Nigerian musical super hero Davido came, saw and conquered at his o2 show. He had confessed he was nervous 4 days earlier when I sat down with him for a TV interview, but on the Sunday evening he gave the fans what they came for.
JASMINE WITH DAVIDO.
The o2 was a buzz from the tube station all through the dome as fans packed in to see one of the- if not THE – biggest afrobeats stars on the planet.
Actor Idris Elba whipped the crowd into the opening frenzy as he introduced Davido. And from that moment the arena was wildin out!
A high energy show full of thoughtful, regular stage excitement with full band (the composers), dancers all dressed in lime batty riders and crop tops, backing vocalists in white robes, a flying space ship saucer to make his entrance, fire balls, smoke shooting into the air, ribbons streamers and more.
Walking out onto a spotlit catwalk satellite stage so his adoring fans could get even closer to him, the stalls area which is usually seated had no chairs so it could fit in even more standing jumping fans.
It was like carnival. The crowd were dressed in mega swag. From Dior to gucci to Moncler and more the fashion was ON and lit. You’d never know it was winter in London. The ladies were mini skirted, shorts, high heeled and in their best “look at me” garms. Crisp white sneakers and finery were the order of the night.
Music act Russ Millions popped by to give Davido a quick breather performing his hit Gun Lean.
No scrimping was done in production, this show had it all. I did wonder what Davido would make of the British audiences lack of mega hype energy that we always see in audiences abroad. We can be a little stush in our energy and screaming us Brits right?
The whole gig felt like a great moment reminiscent of the early days when names like Jay Z, Eminem, Nas and more were known only by the real music fans, before the commercial brands and TV folks tried to hunt them down.
Much was made of whether Davido had actually sold out the venue, which was a minor sticking point in the major picture. There were a set of seats at the very back of the arena that were empty. However when you consider that the stalls floor seating had been removed and that floor area of the arena as packed solid as were all the balconies in circumference, trust me, this was a sell out. I’ve seen huge American proclaim to have sold out this space with much less seats sold.
A slew of celebrity names were in the house too. West Africa’s prodigal son did good. Extremely good!
Happy New year folks!
How was your Christmas holiday season!
Can you believe that the BBC have trusted me with my own BBC Radio show on BBC RADIO LONDON?
I’m one of 6 new weekly presenters who hosts a slot called THE SCENE every night from 8-10pm.
I present every Thursday nights show!
The Scene is all about giving a voice to London’s unchampioned ARTS & CULTURE talent and celebrated London talent thats rarely given a mainstream platform.
6 NEW PRESENTERS ON BBC RADIO LONDON- THE SCENE!
So far I’ve had singers, rappers, grime stars,author’s, youtube stars,ballet dancers, soul music lends, comedians, relationship experts, viral digital media influencers, Greek celebrity chefs, Russian comics, Asian music stars- even living legend Mariah Carey’s been on…
Catch up with the latest shows on BBC SOUNDS here:
This weeks show will be just as fun! Join us!
This Thursday Jan 10 2019, on #TheScene @BBCRadioLondon I will be joined by London’s finest talent!
1.Womens Sex/relationships expert @Oloni
2.Male empowerer @KennyDCruz
3.Hip hop’s @tymusic @IsattaSheriff and @Artcha
5. So Solid Crew legend- @Harveyofficial !
So all those people who used to listen to me on ChoiceFM with George Kay a decade ago can rejoice again- my dulcet tones are back on the radio and this time, its the BBC who have trusted me and 5 other presenters to host a new evening show titled The Scene, on BBC Radio London.
LISTEN TO THE SCENE HERE:
The Scene is from 8-10pm each night and its a platform for London’s hidden, new and undiscovered Arts & Culture talent- of which there are thousands of people out there.
Each evening is hosted by a different presenter from various Arts & Culture backgrounds.
Mondays- hosted by comedian Auri Styla.
Tuesdays- hosted by broadcaster Claira Hermet.
Wednesdays – hosted by comedienne Judi Love.
Thursdays – hosted by ME! Multi- media broadcaster – JASMINE DOTIWALA!
Friday’s – hosted by spoken word poets and public speakers Salma El Wardanay and Lionheart.
Isn’t that a great line-up!?
Between us we have fingers in so many of London’s arts and culture pies.
On The Scene, we’ll be hearing from some of the great unheard voices and talent from all across London, who don’t usually have a mainstream spotlight shone upon them.
And…there is so much undiscovered talent in our capital city- but so much of it never gets to shine publicly – but that all stops now- – we’re here to shake things up a bit.
IN SHOW 1 I HAD NAUGHTY BOY IN ”CELEBRITY CO-SIGN CORNER”. HE CO-SIGNED NEW MUSIC ACT ‘PLESTED’ WHO PERFORMED LIVE IN THE STUDI-SHOWING WHY HE’S BEEN THE SONGWRITING HIT-MAKER BEHIND LITTLE MIX, ZAYN MALIK AND MORE!
I’ll have the DOTIWALA SUPER SQUAD in the house and we’re raring to get started and meet some of London’s hidden arts & culture talent.
My super squad are digital master Richard Pascoe and culture vulture Rosa Doherty! And of course, the core BBC RADIO LONDON TEAM -boss lady Kimbo, Nathan, Havier, David, Pete and more… working their magic behind the scenes!
Every week we’ll be bringing you some of London’s undiscovered creatives from all across the entertainment, arts and culture sector, who are doing great different things and we’ll be celebrating them!
THE INCREDIBLE WEST LONDON BASED SOUL SINGER TERRI WALKER ALSO JOINED ME IN SHOW 1 AND SMASHED A LIVE SET IN THE STUDIO.
London’s full of so many different communities who never get to share their various arts and culture offerings – listeners, however many communities you think you know exist in London …. multiply it by a 100 and there are still more….
I mean, we all know that London’s one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world- in fact a survey in the year 2000 – a survey of school children – reported that over 300 languages were spoken at home! 300! And that was nearly 2 decades ago! Imagine how many more communities are here now-!
In fact, do u know, In the 2011 census, from just over 8million people living in LONDON who completed their details, just over 3 and a half million Londoners declared themselves ‘’white-English-Irish-Scottish-or welsh’’ and the remaining 4million-ish people declared themselves ‘’other’’
With this incredible mix of indigenous and ‘other’ in LONDON TOWN, we have one of the most-if not THE most, culturally rich and diverse cities in the world!
And THAT’S what we’re celebrating here on RADIO LONDON!
IN SHOW 2 I HAD ASIAN FEMALE DJ PSI BINDI WHO PERFORMED LIVE IN THE STUDIO!
In an era where arts & culture is threatened by lack of funding, and arts venues are being shut down all over our city –it’s more important than ever to give all of this talent a platform and champion them. SO, Let’s celebrate what does exist!
I live in west London, and as I went around my borough this past month, I counted all the various communities that live around me….there are prominent ones we all think we know like the white working class, Caribbean, African, and Asian communities… but within this are– so many other off-shoot communities we don’t usually hear too much about – especially when it comes to arts and culture- like the Japanese, Armenian, Somalian, Bangladeshi, Congolese, Turkish, Korean and more– the list is endless! And it got me thinking of just how culturally rich – yet hidden- some arts in our city are!
ORIGINAL GRIME NOTABLE MARCI PHONIX SPOKE ON HIS WINDRUSH AND GRENFELL FOCUSED SONGS AND THEN CLOSED SHOW 2 WITH A LIVE SET OF HIS NEW SINGLE ”AN INTRO”.
One thing is certain; the definition of art is constantly changing and fluid. When I was growing up art meant visual art, painting, photography, film, music, dance, opera, theatre,….now it means a melting pot of many of the above meshing into each other, and even includes food and culinary art, ….as well as art via the platforms of social media and digital apps.
So…. Whether it’s the curator of a new cartoon exhibition in Camden, that illustrates Jewish life in 20th century Britain,or…a Greek comedian promoting his book about life in our capital…we will be bringing you the unique, the different, the unusual and the quirky – right here- on BBC Radio London.
What’s different about all the guests on THE SCENE is that they aren’t usually snapped up by the mainstream broadsheets to talk about their work.
Hopefully you’ll like what you hear from our guests every week and go out and engage with their art,…get involved and feel a sense of pride about how vibrant our communities are!
So you get the idea- London’s full of fun and culture- but only if you know where to find it!
On BBC Radio London, every week-night , 8-10pm on THE SCENE!
This Saturday I will be hosting a panel in Bristol at the INDUSTRY TAKE OVER ALL DAYER titled ”Decoding the word URBAN – what’s next?”.
I will also be on the panel for a second workshop titled GAME CHANGERS.
I will also be hosting the same URBAN debate panel in London at the Tobacco Docks on November 10th powered by BBC Introducing and Urban Development.
Check out the incredible set up…
There are so many sessions taking place, it’s the ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL THINGS MUSIC INDUSTRY!
It’s a conversation and debate we’ve been having in the industry for over 2 decades.
”Urban” was a term invented by radio stations and DJ’s like WBLS and Frankie Crocker in New York many years ago- it as supposed to be inclusive. Is it a redundant term in 2018?.
How many genres of music would there really be if we separated ‘’urban’’ out into its specific areas? let’s try and count them….hip hop, R&B, reggae, bashment, afrobeats, jungle, grime, garage, drum & bass….
URBAN is a synonym for black popular music. How does the term ‘urban music’ make you feel? Included? Offensive?
What are the connotations and prejudices of the word ”urban” in the UK?
Eminem, makes black music. David Bowie, made black music. Jon B, makes black music. Phil Collins, made black music. Average White Band, they made black music.
Are we afraid of the word “black” music? Why?
We have Black History Month, black cinema and Music of BLACK Origin- why are we hesitant to use the word black overall?
”Black music” shouldn’t be such an offensive scary term that its banished to the corner in order for the more palatable urban term to be used…..Would the industry ever consider lumping all white music together and titling it ‘’rural music’’? (county/rock/pop/indie/metal/etc)
Urban acts can be black or white. But white Urban acts tend to also be palatable enough to be played on white/pop radio platforms. Is this fair and equal?
”Urban” acts are looked after by diverse staff of all backgrounds and races at junior levels at record labels. Do they always understand the artist, cultural sensitivities and the culture enough to support, educate and communicate with them in the way they might need?
Should senior Heads of labels who are black oversee Urban acts? Are there enough senior heads of labels who are diverse?
Can ”non-urban” staff oversee Urban acts in context of history/values/etc?
Should the word ‘’urban’’ be deleted from the culture?
Would the wider global industry be open to deleting the word urban?….and what should we replace it with?
Who in the music industry should take a lead and address this if it should be changed?
These questions and more will be addressed. Join in the conversation.
MUSIC STAR EMELI SANDE, JAHMENE, TV BROADCASTER BRENDA EMMANUS, JASMINE AND MICHAEL RICHARDSON (MUSIC ARTISTS MANAGER) AT THE ACLT BALL 2018.
On Saturday night the great and the good of the arts & culture community came together at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, after a hiatus of nearly ten years to resurrect the annual ACLT Ball which this year had a back and white theme.
ACLT FOUNDERS BEVERLEY AND ORIN DE-GALE.
ACLT was founded in 1996 by Beverley De-Gale, OBE, and Orin Lewis, OBE, 3 years after receiving the devastating news that their 6-year-old son Daniel De-Gale needed a stem cell transplant in order to win his 6-year battle against acute leukaemia.
ACTRESS CHIZZY AKUDOLU, MC AKALA AND JASMINE AT THE ACLT BALL 2018.
ACLT is a 30+ times award winning charity committed to providing hope to patients living with blood cancer and illnesses where a matched donor (stem cell, blood or organ) is required to save a life. Our work is driven by a belief that no one should die waiting for a donor to become available.
ACTOR, FILM PRODUCER FEMI OYENIRAN IS ON THE PROMO RUN FOR HIS FILM -THE INTENT 2- AND WON THE RAFFLE ON THE NIGHT!(5MINS AFTER THIS PIC WAS TAKEN!- I MUST’VE BEEN HIS LUCKY CHARM!)
Through their work, the ACLT improve odds of finding matches by registering potential donors en masse from all ethnicities, with a focus on donors from the African and Caribbean communities. This is due to an extreme shortage of potential African and Caribbean donors.
MY GIRL SQUAD ARE ALWAYS EXCITED TO DRESS UP…HERE ARE PR WOMEN JODIE DALMEDA AND JESSICA HUIE MBE, ME, AND THE BBC’S JAY DAVIDSON.
Celebrity hosts hosted 30 tables for guests and a sumptuous dinner and entertainment was had by all.
JAHMENE’S SINGING BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN!
Entertainment included the incredible saxophonist Yolanda Brown as well as singer Jahmene whose rendition of Whitney Houston’s (via Dolly Parton) ‘I will always love you’ went down a storm.
GUESTS INCLUDING ACTRESS ELLEN THOMAS AND ACLT FOUNDER HAD A GREAT TIME- I AM NOW IN MY TRACKSUIT AND TRAINERS COS I NEEDED TO DANCE AND MY FEET WERE NOT HAPPY IN THOSE SILVER STILETTOS! (I’M STILL IN BLACK AND WHITE… 😉
Money and awareness was raised all evening for the ACLT cause and guests were reminded to give blood and get on the ACLT blood donor and organ donor register.
ACTORS CHARLES VENN AND DANNY JOHN-JULES CAME STRAIGHT FROM THE BBC AND STRICTLY COME DANCING WITH THEIR WIVES TO SUPPORT THE ACLT. THEY WERE MOST EXCITED ABOUT SEEING BOXER RAY FEARON!
ACLT also provide support and advice to patients and their families throughout medical treatment, from diagnosis to recovery and sadly (in some cases), while supporting the patient and family during ‘end of life’: where treatments have not been successful.
MY FELLOW HARLESDEN-ITE – THE INCREDIBLY GIFTED WORDSMITH GEORGE THE POET PASSED THROUGH TOO.
The ACLT’s underlying ethos is to educate communities across the UK by raising awareness about stem cell, blood and organ donation.
CELEBS OUT IN FORCE FOR THE ACLT BALL 2018!
I was honoured to host table 26 which was mostly made up of people that the ACLT is currently supporting and just listening to their experience and journeys so far made me feel honoured to have hosted their table. What heroes!
The ACLT’s work raises awareness of the urgent need for stem cell, blood and organ donors within the UK population across all races, but with a key focus on the black, mixed race, Asian, ethnic minority communities. They work closely within these areas due to the severe lack of individuals signed to the registers from these communities.
PARTY PEOPLE DANCING FOR THE ACLT!
The ACLT believe there should be an unrelated donor waiting for everyone who is in desperate need of a lifesaving transplant – if we all play our part, together we can help put an end to the many lives being needlessly lost as a result of a matched donor not being found at the time someone needs help.
ACTOR AND STRICTLY COME DANCING CONTESTANT DANNY JOHN-JULES KEEEEPS DANCINGGG!
MY FAVE UK COMEDIAN – SLIM!
I urge you to support the ACLT and spread their message.
The whole UK black music scene came out to celebrate another year of making great music, building progressive teams and moving the black music industry forwards.
JASMINE WITH SPORTS AND CULTURE BRAND CONSOLUTANT PAOLA LUCKTUNG AND HEAD OF SONY/COLUMBIA MUSIC PRESS TAPONESWA MAVUNGA AT THE COLUMBIA PARTY.
Hammersmith Apollo was a road-block hours before the show started as fans and the industry gathered in their finest regalia to celebrate established names and underground names that the GRM DAILY team have been building and growing for years.
STEEL BANGLES AND MICHAEL DAPAAH AT THE RATED AWARDS 2018.
Michael Dapaah, aka Big Shaq, has had an incredible year with the viral sensation Mans Not Hot and, more recently, Man Don’t Dance. Dapaah broke through as the fictional rapper Big Shaq in 2014 with his mockumentary series SWIL. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, with this year being his most prominent in the grime scene.
Michael said: “It’s mad, I just want to thank God for this. You know a couple of years ago we weren’t here and now we’re here – don’t let anyone stop you from what you want to do. Big up to the females in this category and all the other entertainers; big up yourself, this one’s for you”
The ante was truly upped with the Channel 4 presence in the house. The sets looked slick and dynamic, the performances had pyro, smoke shooters, rising stages, a screaming fan-pit flanking the stage and an audience full of celebrities like Naughty Boy being heckling with banter from our hosts MO the Comedian who is hilarious and the sharp and fabulous Julie Adenuga.
HOST JULIE ADENUGA AT THE RATED AWARDS 2018
The big wins of the night were MICHAEL DAPAAH who won PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD, D DOUBLE E who won THE GRM LEGACY AWARD and NOT3S who won the ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
Big winners on the night also included D Double E, Not3s and Kenzo, who were just a selection of the exceptional names from the urban music scene honoured in front of thousands of artists and industry players. Presenters included: Tim Westwood, Charlie Sloth, Michael Dapaah, Josh Denzel and more.
GIGGS HAS A LOT TO SMILE ABOUT AFTER AN INCREDIBLE YEAR MAKING AND TOURING HIS MUSIC.
The KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards pride themselves on giving power back to the people, honouring the true heroes of the genre, with all but one category (The GRM Legacy Award, supported by BBC Radio 1 Xtra) voted for by fans. And, in a KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards first, tickets were available for fans to attend the event.
D DOUBLE E AT THE RATED AWARDS 2018.
D Double E took The GRM Legacy Award (supported by BBC Radio1 Xtra). The iconic rapper from Forest Gate, East London has been a huge player in the music industry, with a career spanning over 15 years. He has inspired grime heavyweights Skepta and Dizzee Rascal, as well as countless other MCs who have followed his career from his days with N.A.S.T.Y Crew, to his most recent album Jackuum.
Grime superstar Not3s took home the Artist of the Year Award. His most successful year to date to date, album Take Not3s II was released in July to widespread critical acclaim. Not3s said: “You know this is mad man – big up everyone who was nominated, can’t lie that was a tough one and big up all of you.”
THE LOVELY MAYA JAMA AT THE RATED AWARDS 2018.
Other winners included Fredo who was awarded Mixtape of the Year, whilst Charlie Sloth took home Radio DJ of the Year. Best Video of the Year (sponsored by YouTube Music) went to Rapman and Kenzo was honoured with the KA Get Rated Award. AJ Tracey ft Not3s was presented with the Track of the Year Award (sponsored by PRS for Music) and Nines took home the Best Album of the Year Award for Crop Circle.
BBC RADIO DJ CHARLIE SLOTH TOOK THE BEST DJ AWARD 4TH YEAR IN A ROW.
The awards, now in their fourth year, continue to be supported by prestigious partners who share GRM Daily’s passion for promoting the British urban music scene, with long-time partner KA Drinks returning to sponsor this year’s awards.
GHETTS GOT MAD LOVE FROM GUESTS AFTER HIS SONG BLACK ROSE HAS REALLY CAPTURED HEARTS.
Afterwards most of the stars ended up at the COLUMBIA MUSIC UK party at Under The Bridge in Fulham, where the Hennessy and ginger cocktails were in abundance, the chicken wings and fries energised us for a dance-off until i had to make my polite exit around 1.30am. Outside hundreds of guests were trying to get in to the road block party night. It was BIG.
THE KA & GRM DAILY AWARDS TX ON 7TH SEPTEMBER AT 23:05 ON CHANNEL 4
ONE OF THE MAIN MEN BEHIND THE BRAND GRM DAILY AND THE RATED AWARDS IS POSTY- A MAN WITH VISION, TRUST AND LOVE IN THE BRITISH BLACK MUSIC SCENE.
Confirmed 2018 The KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards Winners:
Breakthrough of the Year – Headie One
Personality of the Year – Michael Dapaah
Album of the Year – Nines
Track of the Year (Sponsored by PRS for Music) – AJ Tracey ft Not3s
Radio DJ of the Year – Charlie Sloth
Video of the Year (Sponsored by YouTube Music) – Rapman
Mixtape of the Year – Fredo
Producer of the Year – Steel Banglez
Artist of the Year – Not3s
The KA Get Rated Award – Kenzo
The GRM Legacy Award (Supported by BBC Radio1 Xtra) – D Double E
NAUGHTY BOY TOOK HIS HECKLING FROM MO THE COMEDIAN IN GOOD SPIRITS.
Performances on the night included:
D Double E
REBECCA JUDD AT THE RATED AWARDS 2018
Daniel Kaluuya & Buck – Breakthrough of the Year
Tim Westwood & Laetysha Grace– Personality of the Year
Eddie Kadi & Manny Norte – Album of the Year
Vee Vee Brown & Yasmin Evans – Track of the Year
Josh Denzel & Kaz Crossley – Radio DJ of the Year
Michael Dapaah & Snoochie Shy – Video of the Year
Dotty & Charlie Sloth – Mixtape of the Year
Maya Jama & Craig Mitch – Producer of the Year
Jessie Lingard – Artist of the Year
Rebecca Judd & Da Beatfreakz – The KA Get Rated Award
Stormzy – The GRM Legacy Award
THE GIRLS WITH UK MC LEGEND BUSHKIN AT THE COLUMBIA PARTY.
THE RATED AWARDS 2018 are taking place tonight at the Hammersmith Apollo.
The annual awards are now a staple on the UK black music calendar, and tonight we can expect big moments onstage and of course great speeches.
JASMINE AT LAST YEARS RATED AWARDS WITH GRM CEO POSTY, STEFLONDON, BIG SHAQ AKA MICHAEL DAPAAH AND KREPT & KONAN ON THE YELLOW CARPET.
JOHN BOYEGA, DANIEL KALUUYA, WILEY, WRETCH 32, GIGGS, LETITIA WRIGHT, BIG NARSTIE AND STEFFLON DON RECEIVE NOMINATIONS
The biggest celebration in the British urban music scene is back for its fourth year as The KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards announce the full first-round nominations list for this year’s ceremony at legendary music venue, Eventim Apollo on September 4th 2018.
For the first time ever, fans can now get tickets to watch the show. Attendees can expect to see live performances from some of the biggest and brightest names in music, as well as watch 11 winners take home their KA and GRM Daily Rated Awards trophies. Previous performers and winners include Giggs, Big Shaq, Lethal Bizzle, Stefflon Don, Stormzy and many, many more.
YOU CAN WATCH THE SHOW LIVE ON CHANNEL 4’S YOUTUBE PAGE TONIGHT, AND THE HIGHLIGHTS AGAIN THIS FRIDAY ON CHANNEL 4 AT 11PM!
The full list of first-round nominations revealed with lead nominees including grime heavyweight Big Narstie who has been nominated in both the Album of the Year, alongside Wretch 32, and Personality of the Year in which he is up against celebrity heavyweights Anthony Joshua, John Boyega, Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya. Meanwhile, grime mainstays Krept and Konan are nominated for Mixtape of the Year for 7 Days/7 Nights, alongside Giggs for the seminal Wamp 2 Dem.
Big Shaq’s surprise hit of last year, Mans Not Hot, is upfor Track of the Year facing competition from Stefflon Don’s Hurtin Me and B Young’s Jumanji.
DJ Target, Charlie Sloth and Tim Westwood are all up for Radio DJ of the Year award for the second year in a row with new nominee A Dot, who has become a household name over the past year, presenting Sounds Like Friday Night with Greg James.
The awards, now in their fourth year, continue to be supported by prestigious partners who share GRM Daily’s passion for promoting the British urban music scene, with long-time partner KA Drinks returning to sponsor this year’s awards.
The KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards pride themselves on giving power back to the people, honouring the true heroes of the genre, with all winners voted for by fans. And, in a KA & GRM Daily Rated Awards first, tickets are available for fans to attend the event. Voting opens to the public on the afternoon of 1st August via www.ratedawards.com
British urban music continues to have significant influence in the music industry and the nominations reflect the impact their success and achievements have had.
JASMINE AT LAST YEARS RATED AWARDS WITH JULIE ADENUGA, STORMZY, MAYA JAMA, BIG NARSTIE AND LETHAL B.
The full list of nominations is:
Breakthrough of the Year (Public Vote)
Personality of the Year (Public Vote)
Mo The Comedian
Album of the Year (Public Vote)
Nines – Crop Circle
Skrapz – Different Cloth
Wiley – Godfather II
Sneakbo – Brixton
Wretch 32 – FR32
Jorja Smith – Lost And Found
A2 – Blue
Big Narstie – BDL Bipolar
Track of the Year (Public Vote)
Ramz – Barking
Dave ft. MoStack – No Words
Not3s ft. Mabel – My Lover
Stefflon Don ft. French Montana – Hurtin Me
EO – German
B Young – Jumanji
AJ Tracey ft. Not3s – Butterflies
Kojo Funds ft. Raye – Check
Big Shaq – Mans Not Hot
Headie One x RV – Know Better
Radio DJ of the Year (Public Vote)
Video of the Year (Public Vote)
Jaykae – Moscow
SL – Tropical
A$AP Rocky ft. Skepta – Praise the Lord (Da Shine)
Mist ft. Jessie Ware- Wish Me Well
Fekky – Cappin On The Net
Nines – I See You Shining
MoStack – What I Wanna
J Hus – Bouff Daddy
Rapman – Shiros Story Pt. 1
Chip – Darth Vader
Mixtape of the Year (Public Vote)
Dave – Game Over
Krept & Konan – 7 Days/7 Nights
K Trap – The Re Up
Giggs – Wamp 2 Dem
Headie One – The One Two
Mist – Diamond In The Dirt
Fredo – Tables Turn
Loski – Call Me Loose
Not3s – Take Notes
AJ Tracey – Secure The Bag
Producer of the Year (Public Vote)
MK The Plug
Artist of the Year (Public Vote)
D Block Europe
Krept and Konan
The KA Get Rated Award (Public Vote)
Lil KayG5 & Lynch (Group)
The GRM Legacy Award
To Be Announced
ME, TV AND DIVERSITY.
I’ve been working in TV and wider digital media for over two decades now. There was a time when mainstream TV gatekeepers at the big channels didn’t bat an eyelid at our cries of lack of diversity or youth programing. But how things have changed in recent years.
JASMINE WITH TV’S NEWEST STAR – CHANNEL 4’S BIG NARSTIE!
In the past when TV showed black, asian or young people in compromising, lazy stereotypical roles, we would feel humiliated and quietly bitch to our closed groups, but that would be the end of it. Shout out Mind Your Language, every Eastenders baby mama drama, every corner shop run by Mr Patel in English soap operas, Goodness Gracious Me – (we don’t all speak like that).
Then social media happened and cultural tribal movements started boding like the matrix and calling the culprits out. Those previously unheard voices and small groups formed global movements and started viral #hashtags and gained voices like never before, and now all companies are terrified of being the next awkward twitter hashtag. Remember #britssowhite, #oscarssowhite, Kendall Jenner’s white savior complex with Pepsi? Nivea’s ad for ‘visibly fairer skin’? You get my point. Social media will rip you a new one if your unconscious bias comes to the forefront. Similarly if your TV content makes us side-eye, you will also get it in the neck.
According to the TV regulator OFCOM, streaming services in Britain now have more subscribers than pay-TV and satellite operators like SKY, Virgin media and BT. That’s mega worrying for TV broadcasters.
The battle for subscriptions in the music industry is nothing compared to the frantic broadcast industry, where viewer ratings have been hemorrhaging for the past few years, and TV commissioners are frantically grabbing whatever they can to bring eyeballs back to their channels.
Could there come a day when mainstream TV as we know it ceases to exist? I doubt it. However famous and rich celebrity online influencers get, the ultimate dream for many seems to be the lure of an actual TV show.
Hilariously those same broadcasters that have shunned diversity in the past as merely a tix box exercise that they need to be paying lip service to, nowadays, are snapping up diverse talent in a frantic race to the top like there’s no tomorrow, but often don’t know how to harness their talents already existent fan bases.
With Netflix, YouTube and more taking bite-sized chunks out of the TV broadcasters cake, things have never been so frantic in media circles to get viewers back. Particularly young viewers. After all most BBC viewers are over 45years of age and at some point will die out. TV needs young and diverse audiences back. But have they left it so long that the horse bolted and is never returning?
ALL THE PLAYERS
It’s hard for broadcasters to compete with platforms like Netflix, who will this coming year spend 13billion on new shows.
Unlike most traditional, TV fat cats who decided when they wanted viewers to watch and for how long, Netflix just decided to make the whole viewing experience better for people. You don’t like to sit through ads and titles? No problem, we’ll get rid of them. You fall asleep in the midst of an episode and don’t want to have to restart the whole thing to find your spot? No problem, we will resume play where you switched off. You like a certain type of content? Comedy? Black rom-coms? Period Drama? Documentary exposes? Ok, got it. We will see what you play most and suggest similar content. God! it wasn’t rocket science but it took Netflix to give us what we want, when we want, how we want., anytime, any place, anywhere, just like the old eighties Martini ads, to make TV bosses sit up and worry about their kids private education and mini mansions.
On demand services like Amazon and Netflix have made viewers migrate in droves. People don’t want ad breaks, but commercial channels like ITV depend on commercial revenue so it’s an on-going battle.
Netflix is unapologetically giving audiences what they want and we just can’t get enough. They are solely responsible for my 3am-7am sleep hours but I’m hooked. With Netflix I am watching and have access to the same content as 130million other global subscribers. This is what we want – the world to feel more connected. The love the ability to have global conversations and banter online together about content that we’ve all watched simultaneously. The Crown, Orange is the new Black, Power, Suits and more – they’ve got viewers globally excitedly exchanging opinions. Do you remember when not one black comedian could get a solo slot on national TV? Now they’re all on Netflix!
Do you remember the days when TV companies would roll out a series in America or the UK first before giving worldwide rights? Seems archaic in retrospect.
Whether it’s an American drama series, rom-com movies or black standup comedy, I can watch what I want, when I want it. It’s very rare that I go back to terrestrial TV. I return to terrestrial TV for news programmes, opinion and breaking news.
By taking risks, some big TV broadcasters like Channel 4, ITV2 and SKY are taking drastic action to try and stay competitive with Netflix and their ilk and reaping rewards via ratings, as well as respectability and credibility with viewers.
This year SKY got mass credibility from both the young and BAME audience recently with their Bulletproof Series featuring black male actors Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters in leading roles as policemen. Even more incredibly, they showed Ashley’s character in a strong black positive family dynamic. Something that is unheard of in British TV. Noel did have to fight for that, but that’s another debate altogether. SKY were rewarded with huge ratings. Sky Atlantic also brought in content like Insecure from the USA keeping those of us that love this content on TV channels for a moment.
Then a few short weeks later all their credibility with the same audience died, as a reporter gained access to the notorious Woolwich Boys Gang for SKY NEWS and all the boys interviewed onscreen were shown wearing monkey masks. Yes you read that correctly. Young black men wearing monkey masks. Sky’s defense was that the boys had bought them and wanted to wear them, but the fact remains that producers and their talent need to be woke enough and responsible to see how this would look, make audiences feel and feed into age old, deep-seated racist stereotypes where young black men can only be seen as monkeys.
THE LOSERS – WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE /strong>
Similarly, Channel 5 seem to have taken the mantle and flying the flag for doom & gloom content that makes us all angry, fearful and miserable. Show after show about bailiffs, crime, gangs, working class woes is their lane and they’re sticking to it. The Daily Mail of the TV world. Programming and media need to be more respectful and responsible when making content about and for diverse audiences.
Channel 4, E4, ITV2 and Netflix keep challenging the status quo and taking risks. They’re unapologetic about provocative content and give their creators freedom of expression, and don’t try and fit the talent into a mold like the BBC always do.
I work with a lot of young people, young digital influencers and celebrities all year round. The key players that young people are buzzing about are Netflix, ITV2, Channel 4, E4 and SKY, who are commissioning risky, provocative, unique content and taking fun risks, transparently and un-apologetically.
There’s no question that ITV2 have hands down have killed it. During Love Island the show was trending worldwide on twitter for hours. Young people and celebrities were rushing home to watch it live – not on catch – up in their own time – but dictated by the TV bosses. It’s unheard of in this day and age. Usually 3milion views per night speeding home to catch this in real time so as not to be behind on pop culture! ITV2 capitalized on the #FOMO anxiety of youth. This appointment to view is not what kids do; this is what their parents do. The reason kids want to watch it live is because with social media there are spoilers all through the show, and no one wants to be last to comment on the Love Island shenanigans online – proof that if TV companies get the right teams in, millennials will come back to watch TV the traditional way.
ITV2 unapologetically spoke to young people in a language they understand- their own! They have music and games and tasks that are truly just for this demographic, and the hype of excitement pulls in others intrigued by the hype.
Similarly, E4 have great diverse, urban and youth content with shows like Black-ish that has content that we as a global audience discuss and debate daily, but I’m more impressed by its umbrella ship Channel 4 for experimenting with home-grown British talent.
I’ve loved the recent spate of opinion challenging influencers making their own Channel 4 docs on subjects as wide as transgender debate with Munroe Bergdorf, colonial debates with Afua Hirsch and even though I am WAY outside the target demographic- The Big Narstie Show.
For so long, when anyone Black or Asian would be granted the honour of their own mainstream TV show, they would never be given the budget of an Ant & Dec type show. Their content would always be diluted and made more acceptable to their majority audience, thus draining talent of all their lovable qualities that built them their original fan base in the first place. Case in point, Javone Prince on E4’’s phone shop – just brilliant. By the time the BBC got their ‘lets make him fit our regional demographic’ hands on him – awful!
With The Big Narstie Show, Channel 4 has granted mass resource, live studio audience, multiple cameras, pre-shot sketches, music segments and huge guest names.
So it’s no surprise then that The Big Narstie Show is reaching a wider audience than Channel 4 typically does on Fridays from 11pm; the first three episodes more than doubled the slot average for young audiences aged 16 – 24 (+71%). The series is also appealing to diverse audiences; the same three shows attracted more than three times Channel 4’s average share of BAME viewers and three times the average share of black viewers.
The Big Narstie show was risky. Some parts worked, others were weaker, but it’s refreshing to see that Channel 4 is bold and unafraid to take risks with talent. I attended one live recording and couldn’t believe my eyes at the hundreds of young, inner city, trendy BAME kids queuing for hours outside, to get in to be a part of the TV audience.
The talent lineup has been the likes of which we’ve never seen juxtaposed together before too. Usually commissioners and producers think “it’s a young, black show so it’s all young and black talent with no cross over with the mainstream.
The show recording I attended, had from the legendary Channel 4 series Friends’ – David Schwimmer – who played Ross, sitting on a very cramped sofa between the UK’s biggest hip hop star – south Londoner Giggs – and music star Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr, Greek actor Jamie Demetriou and Big Narsties co-host Mo the Comedian.
There it was. True diversity in every sense. Hollywood meets London’s hood. California dreaming next to Peckham streets, Birmingham accents, music, movies, bizarre banter and do you know what, whilst we were all initially perplexed at how this was going to work, it did!
I started watching the live record in awe as David Schwimer sat there being schooled on how to speak UK street slang thinking ‘’There’s a Hollywood agent in the backstage dressing room right now freakin the f out!’’. Bless David – the only white person on the whole show – for gamely smiling through every UK reference he didn’t understand, talking about how he nearly died twice on plane journeys and his past jobs, whilst Giggs talked about youth violence and encouraged the mainstream media not to demonize his community. I also smiled when I saw David Schwimmer demand the crew get Giggs a tissue to wipe the sweat after his music set. Surreal but brilliant. By the end of the show, I was inspired by the show producers ingenious audacity.
This whole series has had hip-hop kids alongside Hollywood stars – how empowering! British chat show legends like Jonathan Ross and Canadian/Irish comedian Katherine Ryan with YouTube star KSI (One of the biggest YouTube stars on the planet and finally on mainstream telly) and music star Stef London! What could be stronger for cross-pollination and fertilization for today’s young Britain? Watching the brilliant Jonathan Ross and Katherine Ryan, and Love island voiceover narrator Ian Sterling rapping was magic. All of them free-styling with Big Narstie and Mo was absolute perfect TV and showed it’s not just inner city kids that love Hip Hop culture. No other chat show on TV has ever felt like this and it’s representative of the UK pop culture in 2018.
Yes, Big Narstie needs some media training – he never let’s anyone finish their sentences. But it worked in an awkward car crash way. Who would’ve ever put David Schwimmer and Giggs on the same sofa next to each other? Of course it would be Channel 4 – they’ve been unapologetically pushing boundaries and making provocative TV, since before I was a host on their nineties legendary TV youth culture series The Word.
In the 90’s every week the public and media would be talking and outraged about The Word. The Big Narstie show has the same contentious vibe. Parents won’t approve. They’re not meant to. Football may not have come home to British TV but young people are. TV bosses wrung their hands in angst and said the kids had left…they hadn’t. They just need the right content and some balls.
On Saturday evening at the world famous Barbican Centre in London, UK garage music pioneer and the Dreem Team’s DJ Spoony hosted and curated a line up of classical garage artists with their biggest hits for a trip down memory lane.
ELIZABETH TROY – PERFORMS SINCERE AT GARAGE CLASSICAL
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.
But this wasn’t just another regular night of DJ’s spinning tunes, this was the biggest UK garage hits ever performed by The Ignition classical Orchestra. The result was a beautiful aural and visual medley of hits by the best line-up of UK garage names in existence!
It’s not the first of its kind. Not too long ago jungle godfather Goldie did a similar tour with The Heritage Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall.
In between each performance DJ Spoony came on to speak about and introduce the next act, remind us of the garage days, clubs, promoters and was a very able charismatic Master of Ceremonies.
DJ SPOONY JUMPS ON AND PERFORMS WITH CLIFFORD AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.
The collaboration between DJ Spoony and the Ignition Orchestra (conducted by Katie Chatburn) celebrated the UK Garage scene of the Nineties and it’s huge anthems. The tracks that are so catchy and of that era that any nineties kid in a coma would likely wake and sing-along if played these anthem ear-worms.
DJ SPOONY WAS OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.
Spoony curated a set list that resonated hugely with the Nineties audience in attendance and the songs and melodies transported the crowd back to those heady days of champagne, designer clothes, sexy dancing, much flirting and the good life before it’s annoyed lil brother grime came along.
The garage scene was always a shop window for a very sexy, flashy, cool crowd. Pretty people with good bodies, ultra fashionable clothes – usually designer- sipping champagne in their vertiginous heels and fitted garms.
The night reminded us of the days we used to rave at clubs like Twice As Nice in London, but it wasn’t just a London thing – the UK garage sound was nationwide in places like Birmingham, Swansea and Leeds with their own respective huge UK garage nights.
Showing just how far the underground garage genre has come, here we all were over a decade later, all grown up, engaging with UKG in a venue used to mainly classical sounds, but the crowd hadn’t changed one bit from their flossy posse heyday and turned out in their super cool swag for #GarageClassical.
The set list was fire from start to finish.
THINK ABOUT ME
SINCERE Elizabeth Troy
CALL IT FATE – Ritchie Dan
SUNSHINE – Mya Louise
MY DESIRE Asa
DO YOU REALLY LIKE IT – Pied Piper, DT Melody N Sharky, Unknown MC
MASTERBLASTER2000 Thomas Jules, MC Neat
BATTLE Thomas Jules
MY LOVE Kele Le Roc
THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE Kele Le Roc
LITTLE BIT OF LUCK MC Neat
21SECONDS So Solid Crew
LIFE RIDE MC Creed, Rose Windross
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Elizabeth Troy
CRAZY LOVE Elizabeth Troy
GOOD RHYMES Creed, PSG , Unknown, Valerie M
BODY GROOVE Na-Na
MOVIN TOO FAST Grettel Killing
FLY BI MC Kie, Statix
PLEASE DONT TURN ME ON – Lifford Shillingford
BACK UP BACK UP
DAYS LIKE THIS Lifford.
Look at that set list though! The crowd were on their feet from the first song and never sat down. The acts were all- without exception – brilliant and put on a strong performance.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN
Elizabeth Troy looked stunning and sounded as fresh as the original days. Lifford has gone through his struggles vocally in public in recent years but tonight he looked and sounded like a man on top of the world. Watching Kele Le Roc it was a pity this woman was never bigger publicly. What a voice and performer. Totally ahead of her time.
SO SOLID CREW TORE THE HOUSE DOWN AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN
So Solid Crew might all be nearly 40 but they had more energy onstage than most twenty year old’s I watch today. Special mention to MC Harvey who was on fire! Leaping around the stage like a sprinter with springs on his feet, he whipped off this white sweatshirt to showcase his still strong six-pack abs, and then proceeded to swing the sweatshirt manically around like a windmill, as he bounced repeatedly whilst rapping, to the audiences delight!
It was a full-on rave in the Barbican. Priceless!
There’s an audience of 40 year olds for this show to go on the road and tour around the country – a very diverse mixed group, who can’t get enough of this vibe!
The classicial orchestra and it’s serene strings, sexy trumpets, sax and powerful vocalists met this audiences expectations and more. Many of the crowd were requesting an album and tour.
JASMINE WITH GLYN AIKINS – CO-PRESIDENT OF NEW SONY MUSIC LABEL SINCE’93.
Spoony, his manager Cian, the Ignition Orchestra and all involved must bring this brand of a show out again. (I heard a rumour that they may do it again at Hammersmith Apollo on December 14th) It was a magical night that started on a high and stayed at that pace for a solid two hours! Salute!
JASMINE AND HER GIRLS JAY DAVIDSON (BBC) AND COOKIE PRYCE (THE ORCHARD) HAD FUN!