Interviews News 12 March 2016
Author: Sam

BBC music boss says Grime could go global

Author Sam
12 March 2016

Words: @sjriptweets

The new head of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra has taken an early opportunity to shine a spotlight on Grime and its potential in the global music game.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, Chris Price hailed the work of artists like Skepta, Kano and Stormzy, and asserted his optimism on where the genre could go next.

“This year could be quite a turning point for grime,” he said. “Can this become our big cultural export moment, our hip hop? It feels like international eyes are on the genre. Look at Drake signing to Boy Better Know last month or signing grime artists to his own label and Kanye West turning up at the Brits mob-handed with the entire grime industry last year.”

Having taken on one of the most influential music roles in the UK, it is promising that Price regards Grime so highly. Radio 1 has given increased radio play to UK urban acts in recent years, previously naming Stormzy third place in their ‘Sound of 2015‘ and WSTRN fifth in the same competition this year. The Radio 1 boss will be instrumental in setting the forthcoming music agenda, so it seems this recognition is likely to grow.

Price claims, however, there is one crucial aspect that Grime artists need to improve on to realize their potential – albums.

“In the past 10 years, I think even most grime fans would say there’s been one seminal grime album and that’s ‘Boy In Da Corner’ by Dizzee Rascal. But Stormzy’s going to drop an album this year, Skepta’s probably going to drop an album this year, Kano has just released a phenomenal body of work.”

GRM Daily

Price also responded directly to claims that the Brits failed to recognize the ever-growing scene, saying Britain “is not just One Direction”.

I’d love to see the success of an artist like Stormzy, who’s got a long history with 1Xtra and Radio 1, and a top 10 single with “Shut Up” – the first freestyle ever to do that – to be reflected at the Brits.”

It is clear, however, that Grime has not won everyone over yet, with some of the most liked responses to the article referring to the genre as ‘codswallop’ and claiming it is ‘a bunch of uneducated kids chatting shit.’ (As if taking Jamie Vardy’s favourite phrase is an educated way to criticise music.)

Anyway, forget the haters, it is exciting that Price shares GRM’s excitement about what 2016 could have in store.