Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday, where each week, Billboard taps chart-topping artists and tastemakers to compile their very own playlist exclusive to Billboard’s Spotify account. We give the artists free rein to base the list on whatever subject they choose. The only rule? Make it as creative and unique to them as possible.
2019 may have just begun, but Watsky already has a stellar year ahead. The Los Angeles-based rapper is releasing his fifth studio album, Complaint, on Jan. 11, then will embark on a 29-date North American tour, including a special show with Atmosphere at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Feb. 1.
But even with the exciting things ahead in 2019, Watsky sees the start of a new year as a chance to grow both as an artist and as a person. So for his New Year’s Day Takeover Tuesday playlist, the 32-year-old compiled 16 songs that reflect the “growth and beginnings” he’s looking forward to experiencing this year.
“To me a new year is all about the meaning we assign to the moment … another opportunity to be reminded to continue to step deeper into the people we want to be and the lives we want to live,” Watsky says. “I wanted the playlist to have a bit of anticipation, swagger, a feeling of welcoming, and a little bit of self-doubt sprinkled on the top, to be realistic.”
Some of the song titles are evocative in themselves (Noname’s “Reality Check,” Oliver Tree’s “When I’m Down”), and others are striking with their infectious vibes, similar to those Watsky brings on his own records (Glass Animals’ “Season 2 Episode 3,” Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate”). The playlist also highlights some of 2018’s breakout stars like Billie Eilish and Brockhampton, as well as a handful of under-the-radar artists such as Feed the Biirds, Max Miller-Loran (embedded below) and Still Woozy.
Whatever you make of Watsky’s selections, his biggest hope is to spread positivity for the new year: “Let’s love ourselves more than we hate ourselves in 2019, evolve closer to our final forms, hear music everywhere, and shoot glitter out of our eye-sockets.”
Listen to Watsky’s “Growth and Beginnings” Takeover Tuesday playlist below.