#BILLCSTop30 #606 – February 1/21

It’s been a long January, particularly for those of us in lockdown or with stay-at-home orders, but we will all get through it, and thank goodness for the shortest month of the year, February!  While some long-lasting favourites depart and will move down the chart in the coming weeks, there’s no shortage of great music to succeed them!  Edition 606 has four new entries and lots of movement particularly in the Top 10.

“Give It Back” (above), the powerful house banger by The Disco Fries, Giiants and Allison Park obtains a third appearance (six weeks) at #1.  Looking to replace it are either NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” (steady at #2, below) or “Like Gold” (also below) by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth, which charges 11-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s also Loud Luxury’s fifth Top 5 on this chart, and Stephen’s second (“Sexual Vibe” peaked at #5 two years ago).  


This is quite an amazing Top 10, with new peaks from Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” (5-3, his personal best on the chart), Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes’ deep house zinger “Chasing Feelings” (6-5), 2020 carryover “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay (9-6, above), and Why Don’t We’s “Fallin’ (Adrenaline) (8-7, below).

Karen Harding gets her second Top 10 with “Let’s Get Together”, this time in partnership with Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos (12-8), following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”.

Soaring into the Top 10 for the first time is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the heavily Lady Gaga inspired “Lucid” climbing 15-9.

Lastly, Oliver Heldens and Party Pupils both land in the Top 10 for the first time too with “Set Me Free” (14-10) featuring vocalist and one half of Party Pupils, MAX.  It’s MAX’s 9th Top 10 on this chart, either as a solo or featured artist!

Three unique dance tracks by British artists make other waves on the chart as they move up.

“Synthesizer” has a cruel and droll sense of humour about it, but the riveting new song by dance phenoms Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball climbs 16-11.

Another veteran dance producer, Hot Since 82, is going gangbusters on the chart with “Sinnerman” rising 20-14, featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves.

Watch for “Tell Me” by producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden to break out further in two weeks.  For now, “Tell Me” moves up 27-21.

I, like the rest of the world, cannot resist the many charms of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”.  The heartfelt and beautifully produced ballad bows on the chart at #25.

L.A. based dance producer Mahalo has become a mainstay on the chart over the past few years, and I usually appreciate his darker, deep house tracks.  One of those is “Not Watching Anymore”, which arrives at #28 and becomes his 9th chart entry.

I’ve written about a few Indian producers, or those of Indian descent over the years.  The first one to be born in India to appear on this chart is DJ Shaan, with vocalist Londin Thompson, with the pop-flavoured dance track “By Heart”, which arrives at #29.  Other producers of Indian descent to appear on the chart in the past include Spirix (born in the USA) and Panjabi MC (born in England).

At #30 is the new winner from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whose music I’ve written these past few years.  His songs haven’t appeared on the chart till now, and that has all changed with his new personal best for me called “Escape”, featuring an outstanding and soulful vocal by Chrxstal Sarah.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #602, December 7/20

It’s been a very strange and somewhat long 2020, yet here we are with my second last chart of the year.  Like many others, I’m itching to see live performances again but only when safe to do so.  I don’t know how social distancing will be maintained without strict enforcement.  We currently have to look at places like Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan to see what measures they are taking.  Anyway, there’s a new #1 on deck along with three strong entries.  There are also a few significant jumps, which shove other songs into making smaller moves, and push the debuts to the lower five of the chart.

It’s Sam Smith who claims #1 with “Diamonds” from their excellent album Love Goes.  Sam had FOUR #1’s in 2014 on this chart – “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, and “I’m Not The Only One”, from their debut album In The Lonely Hour, and “Latch” with Disclosure – and “Diamonds” is their first #1 here in six years.  I was fortunate to see Sam perform at a small club in Toronto in April 2014, because their next stop in my city was our stadium!  Their club show actually was to be earlier in the year but ended up conflicting with their first appearance on Saturday Night Live.

One of the year’s most infectious songs belongs to Sweden’s Pawl and Discrete with the toe-tapper “Type Like That” (above), which climbs a notch to #2.  And we have Swedes back-to-back with Agnes’ equally catchy “Fingers Crossed” (below) moving up 5-3.

Back in the Top 5 for the first time in seven years are Germany’s Matt Mancid with American producer (and here, singer) Color Theory with “Tinseltown In The Rain” rising 9-5.  This is the “Big Rhythm” dance mix of this much revered song from the 80’s by Scottish group The Blue Nile.

Another one with a long gap between events is Justin Nozuka.  The Toronto singer last appeared in the Top 10 in 2010 with “Unwoken Dream” (#6) from his second album You I Wind Land And Sea.  His latest is “No One But You”, a duet with British singer and 2020 R&B Grammy nominee Mahalia, which moves up 11-8.

The fastest riser on the chart is the latest in a series of dance music bangers that created some of the brightest moments of 2020.  It’s “Give It Back” by the pairing of The Disco Fries with Giiants and vocalist/co-writer Allison Park.  It smashes into the Top 10, moving 20-9.  It’s the third Top 10 on this chart for both Disco Fries and Giiants.

The third Top 10 entry is Illenium’s “Nightlight”, featuring the uncredited voice of Annika Wells.  It climbs 13-10, and is Illenium’s 6th Top 10 entry.

Also soaring up the chart 24-14 is another new favourite deep house banger, “Nobody” by Sweden’s NOTD with vocalist Catello.

Watch for “Good At Goodbyes” (above) by Bright Light Bright Light and Erasure’s Andy Bell to move up more in the coming weeks.  For now, this wondrous electronic ballad of sorts rises 21-18.  Check out the latest single from Fun City, “Saying Goodbye Is Exhausting”, featuring Justin Vivian Bond, below.

I think I’ll need to get a T-shirt or create a meme that says “Sorry for All the Bangers”.  “Chasing Feelings” by UK producer Jerome Price and singer/songwriter Cally Rhodes also fits into this category, and it climbs 23-20.

“Fake” is a fun song and video by Lauv and Conan Gray, which moves up 30-25.

The highest debut on the chart is the first entry for renown Dutch producer Oliver Heldens.  Collaborating with Party Pupils with vocals by MAX, the exuberant “Set Me Free” arrives at #26.  MAX is also sitting pretty at #17 with Suga of BTS with “Blueberry Eyes”.  And arriving this past weekend was baby Edie Schneider for proud new parents MAX and Emily!

Also premiering is the darker deep house track “Like Gold” by my fellow Canadians Loud Luxury and Toronto’s Frank Walker with vocals by Stephen Puth at #27.  Loud Luxury’s recent “Aftertaste” reached #8 a while back, while Stephen got to #5 last year with “Sexual Vibe”.  It’s a first appearance on the chart for producer Frank Walker.

The third new entry makes a concurrent chart appearance for UK singer/songwriter Karen Harding.  She’s currently at #12 with the former #1 “Undo My Heart”, and bows with Scotland-based production duo Illyus & Barrientos with the dreamy disco of “Let’s Get Together” at #29.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

“Set Me Free” is your ultra-slick end of 2020 Eurohouse anthem by @OliverHeldens and @PartyPupils with vocals by @MAXmusic


The music business sometimes finds the unlikeliest people making a collaboration that comes out slicker and better than you might expect.  The careers of Oliver Heldens and MAX have been made up of many of such serendipitous events!  Within a year of releasing his own music as a teenager, the Dutch producer’s “Gecko (Overdrive)” (featuring Becky Hill) soared to #1 in the UK.  And that was a liftoff no one could expect – collaborations with the best of the dance music biz followed, along with numerous electronic dance hits and formidable gigs around the world.  MAX’s travels have taken him from modeling and acting, through to being a go-to voice in the dance music world and finding a huge fan base in South Korea (as well as connecting to BTS!), all while making his own music either solo or with his best buddy Ryan in Party Pupils.  So, all of these forces converge to make the heavenly and anthemic “Set Me Free”.  The energetic Party Pupils vibe and MAX’s resilient voice highlight and compliment Oliver’s snazzy production.  “Set Me Free” is one that you will play on repeat and is a great end-of-year anthem through which we can say good riddance to 2020.

It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 


tenoutoften 05

  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.


Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.


“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.







The groove gets cranked up for new @PartyPupils original “Patient”


Party Pupils bring us a punchy original called “Patient”, after dazzling us for the last 8 months or so with covers of songs by OutKast and Ginuwine, and remixes of others by D.R.A.M., T-Pain, Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha, and Jai Wolf.  This is the outlet for MAX (Schneider) and his buddy Ryan to bring some heavier, hip hop flavoured dance music to the fore – I got a taste of it in April when I saw them perform OutKast’s “Ms Jackson” in concert.  The groove and grittiness are all up front, and with MAX’s fiery vocal, Party Pupils is off to a great start with “Patient”. You get to have it all for now by downloading “Patient” for free at the link above.

Published in: on June 3, 2017 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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