Hattie Collins, editor RWD mag
A highlight of my year happened at this year’s Power Summit in the Bahamas. The palm trees and Caribbean waters were of course all jiggy, but more than that was seeing the interest the US DJs, producers and industry heads were showing in UK sounds. ‘Who’s hot? Can you hook us up with Lethal B? Have you got a number for Sway?’ UK music might not be selling here, true, but while it might not be making much money at the moment, it’s exciting to see the swell of interest in the sounds from abroad. Roll Deep getting ‘dropped’ from Relentless is further proof that signing to majors is the wrong route for our rhymers. Look overseas and I think we’ll find where the Ps are. A few weeks after the Summit I was in Paris with Wiley, Skepta, JME and Maximum and the French were going nuts. I know it’s not simple, but I think if the underground harnesses other technology, devises better marketing plans and expands its international horizons, it will really get somewhere.
I’ve always supported UK music in theory (Silver Bullett, Ty, Rodders P and Manuva), but to be honest I’ve never had a heartfelt passion for UK hip hop. Finally though, whether grime or in-betweeners like Sway, Klash and Plan B, I’ve fallen in love with a music that isn’t American. The UK’s voice is finally being heard and I can’t get enough of it. It’s distinctive and loud and beautifully British. As editor of RWD, I feel privileged to be one of the many people documenting the scene as it takes its inevitable twists and turns. Wherever it ends up, the journey is going to be real.
Hattie Collins' top, er 13 sounds:
Skream’s "Request Line"
Skepta’s Chantelle Fiddy lyric (b-rap!)
Merkle Man PAs at various clubs in London
Statik’s "Connected" album
Young Jeezy’s "Thug Motivation" album
Saigon’s "Abandoned Nation" mixtape
Jay Z and Nas making up by performing "Dead Presidents" onstage
Lil Kim’s "Lighters Up"
All and every Mizz Beats track and remix
Plan B four-track sampler
Don Corleone’s "Season’s" riddim
Klashnekoff "Focus Mode"
iD Live at Cargo
Read more of Hattie Collin's work on her blog or in RWD mag