It’s an exciting time for UK music. We have a flourishing scene which is finally getting recognition from across the pond, ironically at a time when we are seeking it the least. The rise of new artists like Stormzy and Shakka, the continued success of established musicians such as Lethal B, Wretch 32 and Chip and the re- emergence of legends like So Solid makes for an interesting and exciting musical scene.
These artists all have their own stories to tell and for people like myself who love music but also the business behind the music, it’s fascinating to hear their journeys. It’s also important that as a community we share success stories to inspire both ourselves and the next generation of artists and influencers. I spoke about the importance of documenting our stories in my recent post Talk The Tings: The Rise Of The Podcast.
There many online video platforms and individuals doing there bit to share the stories of our artists. Here I want to highlight just 4 that I find particularly entertaining and inspiring.
Here are the Top 4 UK online video interview platforms you need to be watching.
Not For The Radio
Hosted by Duane Jones aka Vis (Renowned), Posty (GRM Daily) and Chams (Face4Music) each of the presenters are established in their own right and have come together to create a powerhouse of a show. NFTR launched in April 2015 and has been going from strength to strength. Part of what makes the show so sick is that they are able to command top quality guests such as Megaman and Asher D. They even managed to get the elusive Wiley, someone who is notoriously hard to pin down, to turn up to do an hour long interview! One thing I love about NFTR is the ‘no holds barred’ approach. Posty, Viz and Chams ask those uncomfortable questions and the guests feel comfortable enough to answer honestly which makes for fascinating viewing. My wife and I particularly enjoy Posty’s interrogation as he doesn’t let people get away with trying to bamboozle their way out of a question!
NFTR has also become a place for our community to have a voice and for artists and individuals to share their side of a story, for example the girls from the DSTRKT saga went on the platform to talk about what really happened, dispelling some of the myths on social media or the mainstream news. And more recently, Bonkaz addressed his latest controversy on NFTR.
All in all, the platform is doing a great job of documenting the history of our culture and it’s an important and integral part of the scene.
Despa – Meet The Artists (be83 Network)
Meets The Artists offers in-depth interviews with some established, and some less established artists. The key word here is ‘in-depth’ as Meets the Artists, which is hosted on the be83 YouTube channel, goes deep into the personal and professional life of it’s guests. The interview series, hosted by Despa Robinson who founded the Birmingham based Grime crew Stay Fresh, touches on some real personal and sensitive issues which are important for our community to consider and be aware of. Meet The Artists is currently in its second series, having launched nearly 3 years ago in October 2013. One of my favourite interviews, and something that relates closely to this publication, is the recent sit down with Romey where they touch on his experiences of fatherhood.
Meet the Artists is a important platform for discovering artists and getting an insight into what it’s like to be part of the creative industry but also learning about dealing with real life issues.
Straight No Chaser
Hosted by Skeemz, Patrice and Sheriff, Straight No Chaser (SNC) launched in April 2015 and is an interview platform on the rise. The SNC team invite guests from the music, entertainment and football world and hold really interesting conversations which delve into the their guests’ history, current situation and thoughts on current affairs. One of my favourite episodes has to be their very first interview with Nile Ranger where the Ex-Newcastle United footballer spoke about his career journey and personal battles. Another favourite is the Black The Ripper interview which opens the audience up to a completely different perspective on the western world. Straight No Chaser is a really professional looking platform, the time and effort that goes into producing good quality visuals really enhances the consumer experience.
The team have recently introduced a new segment called Another Shot which delves deeper into controversy, sports and entertainment!
DJ Dubl is a DJ/Presenter on Beat London (formally Bang Radio) who has been interviewing artists on his YouTube channel since 2011. With a wide array of featured artists, from the UK and the US, Dubl has hosted interviews with artists such as Kano, Bonkaz and Big Sean. What shines through for me and really makes this platform exciting is the real sense of passion for music that Dubl possesses. For someone like me who loves music, it’s refreshing to see someone who clearly lives for this. The relaxed style of interview means that artists are encouraged to open up and be honest which makes for interesting viewing. My favourite interview has to be the Mr Bigz interview which is both insightful and hilarious!
DJ Dubl also uses his channel for an #ArtistAdvice series which gives advice to upcoming artists to help them get exposure and better connect with DJs.