This week it’s been all about Beyonce and no wonder after that incredible Glastonbury performance on Sunday night. I was honoured to be invited down to her secret gig to celebrate the launch of new album ‘4’, after being blown away by her spectacular televised Glasto set the night before. It really cemented her place as one of the biggest music icons on the planet, and seeing her do Destiny’s Child songs in the mix was really emotional when you think that when they came out over 10 years ago, who would have imagined that one day we’d be hearing them at one of the world’s most notorious rock festivals?
This all coincided with the release of her brand new chart topping album, which I got to hear in full the week before at her exclusive playback at the swanky Swarovski Lounge in the heart of London’s West End. The album, which she describes as her best work to date, signifies a more mature sound for the diva, featuring lots of ballads and only one collaboration, with Andre 3000 on stand out track ‘Party’. Other highlights for me are ‘1+1’ and ‘End of Time’, both of which she performed at this once-in-a-lifetime gig.
An artist normally used to playing Arena-sized venues, it was a truly rare thing to see Beyonce perform up close to such a small crowd at the modestly sized Shepherd’s Bush Empire in West London. The VIP balcony area upstairs boasted a bar serving Beyonce-inspired cocktails and played host to stars such as Adele, Tinie Tempah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessie J, husband Jay-Z and even mum Tina. The concert was a dazzling mix of high-energy dance routines and vocal workouts, pulled off by Bey with effortless ease. Hits both old and new were included, as well as renditions of ‘Sex on Fire’ and personal highlight ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Mirroring her closing song at Glasto, Beyonce finished the show by actually stepping down into the crowd for last track ‘Halo’, handing the mic to audience members to sing lines from the ballad. And then, as quickly as she’d appeared, she was gone. The crowd slowly filtered out in awe, having just witnessed a night of epic proportions from a truly timeless artist that we’re unlikely to see perform at such close proximity anytime soon.
This is big! Had to repost, better late than never. Frank kills it at the end too…
Method Man, Masta Killa and U-God were in on Tim Westwood’s show at work recently and it was legendary to spend time in the studio with them. I asked them some questions live on air which was fun and then witnessed some hot freestyles from the veterans…check out the video below:
Today the Guardian unveiled their list of the 100 most influential people in music, globally. It was so great to see my boss Laura Lukanz named in the list, and it said “One of the most influential names in UK urban music, with opinions valued across the industry”. Other people mentioned were George Ergatoudis, Head of Music at Radio 1/1Xtra, who we meet with every week as a music team to discuss that week’s priorities. At number 4 on the list was Radio 1’s Nigel Harding, one of the people who trained me how to schedule music. Westwood was also in there, as well as Radio 1 DJs like Moyles, Annie Mac & Zane Lowe. I’m so lucky to work at Yalding House with such influential people like Laura. See The full list here.
Went to see Wiz Khalifa doing his first ever UK concert this week, and even though he’s a relative newcomer in the game, he really packed out the HMV Forum Kentish Town and the atmosphere was crazy! Everyone seemed to know all the words to all his tracks and the crowd were really loving him. Here’s a video of him performing his top 5 hit ‘Black & Yellow’;
Whoa just got back from Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle, which is about 3 and a half hours on the train from London. It was such an incredible experience, in the daytime I worked on complying tracks for language from artists such as Tinie Tempah and Katy B, and I got to see bits of some of the sets from the side of the stage, including Black Eyed Peas, Plan B and My Chemical Romance. Even saw a bit of Lady Gaga!
In the evening it was down to the Time Bar for 3 nights of partying hard ’til around 5am with the 1Xtra family to sets from DJ Cameo, Target and Charlie Sloth, as well as special P.A’s from Lethal B and Devlin on the closing night. On Saturday night it was Cat from Channel AKA’s birthday celebrations in the VIP room upstairs with lots of familiar faces passing through.
Today got the train back and went straight into work to cut up some tracks and put them on the system to be replayed again this week. Here’s a video from the event:
Here is a video I took recently of UK songstress Louise Golbey covering ‘American Boy’ by Estelle at Cargo, London.