The 15 Best Miami Songs of 2015
Take a look back at the year in Miami music.
Photo Courtesy of Digital Girl Inc
It’s easy to shove Miami music into a corner. Perhaps you think it’s all Latin rhythms or DJs in big, loud clubs. But the music in Miami, like the city itself, is stunningly diverse.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best songs Miami musicians have released this year. The list covers a spectrum that boomerangs from experimental electronic to hip-hop to Latin and everything in between. Looking back at the year, we couldn’t be prouder of our city.
15. Basside, "QLCL (Birthday Sex and Cheap Champagne)."
It's easy to dismiss Carolina Villalba and Linda Attias' on-again, off-again project Basside as a cheap Miami bass knock off. (In fact, readers let that be known in what was one of our most vitriolic comment section of the year when we called the music video for "QLCL" the most Miami thing we've ever seen.) Still, the duo isn't pretending to be something they aren't apart from two Miami girls who grab inspiration from acts like L'Trimm and Avenue D (which, funny enough, feature Attias' sister, Debbie). So take "QLCL" for what it is: a celebration of all of Miami's greatest low-brow attributes. — By Jose D. Duran
14. Deaf Poets, “Degenerate Mind."
The name Deaf Poets carries heavy weight in the 305’s music scene. But this year, the Miami Beach rockers reached a whole ‘nother level of fame thanks to their 2015 single “Degenerate Mind” getting featured on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. “I grew up playing that video game, so I never thought this would happen,” drummer Nico Espinosa told New Times back when the news broke this fall. “I even read an article that said Tony Hawk picked the songs himself.” From the looks of it, Hawk not only has mad skater skills, but a pretty good ear for music too. And who can blame him? “Degenerate Mind” is the kind of track that’ll make you want to stand up and flip a table just because. — By Laurie Charles
13. Virgo, “ISS.”
Elizabeth Ann Clark’s brand of future pop is one of the most exciting things coming out of the Magic City these days. “ISS” is a pulsating cut with droning vocals that just slightly soar above the beat; it’s the perfect introduction to her angelic, if a bit robotic, take on dance music. The track churns nonstop through peaks and valleys that keep things interesting as Clark insists, “I don’t want to know.” Rest assured that in 2016, everyone will want to know about Virgo. — By Jose D. Duran
12. IndigochildRick, "Retribution."
"When I come back, I'll have a present for you, bye," said IndigochildRick as he left his social media accounts vacant. The 19-year-old rapper shut down his social media presence for reasons unknown, but promised bangers when he came back. He didn't lie. Rick gifted us with "Retribution" in February, ending his year-long hiatus. The heavy metal influence combined with lyrics you wouldn't dare say around your mother make this track an instant South Florida favorite. — By Cristina Jerome
11. Plastic Pinks ft. AJ Dávila, "Fiel A Mi."
Rock en español sometimes gets a bad wrap for sounding a tad outdated. Plastic Pinks, though, teeter on that Spanish rock influence with an awareness of what's currently happening. That's why their garage rock ballad "Fiel A Mi" works so well. Featuring Puerto Rican rocker AJ Dávila, the track bursts with a sort of West Coast brightness that is rarely found in these swampy parts. If the Plastic Pinks keep churning out tracks like these, Miami could finally find a spot in the stable of American garage acts and rock en español could finally shake off that stale flavor. — By Jose D. Duran
10. Poorgrrrl, “Super Rude (co-prod. by ILLA, feat. Jenee).”
Tara Long’s performance-art project, Poorgrrrl, is bringing future beat to Miami. The third song off her first EP, Pitiparti, feels like a trippy, bass-fueled romp into Miami’s underworld — or just an average rush-hour drive on U.S. 1. Basically, this song can get you through some shit. Poorgrrrl squeaks “aliens” and “Billy Murray,” while Jenee throws down lyrical truth à la Junglepussy. She might be in a pretty bad mood, but rest assured, Poorgrrrl will keep the pussy popping. — By Alexandra Martinez
9. Afrobeta, “Dream About You.”
Afrobeta is our little secret, a band you probably aren’t familiar with unless you live in Miami. The group, made up of Tony Smurphio and Cuci Amador, has been doing its thing in the 305 since 2006. This year, Afrobeta released its most adorable song to date, “Dream About You.” The melody flows like a creek in a forest full of dancing fairies, while Amador croons about a long-lost love. The group even got its 91-year-old neighbor to star in the video as an older Amador. Please hold while our hearts melt. — By Ryan Pfeffer
8. DJ Khaled, “How Many Times.”
Well into his career, Khaled is still putting together collaborations that simply no one else could. His latest album, I Changed a Lot, features some of the world’s top hip-hop artists, including Jay Z, Rick Ross, Fetty Wap, Future, and Jeremih. For one of the album’s most popular tracks, “How Many Times,” Khaled recruited Big Sean, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne to help him ask, “How many times I gotta tell that ass to come over?” The song is everything we love about Khaled — big, flashy, at times ridiculous, but always catchy. Khaled is peaking right now, and the world is slowly realizing what Miami has known for some time: DJ Khaled is a national treasure. — By Ryan Pfeffer
7. Venus Amor, "dreamTIME"
Venus Amor turns dreams into reality with her single "dreamTIME." The R&B princess made her debut earlier this year and has been on a role ever since. Her sweet, but sultry voice captures the soul of your Man Crush Monday while giving you plenty of fuel for your Woman Crush Wednesday. Equipped with her producer iamFRDK and the Miami blog scene, dreamTIME continues to find itself on playlist after playlist. The 19-year-old singer may not be consistent with her look, but she is with her music. — By Cristina Jerome
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.