From The Who to the Sex Pistols, David Bowie to Queen, and from the Spice Girls to Adele, London has a legacy of creating a new vibe and introducing iconic musicians.
When visiting this city of more than 8 million people, you’ll find that only
30% were born in the UK. That creates a symphony – thousands of people deep - of Turkish, Vietnamese, Nigerian, Afro-Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and more cultures humming to different tunes.
While a lot of London clubs are dominated by Dance and House music, another genre is emerging out of the city’s underbelly: the grime scene.
First heard in
Bow, London around 2002 or so, grime embodies the diverse London culture, mixing drum bass, hip hop and rap with a twist of a Caribbean vibe.
Grime music’s initial introduction to the world caused little momentum since it relied heavily on pirate radio and the rave scene (yeah, not quite as mainstream as MTV or booking gigs at
Wembley Stadium). However, the genre is like the new popular kid on the scene (the one that was always there, but the right people didn’t pay attention before) with singles moving up the
UK music charts.
With a resurgence of advocates touting the art, London venues (and
surprise pop up concerts) are ripe with grime acts and featured grime nights. But, be warned when planning your trip – some
grime enthusiasts claim the authorities are targeting grime performances and shutting them down. There’s not 100% proof of that allegation, but, if nothing else, it will probably increase your street cred if you drop that factoid when you talk about seeing your favorite grime MC.
Artist: Dizzee Rascal, Photograph: Ki Price/Reuters
Artist: Ghetts, Photograph:
Artist: Skepta, Photograph:
If you can’t make a trip to the UK anytime soon, just download our
Spotlight On: London playlist so you can really get a taste of the artists making a name for themselves in London before they hit the stage in your hometown. Grime not for you? It’s ok, we’ve included some other iconic and trending tunes that hail from the city.