Day 6

Will it be reggaeton, country or pop? Predicting this year's song of the summer

The leaves are out, the cold brew is back on tap, and that can only mean one thing: It's time to reconvene the Day 6 music panel to predict this year's hottest summer jam. Music critics Maura Johnston, Nate Sloan and Melissa Vincent make the case for their picks.

Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Daddy Yankee are all contenders for this year's top summer jam

From left to right: Lil Nas X, Lizzo and Daddy Yankee are all contenders for the 2019 song of summer. (Jerritt Clark/Getty Images, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images, Rich Fury/Getty Images)
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Put away those parkas and roll down the windows, it's time to crown the winner of this year's summer anthem.

Whether you're looking for a song to groove to at the beach or crank up during a long drive, it's a fierce competition for the top spot. 

Last year, the song of summer was a toss-up between Miguel, Janelle Monae and Ariana Grande on Day 6.

So, what will it be this year? 

While some have placed bets on Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber's I Don't Care, or Katy Perry's Never Really Over, our esteemed music panel has other suggestions.

Juice – Lizzo

This 1980s electro-funk inspired track is musicologist Nate Sloan's pick for this summer's fiery earworm. 

"It showcases her incredible talent: singing, rapping, flute-playing," he told Day 6 host Brent Bambury.

"Listening to it sends a beam of sun through the rainy, New England woods I'm currently in."

The song's upbeat tempo and melody perfectly mirror its uplifting message of body positivity. 

"Listening to it makes you feel like a million bucks," said Melissa Vincent, editor-in-chief of A.Side, an online music magazine and television station.  

"It's bright and exciting and it feels like it's coursing through your veins. I love it."

Old Town Road – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

Not to be outdone, however, Vincent is hitching her horse to this country-rap mashup.

"It feels like something we need and something that has actually done a relatively good job of reminding people that disparate genres and disparate music communities can actually have one common factor," she said.

According to Vincent, Lil Nas X "proves" that the conversation around who is allowed to make country music is archaic.

"I am critical of people calling it corny or wanting to end its cowboy ride sooner than it needs to end."

Boston College professor Maura Johnston agrees, noting it's already held back pop stalwarts Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers from the top of the charts.

Con Calma – Daddy Yankee feat. Snow

Johnston's vote goes to this track, which she pegs as a "throwback that's definitely of the moment". The dancehall song is a reimagination of Canadian rapper Snow's 1992 single Informer.

"It was one of those songs when I first heard it, I was like: 'Oh, this is going to be everywhere this summer,'" she told Day 6.

A remix of Con Calma features vocals by Katy Perry which, according to Johnston, could give it the boost it needs to smash the charts like Daddy Yankee's 2017 hit with Justin Bieber, Despacito.

"It has the charisma — Snow and Daddy Yankee are two very charismatic performers that you can hear on the radio," Johnston added.

"I could just see people dancing to this really late into the night."

The summer's sleeper hits

While those three picks have already gained some traction on top 40 radio, our music panel has a few dark horses that could still snatch the coveted summer song crown.

Vincent says that Tyler, The Creator's A Boy is a Gun — although recently released — could pick up momentum and have staying power.

"He's looking at the past and he's pulling inspiration from all of these different artists that have sort of helped him scaffold his career," she added.

"It's intimate and delicate and I think he just nails it."

Sloan also hopes that you'll be adding Change by 79-year-old blues legend Mavis Staples to your playlists.

"Her voice sounds better than ever," he said. "It's aged like whiskey."

Meanwhile, Johnston suggests newcomer Mabel's single Don't Call Me Up.

"It's a really nice simmering, brooding pop song that is on the rise on the Hot 100 in the states and also on the streaming charts."


To hear more from the Day 6 music panel, download our podcast or click 'Listen' above.

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