The year in music from the DC area

(WTOP collage via AP/Thinkstock)
WASHINGTON — When it comes to finding great music, there’s no need to travel far from the Capital Beltway. Musicians from D.C., Maryland and Virginia keep cultivating a sound and culture of their own. Nestled between the cold surfaces of the national monuments, seeping its way through all eight wards and the surrounding suburbs, music keeps the city alive. D.C. is the home of go-go music and storied musicians such as Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye and Ian MacKaye.

Whether it’s punk or hip-hop or any genre in between, the DMV has it all and a dedicated community. See what the area had to offer this year in music.

Editor’s note: Some of the songs may contain explicit lyrics.

(WTOP collage via AP/Thinkstock)

(WTOP collage via YouTube)
But first, a shout out to the honorable mentions who are either just outside the DMV or formerly from the D.C. area but no longer based locally:

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down: Lead singer Thao Nguyen is a Northern Virginia native, but she’s currently based in San Francisco. Listen to “A Man Alive” from the seasoned folk musician.

Kali Uchis: Before Colombian singer Kali Uchis made the move out to the West Coast, she grew up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. We’re still waiting for her follow up to her 2015 EP “Por Vida,” but for now, listen to her mellow, sultry song “Only Girl,” featuring rapper Vince Staples and The Internet’s Steve Lacy.

Ari Lennox: D.C. native Ari Lennox’s latest EP “Pho” was released in October under J. Cole-founded imprint, Dreamville Records. As the first woman signed to the label, Lennox has been making waves with her smoky, wide-ranging vocals.

Masego: Listen to the 2016 release “Loose Thoughts” from the “trap house jazz” innovator who grew up in Newport News, Virginia.

(WTOP collage via YouTube)

https://soundcloud.com/muhsinah/sets/march
https://soundcloud.com/suggsavage/party-dawg-1
https://soundcloud.com/ciscero-breh/pressure-feat-matt-mcghee-april-george-prod-supah-mario
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(WTOP collage via AP/Thinkstock)
(WTOP collage via YouTube)

WASHINGTON — When it comes to finding great music, there’s no need to travel far from the Capital Beltway. Musicians from D.C., Maryland and Virginia keep cultivating a sound and culture of their own.

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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