When it came to MusicTech’s Track of the Year, we had an abundance of big-hitters to choose from. Taylor Swift, who made history in November by holding all of the Top 10 positions in the US singles chart at once, was a strong candidate. Likewise, Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Olivia Rodrigo and Adele each found major success in 2022 too.
Back down on Earth, however, one track shone through the A-list stories with one of its own. This is the underdog tale of British singer and DJ Eliza Rose and her slammin’ anthem BOTA (Baddest of Them All), produced by Manchester’s 29-year-old producer, Interplanetary Criminal.
The track erupted in July and became a summer sensation, a staple at festivals, in clubs, and across social media. Echoing the sounds of the 1990s and early 2000s, the Y2K garage track samples the LL w/Love RC mix of Let the Beat Hit ’Em by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. It’s like a sonic Aperol Spritz – sweet and sticky with a bitter edge; an earworm that takes us back to the dizzying 38-degree heights of the UK’s sizzling summer of 2022.
Eliza Rose oozes character through her fun vocals in the track’s video, set in her home of Hackney. Meanwhile, Interplanetary Criminal’s authentic garage flavours, usually found on underground white labels, bubble away underneath.
That’s why it’s such a winning story. The song wasn’t meant to be where it is. Students weren’t supposed to be holding their phones up to the DJs in their student union bars with the abbreviation “BOTA” typed on their screens. And the track certainly wasn’t expected to take the No.1 spot in the UK singles chart and remain in the top 40 for 15 weeks running, making Eliza Rose the first female DJ to top the official charts in more than 20 years – another win for the dance music community.
BOTA really was the baddest of them all this year. A true underdog story with a fun-loving, instant classic at the heart of it.
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