of soca. Still, not one play to play when your mas band needs a breather.
Went straight into our festival sets this summer and is sure to be a winner at Notting Hill with that classic sample.
Absolute smasher of funky/Afro house tune with a belting vocal – carnival will love this.
One of the highlights of Chronixx’s excellent debut album. Love the dubbed-out outro.
Expecting to see everyone freeze and stop along with K’More when we drop this at carnival.
Two of dancehall’s most potent lyricists link up for the first time. Gunfingers at the ready.
If Party got a British pound every time a tune he was involved in got played at Notting Hill he would be a billionaire.
When you hear this hit from Trinidad, you can already picture the lack of behaviour.
Shenseea announced herself with panache and power on her breakout single, and made the tune her own.
London artist K’More has been coming to our dances for years and he knew this one would connect with our audience!
Sounds of Nigerian Afrobeats permeated the UK airwaves this year.
Call it Afro bashment or Afro swing or UK afrobeats. It’s the in ting right now.
Love this tune, and it makes even more sense when you see what it provokes.
The ever-increasing outrageousness of Spice has been a sight to behold over recent years; here, she made the perfect record to accompany her performances.