best of 2015 traxsource

Top 100 Soulful House Artists of 2015

2015 saw a real resurgance in the popularity of soulful house which can only be seen as positive news for the future of dance music in general. The very roots of the scene were built around powerful lyrics and song structure, so to see more and more producers go ‘back to basics’ can only be applauded. The quality of 2015’s release output has been quite astounding as more and more people felt the power of the more soulful sound of dance music. It’s been an amazing year for REAL house, so here are our choices for the Top 100 Soulful Artists of 2015.

100: Giulio Bonaccio
99: Silvia Zaragoza
98: Deep Xcape
97: Shino Blackk
96: Fabio Tosti
95: Gianni Junior
94: Tedd Patterson
93: Tony Vee
92: Lenny RX
91: Dj Jacko
90: Steal Vybe
89: RedSoul
88: Twism & B3RAO
87: DJ E-Clyps
86: Urban Sound Lab
85: Jihad Muhammad
84: Liquideep
83: Adri Block
82: The Layabouts
81: Lewis City
80: Dj Able
79: Groove Junkies
78: David Anthony
77: Yass
76: City Soul Project
75: Pat Bedeau
74: Soulmagic
73: Damond Ramsey
72: The Journey Men
71: David Harness
70: The Djoon Experience
69: Lilac Jeans
68: Booker T
67: Louis Benedetti
66: Lovebirds
65: DJ Kemit
64: Jose Burgos
63: Aspire Sound
62: Federico d’Alessio
61: Neal Conway
60: Teddy Douglas
59: Scott Diaz
58: Luis Radio
57: Ian Friday
56: Kenny Summit
55: Steven Stone
54: Zepherin Saint
53: Osunlade
52: Moon Rocket
51: Namy
50: Shane D
49: Rocco
48: Husky
47: Miguel Migs
46: Tony Humphries
45: Luyo
44: Soulbridge
43: Groove Assassin
42: Roland Clark
41: Tony Momrelle
40: Adam Rios
39: Andy Tee
38: Mousse T
37: Kiko Navarro
36: David Morales
35: Michele Chiavarini
34: MdCL
33: Kenny Carpenter
32: Spiritchaser
31: Soulfuledge
30: Micky More
29: Thommy Davis
28: Josh Milan
27: Kings Of Tomorrow
26: Mr. V
25: Mark Di Meo
24: Gary Hudgins
23: DJ Fudge
22: Glenn Underground
21: Tommy Bones

20: Soulful Session

Soulful Session AKA Simon ‘Schoolboy’ Phillips had a great year in 2015. It’s his huge ‘Presents Cheryl Lee’ release on Tony Records that really stood out for us. Massive DJ support on this; hard to pick a single track, but ‘Thankful’ gives you a real taste of the quality of this project.

19: Karizma

Baltimore’s very own DJ Karizma has enjoyed a great year both as a DJ and producer. In 2015 alone he has dropped heat on BBE, Groove Odyssey, Basement Boys and Atjazz Records, with his Marvin Gaye sampling ‘I Got My Music’ gaining support from many of the world’s most forward thinking DJs.

18: Eric Kupper

A man that needs no introduction, Eric Kupper stormed into our Top 20 soulful house artists of 2015 with a slew of quality releases on the likes of King Street, Defected and Nite Grooves. His collaboration with Kenny Summit and Proper for ‘Over Here’ smashed dance floors worldwide and picked up support from Tedd Patterson, Simon Dunmore and Richard Earnshaw to name but a few.

17: Reel People

Reel People really went through the gears this year, with Tony Momrelle’s ‘Pick Me Up’ the real cherry on the cake for their own label by the same name. They took the soulful disco-esque original by Joe Buddha featuring Terri Walker’s ‘Feel Right’ and added their killer production touch, plus Portia Monique’s ‘Cloud IX’ was simply sent from a soulful space in heaven.

16: Ross Couch

Ross Couch is always the epitome of consistency and 2015 was another strong year from everyone’s favorite Scot. We could have chosen pretty much anything Ross has put out this year as a stand out, but ‘Burning Up’ certainly did that to the world’s dance floors alongside ‘New York City’. Don’t sleep (on Ross’ Couch!)

15: Ralf GUM

German DJ and producer Ralf Gum took 2015 by the scruff of the neck and just didn’t let go. ‘In The City’ was a real stand out and was the second release from his massive album and featured legendary African vocalist Hugh Masekela as well as a stellar Atjazz remix.

14: Kenny Dope

House Hall of Famer Kenny Dope smashed 2015 with a slew of releases on the likes of Dope Wax, King Street and Henry Street. His huge collaboration with Robert Owens for ‘Bricks Down’ gained support from Joey Negro, David Morales, DJ Spinna and let’s face facts; if you’re not supporting the Dope Man you need your ears tested!

13: Terrence Parker

Detroit House Royality Terrence Parker’s 2015 just went from strength to strength as he fired out heat on Kings Street, Defected and Djoon Experience. His remix of Kerri Chandler’s ‘Heal My Heart’ had us reaching for the skies, as did his very own ‘Baptize Me’ with Kenny Bobien. Can we get a witness?!

12: Souldynamic

Luca Ciotoli & Stefano De Magistris aka Souldynamic have enjoyed a superb 2015 featuring remixes for Harley and Muscle, Melba Moore and the Peech Boys. Following quality releases on the likes of King Street, Night Grooves, Purple and Soulstar, they dropped ‘EQTRL’ in the summer on Tribe Records; a relentless rolling groove featuring their trademark Souldynamic sound.

11: Kai Alce

If you wanted seriously sexy soulful sounds this year, you simply hit up Kai Alce’s discography for 2015. ‘Dance Like You’ve Been There’ and ‘Take A Chance’ cemented his place on this year’s Soulful Top 20 with a sound that is truly unique to one of our favorite house music producers.

10: Terry Hunter

Terry Hunter’s 2015 has gone from great to golden with a consistantly high level of quality remixes and releases. His remix of Estelle’s ‘Something Good’ featured a peerless vocal performance over trademark chi-town beats; a truly irresistible combination. Further work with Chantay Savage, Joi Cardwell and Ron Carroll cemented Terry’s place as a soulful house music legend.

9: Sean McCabe

Sean McCabe is the producer’s producer and 2015 saw him fire out a slew of high-quality releases on King Street, Quantize and Nite Grooves. ‘Reach Out’ featuring Hannah Khemoh on Joey Negro’s Z Records garnered support from the likes of DJ Spen, Reel People and Spiritchaser, whilst his re-rub of Blaze’s ‘We Are One’ was simply devine music, period.

8: DJ Spinna

A name synonymous with seriously soulful sounds is DJ Spinna and he’s shown no sign of slowing down in 2015. With releases on labels such as Papa Records, King Street, Tony Records and Soul Heaven, stand outs included the sublimely hypnotic ‘Fading Away’ and his remix of DJ Kemit featuring Eric Roberson ‘Fortune Teller’. The man can do no wrong in our eyes.

7: Atjazz

Martin ‘Atjazz’ Iveson’s 2015 output was the same as every other year; outstanding. ‘Fox Tooth’, ‘Mama Kosa’, ‘Oh I (Miss U)’, the list is endless. Just click on the link and get involved, it’s hard to describe the Atjazz sound, just go and listen yourself. We are daily!

6: Richard Earnshaw

Richard’s discography stands up against anyone on the house music scene in 2015. His recent remix of Roland Clark’s ‘I Get Deep’ took an already classic release to new levels of brilliance and his updated re-rub of the timeless ‘Do You Feel Me’ just goes to show his true understanding of house music as an art form. He’s not a bad keyboard player either!

5: Rhemi

The Rhemi boys, Neil Pierce and Ziggy Funk smashed 2015 with releases on Groove Odyssey, Quantize Records and of course their own sublime imprint Rhemi Music. Their ‘Diamonds’ release was charted by such luminaries as Kenny Dope, Louie Vega, David Morales, Joey Negro and Danny Krivit. Enough said!

4: Opolopo

With a steady stream of remixes and original productions, Opolopo really made the soulful house scene his own in 2015. Stand out remixes included Portia Monique’s ‘Ain’t Scared of You’, Ferry Ultra’s ‘Let Me Do My Thang’ alongside releases on Reel People Music, Z Records and King Street. If you want to understand Opolopo, go and listen to ‘I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping’ with Sandy Barber, then come back and talk to us. Opolopo is the man!

3: Joey Negro

Dave Lee killed 2015, it’s as simple as that. ‘Do What You Feel’, originally released in 1991, was given a delicious 2015 re-rub courtesy of the man himself. Released on his own Z Records, support came in from Todd Terry, Golf Clap, DJ Spen, Julius Papp and many other serious taste makers. Other killer releases including ‘Free Bass’, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and ‘I Can Feel Your Body Rock’ to ensure that 2015 was yet another huge year for the Z Records supremo.

2: DJ Spen

Basement Boy DJ Spen enjoyed an amazing 2015. Joining forces with Louie Vega for ‘Why Can’t You See’ featuring the sweet, soulful vocals of Sheila Ford and released on Spen’s own Quantize Recordings with amazing reinterpretations by Atjazz, Joey Negro, Dimitri from Paris and Kenny Dope. Other stand out moments ‘Fire’ and ‘Everybody Get Up’ with Gary Hudgins and the sublime ‘No Good For You’ featuring Hanlei. One of the true greats of soulful house music.

1: Louie Vega

Anyone heard of this guy before? Louie Vega’s appetite for the scene both as a DJ and producer seems to know no bounds. Louie’s been on a world tour of the planet’s greatest clubs for over 2 decades and his release schedule shows no signs of slowing down. There must have been a fair few occasions where he could have sold out, but Louie Vega has remained true to underground music culture for his entire career; a feat to be admired and respected.

Louie Vega’s CV reads like a history of New York dance music. DJing at Studio 54, creating Nuyorican Soul, churning out seemingly endless high quality house, salsa, hip hop, jazz and afro-beat cuts and running Vega Recordings. The list goes on, but what is constant is the level of professionalism and quality.

We could have picked numerous stand out tracks and remixes for Louie so far in 2015. In fact, you have to go through NINE pages of his Traxsource releases to get to his 2014 stuff! With releases and remixes on quality imprints like Azuli, Strictly Rhythm, Defected, King Street, Soul Heaven, Quantize, Nite Grooves, Nulu, Classic, BBE, Nervous and of course, Vega, it’s safe to say Louie bossed 2015.

With a brand new album due out in 2016 featuring an all-star cast, it seems that Louie Vega isn’t going anywhere soon. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s something we can all be thankful for!

Louie Vega releases on Traxsource.