While it’s hard to believe that May is already over, most of the month kind of sucked actually, now that I’m looking back at it. But there was at least one thing that made last month not a total waste: HaHaHa Production’s #MaiMusic campaign. For the uninitiated: HaHaHa is a record label and production studio based out of Bucharest that puts out some really fantastic stuff. They’re headed up by Smiley, who you maybe haven’t heard of if you’re in the US, but he’s a pretty big deal over in Romania. (If you want an English-language introduction to some of his stuff, I fucking love this song. Anyway. Moving on.)
Right, so #MaiMusic was something that I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other label do before: every day for the month of May (or Mai, if we’re being Romanian) they put out a new single by one of their artists, for 31 tracks in total. All in all, they brought a good mix of offerings and really showed what kind of variety you can find under a single production company, and I was pretty impressed by just about everything.
With so many genres I thought the most fun thing to do would be highlight several of my favorites, but if you want, you can check out the full #MaiMusic playlist right here.
Best Song for Kicking Off the Summer: “Adu-mi o bere” – Cabron
This Romanian-language track really set the stage for how awesome #MaiMusic was going to be, and – as with many of the songs they offered – even if you don’t fully understand the words you can appreciate the rhythm and how the song really makes you want to stretch out on the beach and enjoy the summer.
Best Song for Not Giving a Fuck: “Headphones” – Radio Killer
Look, real talk? As soon as this one came out, Nick looked at me and was like “Wtf, did they write this song for you?” I pretty much always have my headphones on if I have to leave the house, and I love the sentiment: I have my headphones on, I have music, nothing you can say is going to bother me. As a bonus, Lee Heart is an absolute gem and her happiness in this video is downright contagious.
Best House Party Song: “Bricheta” – Don Baxter
My only previous exposure to Don Baxter before this track was this super upbeat song featuring Smiley, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but this song ended up getting stuck in my head a lot since it came out, and addresses a problem that plagues house parties and casual gatherings across the globe: if someone lends you their lighter, you give it back instead of being an asshole and walking off with it. Though this maybe isn’t one of the strongest tracks of #MaiMusic, it won a lot of points for the go-pro-plus-lighter video contraption and the tour of the funhouse-like HaHaHa headquarters…and also because Nick and I have been shuffling around muttering “Nu fugi, nu fugi cu bricheta mea,” under our breaths while it loops forever inside our brains.
Best Road Trip Song: “Think About Us” – Silviu Pasca
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve chatted with Silviu a couple times, and he is one awesome, chill dude. He’s one of the reasons I discovered HaHaHa in the first place (other than my prior knowledge of Smiley’s music) after finding his hilarious video for “Crazy MTFKR” and his music seems to be getting better and better with every release. Even without the incredible accompanying video, “Think About Us” just has that kind of sound that makes you want to roll down the windows, take to the highway, and drive until your life makes sense again.
Best Acoustic Song: “I Love You, By The Way” – Diana
Not only is Diana adorable and talented, but “I Love You, By the Way” was an immediate classic for me and one that made me want to pick up my guitar and cover it right away. (…just, you know, as soon as I figure out those chords.) Diana also put out two other great tracks over the course of the month, and “Too Late” was a close second for my favorite of hers.
The Best of the Best: #MaiFavorites
So, which songs came out on top as my favorites from #MaiMusic? It was tough to choose, but I managed to narrow it down to the three. These songs all had amazing videos that just blew me away, catchy lyrics that I almost immediately learned the words to (read: because I wouldn’t stop playing these songs. Sorry, neighbors.) and are probably going to be looped a lot during the summer. Even if you’ve skipped over the Romanian-language ones thus far, I recommend checking these three out, especially to see the accompanying videos!
#3. “Vera” – Silviu Pasca
This track came out almost at the very end of #MaiMusic, but I feel like no list of my favorites would be complete without it. I think we can all relate to the struggle (and you should really watch until the end – which, did I mention that Ionut Trandafir has just knocked ’em out of the park with some of these videos?)
#2. “Gelozia” – Feli feat. Speak
Okay, I totally gave this track a shoutout last week, but I just love it that much. I couldn’t not include it again, just to hammer in the point. This song is fantastic and Feli is one incredibly talented lady. Since I already discussed it previously, I’ll simply tell you to listen and enjoy.
#1. “N-am Somn” – Speak
Look. This song. I don’t know why it is my #1. I don’t. I also don’t know how I turned into a Speak fangirl almost overnight despite having absolutely no idea who he was before his duet with Feli above, but I love this song. Seriously. Every time it comes on I am jumping around and dancing and singing along at the top of my lungs. I also love the video and have watched it approximately three thousand times. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Speak’s other release last month, “Tine-te bine” is just as catchy. I’ll shut up, just watch this.
Anyway, my overall impression of both #MaiMusic and HaHaHa Productions is two speakers turned way, way up. I wish more record labels did things like this to give us an idea of their artists, and they’ve definitely earned a fan in me and introduced me to a ton of artists I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed.
You can pick up a digital compilation of the #MaiMusic songs on Amazon for $16.49 USD, and it should be hitting iTunes soon enough! If you have a favorite, be sure to share it in the comments or harass me on Twitter. (It’s “N-am Somn,” isn’t it? Good luck getting that out of your head, buddy.)