As 2023 comes to an end, we start to reflect on the year, and for Dulaxi it has been a massive one. We’ve strived to become one of the leading platforms for independent music and independent artists. In 2023 we reviewed hundreds upon hundreds of records, and for the first year ever, we are acknowledging the cream of the crop. So today, we proudly announce our Top International Single of 2023.
It was truly a challenge to pick just 1 record in a year that brought us so many standout records, and also so much advancement in genre. 2023 will always be remembered as the year Afrobeats truly broke out internationally. And might be remembered for some time as the year that Hip Hop took a back seat, with most of the major releases from major label rappers falling flat. However, independent rappers picked up the slack, and our winner of the 2023 Top Independent Single of 2023 is: Ratata by Shah
Those familiar with Shah, from our original review of Ratata will remember that Shah first broke out in Atlanta with his club hit Just Text, and was soon crowned the New Star of Trap by Complex. What you might not know, is Shah has also been making waves across entertianment. He’s starring in an upcoming television series Ghostwriter produced by an Emmy nominated team. He’s walked at New York Fashion Week, and just last week the childrens book My Karaoke Day with Shah, by Dr Deborah Finley, the story about one of Shah’s young superfans learning about Shah’s come up, hit bookstores around the world. But of course, music is what Shah does, and Ratata reminded us of that!
One of the reasons we selected Shah’s Ratata as our Top Indie Single of 2023, was because it embodied what 2023 stood for, a truly internatinal year where the landscape changed. Beyond Afrobeats breaking out, and even dominating internationally, we had Peso Pluma bring a regional Mexican sound to the global stage. Ratata resonates with totally different communities, in a way that is very rare to see. Given that Shah is from Toronto, most of the song was in English but Ratata is definitely a bilingual hit, with some of the most important bars, in the Dominican slang, that Shah first flexed in his song Telemundo.
The term Ratata itself is a very Dominican slang term, roughly referring to: something that is great, in quality or quantity. Shah ability to seamlessly blend languages, in a way that genuinely resonates with audiences, remains a rarely seen superpower. For example, normally, English speaking rappers from England dont even resonate with English speaking audiences, from anywhere outside the UK. So when a song is able to touch as many different communities as Ratata, it becomes deserving of special acknowledgement.
As an independent publication, we know how hard it is for Independent artists, and we hope Shah can continue to propel Ratata forward and trigger the global superstardom for Shah, that so many are predicting. Some of you might not know that Shah is actually Desi (of SouthAsian heritage). He’s been named one of the Top 5 Desi Rappers in the World, so we’re also interested in seeing how this plays into Shah international growth. So while 2024 promises to be massive for Shah, today we celebrate Ratata as our Top Indie Record of 2023!
Congrats to Shah, Shah’s indie label in Canada, Day One; Ratata’s producer, the Grammy nominated L’Eddy; Ratata’s engineer, the Grammy winning Fragancia; and Ratata’s braintrust Liz Cleveland & Snugglington
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