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Written by Aidan Werder
UK teenage duo A1 x J1’s debut single “Latest Trends” - and its 2 remixes featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie and Aitch - are going absolutely crazy.
Since dropping in February, the 15 and 17-year-old pair have hit #2 on the UK charts, amassed 70M streams and 20M Youtube views, been Brit-Certified Gold, and released not one but two remixes with superstar features with Aitch (a big UK rapper for the Americans) and the elusive NYC superstar, Mr. DTB himself, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie - which only makes sense given the “DTB” reference in the chorus. And did I mention this is their first official release ever?
From its first seconds, “Latest Trends” is an instant standout track. The unique, guitar-led instrumental and drill-pattern drums from Queens, NY producer ShoBeatz combined with A1’s charismatic melodic flow and London accent instantly reels you in - and knocked out of the park by his undeniably catchy rap-sung chorus. The 15 year-old A1 has enough starpower on his own, but the combination of his melodic style with the deeper vocals and clever bars from the 17 year-old J1 really pushes the track over the edge - creating a fun, dynamic, catchy song with massive appeal across pop, hip hop, R&B, drill, and even dancehall.
The video for “Latest Trends” is very well done, showcasing the young artists’ talent in a variety of age appropriate scenes - which is surprisingly refreshing. Even better, the video for the Remix featuring Aitch - which included a very well executed vlog-style intro showing the excitement of the young phenoms not only getting to meet, but collaborate and completely hold their own - with the young A1 trading bar for bar with the bona fide superstar.
A1 x J1 are already well on the way to having a genuine international hit on their hands. Already topping charts across Europe, it seems likely that the perfectly paired A Boogie feature released in May will be the push it needs to complete its jump across the pond this summer. It’s only right that the Bronx’s favorite sing-rapper joined in, seeing as how they borrowed his infamous “DTB” slogan.
The original song, released in February, came after the unique ShoBeatz’s beat caught the eyes of A1 x J1 - who had only met just last year during COVID lockdowns on Houseparty, a popular video chatroom app. A1 and J1 bonded over their shared love of music and would share songs they recorded with each other. After some coaxing from J1, they released the first version of “Latest Trends” on TikTok - which quickly started blowing up. From there, A1 x J1’s manager, Dee-Lo got in touch with ShoBeatz to officially purchase the beat - and eventually offer to join the team. Since then, the record has gone on to amass millions of streams and views, peaking at #2 on the UK Single charts - and they’ve followed up with a remix and great video with Aitch, the legendary A Boogie feature, and just recently a new video “Plugged In W/ Fumez The Engineer”,
It’s also worth noting the interesting full circle drill moment happening with “Latest Trends”. Here we have ShoBeatz - a New York native producer known for pushing the NY drill sound forward and working with the exciting new wave of NYC artists like Dusty Locane, Kay Flock, Ciggy Blacc, Dougie B, Melvoni, 26AR, and more - creating a melodic, drill-inspired instrumental for two brand new artists from the UK - the original home of the drill producers who initially connected with emerging Brooklyn artists like Pop Smoke (RIP) to create the now dominant NYC drill sound. You might even notice J1’s nod to one of Brooklyn drill’s goats, Sleepy Hallow in his last verse - and you could even be forgiven for noticing similarities between A1 x J1 and the groundbreaking Flatbush, Brooklyn drill duo of Sheff and Sleepy (a major compliment).
If you haven’t heard the song yet, you will soon. Given their unique sound, broad appeal, overwhelming traction abroad, and now with the A Boogie cosign - it looks like A1 x J1 are well on their way to becoming one of the few UK acts to break through in the States.