Two weeks ago, The FADER took a trip down to Baltimore to film the Cardinal Shehan School Children’s Choir as they sang some of their favorite holiday songs. While there, we talked to 19 of the choir’s members, from ages nine to thirteen, about their favorite songs of the year. Some highlights: they love Bruno Mars, think Cardi B is an inspiration, like to say “Gucci Gang,” and feel their dang feelings while listening to SZA. The kids also have a lot of pride in and admiration for hometown stars YBS Skola and Peso Da Mafia. Scroll on to see their entire spectrum of favorite songs from 2017, and their very candid thoughts on each one.
Bruno Mars, "That's What I Like"
"Bruno Mars songs, all of them. He sings through, and you can feel the message of what he's saying in his songs: that singing is a nice thing to do, and always do what you want to do."— Janiya, 13
"'24 Karat Magic' and 'That's What I Like.' It's a tie between both of them because they sound really good, and they both talk about having fun and stuff. The second song, 'That's What I Like,' it's basically about romantic stuff. It's love songs mixed in with R&B, and it sounds really good together, and it's awesome. I heard him the most on [the radio station] Magic 95.9."— John, 12
"I don't really like new songs. I don't really listen to that. I listen to kinda new songs, that are new to me, because I've never heard of them. I kinda liked Bruno Mars, not over Michael Jackson, though. I mostly played the song 'Deal With It' [by Corbin Bleu]. It's romantic, but life problems. It's the rhythm, and it really makes you feel, 'What will happen, when this happens to you?'"— Kai, 11
"I like 'That's What I Like' because he was talking about a girl he likes, and then sometimes I imagine that I'm that girl."— Taylor, 9
Cardi B, "Bodak Yellow"
"It went viral. Everybody was listening to it, rapping it. I liked it because she came out with the hard, aggressive beats and rhymes."— Aaron, 13
"I like her nails, her hair, and her makeup."— Carlyse, 10 years old
"I think most young women appreciate Cardi B because now in the world women’s rights is a big thing."— Michael, 11
"I look up to Cardi B. She’s an inspiration. It’s some things about her that I want to do when I grow up. And, her fashion!"— Saniyah, 14
"She has good songs. She started on a show and people didn’t believe in her, but she still made it to the top."— Kennedy, 13
SZA, "The Weekend"
"I just like it. Some part of me just likes the vibe and the beat. It sounds really nice. She carries herself well, and I love her hair. She is very pretty."— Dhane, 13
"I like how she speaks through her feelings, and I like how she dresses, her style, and her personality. She seems very nice. I've watched some of her interviews on YouTube."— Taylor, 12
"It's my all-time favorite song from this year. I like that song it kind of explains my life a little bit. I just like the rhythm and the beat. I listen to the instrumental a lot — the bass in it, it just gets to me. Sometimes I make my own songs based on my own family problems with it. It’s personal. It’s like my own diary. I use my iPad [to record], and I use my phone for the instrumental."— Sierra, 13
Lil Pump, "Gucci Gang"
"I just like how it sounds, and it's a cool song. I like how it keeps repeating 'Gucci gang.' It makes me feel pumped up. I listen to it when I'm on my phone or on the computer. I first heard it on the radio."— Chase, 11
"It has a lot of rhythm, and the beat is on track. I first heard it when I was in the car with my father."— Taylor, 9
Lil Uzi Vert, "XO Tour LIif3"
"My baby sister Royalty, she loves the song 'XO Tour Llif3.' That was her favorite song this year. She would always dance, and I would always dance."— Saniyah, 14
"He thinks outside the box."— Zoey, 13
Ed Sheeran, "Shape Of You"
"I like that song because I've always liked his music, and he's my favorite artist. I first heard it on the radio, and my cousin told me about it. Then I started to look up the lyrics, and I just caught myself singing it everywhere I went."— Jalen, 12
Playboi Carti, "Magnoila"
"It’s upbeat. You can dance to it and have fun with the song. When I hear that song, I know what to do — milly rock!"— Michael, 11
Migos, "Motorsport" featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj
"I love Migos so much. Their rapping is really fun, and I really want to be a rapper when I grow up. Quavo is my favorite."— Breonne, 12
Kendrick Lamar, "LOVE." featuring Zacari
"'Love' by Kendrick Lamar. I just like the beat. It makes me feel happy. I liked Drake and his album More Life, too. He's really sensitive. I'm a really sensitive person too. My favorite song from it was 'Passionfruit.'"— Zoey, 13
Young Thug, "Relationship" featuring Future
"I liked Future's HNDRXX album. And I like his new song 'Relationship' with Young Thug, but that's not off the album. It's my favorite song this year. I just like the beat, and it gets me hyped up. I listen to it mostly at home, on Snapchat. I first heard it on social media and I looked it up."— Destiny, 13
YBS Skola, "Shinning"
"I love all his music, and I heard he got signed by Meek Mill, and that's real nice, because coming from Baltimore, you've gotta step your game up. Meek Mill noticed, and that's very nice."— Dhane, 13
"He's representing Baltimore in a positive way."— Zoey, 13
Peso Da Mafia, "Money Man"
"It's really good to see people in your own city shine and get recognized like we are. I liked the rhythm and the beat."— Janiya, 13
"That song talks about Baltimore culture."— Michael, 11 years old
YGG Tay, "Blame"
"I think he spreads a message to Baltimore to tell them that they blame him for stuff that he does. YGG Tay brings out flavor to Baltimore. He has the rhythm, the beat, the rhymes."— Aaron, 13
Tay-K, "The Race"
"I like the beat, and the little piano."— Brandon, 10