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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » JAMAICANS OMI AND SHAGGY LEAD THE PACK FOR “THE SONG OF SUMMER 2015!”

JAMAICANS OMI AND SHAGGY LEAD THE PACK FOR “THE SONG OF SUMMER 2015!”

Omi might have the song of the summer with “Cheerleader.”SCOTT SCHATEK

Omi might have the song of the summer with “Cheerleader.”

LAST SUMMER, a new star named Iggy ruled the season with an anthem of bitchy attitude.

This summer, a new star named Omi looks to reign with an anthem of sincere romance.

In direct contrast to Iggy Azalea’s strutting smash “Fancy,” Omi’s “Cheerleader” boasts a sweet melody, a swaying reggae beat and a swooning vocal.

Yet, just like Iggy’s breakthrough, it has the right buzz, spirit, and momentum to become the song of its summer.

Musically, “Cheerleader” has just what such a tune needs — a catchiness and ease made for boomboxes, car radios and days at the beach.

“The texture of the song is perfect,” says Sharon Dastur, senior VP of programming for iHeartRadio. “And the timing is really right for that song to cut through.”

Singer Kat DeLuna attends Latina Magazine's 15th anniversary celebration at Espace in 2011 in New York.NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES FOR LATINA MAGAZINE

Singer Kat DeLuna attends Latina Magazine’s 15th anniversary celebration at Espace in 2011 in New York.

In fact, the song’s ratio of streams-to-chart-position argues for a likely ascent right after Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of the season.

Currently, “Cheerleader” stands at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 Song chart. But it has behind it a staggering 191 million streams on Spotify and a whopping 75 million views on YouTube. Its irresistible refrain has inspired more than 7 million listeners to seek its identity on Shazam.

No other song in the running for summer has a higher mix of numbers.

Many observers liken the single to “Rude” by Magic, another reggae ditty that rose to nearly upstage Iggy on the airwaves, and at pool parties, last summer.

“Reggae makes you an instant qualifier for the summer song,” says Sean Ross, who analyzes radio play for Edison Research.

041215110949, 21334631,MATT SAYLES/MATT SAYLES/INVISION/AP

Pete Wentz (l.) and Fetty Wap perform at the MTV Movie Awards at the Nokia Theatre on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles.

More, the song has a history of success around the world. It first hit in a different version in 2012 on Omi’s home island of Jamaica, as well as in Hawaii.

Omi, 29 — born Omar Samuel Pasley — grew up singing in local groups. But he didn’t get his break until three years ago, after being signed by the producer behind such hot Caribbean stars as Shabba Ranks and Petra. At that point, he cut the original, rougher take on “Cheerleader.”

But only the 2014 goosed-up remix of the song, by German DJ Felix Jaehn, clicked. It did so by finding an ideal mean between two proven summer loves: reggae and EDM. Since April, the enhanced version has hit No. 1 in 11 countries.

“Cheerleader” isn’t the only reggae song showing promise this season. Shaggy, who hasn’t had a huge U.S. hit in 15 years, has been coming on strong with “I Need Your Love.” So has Kat DeLuna with “Boom Boom.”

“We’re watching those records closely,” says Pio Ferro, program director of Hot 97.

Singer Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs at theThe Bowery Ballroom on June 20, 2014 in New York.BRYAN BEDDER/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMERICAN EXPRES

Singer Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs at theThe Bowery Ballroom on June 20, 2014 in New York.

Another contender for summer has been building for a full year. “Trap Queen,” by the 24-year-old hip-hop artist Fetty Wap, first came out independently last summer. It became a viral sensation, generating 10 million plays on SoundCloud by winter.

Then, the full hip-hop community caught on. Kanye invited Fetty to guest star at his Madison Square Park event in February. That same month, a video of Beyonce and Jay-Z dancing to the hit went viral.

Over the past few months, “Trap Queen” has amassed more than 63 million streams on Spotify and more than 68 million plays on YouTube. It now stands at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 100 Song Chart, with the juice to seize the top spot as the temperature rises.

“Fetty Wap can do no wrong right now,” says Ferro, whose station gave the song its first national break.

Another single that’s been a smash for some time also looks to keep its mojo going. The neo-new wave “Shut Up And Dance” by Walk The Moon has nearly 95 million Spotify streams. It currently sits in the Top Five.

The cover of Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea's new song “Pretty Girls.”SHAZAM

The cover of Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea’s new song “Pretty Girls.”

“The song will be big for the whole summer,” Dastur predicts.

Then again, tracks that are still bubbling under have the growth potential to nudge ahead as the humidity builds. Right now, the charts feature a promising plethora of songs that milk a trend of the last few years — pop singers fronting the beats of EMD producers. Current contenders include Martin Garrix withUsher (“Don’t Look Down”), Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber (“Where Are Ü Now”), and David Guetta with Nicki Minaj (“Hey Mama”).

A few late-in-the-day entries also have a shot. The just-released Britney Spears/Iggy Azalea song “Pretty Girls” took off fast last week, though radio has since cooled a bit on it. Should the song rally, it will be Britney’s first real hit in nearly half a decade.

Friday saw the release of a new Maroon 5 song whose very name begs for the seasonal title: “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt (Like A Mother—-er).”

“Top 40 will be chomping at the bit for that one,” says Ferro.

In general, 2015 looks to give male stars an edge over females like Iggy and Ariana Grande, who ruled last year. Then again, this season is known for upsets as sudden as a summer storm. That threat has only intensified since Beyonce introduced the concept of “surprise” releases with her sudden album drop of 2013.

“Katy Perry could put out a song, and we don’t know if Rihanna will finally release her album with a new single,” says Billboard Associate Chart Director Gary Trust. “Also, someone could always pull a Beyonce — maybe even Beyonce herself .”

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