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Music Life Podcast

English, Social, 1 season, 246 episodes, 5 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes
Where music stars discuss how they make their music.
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The time machine of tradition with Brìghde Chaimbeul, Sam Amidon, Linda Buckley and Rhodri Davies

Brìghde Chaimbeul, Rhodri Davies, Sam Amidon and Linda Buckley discuss the roles of tradition and place in music, and what they might think about when performing.Brìghde Chaimbeul is a Gaelic musician, composer and bagpipe player. Her music stems from traditional Gaelic material, particularly sourced from archival recordings, of songs, stories and music from the Highlands and islands of Scotland. It also explores wider musical influences, such as a variety of global piping traditions from eastern Europe, Cape Breton and Ireland. She has collaborated with artists including Ross Ainslie, Gruff Rhys, Martin Green, Carlos Nunez and Allan MacDonald. Last year she released the album Carry Them With Us in collaboration with Colin Stetson, weaving together textural drones, trance atmospheres and instrumental folk traditions.Rhodri Davies is a Welsh musician who plays harp, electric harp and live electronics, as well as building harp installations. He started playing the harp at the age of 7 and is classically trained on the orchestral pedal harp; he also plays harps from a range of different cultures, modifying their sounds with different techniques and pushing the boundaries of how the instrument can sound. He’s released seven solo albums and regularly works with groups such as Hen Ogledd, Cranc, the Sealed Knot and Common Objects. Sam Amidon is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Vermont. He plays the fiddle, guitar and banjo, and is a member of the Icelandic music collective/record label Bedroom Community. He has released a string of acclaimed albums, ranging in theme from interpretations of traditional Irish fiddle pieces to old-time melodies and tales from traditional American folk history. His collaborators include classical composer Nico Muhly, experimental composer/producer Ben Frost, composer/violinist Eyvind Kang, guitar legend Bill Frisell and veteran jazz drummer Milford Graves.Linda Buckley is an Irish composer and musician who creates electronic and acoustic music working across many disciplines, most notably film, and drone and dark ambient music. She’s worked in many collaborative contexts, including scoring films such as Nothing Compares by Kathryn Ferguson and To The Moon by Tadhg O’Sullivan. Recent collaborators include Liam Byrne and Crash Ensemble, Gudrun Gut and Andrew Zolinsky.
3/29/202431 minutes, 36 seconds
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Limitations are limitless, with Caterina Barbieri, Kali Malone, Moritz Von Oswald and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens)

Caterina Barbieri, Kali Malone, Moritz Von Oswald and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe discuss the role limitations play in the creative process, and whether they can be a source for creativity, if working with limitations helps sharpen one’s aesthetics and define one’s unique artistic voice, and whether human imagination needs limits to become limitless.Caterina Barbieri is a composer and modular synth artist whose sound draws from electronic, experimental and dance music. Her work is informed by an education in classical guitar and electro-acoustic composition at the Conservatory of Bologna, as well as the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and its famed centre for sound art, Elektronmusikstudion. She has spent a decade since her debut release, Vertical, breaking the rigid structures of electronic music and exploring how sound can induce both metaphysical and psycho-physical responses. Her most recent project, Myuthafoo, further investigates her interest in time, space, memory and emotion, and the links between them.Kali Malone is a composer and organist based in Stockholm. Her compositions are rich with harmonic texture through synthetic and acoustic instrumentation. In 2016 she co-founded the record label and concert series XKatedral, together with Maria W Horn, in Stockholm. Over the last few years she has released the critically acclaimed albums The Sacrificial Code, Living Torch, and Does Spring Hide Its Joy featuring Stephen O’Malley & Lucy Railton.Moritz Von Oswald is a dub techno pioneer producer and percussionist hailing from Berlin. He is the co-founder of production duo and record label Basic Channel. Prior to becoming one of the leading figures in electronic music in the 1990s, he played in one of the last incarnations of Palais Schaumburg. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has worked with many legendary artists including Juan Atkins, Thomas Fehlmann, Carl Craig and Tony Allen. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is a Brooklyn-based artist, curator, composer and multi-instrumentalist. In 1997, he joined the band 90 Day Men before releasing solo projects under the moniker Lichens from 2004. He has collaborated on projects or provided sound in a featured artist capacity for such films as End of Summer, Sicario, Arrival, Last and First Men with Johann Johannsson and It Comes at Night with Brian McOmber. More recently, Robert has scored Il colpo del cane for Fulvio Risuleo, Candyman for Nia DaCosta, The Color of Care for Yance Ford and Master for Mariama Diallo.
3/22/202430 minutes, 20 seconds
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Everything's a drum with Ane Brun, Amelia Meath and Linden Jay

Ane Brun, Linden Jay and Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath discuss collaboration, navigating between genres and lyrical inspirations.Ane Brun is a musician hailing from Norway but based in Sweden, who also runs the label Balloon Ranger. Her music is rooted in folk pop and she's released 11 studio albums; her most recent is Portrayals, which came out last year. It is a collection of covers, including a previously unheard version of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s Blue Moon, to celebrate 20 years since her debut album Spending Time with Morgan.Linden Jay is a Grammy-nominated musician and producer from London. In addition to releasing music as a soloist, he is one half of the band FARR, a transatlantic duo described as a crossover between soul and alternative pop. As a producer and songwriter, he has also worked with artists including Stormzy, Sampha, Kelis and Loyle Carner. Amelia Meath is a Grammy-nominated musician and dancer based in North Carolina. She sings in the electronic pop band Sylvan Esso and alt-folk group Mountain Man, and has collaborated with the likes of Real Estate and John Cale.
3/15/202426 minutes, 31 seconds
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Don’t overthink it with Bill Ryder-Jones, Anna Calvi and Poppy Hankin

Bill Ryder-Jones, Anna Calvi and Poppy Hankin discuss the first piece of music that really affected them, how their writing has changed as they’ve grown older, and how much they’re willing to give people control over their music.Bill Ryder-Jones is from West Kirby, Merseyside. He co-founded the Coral, playing as their lead guitarist from 1996 until 2008. Since then he’s pursued a solo career, writing his own albums and film scores, as well as producing and playing on records for other artists including the Last Shadow Puppets, Graham Coxon, Paloma Faith, the Wytches and Hooton Tennis Club. He’s recently released his fifth solo album Iechyd Da (which translates as "good health" in Welsh). Singer-songwriter and composer Anna Calvi is known for her operatic singing voice and virtuosic guitar skills. She’s the only solo artist to have received three consecutive Mercury Prize nominations, going on to become a judge for the awards, and her other work includes everything from scoring seasons five and six of the acclaimed TV series Peaky Blinders to a stage production of the opera The Sandman. Vocalist and guitarist Poppy Hankin leads London-based indie-rock trio Girl Ray. Their sound has taken them on a journey from C-86 style indie-rock to uplifting pop music; their third album Prestige, released last year, sees them reclaim disco music as a celebration of sexuality and outsider culture.
3/8/202429 minutes, 59 seconds
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The algorithm of you with Dot Allison, Andy Bell, Bishi and Charlotte Kemp Muhl

Dot Allison, Andy Bell, Bishi and Charlotte Kemp Muhl discuss AI in music, the importance of music in education and finding your own creative voice.Dot Allison is a singer-songwriter and composer whose work has included film and TV scores such as Black Death, Triangle, The Devil’s Double and Henry: Mind of a Tyrant. She began her career in Edinburgh in the early 90s with the band Dove/One Dove, before releasing her debut solo album Afterglow a decade later. She has since worked with artists including Massive Attack, Kevin Shields, Hal David, Paul Weller, Pete Doherty and Darren Emerson. In 2023 she released Consciousology, an album that provides an imagined voice of a conscious universe expressed through music. Andy Bell is a musician, producer and DJ hailing from Cardiff. He started his career in Oxford in 1988 as one of two vocalists and guitarists of the band Ride, helping pioneer the genre of shoegaze. He went to play in Oasis and Hurricane #1. His production work includes projects with The Kynd and the Swedish band Weeping Willows. In 2023, he joined the supergroup Mantra of the Cosmos along with Shaun Ryder, Zak Starkey and Bez. He also worked with Dot Allison on her album Consciousology last year. Bishi is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, multimedia performer, producer, composer and DJ. Born in London with Bengali heritage, she has been trained in both Hindustani and Western classical styles and studied the sitar under Gaurav Mazumdar, a senior disciple of Ravi Shankar. She has released three albums independently on her own label Gryphon Records. Her third album, Let My Country Awake, released in 2021, is a musical setting of a work by Bengali poet and social reformer Rabindranath Tagore. She is the artistic director and co-founder of WITCiH (‘The Women in Technology Creative Industries Hub’), a platform increasing the visibility of women at the intersection of music, creative technology and STEM. Charlotte Kemp Muhl is a singer-songwriter, writer, model, actress, director, Chimera label co-founder and multi-instrumentalist. She formed the band The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger in 2008 with her partner Sean Ono Lennon, best known for their 2014 album Midnight Sun. In 2009 she co-founded the label Chimera with Lennon and Yuka Honda. She later formed the group UNI and The Urchins in 2017 alongside Jack James Busa and David Strange, releasing last year the project Simulations.
3/1/202425 minutes, 35 seconds
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Technology is sensual with Laura Misch, Suzanne Ciani, Madame Gandhi and Sian O'Gorman

Laura Misch, Suzanne Ciani, Madame Gandhi and Sian O'Gorman talk about their music practices, how they’re entwined with nature and technology, the natural muses which inspire their creative process, and imagining futures in which music can have a reciprocal relationship with the environment it is played within. Laura Misch is a multidisciplinary artist and producer from London. She is a singer, songwriter and saxophonist, who also makes audio and video collages. She primarily has a loop-based saxophone practice, and her debut EP Playground was released in 2017. Since then, she has also become interested in including natural surroundings in recordings. In 2021, she composed an immersive outdoor installation in Epping Forest in the UK, eventually soundtracking large-scale tree projections mapped onto buildings in London. Her debut album Sample The Sky came out on October 13th, and it’s an ode to care, connection and listening to the natural world. Producer, drummer, artist and activist Madame Gandhi's career has included collaborations with MIA, Kehlani, and Thievery Corporation, and she’s also featured on the BBC's 100 Women list. Her activism includes combating menstrual stigma people face around the world, and she’s a Harvard graduate to boot.Suzanne Ciani is a musician, sound designer, composer, and record label executive who has made incredible electronic music and sound effects for films and TV. She’s worked with quadrophonic sound, and has been pioneering electronic music since the 1970s. Sian O’Gorman is part of the self-managed collective NYX,a collaborative drone choir and otherworldly electric chorus, re-embodying live electronics and vocal techniques. NYX will be recording their debut album later this year.
2/23/202433 minutes, 45 seconds
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From indie to pop with Chromeo, La Roux and Empress Of

Chromeo, La Roux and Empress of discuss longevity in the music world, the future of music media and the shifting notions of taste and trends.David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel make up electro-funk duo Chromeo. The pair met in the mid-1990s at college in Montreal, bonding over a love of hip-hop and vintage funk. After hearing records like Daft Punk’s Discovery, they formed Chromeo in 2002, releasing their debut, She’s in Control, in 2004. Their music combines funk grooves and pop hooks with analogue synth melodies, and they have just released their new album Adult Contemporary: a meditation on modern, mature relationships. La Roux is a bona-fide alt-pop star and Grammy Award-winning singer, whose debut album from 2009 dominated charts around the world with an unforgettable falsetto and unmistakable vintage sound. She came back in 2020 after 5 years with her third album Supervision, and recently collaborated with Chromeo on a new rework of her hit single Bulletproof. Empress Of is a singer and musical artist who creates introspective, self-empowering electro pop. She grew up on the music of Latin America and debuted with anonymous demos on YouTube in 2012. She’s developed into an artist whose creativity knows no bounds, from the quirky and eclectic to the straight-up danceable. She will release her fourth album, For Your Consideration, on March 22nd through Major Arcana.
2/16/202426 minutes, 10 seconds
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Celebrating the vibrato with Joel Shadbolt, Dallas Tamaira, Anna Coddington and Allen Stone

Joel Shadbolt, Dallas Tamaira, Anna Coddington and Allen Stone talk about how environments shape their sound, staying healthy and sane on the road, and the 70s soul sound.A lifelong musician from the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, Joel Shadbolt studied music at polytechnic before joining L.A.B. as the singer and guitarist in 2016. Their distinct blend of reggae, rock, funk and soul has established them as one of the premier acts in New Zealand. L.A.B's sixth album, L.A.B VI will be out 23 February 2024.Dallas Tamaira is a singer and musician born in Christchurch, raised in Kaikōura and now based in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s occasionally known by the alias Joe Dukie, but is best known as the vocalist for the internationally renowned urban pasifika and dub group Fat Freddy's Drop, which he co-founded in 1999. He’s just dropped his new solo EP, Levels.Anna Coddington is a multi-award winning songwriter, singer and producer from Raglan, New Zealand, currently living in Auckland, who has released four critically acclaimed albums to date. She also has an MA in linguistics, is currently studying for a law degree, and is a 2nd dan black belt in kyokushin karate.Allen Stone is an American soul and R&B singer and musician, based in Spokane, Washington. He is a pastor’s son who grew up on gospel music, and by the time he was 11, he’d picked up a guitar and written his first song. He has released five albums to date.
2/9/202425 minutes, 12 seconds
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Music is your medicine with Ana Carla Maza, Lucas Santtana and Eliane Correa

Ana Carla Maza, Lucas Santtana and Eliane Correa discuss the music of Cuba, women as producers and composers in Cuban music, and their creative process.Cuban composer, cellist and singer Ana Carla Maza grew up in the Afro-Cuban Guanabacoa district of Havana, Cuba, in the early years of the Buena Vista Social Club revival. She moved to Paris to train at the Conservatoire, and the city became the beginning of her solo and touring career. Although she’s a classically trained cellist, she’s always incorporated her Havana roots in her work, and her latest album Caribe is a reconnection to those roots, inspired by Afro-Cuban descarga jams of the 1950s. Lucas Santtana is a singer, composer and producer from Salvador, Brazil. He recreates the Brazilian guitar tradition, mixing up sounds from the 1950s, like João Gilberto and Dorival Caymmi, with mashups, samples and his own creations. Eliane Correa is a pianist, MD and composer based between London and Havana. She was the bandleader of the Cuban fusion project Wara, and has also worked with Eli & La Evolución, En El Aire Project and The World of Hans Zimmer. Her unique sound equally reflects her Latin heritage and London musical melting pot experience.
2/2/202433 minutes, 50 seconds
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Your body is an instrument with Zubin Kanga, Jasmin Kent Rodgman, Laura Bowler and Neil Luck

Composers Zubin Kanga, Jasmin Kent Rodgman, Laura Bowler and Neil Luck discuss the role of technology in their work, how their collaborators have influenced them and the technology they’d love to try.Australian-born pianist, composer and technologist Zubin Kanga moved to London in 2007, where he attended the Royal Academy of Music. Through his work he seeks to explore and redefine what it means to be a performer through interactions with new technologies, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biosensors and more. He’s worked with some of the world’s leading composers including Steve Reich, Shiva Feshareki and Alexander Schubert and has premiered more than 130 works across the world.Artist and composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together contemporary classical, electronics and sound art to create powerful soundscapes and musical identities. She works across a variety of different art forms, including dance, word film and VR, and explores otherness, memory and narrative in her music.Composer, vocalist and artistic director Laura Bowler specialises in theatre, multi-disciplinary work and opera. She’s been commissioned by orchestras and ensembles across the globe and as a soloist has performed and premiered works internationally. She’s also a vocalist in contemporary music ensemble Ensemble Lydenskab in Aarhus, Denmark. Neil Luck's music explores the interaction between live human performance and multimedia. His work takes a range of forms, from music-theatre to concert works and radio, and last year he collaborated with Mimi Doulton on an EP titled Five English Folk Songs, a piece of work that explores traditional singing techniques that have been lost and buried.
1/26/202429 minutes, 49 seconds
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Music doesn’t stop with Nightmares on Wax, Corinne Bailey Rae, Theo Croker and James Lavelle

George Evelyn - AKA Nightmares on Wax - Corinne Bailey Rae, Theo Croker and James Lavelle discuss their creative relationship with music, the presence of social issues in music, and the pros and cons of the digital age.Musician, record producer and DJ George Evelyn, aka Nightmares on Wax was born in the city of Leeds, UK, and is now based in Ibiza. In his youth, he was greatly inspired by the likes of Quincy Jones and Curtis Mayfield, before discovering hip hop. He originally formed Nightmares on Wax in 1988 as a group project alongside John Halnon, with Kevin Harper joining later, but after one album it became solely his project. He debuted on Warp Records with A Word of Science in 1991, and has since released eight studio albums, various mixes and DJed countless gigs across the globe.Jazz trumpeter, composer and producer Theo Croker is known for his adventurous playing and determination to expand the horizons of jazz. He took up the trumpet around age 11 after being inspired by his grandfather, the legendary Doc Cheatham, and has released seven studio albums. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae shot to fame in 2006 with her self-titled UK number one debut album. She’s known for her soul-rooted indie sound and has collaborated with everyone from Mary J Blige and Al Green to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.Electronic musician, DJ and label owner James Lavelle is best known for his work under the Unkle moniker. He started the band in 1992, and in the same year founded the influential trip hop label Mo’ Wax. As Unkle, he’s released eight full length studio albums, most recently Rōnin II.
1/19/202430 minutes, 14 seconds
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The magic of space in time with Galya Bisengalieva, Robert Ames, Actress and Claire M Singer

Galya Bisengalieva, Robert Ames, Actress and Claire M Singer discuss how instruments can affect composition, collaboration, and the relationship between music and its visual identity.Born into a musical family in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Kazakh-British musician Galya Bisengalieva won a music scholarship to study music in London, where she now lives. A classically trained violinist, composer and electronic musician, she released her debut solo EP in 2018, and debut album Aralkum in 2020. Her collaborators include Steve Reich, Laurie Spiegel, Sigur Rós, the National, Terry Riley and Thom Yorke, and she currently leads the London Contemporary Orchestra. She recently released her second album, Polygon.British conductor, composer, arranger and violist Robert Ames is the co-founder and artistic director of the London Contemporary Orchestra. His collaborators include Frank Ocean, Imogen Heap, Belle and Sebastian, Vivienne Westwood, DJ Shadow, Anna Meredith, Radiohead and Foals. His debut album, Change Ringing, came out in 2021.Innovative British electronic musician Actress released his debut single in 2004, and his debut album, Hazyville, followed in 2008. He recently released his seventh studio album, LXXXVIII, which he regards as the culmination of his career to date. Claire M Singer is a composer and performer of acoustic and electronic music, film and installations, known for her experimental approach to the organ. Her work draws inspiration from the dramatic landscape of her native Scotland. She released her debut album in 2016, and recently put out her fourth album, Saor.
1/12/202433 minutes, 40 seconds
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Penguin Café, Johnny Borrell, Douglas Dare and Judi Jackson

Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Café, Johnny Borrell, Douglas Dare and Judi Jackson discuss taking your own music seriously when starting out, selling out, and whether it’s OK to re-hash your previous work.Musician, composer and band leader Arthur Jeffes formed Penguin Cafe in 2009, bringing together a talented and disparate group of musicians initially to perform his father Simon Jeffes’ legacy of world renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra music, 12 years after his untimely death in 1997. Since then, they have continued to perform the music of Penguin Cafe Orchestra alongside their own compositions, and have released five albums to date. The most recent, Rain Before Seven…, came out in the summer.Douglas Dare's piano-led music creates an elegant minimalist sound. He released his debut album Whelm in 2014, which was made on a battered grand piano, then followed it up in 2016 with Aforger. In 2020, he released his third album, Milkteeth.British musician Johnny Borrell is best known as the frontman of the band Razorlight. The band have gone through several line-up changes, with him the sole permanent member. In between the band's activities, he released a solo album in 2013, and currently has a new project called Jealous Nostril.Singer Judi Jackson grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, playing piano and singing in the church choir. After moving to London, she released her debut EP, and in 2020 won vocalist of the year at the Jazz FM awards. Last year she released her full-length debut album, Grace. Her live show includes her own interpretations of songs from jazz greats, along with her original soul-infused music.
1/5/202429 minutes, 47 seconds
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Everyone wants to be pop with Faizal Mostrixx, Afrorack, Grove and Kaya Byinshii

Faizal Mostrixx, Afrorack, Grove and Kaya Byinshii discuss pop music, musical cultures and the aftermath of live performance.Ugandan producer, dancer and choreographer Faizal Mostrixx was surrounded by music and dancing as a child and began his working life as a professional dancer, before deciding to focus on his other love, sound. After putting out EPs in 2019 and 2022, this year he released his debut full length album Mutations on the Glitterbeat label – an Afrofuturist manifesto from Uganda. Bristol-based producer and vocalist Grove draws on everything from dancehall and dub to hip hop and dance. Their latest album P*W*R PL*Y came out this year. Afrorack is a Ugandan musician who built Africa’s first DIY modular synthesizer. Learning electronics and constructing an instrument that would have been impossible to buy in Uganda, he released his debut album in 2022, bringing together the first recordings with his new machine – a wonderful sound melding acid, techno, and African musicality. Born and raised in Rwanda, Kaya Byinshii strongly believes in the spiritual power of music. She released her debut EP Nyabyinshi in 2020 and her first full length album, Ukwiyuburura, in 2022.
12/29/202326 minutes, 36 seconds
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The melancholy of exile with Siavash Amini, Sarrsew, mHz and Mariam Rezaei

Siavash Amini, Sarrsew, mHz and Mariam Rezaei discuss Tehran’s experimental scene, and how geography and community can affect the creative process.Based in Tehran, Iranian musician and composer Siavash Amini has worked with the labels Room40, Hallow Ground, Opal Tapes and Umor Rex for the better part of the past 10 years. He’s also collaborated with a wide range of international artists including Rafael Anton Irisarri, 9T Antiope and Zenjungle, and remixed tracks for Carl Craig, Bernard Szajner and the duo Arigt. This year he’s released two albums, Eidolon and Eremos. Mariam Rezaei is a composer and genre-defying turntablist who’s been honing her own unique style since starting DJing at 15. She previously led experimental arts project TOPH, TUSK FRINGE and TUSK NORTH, and in November 2022 received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in recognition of her contribution to music composition. She released her album BOWN earlier this year. Sara Bigdeli Shamloo, aka SarrSew, is a Tehran-born and Paris-based vocalist, lyricist and composer. She’s one half of duo 9T Antiope, and also one half of the aternative/electronic Farsi duo Taraamoon. On top of her collaborative projects and solo releases, she’s also produced creations for theatre and film and is an active performer and actor. Mo H. Zareei, aka mHz, is an electronic musician, sound artist, and researcher whose artistic practice covers a wide range from electronic compositions to kinetic sound-sculptures and audiovisual installations. After studying in Tehran and California, he now lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where he’s a senior lecturer in composition and sonic arts. He also released the album Proof of Identity earlier this year
12/22/202329 minutes, 35 seconds
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Breathing through your fingers with Adrian Younge, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jean Carne and Brian Jackson

Since starting out in the late 90’s, musician, DJ and label owner Adrian Younge's sound has borrowed from soul, funk, jazz and hip hop. His work includes scores for film and TV, including the Marvel series Luke Cage; a collaborative album with Ghostface Killah based on the comic book Twelve Reasons To Die; and productions for Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z. He founded the label Linear Labs, and is also co-founder of the Jazz Is Dead label with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. He’s produced for greats such as Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Wu Tang Clan, and in 2021, he released The American Negro, an album that provides an unapologetic critique on the evolution of racism in America. Jean Carne is an incredible soul singer boasting a five-octave vocal range. She started her career in the early 1970s, with her 1978 solo single Don’t Let It Go to Your Head becoming an R&B hit. She’s also worked with Motown Records, the Temptations and Michael Jackson, and in 2014, she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National R&B Music Society. She's worked with host Adrian through the years, most notably on the 1990 song Star Flower. Brian Jackson is a keyboardist, flautist, singer, composer, and producer who had a decades-long writing and producing partnership with Gil Scott-Heron, including the albums Pieces of a Man, Free Will, and Winter in America. He went on to work with Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, and also has an extensive solo career, looking to both the present and the past for inspiration in order to honour the ancient tradition of the griot – the African troubadour of truth. Legendary jazz pianist and bandleader Lonnie Liston Smith joined Pharaoh Sanders’s band in 1968, where he began to experiment with electric keyboards, and also had a stint in Miles Davis’ band before forming Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes in 1974. In April this year, he released his first record in 25 years, called JID017.
12/15/202333 minutes, 48 seconds
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The source is the universe with Andre 3000, Carlos Niño, Liv.e and Luis Pérez Ixoneztli

Carlos Niño, Liv.e, Andre 3000 and Luis Pérez Ixoneztli discuss how their music is inspired by spirit, the feeling of creating sounds that are meaningful to them, and how they stay open to learning during their lives in music.Producer, percussionist and composer Carlos Niño started making beats aged 17 with Fabian Alston, before becoming a radio DJ in California. In 2008, he started Carlos Niño & Friends, and has worked with the likes of Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Photay and Kamasi Washington. His music blends orchestral arrangements and acoustic instruments with cutting-edge production techniques; in September of this year he released his new album, (I’m just) Chillin’, on Fire. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, experimental R&B artist Liv.e is known for her hypnotic voice and eclectic musical influences. She was first introduced to music through the church ,but now draws inspiration from the likes of Lalah Hathaway and Wayne Shorter, as well as Dallas-based label Dolfin Records. In February of this year she released her critically acclaimed second album, Girl in the Half Pearl. Composer, ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist Luis Pérez Ixoneztli is a hugely influential figure in Mexican music, who’s dedicated years of research to the pre-Columbian instrumentation of Mesoamerica, travelling around the country to study the musical traditions of Mexico’s native peoples. His music has been described as “perhaps the ultimate fusion of ethnic and modern music”; in 2013, his work was inducted into the Archive of Mexican Music, 32 years after it was first published. Andre 3000 is an American rapper, singer, record producer and actor who is best known for being one-half of hip-hop duo Outkast. He’s sold millions of records around the world, with hit singles such as Hey Ya! and Ms. Jackson, as well as acting in series such as The Shield and films including All Is by My Side, a 2013 biopic about Jimi Hendrix.
12/8/202335 minutes, 25 seconds
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Running out of melodies with Beirut, Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields

Zach Condon, AKA Beirut, Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields discuss the myth of self-expression as an artist, the influence your location, and particularly New York, has on songwriting, and what unexpected genres we might get musical influences from.Zach Condon, AKA Beirut, grew up in the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and from a young age absorbed a vast array of musical influences. When he was 14 his older brother moved to New York and left behind a strict musical education of minimal German electronica, hip hop and mix tapes of Neutral Milk Hotel. From ther,e he began recording little tunes with a trumpet, a drum machine, a synthesizer and his father’s acoustic guitar. He was finally convinced to try playing a few concerts when he was around 17, and has since gone on to release eight studio albums and tour all over the world. His new album Hadsel came out this year and is named after a northern Norwegian island where he spent time in 2020. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stephin Merritt is best known for fronting The Magnetic Fields, one of the most important indie rock bands of the last 30 years. He is renowned for his beautiful melodies and rich lyrics, meticulously crafting soundscapes using a variety of acoustic, electronic and improvised instruments. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein are members of one of punk and pop’s most influential bands, Blondie. They formed in 1974 in New York and were pioneers of the city’s new wave scene, going on to top the charts around the world with hits such as Atomic, Heart of Glass and Hanging on the Telephone. They’ve gone through many line-up changes over the years, but been held together by the two amazing musicians we have with us today.
12/1/202333 minutes, 31 seconds
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Kids on tour with Charlotte Adigéry, Bolis Pupul, John Carroll Kirby and Marie Davidson

Charlotte Adigéry, Bolis Pupul, John Carroll Kirby and Marie Davidson discuss second albums, having kids as a musician and collaborations. Charlotte Adigéry is a Belgian musician of Martinican and Guadeloupean descent, born and raised in Ghent. She's worked extensively as a solo artist and also as her punk alter ego WWWater. Bolis Pupul is a Belgian musician of Chinese descent who debuted in 2016 with the single Moon Theme / Sun Theme. They started releasing music as a duo in 2019 with an EP called Zandoli on Soulwax’s record label DEEWEE. Last year, they released their debut album Topical Dancer, a multilingual 13-track project that explores themes of racism and misogyny. American pianist, record producer and composer John Carroll Kirby has a background steeped in jazz but with a signature sound that blends genres and styles. He’s an in-demand collaborator who has worked with the likes of Solange, Frank Ocean, Miley Cyrus, Norah Jones and many more, and earlier this year he released his ninth album Blowout. Canadian producer Marie Davidson's hypnotic style combines analogue synthesizers and drum machines with vocals, leading to a prolific career both as a solo artist and member of creative trio L’Œil Nu.
11/24/202330 minutes, 44 seconds
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Finding new identities with Bloom Twins, Dorofeeva and Jamala

Bloom Twins, Dorofeeva and Jamala discuss the influence of their Ukrainian identity in their music, how their music has changed since the war, and the advice they have for aspiring Ukrainian musicians. Bloom Twins are a pop duo made up of sisters Anna and Sonia Kuprienko, who are currently based in London. They’re both classically trained multi-instrumentalists who use their platform to draw attention to issues such as mental health and freedom of expression, and whose brand of dark pop takes inspirations from the likes of Radiohead, Massive Attack and Ukrainian folk music. Singer and actor Dorofeeva first rose to fame in the duo Vremya i Steklo, alongside rapper Positiff. She is also a prominent fashion designer and blogger, and released her debut album сенси in 2022. Jamala is a singer and actor who is best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine in 2016 with her track 1944. She made her first record at nine years old with an album of songs for children, and has since released 10 albums that straddle soul, jazz, funk and folk.
11/17/202325 minutes, 4 seconds
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Bluegrass rocks with Charlie Worsham, Ashley McBryde and Jaren Johnston

Country stars Charlie Worsham, Ashley McBryde and Jaren Johnston combining traditional bluegrass with new sounds in the studio, the importance of being a good songwriter in country music and the differences between live tracking a recording versus piecing it together remotely. Singer and songwriter Charlie Worsham grew up in Mississippi but moved to Nashville as soon as he could to pursue his dreams in Music City. He makes country music that’s influenced by southern rock and bluegrass, and has just released his latest project Compadres, a collection of five collaborations with musicians such as Lainey Wilson, Kip Moore and Luke Combs. Ashley McBryde is a Grammy and CMA award-winning artist who has been making waves in Nashville for decades. She’s particularly well-known for Lindeville, a concept album centred around the characters that appear in her songs and named as a tribute to songwriter Dennis Linde. She's also just released her latest album, The Devil I Know. Jaren Johnston is a multiple Grammy-nominated country and rock songwriter and producer who is one of the founding members of the Cadillac Three. He’s worked with stars such as Keith Urban and Tim McGraw, and produced Charlie’s most recent project, Compadres.
11/10/202327 minutes, 58 seconds
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It’s everything but math! with Andrew Bird

Our host this week is American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Andrew Bird. His recordings combine the violin with loops and effect pedals, whistling and vocals. He started out playing in jazz acts before forming his own swing ensemble. In 2003 he released his first solo album Weather Systems and since then has produced 16 studio albums spanning swing music, indie rock and folk. His most recent album, Inside Problems, came out in the summer. He is joined by Meshell Ndegeocello, a German-American singer-songwriter, rapper and bassist who played a pivotal role in kickstarting the neo-soul movement in the 1990s. Her biggest hit was Wild Night, a duet with John Mellencamp, which went to number three in the Billboard Charts in 1994. She fearlessly used her music to make statements about sexuality and queerness, and continues to do so today. And joining them is Juana Molina, an Argentine singer-songwriter known for her unique ‘folktronica’ sound. Drawing influences from her home country and the Parisian culture she was surrounded by in her adolescent years, her music blends elements of ambient, electronic and folk. Together they discuss musical process, ego in composition and analysis versus intuition. In the second half of the programme, Meshell Ndegeocello takes us through a playlist she has called Sonder, a collection of songs which celebrate that everyone of us has our own story, featuring tracks from Parliament, Womack & Womack, Jeff Parker and more. (Image: Juana Molina (L), Credit: Alejandro Ros; Andrew Bird (C), Credit: Alec Basse; Meshell Ndeogeocello (R), Credit: Charlie Gross)
11/3/202329 minutes, 42 seconds
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Allowing yourself to be possessed with GAIKA

Our host this week is artist and musician GAIKA - he was born in London and raised in the city’s night clubs. He released his debut mixtape Machine, in 2015 and since released a string of projects including BASIC VOLUME and Seguridad. He has collaborated with some of the most renowned names in contemporary music, including 3D of Massive Attack, Dean Blunt, Kelela, Mike Skinner, Mykki Blanco and SOPHIE. Alongside his music he has also created a number of art installations and has just released his new album Drift. Joining him are a group of artists whose music incorporates hip-hop, dub poetry and experimental pop – plus lots of spaces in between. First is British rapper Speech Debelle, who released her debut album Speech Therapy in 2009, which went on to win the coveted Mercury prize. She released two further albums in 2012 and 2017. In June the self-confessed food lover shared her latest album Sunday Dinner On A Monday. Next up is a singer-songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Lucinda Chua. Based in South London, she primarily uses her voice, a cello, and an array of effects units to create her music, and released her debut album Yian in March. Finally, South London-born poet and musician James Massiah, a wordsmith who has built a reputation for his literary voice. His collaborators include The xx and Massive Attack. He released his Natural Born Killers EP in 2019 and at the end of last year shared the latest in his New Poems series, Volume 4. Together they discuss their song-writing process, whether they are led by words or music, and the psychological effect of creativity. In the second half of the programme, Speech Debelle takes us through a playlist called Music Is Good Food, featuring tracks from Black Uhuru, Prince, Kelis, plus more.
10/30/202328 minutes, 29 seconds
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I'm not switching my flow with MC Yallah, Catu Diosis, Chrisman and Debmaster

MC Yallah, Catu Diosis, Chrisman and Debmaster, four members of Uganda's Nyege Nyege collective, talk about working remotely, managing your time between touring and the studio, and staying true to yourself. Born Yallah Gaudencia Mbidde in Kenya and raised in Uganda, MC Yallah has been involved in East Africa's rap scene since the 90s, when she was inspired by American hip hop and the Ugandan artists Young Vibes. She was a host on NewzBeat from 2014-2018, which was a TV programme that skirted Uganda’s censorship laws by rapping about current affairs and controversial topics. At NewzBeat she met Derek Debru and Arlen Dilsizian, and is now part of the collective Nyege Nyege. She rhymes in Luganda, Kiswahili, English, and Luo, and in 2019 released her debut album Kubali. This year sees the release of her second album Yallah Beibe. Catu Diosis is a Ugandan DJ and producer who's been making waves across Kampala’s underground electronic scene since the age of 16. She’s one half of the DJ & producer duo БŁΛϾК SłS-ТΛЯZ and a co-founder of Dope Gal Africa, which supports and nurtures female producers across the continent. Chrisman is a DJ and producer from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He began his music career as a sound engineer and member of the hip hop band Young Souljah Empire. His work skilfully blends traditional African rhythms with electronic beats and experimental textures. Debmaster is a French-born Berlin-based electronic producer, also known as Julien Deblois. Back in the early 90s, aged 11, he started off as a punk drummer in the north French countryside. He’s a key part of the Nyege Nyege collective and Hakuna Kulala camp, and a longtime collaborator of MC Yallah.
10/20/202329 minutes, 13 seconds
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We are not normal with Anoushka Shankar, Arooj Aftab, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Nadine Shah

Anoushka Shankar, Arooj Aftab, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Nadine Shah talk about the role of spirituality in their music, what their sound gives the audience, and share thoughts on being women of colour in the music industry. Born in the UK, Anoushka Shankar spent her younger years in London and Delhi before moving to California. She began learning the sitar aged 9 with her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut at 13. Since then has been nominated for nine Grammys, played everywhere from the Barbican to Carnegie Hall, and worked with a wide range of artists including Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jules Buckley and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her latest project, a mini-album titled Chapter I: Forever, For Now, comes out in October. Arooj Aftab is a Grammy award winning Pakistani-American singer, composer, and producer whose musical styles cover everything from jazz to minimalism. She’s performed at Coachella, Glastonbury, and the Montreal Jazz Festival, and is also an Emmy winning documentary editor. She also produced Anouska’s latest album. Lisa-Kaindé Diaz is one-half of multilingual French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, whose work fuses jazz with beats, samples, and traditional instruments. They’ve released three studio LPs, appeared on Beyoncé’s groundbreaking visual album Lemonade, and have collaborated with Chilly Gonzales, Kamasi Washington and Jorja Smith. Nadine Shah is a Mercury Prize-nominated British singer-songwriter who has performed at Glastonbury and London's Barbican. She’s supported Patti Smith, Depeche Mode and Suede, recently made her acting debut in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and is currently working on her fifth album.
10/13/202334 minutes, 8 seconds
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Confronting expectations with Steven Wilson, Roland Orzabal, Lucy Rose and Andy Partridge

Steven Wilson, Roland Orzabal, Lucy Rose and Andy Partridge talk about the effect of fan expectations on the creative process, whether the world needs any more new music, and if “retro mania” is stopping rock music from evolving. Born in London and raised in Hemel Hempstead in the UK, Steven Wilson developed an interest in music as a child and was heavily influenced by Pink Floyd. His dad built him a multi-track tape machine when he was 12, which allowed him to start experimenting with sound. He formed two bands in 1986, No Man and Porcupine Tree, both of which came to define much of his career. His music covers everything from rock, to ambient, to electro pop, and he’s worked with Elton John, Guns N' Roses, XTC, Pendulum, Yes, Marillion, and Black Sabbath. He’s just released his seventh solo album, The Harmony Codex. Roland Orzabal is a British musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and author. He is best known for co-founding of one of the most influential bands from the 80s, Tears for Fears. British singer-songwriter Lucy Rose started out performing with indie act Bombay Bicycle Club before becoming a successful solo artist in her own right. More recently she’s worked with Paul Weller, and she’s just finished her new album. Andy Partridge is a British guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer who, as a founding member of cult rock band XTC, many call the godfather of Britpop.
10/6/202334 minutes, 1 second
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The triangle of texture, mood and rhythm with Xefer, Apashe, Kovacs and Raja Kumari

Xefer, Apashe, Kovacs and Raja Kumari discuss singing in English or their native languages, overcoming obstacles due to where you live, and how to evolve as an artist through songwriting. Xefer was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and her journey in music started on YouTube where she would upload covers of herself performing songs in English of the likes of Bruno Mars, Jessie J and Paramore. She released her first single, Judge, in 2016, followed by her debut album, Uncaged, in 2017. Since then her style has changed and evolved, writing hit singles in Bengali such as Nei Proyojon, Jhumka and Harbo Na. Apashe is a Belgian electronic music producer who is known for his bass-heavy anthems and expert sampling skills. His cinematic sound blends electronic music with elements of orchestral and classical music and has soundtracked the trailers for blockbuster films including John Wick: Chapter 2 and Fast & Furious: Hobbes and Shaw. He’s also currently touring the world with a live brass orchestra. Kovacs is a singer from the Netherlands who spent her early years performing at open mic nights and wowing audiences with her powerful yet vulnerable sound. Her debut single, My Love, became a number one hit across Europe in 2013 and this year she released her album Child of Sin. Indian-American rapper and singer Raja Kumari originally trained as an Indian classical dancer before discovering hip-hop through the Fugees’ album The Score. She’s since become a star in both the US and India, collaborating with everyone from Gwen Stefani to Sidhu Moose Wala, headlining huge festivals and founding her own label, Godmother Records.
9/29/202327 minutes, 32 seconds
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Idols and clowns with Devendra Banhart, Phil Elverum, Jenny Hval and Bedouine

Devendra Banhart, Phil Elverum, Jenny Hval and Bedouine discuss eating on tour, how art is intimacy exposed, and what can be learned from terrible shows. Devendra Banhart, was born in Texas and raised between Venezuela and California, where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. After dropping out in 2000, he started moving around different cities, experimenting with songwriting and busking as he went. When he released his second album, Oh Me Oh My, in 2002 ,he signed to XL Recordings, and has since released nine albums and collaborated with artists like Anohni, Beck and The Strokes’ Fabrizio Moretti. His new album Flying Wig has just come out and was recorded in a Topanga cabin once owned by Neil Young. He’s also a visual artist, and has had pieces featured in galleries including San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, MOCA and Brussels’ Centre for Fine Arts. Phil Elverum is a singer-songwriter, producer and visual artist from Washington state. Best known for his musical projects The Microphones and Mount Eerie, he almost exclusively uses analogue recording equipment to make music and tends to compose as he records. His output spans more than 40 albums. Norwegian singer-songwriter, producer and novelist Jenny Hval's avant-garde music has a heavy focus on sexuality and politics. Her debut EP Cigars was released in 2006 and was nominated for a Spellemannprisen (the Nowegian Grammys). Since then, she has released music under her own name, Rocket to the Sky and collaboratively with Laura Jean as Lost Girls. Bedouine is a Syrian-American folk musician whose sound is beautifully reminiscent of 1960s North America. Born in Aleppo, Syria, she grew up between Saudi Arabia and Texas before settling in Savannah to study sound design. Since then, she’s released three studio albums and toured with the likes of Fleet Foxes, Michael Kiwanuka and Jose Gonzalez.
9/22/202332 minutes, 12 seconds
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Natural storytellers with Lea Salonga, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Gerard Salonga and Daniel Edmonds

Lea Salonga, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Gerard Salonga and Daniel Edmonds discuss the process of working through a piece that isn’t going well, what drives them when starting a new project, and the most important things they look for in a performer of musical theatre. Lea Salonga has done everything from playing Kim in the original production of Miss Saigon, to playing Fantine and Éponine in Les Misérables. She has also released 12 of her own albums. Claude-Michel Schönberg is a French record producer, actor, singer and musical theatre composer with a prolific career in music. He is best known for his collaborations with lyricist Alain Boublil and has scored some of the biggest works in musical theatre including Les Misérables, La Révolution Francaise and Miss Saigon. Gerard Salonga is a Filipino conductor, composer and arranger who is currently the resident conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur. He started playing piano at the age of five and sang duets with Lea, his sister, for her first album, Small Voice, before going on to study at Berklee College of Music. He's conducted orchestras across the Philippines and has worked with distinguished conductors and composers across the world. Musical director, composer and arranger Daniel Edmonds has written music for both screen and stage. He was the musical director of the musicals King Kong, Strictly Ballroom and Dream Lover, as week as the award-winning show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He’s also worked closely with Lea on various projects, such as writing the music for her 2020 single Dream Again, which was released to raise funds for Covid-19 charities.
9/15/202335 minutes, 6 seconds
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Abducted by aliens with Jeff Mills, Neue Grafik, Prabhu Edouard and Knoel Scott

Jeff Mills, Neue Grafik, Prabhu Edouard and Knoel Scott talk about improvisational performance, rhythms as a form of communication and how technology is overtaking the artist. Jeff Mills started out on the Detroit techno scene in the 1980s before founding Underground Resistance with ‘Mad’ Mike Banks in 1989. He left Detroit for New York in 1991 (via a residency at Berlin’s mighty Tresor), to pursue a solo career and set up his own label, Axis. Since then, he’s released a number of projects, including two volumes of Waveform Transmissions for Tresor; 2005’s Blue Potential, a live album recorded with the 70-piece Montpelier Philharmonic Orchestra; and a new soundtrack for Fritz Lang’s 1926 film Metropolis in 2000. In 2018, he set up the Afrofunk-electro-jazz ensemble Tomorrow Comes The Harvest with the late Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, and has been making music and performing with the collective ever since. Neue Grafik is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist making a truly unique sound. Blending hip-hop, jazz and house, his music draws a map between his African heritage, time in Paris and love of London’s grime scene. Forming the Neue Grafik Ensemble at an after-hours jam session at London’s Total Refreshment Centre, he’s established himself as formidable force in the world of jazz. Indo-French percussionist and composer Prabhu Edouard is recognised as one of the most versatile tabla players of his generation. A student of the legendary Pandit Shankar Ghosh, he’s collaborated with artists from around the world including Jean-Pierre Drouet and Laxmi Shankar, and is part of the afrofunk-electro-jazz ensemble Tomorrow Comes The Harvest. Knoel Scott is an American saxophonist and composer best known for his time with jazz collective Sun Ra Arkestra. With a career spanning more than 40 years, he’s worked alongside jazz greats including Lou Donaldson and Leon Thomas. Most recently, he’s released his first major studio album, Celestial with long time collaborator Marshall Allen.
9/8/202335 minutes, 2 seconds
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Spending your creative cash with Eyedress, Homeshake, Na'Kel Smith and María Zardoya

Eyedress, Homeshake, Na'Kel Smith and María Zardoya discuss the difficulties of re-capturing a moment, pushing everything else away when going through a creative block, and the importance of controlling your own visual identity. Eyedress is a singer, rapper and producer who grew up in the Philippines but moved to the USA with his family at the age of six. He grew up playing in punk bands, before moving back to Manila in 2005, where he formed garage pop band Bee Eyes. Meanwhile, he was pursuing his own project which would eventually become Eyedress, a name he originally came up with for his Twitter account. His music takes inspiration from everything from shoegaze to bedroom-pop, and last year he released his fifth album, FULL TIME LOVER. Canadian musician Peter Sagar, AKA Homeshake, is known for his unique brand of R&B influenced indie-pop. Originally part of Mac DeMarco’s touring set-up, he uses synthesizers and drum-machines to accompany his guitar-playing and soft vocals, creating a relaxing, ethereal sound. Na’Kel Smith is a rapper, actor and skater who was originally one of the non-musician members of alternative hip-hop group Odd Future. After debuting with a powerful, emotional verse on Earl Sweatshirt’s DNA and teaching himself how to record, engineer, and make beats, he’s evolved into an experimental, lo-fi artist who embodies the spirit of DIY music. Puerto Rican singer María Zardoya fronts American indie-pop band The Marías. They create a dreamlike fusion of jazz, psychedelia and funk music, drawing inspiration from the band’s diverse musical backgrounds and singing in both English and Spanish. Their debut album Cinema was released in 2021, and they’ve since gone on to collaborate with the likes of Bad Bunny and Cuco.
9/1/202322 minutes, 13 seconds
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Success is seasonal with Hak Baker, Benjamin Zephaniah, Celeste and Baxter Dury

Hak Baker, Benjamin Zephaniah, Celeste and Baxter Dury talk about writing whilst living in London, their view of success in their careers so far, and the impact of family and cultural history on their writing. Hak Baker was born in Luton and raised on the Isle of Dogs, in London. At a young age he was exposed to everything from reggae and dub to classic pop, R&B and soul via friends and family. His first introduction to performing was as part of the Southwark Cathedral choir, before moving towards grime and MC-ing at his local community centre. Later he learned to play guitar, and started writing songs about his experiences and those of the people around him, digging deep into everything from toxic masculinity to social inequality, identity and unity. This year he released his debut album World’s End FM, which is presented as a pirate radio broadcast transmitting from the edge of the apocalypse. Benjamin Zephaniah is a novelist, playwright and musician, and one of the UK’s best poets of the last 50 years. Born in Birmingham, he is influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and writes about race, politics and social injustice. He’s recorded numerous reggae records and has worked with the likes of Sinead O’Connor and The Wailers. Celeste is an American-born British singer who has established herself as one of the finest soul singers in the UK right now. After winning the Brit Award Rising Star of 2020, she released her critically acclaimed debut album Not Your Muse, becoming the first female British solo artist in five years to reach number one with a debut album. Baxter Dury is a singer and musician known for his gritty vocals and witty, observant storytelling. His sound brings in influences from hip-hop to new wave, and in June of this year he released his new album I Thought I Was Better Than You, written with his teenage son Kosmo during lockdown.
8/25/202332 minutes, 3 seconds
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Don't wait for permission, with Kathryn Tickell, Laura Cannell, Amy Thatcher and Ruth Lyon

British folk musicians Kathryn Tickell, Laura Cannell, Amy Thatcher and Ruth Lyon discuss their musical and personal identities, the music they made when they were younger, and whether or not place affects the music they create. Kathryn Tickell is from the North Tyne Valley of Northumberland and comes from a musical family of pipers, singers, fiddlers and accordion players. She took up the Northumbrian small pipes at the age of nine, and began learning tunes from old shepherd friends and family. Her work has evolved to traverse jazz, and music from around the world, to large-scale orchestral works. She has released 15 of her own albums to date, and has recorded and performed with Evelyn Glennie, the London Sinfonietta, Sting, and many others. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for services to folk music. Laura Cannell is a composer and violinist whose music straddles the worlds of experimental, folk, chamber and medieval music. She came to prominence with her debut album, Quick Sparrows over the Black Earth, and is known for her compositions that draw on the emotional influences of landscapes, and explore the spaces between ancient and experimental music. She’s also the founder of independent record label Brawl Records, and is curator of the Modern Ritual performance series. Amy Thatcher is one of the UK’s leading folk accordionists, who’s based in the North East of England. Her first album, Paper Bird, was recorded when she was just 16 years old, and she released her first album proper, Solo, in 2019. She’s worked with the likes of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Sting. Ruth Lyon is a folk and chamber-pop artist who has established herself as a key member of the music scene in Newcastle, UK. She grew up in the countryside of the North York Moors, inheriting a love of the outdoors as well as a sense of melancholy from the landscape, something that is instilled in the music she creates. Her most recent EP, Direct Debit to Vogue, showcases her soulful vocals and her witty, raw lyricism, expressing the power in fragility and the beauty in imperfection.
8/18/202337 minutes, 3 seconds
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The log drum is the new 808 with Busiswa, DJ Lag, Karen Nyame KG and Scratchclart

Busiswa, DJ Lag, Karen Nyame KG and Scratchclart talk about the impact of the pandemic on amapiano and gqom, what it was like getting back to the clubs when things opened up again, and the global rise in popularity of these genres. Busiswa is a singer and poet from South Africa. Her music career began when she featured on Sir Bubzin’s track Syaphambana in 2011, and she’s since gone on to feature on DJ Zinhle’s global hit My Name Is, as well as Beyonce’s My Power as part of The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. She’s released three studio albums, and her most recent single Lagos came out late last year. DJ Lag is a prolific DJ and record producer who is widely recognized as the king of gqom music, a genre of electronic dance music from Durban in South Africa. His bass-heavy, minimalist sound has pushed him into the upper ranks of the global electronic music scene, and last year he released his debut full-length album, Meeting with the King. Karen Nyame KG is a producer, DJ and broadcaster who has been one of dance music’s true innovators of the last decade. She’s been dubbed the Goddess of Rhythm, and is known for her energetic, polyrhythmic sound that is lighting up the clubs of London and beyond. Scratchclart is an electronic musician, DJ and record producer who is part of the fabric of grime music and UK funky. He’s the head of the highly respected DVA Music label, and in recent years he’s been building bridges between music scenes in the UK and South Africa, in particular with his DRMTRK series and his new EP Beyond Gqom & Grime.
8/11/202330 minutes, 37 seconds
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Music is escapism with Nitin Sawhney, Tim Burgess, Nainita Desai and Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Nitin Sawhney, Tim Burgess, Nainita Desai and Ayanna Witter-Johnson discuss how their family and cultural history impacts their creativity, being conscious of who they’re representing when creating, and how their output is a reflection of their changing identities. Producer, composer, and DJ Nitin Sawhney grew up studying the piano, guitar, sitar and tabla, and released his debut album Spirit Dance in 1993. Since then he has scored music for theatre, dance, video games and cinema, including the BBC TV series Human Planet. He’s also produced albums for the likes of Helene Grimaud and Anoushka Shankar, conducted and composed for the London Symphony Orchestra, and had his own BBC classical Prom. He’s also DJed at world-renowned London nightclub Fabric and has worked with Paul McCartney, Nelson Mandela, Joss Stone, Annie Lennox, Sting and Mira Nair. His new album Identity will be coming out this year on October 13th. Tim Burgess is a singer, musician, and record label owner, best known as the frontman of influential English rock band the Charlatans. He’s enjoyed an incredibly successful career in music, from releasing hit singles throughout the 90s to exploring the fabric of pop and rock in his books, as well as his ever-popular Tim’s Twitter Listening Party events on social media. Nainita Desai is an award-winning composer of film, television and video game music with a background in sound design. She creates powerful, emotive scores, and moves seamlessly from working with orchestras to using her collection of custom-made instruments. Some of her recent projects include The Reason I Jump, an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity, and the Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama. Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a composer, singer and cellist whose music crosses the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae, soul and R&B. She’s toured with the likes of Anoushka Shankar and Courtney Pine, recorded with Akala, and composed for the London Symphony Orchestra, effortlessly straddling different musical worlds.
8/4/202336 minutes, 58 seconds
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Secrets of African rhythms with Sampa the Great, Thandiswa Mazwai, Emmanuel Jagari Chanda and Mag44

Sampa the Great, Thandiswa Mazwai, Emmanuel Jagari Chanda and Mag44 discuss music standing the test of time, African music, and the new generation of musicians. Sampa the Great was born in Ndola in Zambia and became interested in music from a young age, writing poems and singing from the age of 9, spending time in both Zambia and Botswana. She released her first mixtape in 2015 whilst at university in Australia, and created a sound influenced by everything from classic hip-hop to Zamrock. Her latest album, As Above So Below, was released last September and came about after returning home to Zambia during the early days of the pandemic. Thandiswa Mazwai is one of the most influential South African musicians around today. She has been at the forefront of change in South African music since the late 90s with her politically-conscious lyrics and stunning vocals, both as a solo artist and lead singer of ground-breaking trio Bongo Maffin. Emmanuel Jagari Chanda is a founding member of the Zambian rock genre known as Zamrock, which blends rock with funk and African rhythms. He was the leader of the band Witch (We Intend to Cause Havoc) who were the first band to record a commercial record in Zambia in the 1970s. Magnus Mando, AKA Mag44, is a rapper and music producer who has expanded Zambia’s musical horizons. He started singing and rapping in church, before writing his own lyrics which gave birth to his career. He also co-produced Sampa the Great’s latest LP.
7/28/202336 minutes, 33 seconds
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You don't have to fit the mould, with Rara Sekar, Sandrayati, Ugoran Prasad and Rully Shabara

Indonesian musicians Rara Sekar, Sandrayati, Ugoran Prasad and Rully Shabara discuss music and social change, trying to thrive as musicians in the age of social media, and whether or not all musicians have an equal opportunity to succeed. Rara Sekar's career in music began as the vocalist for folk group Banda Neira, as well as a member of Daramuda. In 2020 she began her solo project hara, in which she creates a musical fusion inspired by folk, ambient and post-rock music. She is also an anthropologist, having completed a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington. Sandrayati is a Filipino-American singer who grew up in Java and Bali, whose music explores the pain and beauty of uprooting and planting yourself somewhere else. She possess a light, dream-like singing voice and has recently released Safe Ground, an album created in Iceland alongside Olafur Arnalds. Ugoran Prasad is a renowned Indonesian fictionist, dramaturg and musician who is perhaps best known for fronting modern rock band Majelis Lidah Berduri. Their restless, exciting sound has made them one of Indonesia’s most important indie bands over the last few decades, and they are currently working on their fourth studio album. Rully Shabara is an Indonesian artist and vocalist whose main musical interest lies in exploring the human voice as a medium of creation. He’s a genre-bending musician whose duo Senyawa are pushing the boundaries of experimental music in Indonesia.
7/21/202333 minutes, 6 seconds
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Becoming the people we want to be, with Gina Birch, Kathleen Hanna, Mark Moore, and Stephen McRobbie

Gina Birch, Kathleen Hanna, Mark Moore, and Stephen McRobbie how their teenage years influenced their path into music, how it felt to be doing something creative and combative for a living, and being at peace with themselves later in life. Gina Birch was inspired to form post punk band the Raincoats after seeing the Slits in 1977. They recorded their self-titled debut album that same year, and went on to record three further albums, the last of which was released in 1996. She is also a film-maker and painter, and staged her first solo show last year. After around 45 years in the business, she recently released her debut solo album I Play My Bass Loud. Kathleen Hanna is an American singer, musician and pioneer of the feminist punk riot grrrl movement. She co-formed punk band Bikini Kill in 1990, and went on to form Le Tigre in 1998, and The Julie Ruin in 2010. She’s currently on tour with Le Tigre. Mark Moore is a British dance music record producer and DJ. In 1998 he topped the UK chart with his pioneering dance act S’Express and their legendary track Theme From S’Express. He is engrained in the history of UK club culture and is hugely influential to both UK dance and pop music. Stephen McRobbie is the frontman and founder member of the cult Glasgow indie rock band The Pastels. They formed in 1981, have released 5 studio albums, and are cited as influences on everyone from The Jesus and Mary Chain to Primal Scream, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and Nirvana.
7/14/202329 minutes, 24 seconds
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Curating errors with Perera Elsewhere, Fever Ray, Paula Temple and Maral

Perera Elsewhere, Fever Ray, Paula Temple and Maral discuss how the space you’re in affects the music you write, the importance of mistakes or ‘curating errors’, and the significance of technology, particularly when music production software reaches new countries. Perera Elsewhere was born in London and grew up between the UK, Singapore, and Malaysia. She played guitar and trumpet as a child and was really influenced by pirate radio. Now based in Berlin, she’s part of the band Jahcoozi, and DJs as Mother Perera. She’s played shows at iconic venues including Berghain, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Hamburg Philharmonic. She performs in extraordinary stage outfits, and her music has been described as "doom-folk". Swedish singer-songwriter and record producer Karin Dreijer, aka Fever Ray, was one half of the electronic music duo The Knife, and released their debut solo album in 2009. They love to use masks, body paint and intricate costumes when they perform live. The UK’s Paula Temple is one of Europe's most in-demand techno artists. She’s a self-proclaimed “noisician” known for making awe-inducing techno, and co-runs the label Noise Manifesto. She’s a regular on the festival circuit, having recently performed at Time Warp, DGTL, Awakenings, and Extrema Outdoor. Maral is an Iranian-American DJ and producer. She takes snippets of Iranian folk music and poetry, and repurposes them as glitchy sound experiments to bring the Persian classical repertoire to the dancefloor, something she describes as "jamming with my ancestors". Her musical creations are driven by artful experimentalism, and last year she released her third album, Ground Groove.
7/7/202328 minutes, 12 seconds
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Quiet is the new loud with José González, Vashti Bunyan and Erlend Øye

José González, Vashti Bunyan and Erlend Øye discuss what draws them to create quiet music, how they approach playing it live, and its universal and trans-genre appeal. José González was born in Gothenburg in Sweden to Argentinian parents, and grew up listening to Latin folk and pop music. In 2003 he released his debut solo album ‘Veneer’. It featured a downtempo cover of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ which became an international success after being featured on a TV ad campaign. He’s celebrating the album’s 20th anniversary with a run of shows this year. Vashti Bunyan is an English singer songwriter who began her music career in the 1960s. She left London for the Outer Hebrides, travelling in a wagon drawn by a black horse called Bess, and wrote an album about the trip called Just Another Diamond Day. It was released in 1970, but had little commercial success. Vashti withdrew from music for 30 years, but by 2000, the album had acquired a cult following, and the second phase of her musical career began. Erlend Øye is a Norwegian best known for being one half of the indie-folk duo Kings of Convenience. He’s also front-man for the band The Whitest Boy Alive, is the co-founder of the independent label Bubbles Records, and plays extensively with trio La Comitiva.
6/30/202331 minutes, 34 seconds
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What Afro boom?! With Floyd Lavine, Lakuti, Coco Em and Desiree

Floyd Lavine, Lakuti, Coco Em and Desiree discuss where their inspiration comes from, the challenges of being an African artist trying to tour, and the Afro boom. Floyd Lavine's sound takes in influences from his childhood listening to Kwaito, soul, jazz and South African house, alongside the house and techno club sounds of London, and his adopted home town of Berlin. He runs his own label NomadiQ Music, and produces for international labels like Murmur and Lower East. Lakuti is a DJ born in Soweto in South Africa, who since the early 90s has organised underground parties around the world. In 2007 she founded Uzuri Recordings, and later Uzuri artist Management. She’s also a resident at Berlin’s legendary Panorama Bar. Coco Em is a photojournalist turned DJ who was born in Kenya. She’s the founder of the Nairobi-based femme collective Sim Sima, which is also the name of her label. Last year she released her debut EP, Kilumi. Johannesburg-based DJ and producer Desiree’s been making waves with her impeccable selecting skills and eclectic tastes. She co-founded Boys Club, an electronic music events movement which seeks to empower femme DJs. She released her debut EP, Femme Tech, last summer.
6/23/202332 minutes, 29 seconds
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Collaborating is like dating, with Melike Şahin, Kutiman, Dijf Sanders and Ah! Kosmos

Melike Şahin, Kutiman, Dijf Sanders and Ah! Kosmos discuss combining lyrics with music, working with others over long distances, and their favourite parts of the collaboration process. Melike Şahin was born in Istanbul, and developed a great interest in music as a child. After university she worked with Turkish psychedelic group Baba Zula, before beginning her solo career in 2017. Her sound navigates across Middle Eastern and Anatolian pop, and she collaborates with musicians from all over the world. Kutiman is an internationally revered producer, composer and animator from Israel who is constantly creating. He’s known for his dance and groove-orientated style, and prolific productions. He’s also responsible for the Thru You series, in which he mashes together unrelated YouTube videos to create original tracks. Dijf Sanders is a Belgian multi-instrumentalist and composer who specialises in experimental music and field recordings. Previously a member of synth-pop bands Teddiedrum and The Violent Husbands, his sonic universes explore electronica, jazz and psychedelia, enriching his sound with influences from across the world. Turkish composer, producer and performer Başak Günak, also known as Ah! Kosmos, uses polyrhythms and electronic composition to build immersive, mystical worlds of sound. Her works and sound installations have featured in festivals and institutions across the world, and as a performer she’s supported the likes of Sigur Rós, James Holden, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
6/16/202327 minutes, 40 seconds
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Meltdown special with Kokoroko, Soap&Skin, Django Django and Let's Eat Grandma

Ffour artists who are playing Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in London - Sheila Maurice-Grey from Kokoroko Anja Plaschg (AKA Soap&Skin), Django Django’s Vinny Neff and Let's Eat Grandma’s Jenny Hollingworth - where to find inspiration outside of music, how to overcome creative blocks, and what they might be doing in a parallel universe. Sheila Maurice-Grey is a London-based trumpeter, vocalist and visual artist who leads eight-piece afrobeat, soul, funk and jazz collective Kokoroko. They released their self-titled debut EP in 2019 and their debut LP, Could We Be More, in 2022. They have played across the globe at the likes of Glastonbury, Jazz à la Villette, SIM São Paulo, Boiler Room, and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Anja Plaschg, AKA Soap&Skin, is an Austrian experimental singer-songwriter. She’s released three albums, including From Gas to Solid/You Are My Friend in 2020. You might have heard her music in the TV series Breaking Bad or the film Sicilian Ghost Story, or even seen her on screen acting in the Austrian movie Stillleben. Vinny Neff is the singer and guitarist from British art rock band Django Django. He’s fresh from cooking up their fifth album, Off Planet, and they’re gearing up to tour this summer. Jenny Hollingworth is one half of ‘sludge pop’ group Let's Eat Grandma. Last year they released their third album Two Ribbons, and they also scored the soundtrack for the Netflix series The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself.
6/9/202330 minutes, 41 seconds
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Insular worlds with Peter Gregson, Dobrawa Czocher, Dom La Nena and Sebastian Plano

Cello players Peter Gregson, Dobrawa Czocher, Dom La Nena and Sebastian Plano discuss working with new collaborators, overcoming creative blocks, and how to define success. Peter Gregson took up cello at age four after seeing James Bond sled down a mountainside on a cello case in The Living Daylights. You may have heard his cello solos in the soundtrack to the BBC's Sherlock series, or on the album ÷ (Divide) by Ed Sheeran. He released his latest solo album, Patina, in 2021. Dobrawa Czocher is a Polish cellist who started playing at the age of seven. She’s an award-winning chamber and orchestra musician, and her motto is to never stop growing. At the start of 2023, she released her debut solo album, Dreamscapes. Brazilian-born, Paris-based cellist Dom La Nena spent her teenage years studying cello in Buenos Aires with the renowned Christine Walevska, before a pop apprenticeship backing Jane Birkin. She’s one half of Birds on a Wire, and her stage name translates as “Dom the Little Girl”, an allusion to her time as a child prodigy. Sebastian Plano is an Argentinian cellist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, who is best known for his unique approach to music creation: Uninterrupted nights playing and recording every single note by himself in his Berlin studio, layering each musical phrase at a time.
6/2/202327 minutes, 52 seconds
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200th episode: Best of the guests with John Grant

John Grant celebrates Music Life’s 200th episode with highlights from the shows to date. Nearly 800 singers, producers, DJs, visual artists, and performers have come to have a chat on the show so far, sharing their experiences and unique perspectives on their lives as musicians. To celebrate this milestone, this week we’re looking back at some of the best conversations from the series, featuring the likes of alt-pop artist Santigold, soul singer Gregory Porter, rock singer Skin from Skunk Anansie, rock legend Elvis Costello, video game composer Olivier Deriviere and Uruguayan legend Jorge Drexler. They take us on a journey through the songwriting process, discussing the merits of simplicity vs technique in recording, revealing insights into the processes of big stars, considering how to deal with the biggest topics within music, looking at the bigger picture, and finally the future of the music world. And yes, that involves AI! In its 4 years or so to date, Music Life has joined the dots between every genre of music imaginable and featured artists from every corner of the globe. We’ve heard Hans Zimmer explain how he went from playing in a new wave pop band to composing for the biggest films in the world, Santigold on how to use songwriting as an opportunity to make social commentary, Moonchild Sanelly on what she can’t say in her music, David Byrne on the pressure to do something different, Lykke Li on going it alone, Dele Sosimi on sustaining creativity, Angel Olsen on trying to not make ‘normal’ music, Kranium on how he made his best chorus, Iggy Pop on genre-crossing, Eris Drew on the importance of positivity in dance music, Mykki Blanco on the role of resistance in their work, and Becky Hill on how to write the perfect hit.
5/26/202349 minutes, 18 seconds
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We are superconductors with Deena Abdelwahed, 3Phaz, Aïsha Devi and débruit

Deena Abdelwahed, 3Phaz, Aïsha Devi and débruit discuss the effect of using computers when writing music, dealing with the press and their labelling, and converting studio music into a live set. Deena Abdelwahed is a producer and DJ from Tunisia. She arrived in France at the age of 26 after earning her stripes in the Tunis scene as part of the Arabstazy collective. She has played for Boiler Room, and at iconic Berlin club Berghain. 3Phaz is a Cairo-based DJ obsessed with bass, distortion, and the deconstruction of the Shaabi aesthetic. If you don’t know it, Shaabi is an Egyptian musical genre coming from working-class roots and is the core of popular music in the country's streets. His self-titled debut album came out in 2020, and he describes his music as “post-Shaabi”. Aïsha Devi is a Swiss-Nepalese producer who co-founded the experimental club label Danse Noire. She applies meditation techniques in her approach to production, and describes herself as a “radical alchemist”. Her latest release was her EP S.L.F. (Spirit Liberation Front) in 2019, and she won the Swiss Music Prize in 2020. Xavier Thomas, aka débruit, is a French artist and musical explorer who imagines alternate worlds and the way they'd sound from his adopted home of Brussels. He explores complementary culture clashes, combining elements that have never existed together before. He’s also part of KOKOKO!, a collective born in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
5/19/202325 minutes, 44 seconds
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Navigating barriers with Phil Selway, Hannah Peel, Valentina Magaletti, and Errollyn Wallen

Phil Selway, Hannah Peel, Valentina Magaletti, and Errollyn Wallen discuss how to progress from a blank page to a room full of musicians, navigating barriers to development, and balancing the various demands of being a musician. Phil Selway grew up in Oxfordshire and met his Radiohead bandmates at school. They formed the band in 1985 and released their debut album Pablo Honey in 1993. They’ve released nine studio albums to date. Phil’s debut solo album, Familial, came out in 2010, and he recently released his third solo album Strange Dance. Hannah Peel is a Mercury Prize and Emmy-nominated composer, musician, artist and broadcaster. Her music is primarily electronic and often includes classical scoring and sound design, with references to the links between science, nature and music. As well as solo releases, she has also composed soundtracks and collaborated with artists such as Paul Weller, John Foxx and Phil Selway. Valentina Magaletti is a drummer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, with an inventive approach to drums and percussion. She moves effortlessly between the seemingly disparate worlds of alternative and mainstream music. She’s played with artists such as Jandek, Mica Levi, Sampha, Kamasi Washington, and Nicolas Jaar. Errollyn Wallen is a multi award-winning Belize-born British composer and performer. Her output includes 22 operas and a large catalogue of orchestral, chamber, and vocal works. She composed for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games and for the climate change conference COP26. In 2020, she was awarded a CBE for services to music.
5/12/202333 minutes, 8 seconds
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Eurovision special with Sam Ryder, Mr. Lordi, Teya and Poli Genova

Sam Ryder, Mr. Lordi, Teya and Poli Genova discuss writing for Eurovision, how it impacts their creative process, and how they handle nerves on stage. Sam Ryder was inspired to get into music after seeing Sum 41 in concert when he was 11. He took up the guitar after seeing Lordi win Eurovision in 2006, and was also influenced by David Bowie and Queen. He co-founded a band called The Morning After, and during the first Covid lockdown he started posting cover songs on TikTok, which caught the attention of Elton John, Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys. One of the songs he wrote during the pandemic was called Space Man; it went on to be the UK's 2022 Eurovision entry, finishing second behind Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra. Mr. Lordi is the lead singer and costume maker of Finnish heavy metal group Lordi. The monster mask-wearing band won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with Hard Rock Hallelujah. Poli Genova's music career began aged 4, as a member of the children’s ensemble Bon-Bon. Since then, she’s represented Bulgaria at Eurovision twice, has appeared as a coach or mentor on The Voice of Bulgaria and X Factor Bulgaria, has had three #1 singles, and hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. Teya is one half of Teya & Salena, the first-ever female duo to compete for Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest. They’re entering this year’s competition with a song about being possessed by the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe.
5/5/202328 minutes, 41 seconds
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Kindred spirits with Soweto Kinch, Esperanza Spalding, Eska and Tumi Mogorosi

Soweto Kinch, Eska, Esperanza Spalding and Tumi Mogorosi discuss responding artistically to lockdown, changing the ways they create and release music, and the latest idea they got excited about. Soweto Kinch was born in London to a Bajan father and British-Jamaican mother, and began learning saxophone at the age of nine. He discovered jazz in his teenage years and subsequently fell in love with it, with early influences including Wynton Marsalis and Frank Holder. He established the Soweto Kinch Trio in 2001, and has released albums on themes ranging from austerity and modern slavery, to mathematics. His most recent project, White Juju, came out last December, recorded alongside Lee Reynolds and the London Symphony Orchestra. Eska is a vocalist, composer and producer with Zimbabwean heritage who grew up in London. She makes genre-hopping soul music with folk, jazz, reggae and classical influences. Her eponymous debut album was nominated for the 2015 Mercury Prize. South African drummer Tumi Mogorosi's music transcends labels and styles. His flexible, powerful drumming brings a distinctive South African inflection to the polyrhythmic tradition of Elvin Jones, Max Roach and Art Blakey. His powerful new album Group Theory: Black Music came out last July. Esperanza Spalding is a Grammy-award winning bassist, singer and composer from Portland, Oregon, who has consistently pushed boundaries and married genres in her illustrious career. She’s a breathtaking performer who has made her mark not just as a virtuoso jazz bassist or incredible singer, but as a hybrid of the two.
4/28/202336 minutes, 2 seconds
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Game changers with Gaye Su Akyol, Dana Colley, Marc Ribot and Via Mardot

Gaye Su Akyol, Dana Colley, Marc Ribot and Via Mardot discuss who they would most like to collaborate with, how they deal with the politics of the industry, and which musician or band has been a game changer in their lives. Gaye Su Akyol was born in Istanbul to an artistic family. Her father Muzaffer Akyol was a painter, and her mother loved Turkish classical music. She listened to a lot of Turkish jazz and psychedelia growing up, along with bands like Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, which influenced her own songwriting. Her latest album is called Anadolu Ejderi (Anatolian Dragon), and one of her biggest inspirations is her home town of Istanbul. Dana Colley is a saxophonist from Massachusetts in the USA. He was the co-founder and baritone and tenor saxophone player in the band Morphine, and also a visual artist who studied at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Marc Ribot is an American guitarist whose work has touched many styles, including no wave, free jazz and Cuban music. He’s known as the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of people: Tom Waits, Robert Plant and Elvis Costello, to name a few of the stars he’s worked alongside. Via Mardot is a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist from Detroit. Her music has been heavily influenced by film music - classical, exotica, spaghetti westerns, noir - and she even plays the theremin!
4/21/202325 minutes, 16 seconds
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La Linea Latin music festival special with Francisco Carrasco, N. Hardem and Chapulines

Francisco Carrasco and N. Hardem are joined by Graciela Zaera Moraña and Beto Robledo Zaragoza of the band Chapulines to discuss creativity and the songwriting process. These four Latin American artists, who are on the line-up of this year’s La Linea Festival in London, UK, talk about their most constant themes in song writing, writing songs in different languages, the spiritual nature of Spanish literature and playing to audiences from different cultures. Francisco Carrasco is a Chilean musician who leads the band Grupo Luma. Born in Santiago but based in the UK, he’s a dynamic musician who plays everything from guitar and cuatro to congas and panpipes. He’s led art events across the world, including the Merseyside International Street Festival, as well as delivering lectures in universities across the UK, South Africa and Latin America. N. Hardem is a Colombian MC, beat maker and producer, and one of the country’s finest wordsmiths. He is the lead MC of British-Colombian ensemble Mestizo, an innovative group building musical bridges between Colombian folk and London hip-hop. Spanish violinist Graciela Zaera Moraña and Mexican singer Beto Robledo Zaragoza are part of Belgium-based band Chapulines. They play an interpretation of son jarocho, a traditional Mexican music genre from the southern state of Veracruz, and take inspiration along the way from the rhythms and sounds of Cuba, Colombia and the Caribbean.
4/14/202325 minutes, 18 seconds
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Sounds from the blockchain with Mark de Clive-Lowe, Iman Europe, dot and Pat Junior

Mark de Clive-Lowe, Iman Europe, dot and Pat Junior talk about financial equity for independent artists, building community with your fans and the future possibilities of using blockchain tech. Mark de Clive-Lowe was born in Auckland and started piano lessons when he was 4. In high school in New Zealand and Japan, he fell in love with sample-heavy 90s hip-hop and early UK drum’n’bass. He lived in London for a decade, where he helped to evolve the broken beat genre, and then later moved to LA. If you see him play live, you might catch him remixing classic jazz records in real-time, or joined by instrumental masters like Kamasi Washington, Pino Palladino or Eric Harland. Last year he released Freedom: Celebrating the Music of Pharoah Sanders. Iman Europe is a singer, lyricist and writer from Los Angeles, California. She specializes in crafting relatable lyrics through a hip-hop/soul/R&B fusion. Her latest single Surrender came out last year. Pat Junior is a hip-hop artist, writer, producer and sound designer. He describes himself as the ‘Gold Fanged Medjay’, making music and art that serves the wellbeing of others. Earlier this year he released the single ‘need that!’ Kate Ellwanger, aka dot, is the founder and CEO of Unspeakable Records, an all-female label of producers and musicians, and member of beat collective Team Supreme. She’s based in Los Angeles, and she’s a producer, DJ, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who fuses electronic, indie rock, and R&B elements.
4/7/202327 minutes, 45 seconds
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Being a fox or a hedgehog, with Molly Rankin (Alvvays), Tracyanne Campbell, Mac DeMarco and Molly Nilsson

Molly Rankin, Tracyanne Campbell, Mac DeMarco and Molly Nilsson talk about whether or not you need to be social to make your best work, whether you’re a creative fox or a hedgehog, and how much of yourself to expose in your work. Molly Rankin grew up in a musical family on the remote island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada. Her father was a professional folk musician, and she started writing music with her neighbour Kerri MacLellan as a teenager, before forming Alvvays in 2011. They won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in 2018, and last October released their third album Blue Rev. Tracyanne Campbell is a singer from Glasgow who formed the band Camera Obscura in 1996. Their first album was released in 2001 and was produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian. They have since gained a cult following and released five LPs to date. She’s also one half of Tracyanne & Danny with Danny Coughlan. Canadian Mac DeMarco was once described as the “lovable laid-back prince of indie rock” by the New York Times. His latest album, Five Easy Hot Dogs, came out earlier this year and was recorded during a road trip from Los Angeles to New York. Berlin-by-way-of-Sweden synth-pop singer Molly Nilsson produces and performs all her music solo, and is determined to find magic in the everyday. She released her tenth album, Extreme, last year.
3/31/202331 minutes, 35 seconds
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Collaboration is the gift that keeps on giving, with Baaba Maal, Tricky, Jah Wobble and Chi-Chi Nwanoku

Baaba Maal, Tricky, Jah Wobble and Chi-Chi Nwanoku discuss the influence of African musical roots and traditions in Western classical music, the importance of collaboration, and rhythm and its position in the song writing process. Baaba Maal was born into a family of fishermen in the north of Senegal, but rather than go into the family business, he studied music in Dakar and Paris. Since then, he has recorded 14 albums, worked on the Black Panther soundtrack, and collaborated with Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Mumford and Sons and U2. Tricky is an icon of the hugely influential Bristol music scene. He grew to prominence as a member of the genre-defining act Massive Attack, before launching his own successful solo career working with Neneh Cherry, Björk, and Bobby Gillespie. In 2021 he released his latest album under the name Lonely Guest, which featured Lee “Scratch” Perry, Idles’ Joe Talbot, and Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith. Jah Wobble is a music enthusiast, bass guitarist, and singer from East London. He met John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten, at college, and following the Sex Pistols' break-up, they formed Public Image Ltd. When he left the band, his solo projects led him to collaborate with a broad range of artists including Brian Eno, Chaka Demus, and Baaba Maal. Chi-chi Nwanoku is a classical double bass player from London, who took up the instrument aged 18 after her sprinting career was cut short by injury. As well as being a successful musician, she is also the founder and director of a foundation which supports Black, Asian and ethnically diverse classical musicians, and was awarded a CBE for services to music and diversity in 2022..
3/24/202332 minutes, 51 seconds
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Singing for the rain to come, with Ana Moura, Pedro Mafama, Herlander and Pongo

Ana Moura, Pedro Mafama, Herlander and Pongo discuss celebrating music that is tied to its place of origin, moving away from home to carve out a musical career, and discovering the happy parts of their song writing. Ana Moura is a fado singer born in Santarem, Portugal to an Angolan mother and Portuguese father. Introduced to fado music at a young age by her parents, she’s performed the traditional Portuguese music all over the world, including collaborations with legends such as Mick Jagger and Prince. Her latest album, Casa Guilhermina, came out in 2022 and is a tribute to her grandmother. Singer and producer Pedro Mafama's multifaceted sound draws from Portuguese aesthetics, as well as the African and Islamic past of the country. Herlander is a producer, composer, and singer who’s been making waves in Lisbon’s underground music scene, and lighting up venues across the city with his playful yet experimental sound. Angolan-Portuguese singer, dancer and pioneer of Kuduro music Pongo has previously featured as a guest on Music Life. She performed with Buraka Som Sistema for two years before releasing her first EP Baia in 2018, and released her full length album Sakidila in April last year.
3/17/202328 minutes, 51 seconds
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The bottom is the top and the top is the bottom, with Sun-Mi Hong, Jen Shyu, Mark Guiliana and William Parker

Sun-Mi Hong, Jen Shyu, Mark Guiliana and William Parker discuss art as an outlet to process grief, and how touring is the best way to meet interesting people. Sun-Mi Hong is a jazz drummer and composer. She was born and raised in Incheon, South Korea, but moved to Amsterdam in 2012 to study music. She’s since made her mark on the European jazz scene and in 2017 formed the Sun-Mi Hong Quintet, performing original contemporary compositions as well as improvised jazz music. Her latest album “Third Page: Resonance” was released in November 2022. William Parker is a double bassist who is a giant of the American avant-garde jazz scene. His boundary-pushing antics over the last 40 years have led him to being labelled "the most consistently brilliant free-jazz bassist of all time", as well as playing next to some of the greats, including pianist Cecil Taylor and David S Ware. Mark Guiliana is a drummer and composer known for his technical mastery and genre-shifting abilities. Whether it’s acoustic jazz, boundary-stretching electronic music or next-level rock, he’s become one of the most influential drummers of his generation. He’s worked with David Bowie, and former Music Life guests Meshell Ndegeocello and St Vincent. Singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu is widely regarded for her virtuosic singing and riveting stage presence. Her extensive career has seen her study traditional music and dance all over the world, and she speaks 10 languages and plays 10 instruments.
3/10/202326 minutes, 10 seconds
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The courage to seek the unknown with Liraz, Derya Yildrim, Adrian Younge and Ladybug Mecca

Liraz, Derya Yildrim, Adrian Younge and Ladybug Mecca discuss art as propaganda, the exhaustion of performing on stage and having the courage to seek the unknown. Liraz is an Israeli-Iranian singer, musician and actress. In 2022 she released her album Roya, a collaboration between musicians from Israel and Iran. Adrian Younge is a former Music Life host and self-taught musician who re-imagines soul, jazz, funk and hip-hop into his own sound. He’s scored for film and TV, and has produced the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z. He’s also the co-founder of the Jazz Is Dead label with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Derya Yildirim is a saz player and lead vocalist of Anatolian psych-rock outfit Grup Şimşek. Her lush vocals draw inspiration from Turkish folk traditions, and with the band makes dancefloor-friendly reinterpretations of a classic sound. Ladybug Mecca is a New York rapper from the legendary group Digable Planets. She grew up in a musical household; her Brazilian parents were Jazz musicians, and her mum was a singer.
3/3/202328 minutes, 24 seconds
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Distinguishing what you love from who you are with Mia Gladstone, ROMderful, Maiya Blaney and Emmavie

Mia Gladstone is a New York based singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and programmer. Her genre bending style incorporates the cutting up of Jazz, Funk, and R&B, before reassembling it for the social media age. Promoting messages of self-acceptance, compassion, and creative freedom her Loopy project in 2022 explored gender, identity, social media, and the complexities of the human mind. Rommel Donald, better known as ROMderful, is a British producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer on the rise. Currently based in Seoul, South Korea, his slick, woozy, and experimental production style blends Pharrell Williams with Flying Lotus. Maiya Blaney is a singer from New York who released her debut album 3 in 2021. She writes about the nuances of human connection and emotion, and how they play big parts in the machinations of everyday society, soundtracked through the influence of jazz and soul. She also collaborated with Mia Gladstone on her Loopy project. Independent R&B singer Emmavie says she’s "addicted" to music, and that being an independent artist means working every day “with no PR, no label and quite often with no money”. She’s collaborated with the likes of Kojey Radical, Alfa Mist, and fellow guest ROMderful. Together they discuss the pain of song writing, processing emotions, being the vessels for their art and music, defining success and being nerds. In part two, ROMDerful shares a playlist of music he’s called Different Parts Of Your Adventure On The Road. It features tunes from Louis Cole, Hello Yello, Children of Zeus and Poom.
2/24/202334 minutes, 8 seconds
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Becoming your own muse, with Amelia Moore, REI AMI, G Flip and Royal & the Serpent

Amelia Moore, REI AMI, G Flip and Royal & the Serpent discuss favourite lyrics, the power of the second verse, getting inspiration in the shower, learning to become more vulnerable and how their upbringings influence their music. Amelia Moore is a singer and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, whose future pop sound is inspired by artists including Frank Ocean, SOPHIE and Flume. Having started playing violin at the age of 4, she taught herself piano and started writing songs at 13, before producing for other artists by the age of 16. During the pandemic she started sharing songs on TikTok, which led to a record deal and her debut EP, in a whirlwind journey she describes as “homeschool to Hollywood”. REI AMI is a South Korean-born, US-raised singer whose breakout single Snowcone went viral in 2019. Her rebellious pop sound has earned support from Billie Eilish and former Music Life guest FINNEAS, and her debut mixtape Foil was released in 2021. G Flip is an Australian singer, producer and drummer who makes synth-driven indie pop with vulnerable, relatable lyrics. Their powerful single Waste of Space reflects on and celebrates their non-binary identity. Royal & the Serpent is an American singer who blends rock guitar riffs and heavy hyperpop drums with experimental industrial sounds and deeply personal lyrics. Her latest EP, Happiness is an Inside Job, came out in October last year.
2/17/202326 minutes, 8 seconds
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Creating space to disappear with Sarathy Korwar, Nwando Ebizie, Sandunes and Abel Selaocoe

Sarathy Korwar, Nwando Ebizie, Sandunes and Abel Selaocoe discuss diversifying the classical music space, balancing capitalistic forces with creativity, and creating space in which to disappear. Sarathy Korwar is a composer and percussionist whose music combines jazz, Indian classical, Indian folk and electronic influences. His latest record, KALAK, explores what the past, present and future are, and how they interact. Nwando Ebizie is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work combines music, performance art and ritualistic dance from the African diaspora. She has released music under the alter ego Lady Vendredi, who she describes as a time-travelling pop star from another dimension. Sanaya Ardeshir, AKA Sandunes, is a composer, producer and pianist from Mumbai, India, who incorporates elements of dance and jazz to create something wholly unique. She describes her sound as rhythmic meditations on the future of pop and electronic music. Abel Selaocoe is a South African cellist and singer whose work blends everything from African dance rhythms to 18th-Century sonatas. His latest record, Where Is Home, wanders through his musical life so far, which sees him beatboxing a song about his nephew and singing counter melodies taught to him by his mother.
2/10/202331 minutes, 56 seconds
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Dancing between spaces with Santigold, Black Thought and theOGM of Ho99o9

Santigold, Black Thought and theOGM of Ho99o9 discuss how best to balance information and imagery, how being an artist is about dancing between spaces, the importance of not overthinking your art, and how to write an arena banger. Santigold is a singer and producer whose music is influenced by everything from hip-hop and punk, to gospel and reggae. Born in Philadelphia, she began her musical career writing for other artists, and performing in a punk band, before releasing her self-title debut album in 2008 to huge critical acclaim. Bringing things up-to-date, 2022 saw Santi put out her fifth studio album Spirituals, the first release on her own label Little Jerk Records. Tarik Trotter, AKA Black Thought, is an American rapper and actor who is regarded as one of the most important MC’s of his time. He was the lead MC of the Philadelphia-based hip-hop group The Roots, and has recently released a new album in collaboration with Danger Mouse called Cheat Codes. theOGM, from the band Ho99o9, is an American musician whose fusion of hip-hop and industrial metal simply hasn’t been done before. They’re known for visceral live shows and have worked with some of the greats across metal and punk, including Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and The Prodigy.
2/3/202331 minutes, 32 seconds
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Music is a mayhem of joy with Dele Sosimi, Angélique Kidjo, the Allergies and Shingai

Dele Sosimi, Angélique Kidjo, the Allergies and Shingai discuss discuss why music is their calling, loving the bass, being custodians and transmitters of messages, the importance of preserving music and putting it into a new space, and why making music is like your subconscious, creative self sending you messages. Dele Sosimi is a Nigerian-British singer and keyboard player, whose career went into overdrive at the height of the Afrobeat in the 1970s, joining Fela Kuti’s legendary group Egypt 80. Currently he performs in three ensembles and lives for his live shows, which release his passion and unrelenting spirit. Beninese singer, actress, and activist Angélique Kidjo is known for her striking voice, electric stage presence, and her fluency in multiple languages. She’s a creative force, having released 16 albums and winning five Grammy Awards. Zimbabwean-British singer Shingai spent more than a decade as the frontwoman and bassist of indie-rock band Noisettes. Her soulful and mesmerizing sound mixes up her London world with her Bantu and Zimbabwean heritage. DJ Moneyshot and Rackabeat, a.k.a. the Allergies, are a duo from Bristol, UK, who’ve made it their mission to turn vintage sounds into modern dancefloor bangers. Inspired by the golden eras of funk, soul and disco, they’re known for their infectious grooves and bold basslines.
1/27/202330 minutes, 55 seconds
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More is more, with Σtella, Michelle Gurevich, and Las Palabras

Σtella, Michelle Gurevich, and Las Palabras discuss the difference between writing in your first or second language, insisting you use major chords in your work to sound happy, why the songs that live in your head are always so simple, and why more is actually more. Greek singer Σtella started out focusing on visual arts before getting into music, studying at Athens School of Fine Arts. Her sound combines indie, synthpop and folk music, drawing on Greek instruments such as the bouzouki and giving a modern twist. Michelle Gurevich is a Canadian singer known for her intimate ballads that combine humour with dark realism. She was brought up on her parents' collection of Soviet and ‘70s European records, and creates a decadent yet dramatic sound that sells out shows across Eastern Europe and beyond. Rafael Cohen - AKA Las Palabras - is a Guatemalan-American singer and bassist who plays bass for rock band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). His current project arose out of a desire to write songs in his native language of Spanish, despite not being very proficient, and creates charming songs that draw on the sounds of Brazilian popular music, American soul and the traditional sounds of Mexico.
1/20/202329 minutes, 36 seconds
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Musical catastrophe with November Ultra, Barbara Pravi, Mélissa Laveaux, Yael Naim, and Pi Ja Ma

November Ultra, Barbara Pravi, Mélissa Laveaux, Yael Naim, and Pi Ja Ma discuss writing songs from their beds, catastrophe in music, feeling connection to family, and being a bad musician away from the public. November Ultra started singing at the age of three in Paris with with her Spanish mother and Portuguese father. She embraces the many facets of folk, R&B and the Iberian music traditions she grew up with. Barbara Pravi is one of the biggest stars in French chanson. Her powerful and passionate vocals have drawn comparisons with icons such as Édith Piaf and Jacques Brèl, and in 2021 she came second in the Eurovision Song Contest with her song, Voilá. Mélissa Laveaux is a Haitian-Canadian performer known for her poetic lyrics and unique guitar style. She sings in both English and Haitian Creole, and her adventurous songwriting sees her do everything from reinterpreting long-lost Haitian tunes to exploring the lives of resilient women that history has cast aside. Yael Naim is a Franco-Israeli singer and multi-instrumentalist who, in a 20 year career, has created a sound world that stretches from upbeat piano pop to introspective and emotional music. Pi Ja Ma started out busking covers of Patti Smith and The Velvet Underground. After taking part in French talent show La Nouvelle Star aged 17, she’s gone on create bold tracks with lush arrangements that are inspired as much by ‘60s pop as contemporary indie-pop.
1/13/202332 minutes, 38 seconds
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Breaking the mould, with Jockstrap, Flux Pavilion and Mala

Jockstrap, Flux Pavilion and Mala discuss writing music on games consoles, passing the baton between each other in collaboration, music connecting in the right time and place, and hearing your songs in a club. Jockstrap are Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye, a duo from London who are changing the indie world with their genre-bending debut album I Love You Jennifer B. The pair met when Georgia was studying jazz and spotted Taylor wearing tartan pyjamas on his way to do his laundry. They meld together a kaleidoscopic blend of pop, disco, jazz, dubstep, with classical influences, impressionistic lyrics, and lush melodies. For more than a decade, electronic producer and dubstep trailblazer Josh Steele, aka Flux Pavilion, pioneered new bass sounds for the dancefloor, before co-founding the influential Circus Records label. He’s now in a new era of productivity, using analog synth-driven melodies to create new soundscapes. Pioneering dance music producer and DJ Mark Lawrence, aka Mala, changed UK dance music forever with the creation of dubstep, slowing down the tempo, increasing the snap of the percussion, and adding shelf-wobbling, ear-splitting bass to the music. He’s also the co-founder of production duo Digital Mystikz.
1/6/202334 minutes, 43 seconds
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Robot bandmates with Weyes Blood, Patrick Watson, Flume and Caroline Shaw

Patrick Watson, Weyes Blood, Flume and Caroline Shaw discuss why perfection is a route to self-sabotage, having to play by the rules as a new artist, the pressure to be more candid and expose more of your personal life, and the ability of new technology to revolutionise music creation. Singer, film composer and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Watson was born in California but raised in Montreal, Canada. He performed in local church choirs and played keyboards in a high-school ska band before co-writing several tracks with The Cinematic Orchestra. Joining him is alt-pop singer and multi-instrumentalist Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood. She says she speaks to inspire the romanticism that is in us all with her gloomy sonic explorations. Harley Streten, aka Flume, is a Grammy Award-winning musician, DJ and producer from Australia, known for his melodic, layered electronic sound, blending future bass and pop. Caroline Shaw is a composer and violinist who is one of the leading figures in contemporary classical music. She began playing the violin at two years old, and in 2013 became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
12/30/202230 minutes, 31 seconds
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Recording in wintry moments, with Angel Olsen, Julianna Barwick and Marissa Nadler

Angel Olsen, Julianna Barwick and Marissa Nadler discuss going to the movies on Christmas Day, wanting to chill out over the holiday, why they try to not make ‘normal’ music, creating a rough exterior of your personality, and getting lost in landscapes. Angel Olsen is a guitarist, singer, and poet from Missouri, USA who sings about romantic crises, life on the road, forgiving yourself for making mistakes, betrayal, and perseverance. Julianna Barwick is a singer who experiments with loops of her voice to create huge cinematic landscapes. She takes the listener on widescreen psychic journeys; her work is inspired by growing up in a church choir. Folk and Americana singer, guitarist, and visual artist Marissa Nadler is from Nashville, Tennessee. Her work glides between dreamy folk music, black metal and meditative ambient music, culminating in a sound that is deeply intimate and endlessly creative.
12/23/202232 minutes, 15 seconds
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Songwriting is like keeping a flower alive, with Skin, Nona Hendryx and Paolo Nutini

Skin, Nona Hendryx and Paolo Nutini discuss writing songs in your dreams, knowing when to grab at an idea, why playing piano can take you to places you have no right to go, and fighting on stage. Skin grew up in a Jamaican family in Brixton, London, and as a child, wanted to be a pianist. She formed Skunk Anansie in 1994 and they became pioneers of the Britrock scene, speaking out against racism, homophobia and sexism. She was also the first Black artist to headline the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival when the band performed there in 1999. Vocalist, songwriter, producer, author and actress Nona Hendryx was a member of the pioneering girl group Labelle in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, her avant-garde solo career has taken in everything from hard rock to RnB to house music, and she intends to become a cyborg and still make music. Following an 8 year absence from the music scene, Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini is back with his latest project Last Night in the Bittersweet, and pop superstar Lewis Capaldi has declared himself a huge fan.
12/16/202234 minutes, 24 seconds
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When the heart beats, the music happens, with Seckou Keita, Julie Fowlis, Anandi Bhattacharya and Richard Bona

Seckou Keita, Julie Fowlis, Anandi Bhattacharya and Richard Bona discuss why words are easy, story-telling being a family tradition, feeling free with the melody, and finding the confidence to experiment. Seckou Keita was born in Ziguinchor in Senegal and is descended from the Griots – a family of musicians and storytellers whose tradition is passed down from one generation to the next. Cameroonian Richard Bona is one of the world’s most acclaimed bass players, and has played with the likes of Oumou Sangaré, Buena Vista Social Club and Sting. Julie Fowlis is a world-renowned folk singer from Scotland. She has been deeply influenced by her early upbringing in the Outer Hebrides, and sings in the Gaelic language, as well as enjoying exploring many other traditions. Anandi Bhattacharya is originally from Kolkat, India, and started singing at the age of three. Despite being rooted in the Indian classical tradition from her musical family, she embraces both traditional and contemporary vocal styles.
12/9/202232 minutes, 5 seconds
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Wearing the appropriate footwear to perform with Nyokabi Kariūki, Moor Mother, Edward Wakili-Hick and KMRU

Nyokabi Kariūki, Moor Mother, Edward Wakili-Hick and KMRU discuss yelling to the universe, why making music is easy, quick thinking collaborations, what experimentalism means to them, and struggling through your processes. Nyokabi Kariūki grew up in Nairobi and played classical piano from an early age, before moving to New York to study composition. Her sound is guided by a love for experimentation, improvisation and collaboration. KMRU, a sound artist and musician who is also from Nairobi, is one of the leading exponents of Kenya’s experimental music scene. His hypnotic ambient music is made up of environmental sounds and field recordings; he’s also the grandson of the influential Benga and gospel artist Joseph Kamaru. Nigerian-British musician and drummer Edward Wakili-Hick is a member of renowned jazz quartet Sons of Kemet. His most recent project, Nok Cultural Ensemble, draws on Afro-diasporic percussive traditions to create a sound that looks both to the past and the future. Poet, musician and educator Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, is one of the most in-demand musicians around. Her sound delves into free jazz, soul and Black classical traditions.
12/2/202229 minutes, 48 seconds
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Creating music is selfish with George Fitzgerald, SOAK, Marie Davidson, Mount Kimbie's Kai Campos and TOKiMONSTA

George Fitzgerald, SOAK, Marie Davidson, Mount Kimbie's Kai Campos and TOKiMONSTA discuss how they make their music matter in today’s transient world, whether an artist’s work has to have a clear narrative, having to live with music that you're not 100% happy with, and accidentally writing knock-offs of your favourite artists. George FitzGerald is one of the most popular electronic producers and DJs in the UK right now. He was raised on garage and dubstep in his early years, before moving to Berlin to work as a translator and falling in love with the city's house and techno scenes. French-Canadian producer Marie Davidson's hypnotic style combines analog synthesizers and drum machines with “spoken text” vocals, leading to a prolific career both as a solo artist and member of creative trio L’Œil Nu. SOAK is a thought-provoking singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. Their effortless intimacy and moving lyrics have marked them as a voice for their generation, writing honest and introspective tracks that are mature beyond their years. After expanding the horizons of the dubstep scene in the late 2000s, Mount Kimbie's Kai Campos has gained a reputation for being an innovative producer, lending his skills to the likes of James Blake, King Krule and slowthai. TOKiMONSTA is a producer, DJ and prominent member of LA’s underground dance music scene. She creates a futuristic style of electronic music that touches pop and instrumental hip-hop, and is also the boss of the Young Art label.
11/25/202234 minutes, 53 seconds
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Singing in your own accent, with Amahla, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tiana Major9, and Simeon Hammond Dallas

Amahla, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tiana Major9, and Simeon Hammond Dallas discuss using music to freeze life, how much to reveal about yourself in a song, creating worlds through lyrics and crying in the studio. British soul singer-songwriter and Nile Rodgers mentee Amahla grew up in a Caribbean household, and her songwriting is inspired by a love of literature and activism. Multiple Grammy-winning artist Corinne Bailey Rae's soul-rooted indie sound helped her shoot to fame in 2006 with her self-titled debut album, and she’s since collaborated with the likes of Mary J Blige, Al Green, Paul McCartney, and Stevie Wonder. Tiana Major9 is a singer-songwriter and Grammy nominee signed to Motown Records. Her track Collide, with EarthGang, featured on the soundtrack to the film‘Queen & Slim and was nominated for a Grammy. She blends influences from jazz, soul, and her Jamaican heritage. Singer-songwriter Simeon Hammond Dallas fuses country, blues, and soul music to create her own brand of UK Americana.
11/18/202232 minutes, 37 seconds
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Learning is a lifelong process, with Thomas Attar Bellier, Dina El Wedidi, Alsarah, Alain Johannes, and Ali Güçlü Şimşek

Thomas Attar Bellier, Dina El Wedidi, Alsarah, Ali Güçlü Şimşek and Alain Johannes discuss collecting sound memories from birth, Egypt's rich tradition of melodies, the power of modal music, why folk music is fundamentally old-school pop, and adapting traditional instruments for modern listening. Thomas Attar Bellier is a French-American musician and producer from the Arab garage rock outfit Al-Qasar. They combine instruments like the oud and the darbuka with Fender amps and drum kits to create a sound that unites East and West. Prolific Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi plays a mixture of folk, fusion and contemporary music. She’s been mentored by Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil, and Time Magazine declared her “a future leader for the next generation”. Alsarah is a Sudanese-American singer-songwriter and ethnomusicologist. After fleeing from Sudan aged 8 she’s gone on to create music that she calls "East African retro-pop” with Alsarah & the Nubatones. Musician and producer Ali Güçlü Şimşek has been one of the biggest names in Turkish rock over the last 20 years. His current band Lalalar are making waves in the Turkish psych scene with their fusion of retro basslines, dirty electro beats and old samples from Turkey’s rich psych-rock heritage. Chilean-American musician Alain Johannes has toured with Dave Grohl’s Them Crooked Vultures and formed the band Eleven. He's also worked extensively with the likes of PJ Harvey and the Arctic Monkeys. They’ll be talking
11/11/202236 minutes
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Thinking of taxes while performing with Alela Diane, Rhiannon Giddens, Mariee Siou and Uwade

Folk musicians Alela Diane, Rhiannon Giddens, Mariee Siou and Uwade discuss that spark of electricity you get when songwriting goes well, how moments of personal growth and transition affect the music, going a whole year without writing a song, thinking of taxes while performing, and how songs are their own little houses or realms that have their own energy. Alela Diane is a singer and guitarist based in Oregon, USA. She would often hear her parents harmonize bluegrass songs in the kitchen, which inspired a move to San Francisco aged 19, and started her on a path to a musical career that has garnered fans all over the world. Rhiannon Giddens is a Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist and former Music Life host. She was the lead singer, violinist, banjo player and co-founder of the old-time string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, and her solo work covers everything from country to opera and hip-hop. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Mariee Siou makes ethereal and transcendental folk music, which draws inspiration from her indigenous heritage and an upbringing spent going to bluegrass festivals. Uwade is a young singer-songwriter born in Nigeria, who started writing music during her studies in New York. Her sound is influenced by everything from Greek mythology to choral hymns to Nigerian highlife.
11/4/202234 minutes, 38 seconds
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Unspoken communication with Harvey Sutherland, Yu Su, Paul Woolford and Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa

Harvey Sutherland, Yu Su, Paul Woolford and Stella Mozgawa discuss treating yourself (psychologically), the power of non-verbal connection, the thrill of being in a room together, producing new and experimental music in China, and nature’s ability to inspire. Harvey Sutherland is a 'neurotic funk' producer and synth player from Australia. Yu Su is a composer, DJ, producer, instrumentalist and prominent member of Vancouver’s underground dance scene. Born in the Henan province of China, she creates elegant downtempo electronic music, which has been described as “organically groovy jazz-bient expeditions”. Paul Woolford is one of British dance music's most important and most respected producers and DJs, with a career now pushing 20 years. Stella Mozgawa is an Australian drummer and producer, probably best known for being in the indie rock band Warpaint. She’s also played with the likes of the xx, Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and Tom Jones, and produced artists including Australian rock royalty Courtney Barnett.
10/28/202232 minutes, 54 seconds
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Get weirder with Cakes Da Killa, Nita Aviance, Rochelle Jordan and Eli Escobar

Cakes Da Killa, Nita Aviance, Rochelle Jordan and Eli Escobar discuss the current climate of dance music, being inspired by the nightlife of New York City, and how to turn painful experiences into music. Brooklyn-based rapper Cakes Da Killa’s music blends ‘90s grit with club beats, with witty, unapologetic lyrics that promote Black excellence and LGBTQIA+ visibility in the hip hop world. Nita Aviance is a producer and DJ who is one of the most prominent figures in New York’s LGBTQIA+ nightlife scene. Originally a trained percussionist, jazz singer and dancer, she was inducted into the legendary House of Aviance and has had DJ residencies across New York City. Rochelle Jordan is a singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada, whose gritty and experimental R&B sound has seen her gain a cult following. She’s released four albums since 2011, and collaborated with the likes of Childish Gambino and Jimmy Edgar. Eli Escobar is a DJ and producer who has been tearing up clubs in New York and beyond over the last two decades. He’s built a unique sound that combines his love of hip-hop, disco, dance music and remixing, and also runs his own label, Night People NYC.
10/21/202233 minutes, 30 seconds
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We’re emotional wrecks, with Poppy Ajudha, Maverick Sabre and Madison McFerrin

Poppy Ajudha, Maverick Sabre and Madison McFerrin discuss how much they try to cater to an audience when songwriting, the backlash that can come from political and social comment in songs, and the complexities of expressing their identities through music. Poppy Ajudha is a singer-songwriter from London, UK whose music fuses pop, jazz, soul and R n’ B with politically-charged lyrics. Her songs have received over 25 million streams and in 2019 she featured in Barack Obama’s Best of the Year playlist. Maverick Sabre is a platinum-selling London-born Irish singer, songwriter and rapper. After being nominated for a BRIT Award in 2011, he’s gone on to collaborate with the likes of Jorja Smith, Akala, and former Music Life guest Kojaque. Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and producer Madison McFerrin was born into a family of celebrated vocalists, but has forged her own career in music, creating a sound which seminal producer Questlove dubbed "soul-appella".
10/14/202230 minutes, 22 seconds
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Exploring darkness, with Lamb of God, Diamanda Galás, Malevolence, and Inger Lorre

Metal and hard rock stars Diamanda Galás, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Inger Lorre and Malevolence frontman Alex Taylor discuss balancing the emotion with the noise, recording in Charlie Chaplin’s studio, and how an artist's duty is to reflect the times. Alex Taylor is the lead singer of the heavy metal band Malevolence, from Sheffield in the UK. They’re known for their ferocious sound and live shows, and have supported some of the biggest names in heavy metal including Trivium, Architects and Lamb of God. Singer, pianist and avant-garde luminary Diamanda Galás has gained a huge cult following for her violently compassionate music and stunning four-octave vocal range. American singer Inger Lorre fronted the seminal glam-punk band Nymphs in the 1990s. She is an underground icon and has worked with the likes of Jeff Buckley and Iggy Pop. Randy Blythe is a true legend of heavy metal who is the frontman of one of the genre’s most important bands of the last 30 years, Lamb of God. His band have released 10 studio albums and taken their thunderous sound to sold-out stages across the world.
10/7/202232 minutes, 48 seconds
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Quieten the mind through music, with Jitwam, GAIKA, Elle Shimada, and Nabihah Iqbal

Jitwam, GAIKA, Elle Shimada, and Nabihah Iqbal discuss what it means for your music when the place you’re from can’t be easily described, why they like making music when they’re bored, how musicians don’t think about genre when they’re creating music, and why listening to their own music at the gym is an odd experience. Jitwam is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist creating music that fuses funk with disco, punk and hip-hop. He’s based in New York but born and raised in India, Thailand and South America. His latest record, Third, explores the idea of finding peace within the chaos of daily life. GAIKA is a south London-based artist, writer and musician whose music pairs dancehall rhythms and melody with imposing electronic beats. His parents were from Grenada and Jamaica, and those influences appear in his music in dark and twisted forms. Elle Shimada is a violinist, producer and DJ from Tokyo but now based in Melbourne, who uses abstract compositions and dance beats to create music inspired by the futuristic underground sounds of Tokyo and beyond. Nabihah Iqbal, once known as Throwing Shade, is a British-Pakistani DJ, producer, guitarist, and songwriter who originally pursued a career in law before turning to music. She blends her influences in new wave and shoegaze with electronics and heartfelt lyrics.
9/30/202230 minutes, 57 seconds
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Marinating in the vibe of a track, with You Me at Six, PVRIS, A Day to Remember and Cody Frost

You Me at Six's Josh Franceschi, Lynn Gunn of PVRIS, Cody Frost and A Day to Remember's Jeremy McKinnon discuss getting protective over their own original ideas, writing with people from different styles and genres, releasing music at 4am in the morning, and the importance of liking your own music. Josh Franceschi founded You Me at Six in 2006 with a group of school friends, and since then they’ve released seven studio albums of pop-punk and rock. Their most recent album SUCKAPUNCH reached number 1 in the UK album charts back in 2021 and sees them introducing dance, R&B and hip-hop elements into their sound. Lynn Gunn is the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist from the band Pvris. After releasing their hugely successful debut album White Noise in 2014, her band have continued to prove they’re one of the most innovative groups in rock right now, blending explosive, rhythm-driven rock music with atmospheric electro-pop. Jeremy McKinnon is the singer, producer and frontman of A Day to Remember. He’s been releasing his incredible fusion of metalcore and pop-punk music since 2004 and has also lent his production skills to some of the best bands in the scene, including The Devil Wears Prada and Neck Deep. Cody Frost is a young singer-songwriter and tattoo artist who makes maximalist electro-pop-punk music. She started out uploading covers to YouTube after teaching herself piano and guitar, and her debut mixtape TEETH was released in 2022. She's also recently been collaborating with You Me at Six.
9/23/202232 minutes, 1 second
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Don't eat junk food, with Tkay Maidza, Lolo Zouaï, and Chiiild

Tkay Maidza, Lolo Zouaï and Chiiild discuss why making music feels like having a superhero persona, the importance of sticking to the truth in lyrics, enjoying the search for inspiration, and why song writing is mostly just about talking to your collaborators. Tkay Maidza is a Zimbabwean-Australian multi-talented singer-songwriter and rapper. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe before moving to Australia when she was five years old, she originally trained for a tennis career, then studied architecture, before becoming a full-time musician. She also supported Billie Eilish on tour earlier this year. Yonatan “xSDTRK” Ayal is a singer and producer who leads the Canadian experimental Soul group Chiiild. He blends psychedelia, retro soul, and modern R&B. He’s also produced the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azelia, Rob Thomas, and former Music Life guest Jacob Banks. French-born, American-based R&B and Pop musician Lolo Zouaï grew up on a musical diet of hip-hop, classic French chanson, and Algerian rai music. She's recently supported Dua Lipa on tour.
9/16/202231 minutes, 57 seconds
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The in-betweens of sonic space with Nandele, Batida, Turkana, and TYGAPAW

Nandele, Batida, Turkana, and TYGAPAW discuss how the sounds of Africa, and the African diaspora, influence their music, as well as the links between music and movement, how they make music to connect to home and the country they were born in, and why being ‘okay’ with your music is not good enough. Nandele is a DJ and producer from Mozambique, whose journey has taken him from the city of Maputo to the worldwide stage with his Afro-futurist sound, fusing instrumental hip-hop, dubstep, trap, and psychedelia. Batida is a musician and producer who was born in Angola, and is now based in Portugal. He’s become a major player in Lisbon’s underground electronic scene with his Kuduro-influenced sound. Turkana is a South Sudanese DJ and producer who was raised in a refugee settlement in Kenya, and is now based in Uganda. Her hard dance style has taken the Ugandan electronic scene by storm, and has led to performances for the hugely popular Boiler Room. TYGAPAW is a Jamaican DJ, producer, and multidisciplinary artist who brings techno and Jamaican dancehall music together in the nightclubs of Brooklyn, New York.
9/10/202231 minutes, 31 seconds
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You can’t force creativity, with Lynks, Xenia Rubinos, Bingo Fury and NewDad's Julie Dawson

Ahead of the End of the Road festival in Dorset, England, Lynks, Xenia Rubinos, Bingo Fury and NewDad's Julie Dawson discuss the power of specificity when writing lyrics, how they find inspiration by writing from the perspective of fictional characters, and how the moment that you feel most creatively stuck is the moment just before you figure it out. Julie Dawson is the lead singer of the Irish alternative indie rock band NewDad. They formed as teenagers in Galway, inspired by bands such as The Cure and Pixies, and crafted a sound that brings together elements of shoegaze and dream pop. They’ve only released two EPs so far but are already creating a buzz with indie music fans. Lynks is regarded as a cult sensation in London’s underground music scene. Known for their hard-hitting lyrics and incredible outfits, their exciting and unpredictable brand of industrial pop is selling out live shows across the UK, bring together music, drag and theatre. Xenia Rubinos is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, New York, whose music combines aspects of R&B, electronic pop and Caribbean rhythms. With her powerful vocals and raw energy, she has been critically acclaimed for a sound that crosses genres and breaks boundaries. Singer and musician Bingo Fury conjures up dark experimental post-punk-inflected jazz. His way with words has been compared to American beat poets from the 1950s, and he’s an exciting name in the diverse music scene of Bristol, UK.
9/2/202231 minutes, 12 seconds
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I'm always singing out of tune, with ANOHNI, Hannah Peel, Hayden Thorpe and Purity Ring's Megan James

ANOHNI, Hannah Peel, Hayden Thorpe and Purity Ring's Megan James discuss questions including what their music might sound like in an alternate universe. Hayden Thorpe is the frontman from the now disbanded Wild Beasts, and has moved to the north of England where his solo albums are inspired by the nature that surrounds him. UK-born singer, songwriter, and visual artist ANOHNI has had an eclectic career as a solo artist and as a member of the Mercury Prize-winning Antony and the Johnsons. She’s also been nominated for an Academy Award, and creates thought-provoking music that ask questions of those in power, gender imbalances, and climate change. Megan James is a member the duo Purity Ring. Formed in Edmonton, Canada, they are known for their crystal clear synth sounds, hypnotic melodies, and corporeal, metaphorical lyrics. Hannah Peel is a composer, producer, and radio broadcaster born in Northern Ireland and raised in the North of England. Her music explores electronic, classical, and traditional sounds, and is often inspired by science and nature.
8/26/202231 minutes, 50 seconds
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Genres are a game with ÌFÉ, Matthew Halsall, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Maria Chiara Argiró

Otura Mun, Matthew Halsall, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Maria Chiara Argiró discuss how capitalism affects their music making, how the weight of history can alter their own creations, and the role of competitiveness has in the creative process. Otura Mun is a producer, percussionist, and band leader for the Afro-Caribbean ensemble ÌFÉ. He mastered the art of DJing, then got into west African drumming, before making a trip to Puerto Rico and staying there for 19 years. Matthew Halsall, is a composer, trumpeter, producer and DJ who’s at the forefront of the UK jazz music scene. He’s also the founder of Manchester's well-renowned Gondwana Records. American jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant is known for her unique voice and passion for storytelling. At 21 years old she won first prize at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and since then has received various accolades for her dynamic musical style. Maria Chiara Argiró is an Italian jazz musician based in London with an incredibly diverse musical background. After training as a jazz pianist she played in the post-punk band These New Puritans, and has now released an exciting electronic concept album, Forest City.
8/19/202232 minutes, 2 seconds
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Songwriting anger with Baby Queen, Powfu, Mae Muller, and Dylan Fraser

Baby Queen, Powfu, Mae Muller, and Dylan Fraser discuss why there’s always a little bit of “theft” in trying to sound like your heroes, why writing a song is multiple moments over extended periods of time, the snowball effect of starting in one place and ending in another, and how putting your phone down will inspire you. Music Life this week – once again – covers the musical spectrum in one show. Baby Queen is a South African pop singer who got her record deal during the first lockdowns of 2020. Her music covers themes of insecurities and self-esteem, and this this year she made the longlist for BBC’s Sound of 2022 in the UK. Lo-fi Canadian singer, rapper and record producer Powfu’s lyrics talk about the perils of adolescence. His track Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head) dominated TikTok in 2020, and achieved over a billion streams on the big music platforms. English singer-songwriter Mae Muller's soulful blending of pop and R&B is turning heads, and her lyrics are known for being frank and funny. Scottish musician Dylan Fraser's 2020 debut EP received 5 million global streams, and earned him fans including Sam Smith and Sir Elton John. He makes brooding alt-pop inspired by everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Joni Mitchell.
8/12/202230 minutes, 34 seconds
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Melody rules all with Rostam, Lykke Li, Hatis Noit, and Barrie

Rostam, Lykke Li, Hatis Noit, and Barrie discuss what their favourite sounds are, their favourite stages of the songwriting process, and why they dislike working with producers, preferring to go it alone. Born in Washington DC to Iranian parents, Rostam was a founding member of Grammy-winning indie-pop band Vampire Weekend, and is now an in-demand producer and musician. He has worked with the likes of Haim, Solange and Frank Ocean, as well as releasing music under his own name. Lykke Li is a Swedish singer and songwriter who has perfected the art of the sad song that you can’t help but dance to. Since 2007, she has released five studio albums blending elements of indie, pop and electronic music. Hatis Noit is a Japanese vocalist with an impressive range. Originally from Hokkaido but now based in London, her influences range from classical Japanese music to Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, avant-garde sounds and pop music. Barrie is a singer-songwriter and producer based in Brooklyn, New York, who makes lush, wistful art-pop.
8/5/202232 minutes, 39 seconds
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Don't underestimate boredom, with FINNEAS, Maggie Rogers, Sigrid and Röyksopp's Svein Berge

FINNEAS, Maggie Rogers, Sigrid and Röyksopp's Svein Berge discuss sticking to one musical identity, how making songs is like preparing a meal, and how to navigate other people’s expectations of their music. Sigrid began playing the piano aged seven. She’s released two studio albums, including 2022’s How To Let Go, and is currently one of the most essential names in pop. Viral folk-pop sensation Maggie Rogers is a multi-instrumentalist from Maryland, USA, whose music combines Folk, RnB, and electronic sounds. FINNEAS is probably best known for his work with his sister Billie Eilish. In a short career he’s already won 8 Grammys, co-written an Oscar winning James Bond theme and released his debut solo album in 2021. Svein Berge is one half of iconic Norwegian Electro-pop duo Röyksopp. They’ve released six studio albums of boundary-pushing music over a 24-year career.
7/29/202241 minutes, 57 seconds
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Welsh-language music with Gwenno, Lleuwen, Hollie Singer (Adwaith) and Lloyd Steele

Gwenno, Lleuwen, Adwaith's Hollie Singer and Lloyd Steele discuss how they’ve been welcomed by the Welsh language community in the UK, why Welsh music needs an image change, and how they use language to express themselves through music. Gwenno is a Welsh singer, songwriter and electronic musician who started her career in the retro indie-pop group the Pipettes. She has three albums to date, and sings in both the Welsh and Cornish languages. Hollie Singer is the vocalist from Welsh indie lo-fi group Adwaith, whose debut album Melyn won the Welsh Music Prize in 2019. Guitarist Lloyd Steele, formerly of noisy five-piece Y Reu, is gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting Welsh musicians as he embarks on a solo career. Lleuwen is a jazz-folk singer and classically trained vocalist who takes inspiration from Welsh hymns and Celtic musical traditions, writing and performing in the Celtic languages of Welsh and Breton.
7/22/202231 minutes, 23 seconds
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Rebel against what's expected, with Poliça, Erika Dohi, Real Estate, Twin Shadow and Bessie Turner

Poliça's Channy Leaneagh, Erika Dohi, Real Estate's Martin Courtney, Twin Shadow and Bessie Turner discuss the creative process during the pandemic, learning to not put too much pressure on themselves, and what dream concept album they would make if they had infinite time and resources Channy Leaneagh has played violin in folk-rock bands, played as part of 25-piece Minnesotan indie-rock group Gayngs, and collaborated with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. In 2011 she founded the band Poliça, who fuse elements of RnB, experimental indie, dance music, and electronic sounds. Erika Dohi is a New York-based pianist originally from Osaka, Japan, with an eclectic musical background. She has worked on everything from traditional classical music to improvisation, and her debut album I, Castorpollux is as technical as it is emotional. Bessie Turner is a singer songwriter known for her stunning soulful voice, whose beautiful brand of alt-pop has received praise from DJs across Europe. Martin Courtney is from the indie-rock band Real Estate. The American singer and guitarist is known for his dreamy soundscapes and jangly guitar sounds that have dominated the genre during the last decade. Twin Shadow is a Dominican-American singer, songwriter and record producer whose energetic synth-pop sound takes inspiration from Dominican bachata and has achieved huge critical acclaim.
7/15/202230 minutes, 44 seconds
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Take courage and say something with Branko, Rita Vian, Dino D'Santiago and ZenGxrl

Branko, Rita Vian, Dino D'Santiago and ZenGxrl discuss creating music in post-pandemic Lisbon, the balancing of new and traditional sounds, and loving the flaws of the voice. DJ and producer Branko draws inspiration from the music and the people across the Portuguese-speaking world, first as part of rap group Buraka som Sistema and then as a standalone artist, fusing techno and global club sounds with Zouk and Angolan Kuduro music. Rita Vian is a Portuguese singer who combines both traditional fado and electronic sounds. Her 2020 single Purga was named as one of Tidal's best songs of the year. Singer and former Music Life host Dino D’Santiago is one of the biggest names in Portuguese music, and his most recent album BADIU connects electronic music, Zouk, and hip-hop. ZenGxrl is an exciting new DJ and model who has been playing sets in some of the best clubs across Portugal.
7/8/202230 minutes, 19 seconds
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Writing is therapy, with Natalia Lacunza, Birdy, Matt Maltese and Silvana Estrada

Natalia Lacunza, Birdy, Matt Maltese and Silvana Estrada talk about the importance of being your own friend, out-of-body experiences when playing live, how being in the studio is like being a child again, and how they find the middle ground between self-doubt and ego. Spanish singer-songwriter Natalia Lacunza's music career was kickstarted by her appearance on the TV singing competition Operación Triunfo. Her music blends elements of bedroom pop with electronic overtones and heartfelt lyrics. Mexican singer and composer Silvana Estrada's music reimagines the legacy of Latin American song in her own personal, poetic style. She has performed internationally with artists including former Music Life host Jorge Drexler. Matt Maltese's sweeping indie ballads have taken TikTok by storm, and led him to be described as "the UK’s answer to Father John Misty". His track As the World Caves In has over 200 million streams on Spotify. UK singer-songwriter Birdy first shot to fame at the age of 14 with her cover of Bon Iver’s track Skinny Love. She’s since released four albums of her own magical indie folk, and her music has featured on the soundtrack of films such as The Hunger Games and The Fault In Our Stars.
7/1/202229 minutes, 56 seconds
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Keep your music in the fridge with QuinzeQuinze, Bonnie Banane, HSRS, Sébastien Forrester and Photay

Bonnie Banane, HSRS, Sébastien Forrester, Photay and QuinzeQuinze's Tsi Min discuss downloading ideas, why music is like a dish with an infinite number of ingredients, and the importance of not drowning in words. Tsi Min formed the French-Tahiti group QuinzeQuinze with a bunch of close friends who met at art school in Paris. Their music is electronic in nature, but draws on the sounds and traditions of their French-Polynesian heritage. French alt-pop star Bonnie Banane has a unique experimental sound that blends R&B and electronic music, and is known for some pretty eccentric music videos. Julie Bessard, otherwise known as HSRS, is a transgressive pop artist from France who started singing and producing in 2004 under the moniker BESSA. Sébastien Forrester is a French-British drummer and composer who was formerly known as Holy Strays. After spending lots of time in Gabon growing up, he developed a passion for percussion, particularly the Bwiti ritual drums. Photay is an electronic music producer based in New York, who is a master of combining natural and synthetic sounds. Being introduced to Aphex Twin at the age of nine provided him with the foundation for his musical journey, and he’s also a member of the Afro-Latin electronic collective WEMA.
6/24/202231 minutes, 28 seconds
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Do weird stuff and have fun doing it, with Nova Twins, Dream Wife, Cassyette and Yonaka

Nova Twins, Cassyette, Dream Wife's Alice Go and Theresa Jarvis of Yonaka discuss how their music is like a lair full of poisonous frogs, writing in windowless rooms, how laptops have been an intimate sketchpad for the way they write music, making unusual sounds with smashed glass, and why a song doesn’t have to be personal to be meaningful. Nova Twins are one of the most exciting bands of the last 20 years. Amy and Georgia bring their metal energy to new audiences around the world, and have been friends since childhood. Alice Go is a guitarist and singer with Dream Wife, a punk band known for their lively on-stage performances and powerful feminist anthems. Theresa Jarvis leads the quartet Yonaka, who have gained a massive reputation in the British alt-rock scene for their heavy riffs and wild live shows. And London-based Cassyette's provocative blend of nu-metal and electro-pop has been winning fans since she dropped her debut single Jean in 2019.
6/17/202235 minutes, 5 seconds
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Meltdown festival with Jessie Ware, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dave Okumu and Eska

Jessie Ware, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dave Okumu and Eska discuss why you shouldn’t appease anybody with your music, loving the souls of your audience, keeping in your mistakes, why music is an essential part of existence, being a jack of all trades, and why finishing a song isn’t necessarily a process of letting go. The legendary Grace Jones curates this year’s Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre, London, so Music Life is bringing together a selection of artists playing, and some of their musical friends. Jessie Ware has sold millions of records all over the world. After receiving a Mercury Prize nomination in 2012 for her debut album Devotion, she has become one of the biggest names in pop over the last decade. German-born, US-raised bassist, singer, songwriter, rapper and composer Meshell Ndegeocello's prolific musical output mixes jazz, R&B, hip-hop, funk and rock, and she’s been nominated for 11 Grammy awards over the course of her career. Producer, guitarist, and The Invisible front man Dave Okumu has worked with the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Grace Jones, and is an institution in the British music scene. Vocalist, composer and producer Eska grew up in London with Zimbabwean heritage, and makes genre-hopping soul music with folk, jazz, reggae and classical influences.
6/10/202232 minutes, 34 seconds
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Music is abstract, lyrics are concrete, with Elvis Costello, Marisa Monte, Jorge Drexler and Leo Sidran

Elvis Costello, Marisa Monte, Jorge Drexler and Leo Sidran discuss how to create emotional lyrics, shouting to make yourself heard, arriving at the idea of a song through its title, competing with the scale of music, and working in multiple languages. Elvis Costello is a singer, songwriter, and producer who has sold millions of records both as a solo artist and with his amazing bands. His diverse genres and thoughtful lyrics have earned him various accolades including two Grammys, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Marisa Monte is widely recognized as one of the greatest Brazilian singers and composers of all time. She completely shook up the role of women in the Brazilian music landscape, by becoming her own producer, business, and artistic director. She’s received four Latin Grammys so far, and is one-third of Brazilian supergroup Tribalistas. Jorge Drexler is a musician, singer, and composer from Uruguay. He trained as a doctor, but soon realised he wanted to dedicate his life to music. He’s been releasing records for over 30 years, combining styles from across the Iberoamerican world. Latin Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leo Sidran's fascination with Spanish culture has led him to a celebrated career in music producing, composing and podcasting. Early in his career, he was “guided” on the drums by James Brown’s drummer Clyde Stubblefield.
6/3/202241 minutes, 54 seconds
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The colour of sound with Eyal El Wahab, Ana Kravanja, Kees Berkers, and Bex Burch

Eyal El Wahab, Ana Kravanja, Kees Berkers, and Bex Burch discuss being in love with an instrument, not really knowing what you’re doing, moving sounds through your body, and using instruments made out of pumpkins. Eyal El Wahab is a Yemeni-Israeli musician who leads the four-piece folk jazz group El Khat, based in Tel Aviv and featuring musicians from Iraq, Poland, and Morocco. Slovenian musician Ana Kravanja plays on traditional, classic, and self-made instruments. She is one third of Slovenian experimental folk band Širom, a band who play 12 instruments between them, and also works with 10-piece band Olfamoštvo. Dutch percussionist Kees Berkers created the band YĪN YĪN with Yves Lennertz back in 2017. Their music is greatly inspired by south-east Asian psych-pop, funk and disco grooves. British percussionist Bex Burch spent three years with virtuoso musicians in northern Ghana, where she learnt to play the gyil. She has gone on to form the Jazz trio Vula Viel.
5/27/202227 minutes, 5 seconds
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Being country is being yourself, with Scotty McCreery, Tenille Arts, Matt Stell and Hailey Whitters

Country music stars Scotty McCreery, Tenille Arts, Matt Stell and Hailey Whitters discuss scrapping all of their work after the pandemic, trying to fit in to country radio, relating to fans who go through the same struggles, and being true to yourself in your writing. Scotty McCreery is a singer-songwriter from North Carolina, USA, and he loves those mountains. And his truck. He started playing guitar at the age of 9 or 10, and sang at school and at church. At 16 he auditioned for American Idol, and went on to win the competition in 2011. Tenille Arts is orignally from Saskatchewan, Canada, but now based in Nashville. Her single Somebody Like That made history in 2021 as the first song written, performed, and produced by an all-female team to top the country charts. Matt Stell is a singer and guitarist from Arkansas, USA, whose massive hit Prayed For You spent two weeks at the number one spot in 2019 and catapulted him to the country big leagues. Hailey Whitters is one of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters. Born into a musical family in Iowa, she’s worked with the likes of Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, and Keith Urban.
5/20/202228 minutes, 40 seconds
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Eurovision 2022 with Cornelia Jakobs, MARO, Alexandra Rotan (KEiiNO), SuRie and Dami Im

Two of this year's Eurovision hopefuls, Cornelia Jakobs and MARO, meet three former contestants - SuRie, Dami Im and KEiiNO's Alexandra Rotan - to discuss how writing music in rooms with strangers is like speed dating, the expectation that fans have of their sound, why there’s no formula to win the competition, and the strength in simplicity. Susanna Marie Cork, better known as SuRie, was the 2018 UK entry for the competition. Dance-pop singer-songwriter Alexandra Rotan is a member of the super group KEiiNO, who represented Norway in 2019. Stockholm-based singer-songwriter Cornelia Jakobs is representing Sweden in this year’s Eurovision, taking place in Turin, Italy, while MARO is representing Portugal. Korean-Australian pop singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dami Im came second in the 2016 competition.
5/13/202233 minutes, 39 seconds
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Heal yourself, with Carlotta Cosials, Depresión Sonora, NAVXJA and BERNARDA

Spanish musicians Carlotta Cosials, Depresión Sonora, NAVXJA and BERNARDA discuss why the best ideas happen when you’re happy, improvising lyrics, understanding different ways of writing, getting into music because of heartbreak, washing dishes and riding your bike to get ideas, and living like a vampire. Carlotta Cosials is the lead singer of the Spanish group Hinds. Depresión Sonora's dark brand of post-punk has rocked Spain since his first release in May 2020. He expresses the anxieties and frustrations felt by many people going through difficult times. Barcelona-based musician and filmmaker BERNARDA, used to play bass in rock band Holy Bouncer, and is now creating soft pop sung in Catalan and Spanish. Colombian-Spanish musician NAVXJA has experimented with making everything from Bossa-Nova to straight-up electronic music. Her lyrics eloquently express her personal experiences and vulnerabilities.
5/6/202229 minutes, 26 seconds
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You can't please everyone with Enny, Priya Ragu, Hatchie and Miso Extra

Enny, Priya Ragu, Hatchie and Miso Extra discuss writing gibberish, why music is a form of catharsis and mindfulness, repurposing melodies, holding on to demos, and dealing with the haters. Enitan Adepitan, better known as Enny, is a London-based rapper, singer and songwriter who started on the mic at primary school. Her music blends sharp, honest lyrics with beats rooted in the gospel, jazz, hip-hop and garage she grew up listening to. Australian singer-songwriter Hatchie has been dubbed the “dream-pop idol of tomorrow”. Tamil-Swiss artist Priya Ragu’s forward thinking R&B has been supported by some of the biggest tastemakers around the world. Born to refugees of the Sri Lankan civil war, she was raised in the Swiss city of St Gallen before settling in East London. British-Japanese rapper, singer and producer Miso Extra grew up surrounded by a melting pot of sonic and cultural influences, which has resulted in a sound that blends old school hip-hop beats, progressive grooves and Japanese rapping.
4/29/202227 minutes, 2 seconds
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Song separation anxiety with Noon Garden, Go Kurosawa, Yukimi Nagano and Serra Petale

Noon Garden, Go Kurosawa, Yukimi Nagano and Serra Petale discuss why they’re happiest when they’re hitting things, seeing every song you make as if it’s your first, the importance of renewal to stay fresh, why you can’t be emotionally detached from your music, and the evolution of the demo to release day. Charles Prest, a.k.a. Noon Garden, is a British-Nigerian-Jamaican musician and founding member of the international psych band Flamingods, who have been creating funky psychedelic music inspired largely by the disco, funk and psychedelia that came out of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia in the ‘70s. Go Kurosawa is a Japanese drummer and vocalist from psychedelic band Kikagaku Moyo. Their sound is full of influences from Krautrock to classical Indian music, and they enjoy singing in an imaginary language. Swedish singer and songwriter Yukimi Nagano is the voice of electronic band Little Dragon. Serra Petale is a drummer and guitarist from international instrumental quartet Los Bitchos, whose love of both garage rock and Colombian cumbia is weaved through their fun and groovy sound. They’ll be discussing why they’re happiest when they’re hitting things, seeing every song you make as if it’s your first, the importance of renewal to stay fresh, why you can’t be emotionally detached from your music, and the evolution of the demo to release day.
4/22/202231 minutes, 50 seconds
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'I don't have an identity beyond music', with Planningtorock, Peaches, Hard Feelings and Colin Self

Planningtorock, Peaches, Hard Feelings and Colin Self discuss bullying themselves into releasing music, audio as a weapon against apathy, why there's no shelf life on great music, using music-making process as a tool for self-discovery, and making sounds with their bodies. Jam Rahuoja Rostron, also known as Planningtorock, is a singer-songwriter, producer, composer and director from Bolton, England now based in Tallin, Estonia. They experiment with electronic sounds, digital instruments, and manipulated vocals and sounds. Musician, producer and performance artist Peaches has spent the past two decades breaking barriers with her work. From Toronto, Canada, she plays with gender role representation, mixed with hard electronic sounds, and shocking live shows. American artist, composer and choreographer Colin Self, who’s based in New York and Berlin, works across multiple disciplines and practices, using voices, bodies and computers as musical tools interfaced into software. Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and singer Amy Douglas, better known as Hard Feelings, create an immersive experience that weaves together new wave, synthpop, and dance. Their debut album has been described as ‘an opera of sad bangers’.
4/15/202232 minutes, 9 seconds
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Songwriting is painful with Allysha Joy, Latanya Alberto, Joya Mooi and TEEKS

Allysha Joy, Latanya Alberto, Joya Mooi and TEEKS discuss why they like disagreeing, the balance between the sweet and the dark, feeling confident enough to share your story and feel vulnerable, and feeling the pain and joy in articulating your emotion perfectly in song form. Allysha Joy is a Melbourne-based soul and jazz singer, poet and performer, and is also the lead vocalist for the collective 30/70. Amsterdam-based neo-soul singer and songwriter Latanya Alberto started writing poetry as a teenager which has translated into her songwriting. Although she was born and raised in Amsterdam, she has strong connections to her Caribbean roots. TEEKS is a Māori soul singer from New Zealand. He says his culture continues to shape his sound and provides a throughline to his work. Singer, writer, and musician Joya Mooi is based in Amsterdam, with roots in Soweto, South Africa. She blends soul, alternative R&B, jazz, and electronic sounds.
4/8/202227 minutes, 13 seconds
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Best songs use the worst equipment with JyellowL, shiv, Kojaque and Gemma Dunleavy

JyellowL, shiv, Kojaque and Gemma Dunleavy, four key voices on the Dublin music scene, discuss the art of storytelling, the importance of showing up, and how being an artist is a walking contradiction. JyellowL is a Nigerian-born rapper based in Dublin, Ireland. Influenced by the city’s thriving underground hip-hop scene, his music is packed with socially conscious lyrics that deal with everything from racism to the climate crisis. His debut album 2020 Division was nominated for Irish Album of the Year at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Awards, and his track Ozone featured on the FIFA 20 soundtrack. DJ-turned-singer-songwriter shiv was born in Zimbabwe and raised in Ireland’s County Kildare. Her music blends lo-fi hip-hop beats with elements of R&B and neo-soul to create a sound which she calls “emotional escapism”. Her latest EP, The Love Interlude, was released in 2021. Rapper, producer and visual artist Kojaque was born and raised in Dublin. His sound blends elements of hip-hop and jazz with poetic lyricism. He co-founded Soft Boy Records in 2015, and has toured with the likes of Slowthai and Lana Del Rey, collaborated with Swedish-born rapper Luka Palm, and performed at festivals including SXSW and Glastonbury. Gemma Dunleavy is a songwriter, producer and north inner-city Dubliner known for experimenting with instruments like the harp and flute. She blends her love of pop and club music with traditional storytelling, and has collaborated with the likes of Murlo, DJ Sharda and Swing Ting. In her own words, her songs “each represent something I’ve experienced, someone I’ve been, someone I am or someone I’ve lost.”
4/1/202231 minutes, 22 seconds
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Clean the house before recording with Poppy Ackroyd, Büşra Kayıkçı, Sven Helbig and Hania Rani

Ahead of World Piano Day next week, Poppy Ackroyd, Büşra Kayıkçı, Sven Helbig and Hania Rani discuss not putting your thoughts on paper, why composing is a game, the frustration around discovering a melody that already exists, why humming is a good way of getting your ideas down, and thinking about songs for a couple of years before recording them. Poppy Ackroyd is a British composer, pianist and violinist who creates atmospheric music blending classical instruments with electronic music. Last year she released Pause, a collection of ten solo piano works composed shortly after the birth of her first child. Büşra Kayıkçı is a composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey, who brings inspiration from her background in architecture into her minimalist piano compositions. She also releases music on composer Nils Frahm’s record label Leiter Verlag. German composer, director, and music producer Sven Helbig is known for combining lush orchestral and choral music with electronic sounds. He’s worked with everyone from metal band Rammstein to synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Pianist, composer and singer Hania Rani's Esja was nominated for five Fryderyk awards in Poland. As well as composing for solo piano, she combines her voice, strings, and electronics to create incredibly dramatic works.
3/25/202229 minutes, 43 seconds
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The gaming community with Olivier Deriviere, Lena Raine, Joris de Man and Chipzel

Olivier Deriviere, Lena Raine, Joris de Man and Chipzel answer listeners' questions about making music for video games, in a special of edition of Music Life for the World Service Festival. The group will be discussing everything from composing vertically and horizontally, how to write music that reacts to your game playing, and easy ways of building energy, to using artificial intelligence in composition, balancing the music with sound effects, and arguing with yourself. Olivier Deriviere is a French video game music composer best known for his work on Alone in the Dark, the Streets Of Rage series, and Assassin’s Creed 4: Freedom Cry. His style blends traditional musical elements with unorthodox sound techniques. Lena Raine, is an award-winning American composer and producer best known for soundtracking acclaimed indie video games Celeste and Guild Wars 2, as well as composing for Minecraft. Dutch composer Joris de Man's eclectic style has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and BAFTA nomination, and he blends everything from glitchy electronica to orchestral sounds. His compositions include the Killzone franchise, Vainglory, and the blockbuster Horizon Zero Dawn. Niamh Houston, AKA Chipzel, is a Northern Irish composer who specialises in “chiptune” music. It’s a vintage, 8-bit computer sound and she still composes on a Nintendo Game Boy to write and perform her retro sounds. She has composed soundtracks for Super Hexagon, Interstellaria and Dicey Dungeons.
3/18/202232 minutes, 14 seconds
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Know the rules so you can break them, with L'Rain, Keyon Harrold, Hinako Omori and Sinkane

L'Rain, Keyon Harrold, Hinako Omori and Sinkane discuss not getting stuck on the details, the visceral versus the cerebral, why there's nothing like those vibrations in the room where you play, and why writing music is like walking to the shops. L’Rain is an experimental multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist from New York, who makes music that is an intoxicating blend of R&B, free jazz, noise music, and orchestral pop. She was also once in an Iron Maiden covers band. Jazz trumpeter, vocalist, songwriter, and producer Keyon Harrold was born into a musical family of 17 children. He’s provided instrumentation for Beyonce, 50 Cent, Jay Z, former Music Life guest Gregory Porter and Mary J Blige, as well as being a trumpet stunt double in the film Miles Ahead. Hinako Omori is a musician and producer with a love for synthesisers who was born in Yokohoma, Japan, and is now based in London. She’s worked with artists including Kae Tempest, EOB, and Georgia. You may recognise our host Sinkane’s voice, as the Sudanese-American multi-instrumentalist and singer has previously hosted the Music Life show, chatting to the likes of David Byrne, St Vincent, Cautious Clay, Emel Mathlouthi and Vagabon.
3/11/202234 minutes, 19 seconds
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The research project with Kiefer, Malaya, Mia Gladstone and DJ Harrison

Kiefer, Malaya, Mia Gladstone and DJ Harrison discuss music as an aural journal, forcing yourself to write, why making music is a good excuse to research what has gone before, and why half the battle when making music is consumed by complaining. Kiefer is a jazz pianist and producer based in Los Angeles, who expertly blends live jazz piano improvisation with electronic beats. He started producing beats at around the age of 12 before moving from San Diego to LA to study jazz piano under Kenny Burrell. He also co-produced Anderson .Paak’s Grammy-winning album Ventura. Singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Malaya started her professional career at the age of 16 on American Idol, and has since developed her own distinctive sound, blending jazz, hip-hop and soul. Singer-songwriter and producer Mia Gladstone blends jazz, pop and R&B influences and promotes a message of self-acceptance, compassion, and creative freedom. Producer, sampler, and multi-instrumentalist Devonne Harris, better known as DJ Harrison, learned to play the violin and percussion from a young age, before studying jazz and getting absorbed by his vast record collection.
3/4/202230 minutes, 58 seconds
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Carnaval do Brasil, with Thiago França, Beto, Maíra Freitas and Flaira Ferro

Thiago França, Beto, Maíra Freitas and Flaira Ferro discuss what it’s like to be a musician during Brazil's carnival season, how the festivities vary across the country, why it’s so closely linked to cultural identity, its magical rhythms, and why the festival also has a serious side. Thiago França, a composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist living in São Paulo, plays saxophone for the Afro-samba-punk trio Metá Metá and has contributed to albums by artists such as Criolo, Elza Soares and former Music Life guest Céu. He also runs A Espetacular Charanga do França, one of the biggest blocos (or street parades) in the Sao Paulo carnival. Roberto Barreto – also known as Beto – is a guitarist and composer who runs the independent DIY musical collective BaianaSystem, based in the Brazilian state of Bahia. BaianaSystem combine classic Brazilian Carnaval sounds with dub-heavy beats from Africa and the Caribbean. Maíra Freitas is a singer and pianist from Rio de Janeiro who initially trained to be a classical musician, but then developed a taste for Música Popular Brasileira (Brazilian popular music), also known as ‘MPB’. She is also the daughter of samba master Martinho da Vila. Flaira Ferro is a singer-songwriter and dancer of the Frevo style, a high-energy artform which originated in the Recife and Olinda carnivals. Her music is inspired by MPB, Gilberto Gil, and Antonio Nóbrega.
2/25/202227 minutes, 47 seconds
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Sleeping with your instruments with Elsa y Elmar, Will Joseph Cook, Soko and Jules Crommelin (Parcels)

Columbian spiritual pop artist Elsa y Elmar is joined by Will Joseph Cook, Soko and Jules Crommelin to discuss why musicians have negative thoughts while working alone, and how to preserve the unpredictable magic of the demo recording process. Now based in Los Angeles, French singer-songwriter, model, and actress Soko makes moody, sultry indie-pop music. After a musical hiatus, she returned in 2020 with her third album Feel Feelings, which tackles themes of queer love, therapy, toxic relationships, and motherhood. Jules Crommelin is lead singer and guitarist of Parcels, a funk-pop band based in Berlin, and formed in Byron Bay, Australia. Their debut electro-pop EP Clockscared caught the attention of French techno giants Daft Punk, with whom they collaborated on 2017 single Overnight. UK pop artist Will Joseph Cook taught himself music production and is a huge presence on Tiktok, where he posts videos on everything from how he crafts his music to songs he’s written about his favourite films.
2/18/202229 minutes, 42 seconds
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Kryptonite to my ears with Joel Culpepper, Mysie, Anaiis, and TYSON

Joel Culpepper, Mysie, Anaiis, and TYSON discuss navigating your own voice, knowing who you are, and the importance of not thinking about the mainstream or making music you hate. Joel Culpepper grew up in South London, where he was introduced to gospel music at church from a young age. He’s renowned for being one of the best and most consistent singers coming out of the UK, and has earned fans including Stevie Wonder, Paloma Faith, former Music Life guests Tom Misch and Kojey Radical. Mysie is a London-based artist with Ugandan roots. Her intimate brand of indie soul won her the 2020 Ivor Novello Rising Star Award. Drawing on influences from soul and hip-hop to contemporary R&B, she says her latest work is “about my relationship with love itself and wearing my heart on my sleeve”. TYSON grew up between London, Stockholm, Spain and New York. She’s from a musical dynasty which includes her mother Neneh Cherry, grandfather trumpeter Don Cherry, and sister Mabel. Anaiis is a French-Senegalese singer who spent time living in Dublin, Dakar, Brazil and the US, before finally settling in London, . Her music combines traditional Senegalese percussion and multi-linguistic vocals, with lyrics that explore her journey of self-discovery in life and art.
2/11/202229 minutes, 44 seconds
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Making your music sound 'human', with Heba Kadry, Sarah Davachi, Marta Salogni and Faten Kanaan

Heba Kadry, Sarah Davachi, Marta Salogni and Faten Kanaan discuss why limitations can push creativity, how instruments can be an extension of the body, and why sounding “human” is better than pure perfection. Egyptian-born, Brooklyn-based mastering and mixing engineer Heba Kadry has worked with the likes of Beach House, serpentwithfeet, the Mars Volta, Yaeji and former Music Life guest Mykki Blanco. She also collaborated with Bjork on the iconic Utopia album, and worked on a number of film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated biopic Jackie. Grammy-nominated engineer, producer and mixer Marta Salogni started out as a live sound engineer in her home town of Brescia, Italy, before moving to London in 2010. She has since worked at some of the city’s most renowned studios with artists including Bjork, M.I.A, fka Twigs and Frank Ocean. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for her involvement in Bon Iver’s i,i album. Inspired by cinematic forms and folklore traditions, Brooklyn-based composer and producer Faten Kanaan builds cyclical patterns in her music that she uses to tell stories. Having immersed herself in New York’s electronic scene during the late 2000s, her most recent release, the spellbinding A Mythology Of Circles, is inspired by classical mythology and medieval music. Canadian-born, LA-based composer and performer Sarah Davachi “builds temples out of tone”, and is best known for her minimalist electroacoustic sound. She has held residencies around the world and collaborated with artists such as William Basinski, Ariel Kalma and the London Contemporary Orchestra.
2/4/202227 minutes, 45 seconds
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Stay hydrated with Cakes Da Killa, UNIIQU3, Shaun Ross and Jubilee

Cakes Da Killa, UNIIQU3, Shaun Ross and Jubilee talk about how to tell if the track you’re working on is really hitting the mark, the spaces they’re creative in and what they look like, and their best – and worst – collaborations. Rashard Bradshaw, better known as the Brooklyn-based rapper Cakes Da Killa, blends ‘90s grit with club beats, dipping into electronic and house genres. His lyrics are witty, unapologetic, and promote Black excellence and LGBTQ+ visibility in the hip-hop world and the wider media. Shaun Ross is an LA-based singer-songwriter born and raised in New York. After studying dance and posting Voguing videos to YouTube, he caught the attention of a model agent and started his fashion career at the age of 16. He has appeared in videos by Katy Perry and Beyoncé, collaborated with Lizzo, and has teamed up with house music icon Duke Dumont. As a gay Black man with albinism, he has advocated for difference and representation across all avenues of his career, and last year he dropped his highly anticipated debut album SHIFT, inspired by all the music he loves including R&B, disco and pop. UNIIQU3 is the queen of the Jersey club scene. She brings together influences from house music, hip hop and breakbeat, and has established herself as one of the most in-demand producers. Jubilee is a DJ and producer from South Florida who says she’s been staying up all night for as long as anyone can remember. She spent her youth raving, soaking up influences including electro, drum and bass and Miami hip-hop.
1/28/202228 minutes, 38 seconds
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Musical collage with Mad Professor, Suzanne Ciani, Matthew E. White and Georgia Anne Muldrow

Mad Professor, Suzanne Ciani, Matthew E. White and Georgia Anne Muldrow discuss how listening to music lets you travel through time, packaging their work into album form, and which part of the music-making process they enjoy the most. Matthew E. White is a singer, songwriter, producer, and arranger from Richmond, Virginia. He blends folk, gospel, AOR, rock, disco, and psychedelic sounds. He’s also worked with the likes of Sharon Van Etten, Bedouine, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and Slow Club. Suzanne Ciani is a Grammy-nominated composer, musician, and sound designer. In the 1970s, she invented the world famous ‘pop and pour’ sound effect for Coca Cola. In 1980, she was the first woman hired to score a major Hollywood feature when she composed the music for The Incredible Shrinking Woman. She’s also a recipient of the Moog Innovation Award for her work with synthesizers, and is a former host of this very show. Georgia Anne Muldrow is an influential part of Los Angeles’ hip-hop, jazz, and soul scenes. She’s released more than 20 albums, and has appeared on tracks with Erykah Badu, Blood Orange, and Robert Glasper. Mos Def is a fan, saying “she’s something else… like Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald”. Mad Professor is a legendary dub reggae producer and engineer. Born in Guyana, he was nicknamed Mad Professor due to his fascination with electronics, and when he moved to London he collected mixing and recording equipment to make his first studio in his living room. Since then he’s released hundreds of recordings and worked with artists including Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sly & Robbie, Grace Jones, Massive Attack, and Sade, before setting up the largest Black-owned studio complex in the UK.
1/21/202229 minutes, 57 seconds
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The great Black music symposium with Angel Bat Dawid, Qur'an Shaheed, Dr Adam Zanolini and Ben LaMar Gay

Qur'an Shaheed, Dr Adam Zanolini and Ben LaMar Gay join composer, improviser, clarinetist, and pianist Angel Bat Dawid to discuss the importance of not conforming, the struggle to find money to do what you love doing, recognising what your gifts are, and the experience of being diasporic African and its influence on your music. Qur'an Shaheed is an experimental pianist, poet, singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, whose music blends jazz, neo-soul, RnB and neo-classical. She started her musical career with her mother and grandmother at the age of four, has composed for film, and is a member of Jimetta Rose’s gospel choir The Voices of Creation. Dr Adam Zanolini is a flute player, saxophonist, oboist, percussionist, double bassist, ethnomusicologist, and arts organiser. A pivotal figure in Chicago’s music scene, he’s part of the cross-generational Great Black Music Ensemble, “which fuses the expansive sounds of traditional Black American music with styles from across Africa and its diaspora.” Composer, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, poet and singer Ben LaMar Gay's latest LP is Open Arms to Open Us, released at the end of last year, which blends jazz, blues, R&B, tropicalia, and hip-hop, and explores thermodynamics, rhythm as an inheritance of information, and the idea that improvisation is “the one freedom that we all have access to”.
1/14/202231 minutes, 8 seconds
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Found sounds with Matthew Herbert, Matmos, Nwando Ebizie and Kate Carr

Matthew Herbert, Kate Carr, Nwando Ebizie and Matmos's Martin Schmidt discuss making music from 'found sound' and field recordings, and the ethical, social and political implications that arise when you push music to its extreme. What happens when you record the sounds of a surgeon performing plastic surgery and turn it into an album? How can the sounds of a traffic intersection become music? Are there some sounds that you simply can't make music from? Matthew Herbert is an artist based in the seaside town of Margate, south-east England, who is a close collaborator of Bjork and has remixed everyone from Quincy Jones and Serge Gainsbourg to Gustav Mahler. He is renowned for taking ordinary sounds and turning them into music; his 2011 record ONE PIG followed the life of a pig from birth to plate, and his 2019 album The State Between Us explored what it means to be British, featuring samples of everything from swimming in the English Channel, to a trumpet being deep-fried. He is joined by Martin Schmidt, one half of the ground-breaking Baltimore-based duo Matmos, who have made electronic music out of everything from the sounds of brushing hair to throwing aspirin tablets at a drumkit. Matmos have worked with the likes of Yo La Tengo, Oneohtrix Point Never and Bjork, and their latest album, The Consuming Flame, came out in 2020. Kate Carr is a field recordist and sound artist from Australia, based in London. She has recorded sounds everywhere from fishing villages in northern Iceland to the wetlands of Mexico, and runs her own sound art label, Flaming Pines. Nwando Ebizie is a multi-disciplinary artist based in northern England, whose practice brings together music, performance art, and dance from the African diaspora. Her latest project, The Swan, will be released in 2022 and is an exploration in Afrofuturism, featuring layers of "dance-inducing polyrhythms, call-and-response chants and Afro-Cuban drums".
1/7/202232 minutes, 16 seconds
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Bass: How low can you go? with Laura Lee, Blu DeTiger, Karina Rykman and Adeline

Bass players Laura Lee, Blu DeTiger, Karina Rykman and Adeline discuss what the low end brings to music, why playing for an audience is an unbeatable experience, and how where they’re from inspires their sound. Laura Lee is the bassist in Khruangbin, formed with guitarist Mark Speer and drummer DJ Johnson Jr back in 2009 in Houston, Texas. Their music blends everything from rock, psych, funk, surf, and dub influences from across the world. Blu DeTiger is a bassist and DJ from New York. She started playing bass when she was seven years old, inspired by her brother who was playing drums at the time, and rose to fame after videos of her playing during lockdown went viral on social media. Karina Rykman is a member of jazz-rock musician Marco Benevento’s band, and describes herself as a “genre fluid bassist”. French-Caribbean singer, producer, and (of course) bassist Adeline blends Funk, R&B and vintage soul and was originally the front woman for the nu-disco band Escort.
12/31/202128 minutes, 56 seconds
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Home for the holidays with MØ, Sigrid, Tove Lo and Alma

Nordic pop superstars MØ, Sigrid, Tove Lo and Alma discuss writing songs on your holidays, which elements work best for their songwriting, and why Scandinavians are so good at making pop music. Karen Ørsted, better known as Danish singer and songwriter MØ, is an electro-pop star who blends different genres to make a sound that’s uniquely hers. She grew up listening to punk music and this is definitely something that’s influenced her most recent work. She’s worked with the likes of Iggy Azalea, Major Lazer and DJ Snake, Charli XCX, Justin Bieber and superstar producer Jack Antonoff, and supported artists including Years & Years, AlunaGeorge and Sia on international stages. Sigrid is a Norwegian singer and songwriter who has toured with the likes of Maroon 5 and George Ezra, and her latest single Burning Bridges is a taste of what’s to come from her second album. Tove Lo has been dubbed “Sweden’s darkest pop export”. Known for her grunge-infused pop sound, she has released four albums and has had global success with tracks like Habits (Stay High), Cool Girl and the Grammy-nominated Glad He’s Gone. Alma went from performing on Finnish talent show Idols to achieving platinum-selling singles in just five years. She shot to fame in 2017 with the release of Chasing Highs, released her debut album Have U Seen Her? in 2020, and has collaborated with the likes of Charli XCX, Tove Lo and MØ. Beyond her own music, she has written for pop heavyweights like Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande.
12/24/202132 minutes, 55 seconds
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Let words come out of your body with Kae Tempest, Porridge Radio, Goat Girl and Dan Carey

Kae Tempest, Porridge Radio's Dana Margolin, Lottie Cream of Goat Girl and producer Dan Carey discuss letting go of the idea of who you are, going in hard onstage, unlocking time through repetition, being bad at singing, and mistakes on records.. Lottie Pendlebury, AKA Lottie Cream, is part of the post-punk band Goat Girl, whose latest album, On All Fours, was released earlier this year. Lottie says they use their music to “explore global, humanitarian, environmental and mindful wellbeing, through psych-rock, grunge and post-punk. The band has been through a lot this past couple of years, but being a part of Goat Girl is what brings us the most joy.” Kae Tempest is a spoken-word artist, poet, author, and playwright from South London. One of the UK’s greatest wordsmiths, they’ve released three albums to date, as well as writing five poetry collections, three plays, and two novels. Dana Margolin is the lead vocalist and guitarist of indie-rock band Porridge Radio. She formed the group in order to truly express herself, drawing inspiration from the sea. Dan Carey is a producer, remix artist, and songwriter who’s worked with the likes of Grimes, Hot Chip, Lianne La Havas, La Roux, Kae Tempest, Kylie Minogue and Goat Girl. In 2013 he founded the record label Speedy Wunderground, and has received four Mercury Prize nominations for his productions.
12/17/202131 minutes, 15 seconds
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'I modelled my studio on a sauna' with Sylvan Esso, Alexis Taylor, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Ed Russell

Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Overmono's Ed Russell discuss how they make their music. Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn are the electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso. They’ve been nominated for a Grammy, played some of the world’s biggest festivals, and worked with the likes of TuneYards, Flock of Dimes, and Robert Glasper – all of whom have been on previous episode of Music Life. Alexis Taylor is the lead singer, keyboard player and guitarist in synthpop band Hot Chip. He’s also a solo artist in his own right, having released his latest record Silence earlier in the year. Ed Russell is one half of the most talked about electronic duos this year, Overmono. His love of electronic music came from eavesdropping on his older brother, who was mixing in his bedroom next door, and listening to his records that he’d “pinched”. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is an ambient composer, performer, producer and sonic explorer. Last year, she released the LPThe Mosaic of Transformation, an “expression of love and appreciation for electricity”, and followed it with this year’s I Could Be Your Dog (Prequel), a collaborative project with LA composer Emile Mosseri.
12/10/202130 minutes, 53 seconds
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The 'look at me' gene with Poté, Pierre Kwenders, TSHA and Heléna Star

Poté, Pierre Kwenders, TSHA and Heléna Star discuss what the 'look at me' gene actually is, why music is nothing without dancing, what they’ve learned about themselves through music, and the legacy of what they’d like to leave behind. St-Lucia-born artist Poté combines Caribbean percussion, electronic sounds, and emotive songwriting that caught the attention of Damon Albarn, who appeared on his latest album A Tenuous Tale of Her. Pierre Kwenders is a Congolese-Canadian musician known for dismantling the concept of genre with his indie-Afro-electro sound. He sings in Lingala, French, English, Tshiluba, and Kikongo, and explores themes in his lyrics such as homesickness, tormented farewells, and his love for his homeland and his brothers and sisters. One of the most exciting producers and DJs in London, TSHA (pronounced Tee-sha) blends house, synth lines, and psychedelic noise, and has remixed the likes of Foals, Prospa, Declan McKenna, and Lianne La Havas. Heléna Star is a regular radio presenter and DJ at some of London’s finest clubs, playing an eclectic mix of house and techno from around the world.
12/3/202129 minutes, 37 seconds
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The writing room with Kirby, Gallant, Baby Rose and Durand Bernarr

Four of the most exciting names in contemporary R&B - Kirby, Gallant, Baby Rose and Durand Bernarr - discuss the secrets of their craft, from being vulnerable enough to expose what they're going through in the writing room, to thinking of music as candle scents. Kirby started her career by setting herself the challenge of writing a song a day on YouTube - 302 days later she signed to Jay Z's label Roc Nation, and since then she has penned music for Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and she co-wrote the smash hit FourFiveSeconds with Kanye West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney. Gallant is an LA-based artist who released his Grammy-nominated debut album in 2016. He's worked with former Music Life host Adrian Younge, 6LACK, and Jhene Aiko; his latest project, Neptune, marks his first release as an independent artist. Also joining the discussion are Baby Rose, an Atlanta-based singer-songwriter who has been tipped as "the new voice of R&B", and Durand Bernarr, one of the most in-demand artists and producers in the world of soul and R&B. He has worked with the likes of Anderson .Paak, The Internet, Thundercat and Kaytranada, and he dropped his full-length album DUR& in 2020.
11/26/202132 minutes, 40 seconds
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Rey Sapienz, Toya Delazy, Catu Diosis and Hagan

Afro-rave and Afro-bass stars Rey Sapienz, Toya Delazy, Catu Diosis and Hagan discuss making the music faster so it feels like a workout, what traditional elements make their way into their music, and the importance of dancing while creating. Rey Sapienz is a producer from the DRC, who relocated to Kampala in Uganda during the Congolese civil war. He started rapping at the age 12, and was the first person ever to spit his lyrics over the traditional Congolese soukous, earning him the nickname El Rey Mago – the wise king. He released his debut album Na Zala Zala in collaboration with the Congo Techno Ensemble earlier this year. Toya Delazy is a London-based South African Afro-rave artist. Heavily influenced by her Zulu heritage, she blends contemporary electronic sounds with the deep percussion and energetic grooves that underpin Zulu culture. Ugandan DJ and producer Catu Diosis has been making waves across Kampala’s underground electronic scene since the age of 16. She blends everything from Afro-house to techno, gqom to kuduro, and is guaranteed to get everyone on the dancefloor. Hagan is a London-based Afro-bass artist known for his dark, energetic sound. His music is heavily rooted in Ghanaian culture, blending African rhythms and dynamic percussion with the gritty sounds of UK garage and grime.
11/19/202129 minutes, 38 seconds
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Throwing laptops across the room with Lauren Mayberry, Bartees Strange, Ellie Rowsell and Hannah Reid

Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry, US indie star Bartees Strange, Ellie Rowsell of Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice and London Grammar's Hannah Reid discuss writing routines, throwing laptops across the room, falling between musical worlds, why polarising art is the best, and the realities of touring. Lauren Mayberry fronts Scottish band Chvrches. Their glittering career has seen them release four albums, tour with Two Door Cinema Club, Depeche Mode and Passion Pit, and collaborate with the likes of Marshmello, The National, Paramore, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Cure’s Robert Smith. Ellie Rowsell is the vocalist and guitarist with British rock band Wolf Alice, whose 2017 album Visions of a Life won the Mercury Prize; their latest album Blue Weekend came out earlier this year. Hannah Reid is a singer and songwriter best known for her hypnotic vocals in pop band London Grammar. They released their debut album If You Wait in 2013, which turned them into one of the most popular bands in the UK. Bartees Strange is a producer and songwriter whose sound blurs genre and boundary. During the mid-2010s, he was a member of New York post-hardcore band Stay Inside, before embarking on a career as a solo artist in 2017 with the debut EP Magic Boy. He had his breakthrough moment in 2020 with the Say Goodbye To Pretty Boy EP, and he’s remixed tracks for the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Illuminati Hotties.
11/12/202129 minutes, 53 seconds
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Vintage v modern with James Petralli, Jeff Parker, Heba Kadry, Eric Pulido and McKenzie Smith

White Denim frontman James Petralli, Jeff Parker, Heba Kadry and Midlake's Eric Pulido and McKenzie Smith discuss using vintage equipment and “mid-life vintage purchases”, why the sound they make comes from their hands, and why being a musician mostly means reacting to your environment. James Petralli is aTexas-based musician and frontman of lo-fi noisemakers White Denim. Jeff Parker, is an LA-based multi-instrumentalist and composer who blends everything from jazz to rock via electronics. He’s also a member of the indie-rock group Tortoise, and has scored several documentaries, feature films, and video games. Eric Pulido and McKenzie Smith are members of the folk-rock band Midlake, and indie supergroup BNQT. Both from Texas, they’ve released four albums as Midlake, the last being 2013’s Antiphon, and they’re back next year with new material. And Heba Kadry is an Egyptian-born, Brooklyn-based mastering engineer who’s worked with Bjork, the Mars Volta, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and has mastered soundtracks for Midsommar and the Oscar-nominated Jackie. She tells us what mastering is, and why all musicians need it.
11/5/202129 minutes, 2 seconds
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'My studio is a mess', with Julien Baker, mxmtoon, Thao Nguyen and Quinn Christopherson

Julien Baker, mxmtoon, Thao Nguyen and Quinn Christopherson discuss how to separate work life and leisure time, learning to embrace being selfish, and failing at keeping your studio tidy, Julien Baker is one-third of the group boygenius, along with Grammy-nominated Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. She describes her music as “indie folk” and in it explores her relationship with faith, addiction, friends, and the human condition. Her third album, Little Oblivions, was released earlier this year. Joining her is California-born musician and vlogger Maia, also known as mxmtoon. Maia’s debut EP, Plum Blossom, had over 100 million streams, with her music blending pop, folk, emo, and hip-hop. Her latest project was translating her song Prom Dress into the fictional language of Simlish for computer game The Sims. Thao Nguyen is an American singer-songwriter based in San Francisco, who comes from a family of Vietnamese refugees. She’s released seven studio albums as a solo artist and as part of her group, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. In 2015, her band was invited to perform in Vietnam – the first time she’d visited the country, alongside her mother. Born and raised in Alaska, Athabaskan and Inupiaq singer-songwriter Quinn Christopherson broke onto the scene in 2019 with Erase Me, which won him NPR’s coveted Tiny Desk Contest. His music is deeply personal; Erase Me explores his experiences as a transgender man.
10/29/202131 minutes, 37 seconds
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The three things you need to write a song, with Zara Larsson, Nina Nesbitt, Brian Higgins, Darin and Jörgen Elofsson

Zara Larsson, Nina Nesbitt, Brian Higgins, Darin and Jörgen Elofsson discuss how important avoiding competition is, how getting dropped from a label affects your self-esteem and the creative process, and how difficult being both a fan of music and a musician can be. Darin is a Kurdish-Swedish vocalist. He started writing songs at 14 and signed his first record deal at 17. He’s co-written with pop icon Robyn, released 8 albums, set up his own record company, and is now the most played artist on Swedish radio. Swedish star Zara Larsson is one of the world's biggest pop singers, topping charts in multiple countries. Her third album, Poster Girl, was released back in March. Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt is known for her bubblegum Pop songs and viral TikTok videos. She’s worked with Ed Sheeran, written for Jessie Ware, and calls Taylor Swift a fan. Brian Higgins has written major hits for artists like Kylie, Pet Shop Boys, Bananarama and Girls Aloud. He co-wrote Cher’s Grammy-winning hit Believe in 1998, which sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, and won him three Ivor Novello Awards. And Grammy-nominated songwriter Jörgen Elofsson hass written for Celine Dion and Britney Spears, was behind Kelly Clarkson’s pop anthem Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) and Will Young’s Evergreen, which became the UK’s fastest selling debut single in its first week.
10/22/202133 minutes, 42 seconds
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Chaotic composing with Jabu Morales, Luedji Luna, Céu and Sara Tavares

Jabu Morales, Luedji Luna, Céu and Sara Tavares discuss how chaotic composing can be, what’s it’s like to write music as a mother, singing in multiple languages, and recording with musical legends. Jabu Morales is a Brazillian vocalist and percussionist, and a member of the band Ayom, which blends “century old traditions with the black and rhythmical language of lusophone cultures”. Jabu also teaches percussion and studies Candomblé and Afro-Brazilian rhythms, as well as working as a solo artist. Brazilian singer Luedji Luna's latest album, Bom Mesmo É Estar Debaixo D’Água (It’s Really Good to Be Underwater), has been described by many as the best Brazilian album of the year. It references the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé - imported and developed by slaves – as well as Black feminism, love, revenge and celebration, along with her views on Brazil’s social and political issues. Céu is a Latin Grammy and Grammy Award-nominated singer from São Paulo. She blends “post-Tropicalia samba, valsa, choro, soul, reggae, hip-hop, and jazz”. Her latest album is Acustico, released earlier this year, featuring stripped-back versions of her songs from various albums over the last 13 years. Portuguese singer, guitarist, and percussionist Sara Tavares released her debut Balancê in 1996. Her latest album was 2017’s Fitxadu, and she’s back with brand new material this year.
10/15/202127 minutes, 57 seconds
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The beauty of sampling with Anchorsong, Loraine James, Gold Panda and Sandunes

Anchorsong, Loraine James, Gold Panda and Sandunes discuss what song they'd make it they knew billions of people were going to listen to it, being guided by samples, the importance of keeping in the mistakes, and the art of making organic sounds. Masaaki Yoshida is better known as Anchorsong, an electronic musician and producer originally from Tokyo. He describes his music as being “borderless”, fusing dance music and samples with elements of rock, hip-hop and electronica. Sanaya Aredeshir, also known as Sandunes, is a composer, producer, and pianist from Mumbai, India who incorporates elements of dance and jazz to create something wholly unique. Derwin Schlecker, aka Gold Panda, is an electronic music producer and performer who creates “swirling electronic textures out of samples from pop, soul, hip-hop, or whatever happens to be lying around”. And finally, Loraine James is an experimental electronic adventurer and producer who’s breaking new ground with her sound, and is one of the most exciting talents coming out of London right now. Her latest album, Reflections, is her most critically acclaimed work to date.
10/8/202128 minutes, 59 seconds
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All my instruments have names with Esperanza Spalding, Marcos Valle, Patrick Paige II and Tom Misch

Esperanza Spalding, Marcos Valle, Patrick Paige II and Tom Misch discuss why playing music is dangerous, the sound of your first love, why drinking on stage is a bad idea, first takes v lots of practice, and recording an orchestra in one take. Grammy-winning bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding has performed at the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama’s Stevie Wonder tribute, and after a jam session with Prince, was invited to perform for his BET Lifetime Achievement Award tribute in 2010. She’s since released six studio albums, and worked with the likes of Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars and Tony Visconti. Joining her is Marcos Valle, who has spent the last 50 years fusing classical, Brazilian popular music and jazz, and is regarded as one of the most influential musicians in Brazil’s history. Tom Misch is a London-based producer, songwriter and guitarist who has become one of the most distinctive voices in the UK contemporary jazz scene, and one of its most in demand producers. Patrick Paige II is best known for his funky basslines in LA funk/R&B band The Internet. They have released four critically acclaimed albums, including the Grammy-nominated Ego Death in 2015, and collaborated with the likes of Tyler the Creator, Janelle Monáe and Kaytranada.
10/1/202131 minutes, 41 seconds
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The cost of being honest with Cola Boyy, Faye Webster, Cherry Glazerr and Juan Wauters

Cola Boyy, Faye Webster, Juan Wauters and Cherry Glazerr's Clementine Creevy discuss why it takes leaving a town or city to appreciate it, not writing any lyrics down, how to make songs catchy, using movies for inspiration, and why songwriters have no privacy anymore. Cola Boyy is a self-taught musician and singer from Los Angeles. He released his debut album, Prosthetic Boombox, in June this year. The lyrics are inspired by his real life experiences, including being a person of colour with a disability, as he was born with spina bifida and scoliosis. Joining him is Faye Webster, an artist from Atlanta whose songwriting brings together honest and emotional lyrics with rap influences and pedal steel guitar. Her latest album is I Know I’m Funny Haha. Clementine Creevy is the lead singer and guitarist in LA-based rock band Cherry Glazerr. Her music blends punk, grunge and new wave with witty lyrics, and she’s collaborated with Tyler the Creator and Death Grips. Finally, Juan Wauters is a Uruguayan-born singer-songwriter. He released the album Real Life Situations, in which he reflects on all aspects of the human experience, weaving in samples of television shows, and real conversations from voice notes he recorded on his phone. The album’s impressive list of collaborators includes Mac Demarco, former Music Life guest Nick Hakim, and today’s host, Cola Boyy. Together the group discuss why it takes leaving a town or city to appreciate it, not writing any lyrics down, how to make songs catchy, using movies for inspiration, and why songwriters have no privacy anymore.
9/24/202125 minutes, 9 seconds
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I'm not hyperpop with Mallrat, Ninajirachi, Daine and Donatachi

Young Australians Mallrat, Ninajirachi, Daine and Donatachi look into the epicentre of the media term ‘hyperpop’. It’s bubble-gum sweet, with chaotic synth sounds mixed with pop and autotuned vocals, and the volume turned up to 11. Together, they discuss feeling old in the hyperpop genre (they’re all in their teens, or early 20s), not having any musical training, why face-to-face sessions are tough, how Daine’s autism feeds into her music, and how they feel when their music gets put in a playlist called Chill BBQ Music. Ninajirachi is a songwriter, producer and DJ who’s been tagged as “one of Australia’s first notable hyperpop artists”. She got into music production after hearing the ‘hyperkinetic’ pop producer Sophie. Earlier this year, she released the True North EP with musical prodigy Kota Banks. Donatachi is a musician from Brisbane, described as one of “Australia’s best-known Hyperpop producers”. Their 2019 underground hit Crush on U, in collaboration with Slayyyter, is credited as being the song that set the hyperpop scene in motion. Daine is a Filipino-Australian producer from Melbourne, whose latest track, boy wanna txt, is produced by former Music Life guests 100 Gecs. And hosting the show is Mallrat, from Brisbane. She makes dreamy electronic pop and was recently named as one of the “100 Women Revolutionising Pop”. Mark Ronson is also a fan.
9/17/202132 minutes, 29 seconds
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Limitless technology with Tom Furse, Caroline Shaw, Holly Herndon, Arushi Jain and Mat Dryhurst

Tom Furse, Caroline Shaw, Holly Herndon, Arushi Jain and Mat Dryhurst discuss why using computers makes their music feel more human, using the sound of plant pots, and how new technology will be viewed as old fashioned and retro in a few years. Tom Furse is the keyboard player with British rock band the Horrors, and is also a producer, remix artist, and “maker of music”. He’s talking to Arushi Jain, a composer, pianist, synthesist, and singer from New York who grew up in Delhi. She blends her computer science and engineering studies with her musician influences, including Indian classical. Holly Herndon is an American experimental composer based in Berlin, and her husband, Mat Dryhurst, is a philosopher and digital artist. And Caroline Shaw is a Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and violinist based in New York. She’s written film scores and worked with rappers Kanye West and Nas, and her latest album brings together influences as wide ranging as Abba and author James Joyce.
9/10/202130 minutes, 26 seconds
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Singing is cool again with Sinead Harnett, Grades, Jae Stephens and Monro

Sinead Harnett, Grades, Jae Stephens and Monro discuss why naming songs is the easy part, balancing life and music, the importance of breaking away from music in order to live and gain experiences to write about, and the influence of R&B on their sound. Born in the UK before moving to Los Angeles, Sinead Harnett's latest record, Ready Is Always Too Late, is about “[embodying] the best version of yourself”. She’s worked with musical heavyweights such as Disclosure, Rudimental, EARTHGANG and Lucky Daye, as well as former Music Life guests Masego and MNEK. Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and DJ Grades has worked with and remixed artists including Labrinth, Bastille, Becky Hill, Nile Rodgers, Dua Lipa, and Nao. Jae Stephens is an artist, songwriter, producer, and singer originally from Dallas, now based in Los Angeles. She started singing at the age of 12, recently performed with Khalid, and is very much an artist to keep your ears on. And Monro is a Grammy nominated producer, songwriter, and artist. He’s written and produced for the likes of Jhene Aiko, Rico Nasty, and our host today, Sinead Harnett.
9/3/202131 minutes, 58 seconds
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Notting Hill Carnival with General Levy, Lady Banton, Mikey Dread and Alicai Harley

As the world famous Notting Hill Carnival isn’t taking place this year, we thought we’d have a party of our own, Caribbean style. Ragga artist and MC General Levy leads the charge. His parents were Trinidadian, and from an early age he started to write lyrics and form sound systems. If you don’t recognise the name, then you’ll definitely know the voice; Incredible, his ’94 track with M-Beat, changed the changed the sound of jungle and drum & bass forever. Joining him is carnival royalty, the selector Lady Banton. She set up the first all-female soundsystem in the UK, the Mellotone Sound System, in 1989, and became a Carnival favourite soon after. Mikey Dread is a founding member and chief selector of one of the UK’s best known and most loved sound systems, the Channel One Soundsystem, who have played at the Carnival every year since 1983. Named after the famous studio in Kingston, Jamaica, they bring the reggae, the dubplates, and the “hot steppas”. And finally, breathing new life into the festival is Alicai Harley. Born in Jamaica, she caused a stir releasing a string of singles and EPs, before working with the likes of Stefflon Don, Kamille, Stonebwoy, Aluna, and Kojo Funds. She released her debut album The Red Room Intro earlier this year and is the self-proclaimed “yard gyal inna Britain”. Together the group discuss all things Carnival: the cost of those costumes, when and how they got started, why you need the rain to cool you down, you parents not letting you go, and the importance of talent over hype.
8/27/202131 minutes, 24 seconds
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The importance of space with Cassandra Jenkins, Arooj Aftab and Charlotte Dos Santos

Cassandra Jenkins, Arooj Aftab and Charlotte Dos Santos discuss being inspired by physical spaces that no longer exist, the emotional aspects of releasing music, why you never really complete a piece of work, and why handing music into your label is a bit like running for a flight. Cassandra Jenkins is an indie-folk musician and songwriter from New York. She’s always been surrounded by music, growing up with musical parents, and her latest album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature was released earlier this year, produced by Josh Kaufman (The National, Taylor Swift). Charlotte Dos Santos is a Brazilian-Norwegian singer and composer who creates hypnotizing neo-soul sounds. Blending her love of flamenco, samba, and bossa nova with jazz, folk and soul, the Berklee-trained musician explores themes of femininity, power, nature, and personal growth. And Arooj Aftab is an enigmatic Pakistani composer, based in New York City, who is reimagining traditional South Asian music and poetry. She moved to the US to also study at Berklee, where she began experimenting with jazz and electronic sounds.
8/20/202130 minutes, 4 seconds
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School first, music second with Vagabon, Vieux Farka Touré, Mary Lattimore and Mereba

Vagabon, Vieux Farka Touré, Mary Lattimore and Mereba discuss the impact family can have on musical journeys, the perks and perils of collaborating with other musicians, and how cultural origins can mean that a musical life is looked down upon. This week’s host is Laetitia Tamko, better known as Vagabon. Born in Cameroon and growing up in New York City, Vagabon’s music fuses pop, indie and punk. Her debut album Infinite Worlds was released in 2017, taking influence from a huge span of genres, everything from post-punk to dream pop. She performs in both English and French, and recently released a track with Courtney Barnett. She’s joined by Ethiopian-American singer, songwriter and producer Mereba. She released her debut record The Jungle is the Only Way Out in 2019, and has since collaborated with 6lack, J.I.D and other breakout artists from America’s exciting hip-hop and R&B scenes. Vieux Farka Touré is the son of legendary Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, and has carved out his own legacy as a musician, taking influence from West African rhythms, blues, and rock. Finally, Mary Lattimore is a harpist from Los Angeles who has played alongside Thurston Moore, Jarvis Cocker, and Kurt Vile. Her music takes simple components, often just a harp and loop pedal, and creates vast, experimental soundscapes.
8/13/202128 minutes, 40 seconds
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An instrument of healing with Jenn Wasner, Helado Negro, Meg Duffy and Joseph Shabason

Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes, Roberto Lange (aka Helado Negro), Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy and saxophonist Joseph Shabason discuss music as a form of healing and the impact it has both on themselves and those who listen to it, not being able to find the right thing to say when they’re approached after a show, and how selfishness can benefit the creative process. Roberto Lange, aka Helado Negro, is an Ecuadorian-American singer, songwriter and producer. His 2019 album, This Is How You Smile, was critically adored and his newest, Far In, is due later this year. Musician and guitarist Meg Duffy hails from New York, and is the founder, songwriter and sole permanent member of indie rock group Hand Habits, who released their latest album Placeholder in 2019. They have also written and performed with The War on Drugs and Weyes Blood. Canadian saxophonist and ambient electronic artist Joseph Shabason has worked with Destroyer, The War On Drugs, Hannah Georgas, and many more. His latest album, The Fellowship, explores the duality of the Jewish and Muslim household he grew up in.
8/6/202129 minutes, 23 seconds
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When fans don't like your best song with Ray BLK, Joeboy, 2baba and Ayra Starr

Joeboy, Ray BLK, 2baba and Ayra Starr discuss their best choruses, the direction Nigerian music is going in, mums crying to their music, and why it’s important to remember: “if I can't remember the lyrics or melody to my own song, how can anybody else?” Mr Eazi protégé Joeboy blends Afrobeats, R&B and pop and was discovered online covering Ed Sheeran. He’s just released his debut album, Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic. 2Baba is one of Nigeria's biggest pop icons. He's a singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur who found fame with his international hit African Queen in 2006, and has worked with everybody from Burna Boy to WizKid and Tiwa Savage. Nigerian-Beninese artist Ayra Starr is tipped to be West Africa’s first female global teen superstar, the voice of a generation on the rise. She’s gained fans all over the world for her blend of trap, Afropop and R&B, and racked up 3 million views for her smash single Away. And finally, Nigerian-born London-based singer Ray BLK is one of the most important voices coming out of the UK right now. She’s been called “the UK’s answer to Lauryn Hill” for her ability to blend different genres and take on subjects ranging from youth violence to female empowerment.
7/30/202130 minutes, 14 seconds
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'Good for the ego, bad for the soul' with Manika Kaur, Ali Riaz Baqar, Gurujas Khalsa and Abi Sampa

Manika Kaur, Ali Riaz Baqar, Gurujas Khalsa and Abi Sampa discuss individual definitions of success, why you're going to offend somebody no matter what music you make, the rollercoaster effect, and what their studio spaces look like. Manika Kaur is a singer and contemporary performer of Sikh kirtan music. Predominately performed by men in gurdwara temples, kirtans are devotional singing or sacred chants. Manika is changing the landscape of the music by reinterpreting, recording, and performing outside of the temples, and being one of the few women to sing them. Ali Riaz Baqar is a guitarist, bandleader, and chief composer of the group Jaubi. Based in Lahore, Pakistan, their debut album Nafs at Peace draws on elements of north Indian classical music, hip-hop and jazz. Gurujas Khalsa is a singer and songwriter from the Grammy-winning band White Sun, based in Los Angeles. Their music is a "sweeping exploration of New Age, through the lens of the Kundalini Yogic tradition", and their songs are also on the syllabus at the University of Southern California, where they are used to study stress management. And Abi Sampa is a multi-instrumentalist, veena virtuoso, and the UK’s first female Qawwal. She first rose to prominence when she sang on TV show The Voice UK in 2013. Born in London to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, she’s now inspiring a new generation of British Asians with her music.
7/23/202131 minutes, 3 seconds
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Giving voice to the voiceless with Ian Brennan, Alex Magaga, Van-Anh Vo and Gilbert Uwitonze

Producer Ian Brennan, Alex Magaga of the Tanzania Albinism Collective, Hanoi Masters musical director Van-Anh Vo and Rwandan folk musician Gilbert Uwitonze discuss how members of a community can intuitively start singing despite never having heard music before, accidents in the recording process (including a very loud cow), and music being a release from persecution. Ian Brennan is a Grammy-winning producer, author, musician, and field recordist who’s been described as a “modern heir to the legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax”, giving voices to the voiceless. His latest release, I've Forgotten Now Who I Used To Be, is a compilation of songs recorded in Ghana’s witch camps, settlements in which women persecuted as witches can find sanctuary. Alex Magaga is a musician, activist, documentary producer, and member of the Tanzania Albinism Collective, which helps those who’ve been cast out from their communities, facing discrimination and violence. Van-Anh Vo is a musical director, zither player, and chief percussionist for Vietnamese project Hanoi Masters. The aim of the project is to “protect the heritage of traditional instruments” of Vietnam. Her father became a musician during the Vietnam-American war so that he didn’t have to fight. And Gilbert Uwitonze is part of the Rwandan band The Good Ones, who sing folk songs from their farming town of Kigali. All three members are survivors of the Rwandan genocide who turned to music to help with the healing process.
7/16/202129 minutes, 44 seconds
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Everybody is a musician with Tshepang, Chelsea Wolfe, Anna von Hausswolff and Colin Greenwood

Tshepang Ramoba of BLK JKS is joined by Chelsea Wolfe, Anna von Hausswolff and Radiohead's Colin Greenwood to discuss simplifying complex music, why Africa is in all music, making sounds that can't ever be created again, and the inspiration behind the artwork to Radiohead’s In Rainbows. Tshepang Ramoba is the drummer and band leader of BLK JKS, a South African Art-Rock based in Johannesburg. He's joined by Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood, a former Music Life host himself, who he met a few years ago when Colin was touring the country. Anna von Hausswolff is a Swedish singer, musician, theatre composer, sound artist, and organist who blends jazz, metal, doom, and everything in between, and has been described as making ‘funeral pop’. Finally, Chelsea Wolfe is a Californian metal, goth, and folk guitarist and singer. She’s been described as a “musical witch and keeper of lost souls,” and has collaborated with Deftones.
7/9/202129 minutes, 33 seconds
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Forgetting the words on stage with Stuart Braithwaite, David Pajo, Rachel Goswell and Du Blonde

Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive's Rachel Goswell, Slint's David Pajo, and Beth Jeans Houghton - aka Du Blonde - discuss how much they care about their live shows sounding like the record, and that awkward moment when you forget the words to your own song live on stage. Stuart Braithwaite is a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist in Scottish post-rock band Mogwai, who have released 10 studio albums since forming in 1995. Their most recent record, As the Love Continues, went to number one in the UK earlier this year, and marks 25 years since their debut single. Stuart’s guests include friend and collaborator Rachel Goswell, best known as the vocalist and guitarist in shoegaze band Slowdive. She’s also a member of the Soft Cavalry and supergroup the Minor Victories, alongside Stuart. Also joining them is David Pajo, famed for his guitar shredding in US post-rock band Slint. He’s also collaborated with the likes of Interpol, Stereolab, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And Beth Jeans Houghton is a London-based artist who makes music under the moniker Du Blonde. Her latest record, Homecoming, came out earlier this year. She’s also directed music videos for the likes of Ezra Furman, LUMP, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
7/2/202126 minutes, 3 seconds
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100th episode: Best of the guests

We celebrate Music Life’s 100th episode with some of the highlights from Episodes 50–100. Pop icon and previous Music Life host Melanie C is back to guide us through some of the show’s biggest moments so far. So far in the series we’ve heard Hans Zimmer explain how he went from playing in a new wave pop band to composing for the biggest films in the world, Moonchild Sanelly on what she can’t say in her music, David Byrne on the pressure to do something different, Kranium on how he made his best chorus, Eris Drew on the importance of positivity in dance music, Mykki Blanco on the role of resistance in their work, and Becky Hill on how to write the perfect hit. Throughout 50 episodes we’ve travelled the globe, learned the behind-the-scenes secrets that went into some of the world’s biggest hits, and listened in to some of the most honest and surprising conversations in music. Here’s to the next 50.
6/25/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 32 seconds
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The tricky third album with Japanese Breakfast, Julia Stone, Black Belt Eagle Scout and Becca Mancari

Japanese Breakfast, Julia Stone, Black Belt Eagle Scout and Becca Mancari discuss why the third album is often the trickiest to make, meeting your heroes in airports, the role producers play in allowing you to tell your story, and getting Hollywood actors to appear in your videos. Japanese Breakfast is very much the artist of the moment, having released the highly anticipated third album Jubilee. She blends the multiple facets of Pop with Indie, Chamber, and Shoegaze, was born in Seoul and grew up in Oregon, USA. Jubilee follows 2016’s Psychopomp and 2017’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet in 2017. Joining her is Julia Stone, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia who is known for the Folk Pop duo she formed with her brother Angus. Indie Rock multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Black Belt Eagle Scout is based in Portland USA. Her debut record Mother of My Children came out in 2017 and was inspired by ‘grief, love and being a Native person in the US today’. And finally, Becca Mancari is a Folk Rock singer-songwriter who is part of the trio Bermuda Triangle alongside Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes. Her latest solo album The Greatest Part channels The Beach Boys sound and explores her experiences of growing up in a deeply religious community in Nashville.
6/18/202128 minutes, 46 seconds
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'Are you proud of your music?' with Billy Nomates, Simone Marie Butler, Xenia Rubinos and Radie Peat

British post-punk newcomer Billy Nomates talks to Simone Marie Butler, Xenia Rubinos and Radie Peat about the pressures of living up to expectations, whether or not they feel proud of their work so far, and songs they write when they think no one else will hear them. Simone Marie Butler is best known as the bassist in rock band Primal Scream. She’s also recorded with Joel Culpepper, the Stooges’ James Williamson, and the Horrors’ Faris Badwan. Xenia Rubinos is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from New York whose sound blends pop, soul, punk, and Latin influences with her jazz training. Radie Peat is a singer and musician best known for her vocals in Irish folk band Lankum, and she is working on her debut solo record.
6/11/202129 minutes, 31 seconds
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'Songwriting made me who I am' with Ice T, Aurora, Amy Lee and Oli Sykes

Amy Lee, Ice T, Aurora and Oli Sykes discuss how they how they got into music, how music has affected their personal growth, and how they work through creative differences with their collaborators. Amy Lee from Grammy Award-winning US Rock band Evanescence is on hosting duties, and she’s invited some of her favourite artists and collaborators to join her, starting with seminal rapper and producer Ice T. Ice has recently teamed up with Evanescence on the track When I’m Gone, and collaborated with everybody from Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre, to Slayer and Public Enemy. Oli Sykes is the lead singer and songwriter of British rock band Bring Me The Horizon, which formed in Sheffield in 2004 and went on to become one of the biggest bands on the planet. Aurora is a Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer whose music blends folk, electro and art-pop, and she has been cited by Billie Eilish as a major inspiration - as well as being one of our host’s favourite artists.
6/4/202130 minutes, 55 seconds
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Bullied for making music with Will Joseph Cook, dodie, Boys World and Alfie Templeman

Will Joseph Cook, Olivia and Queenie from Boys World, dodie, and Alfie Templeman discuss whether they share their creative processes on social media, overcoming industry stigma for being an 'internet artist', and finding strength in being who you are. Will Joseph Cook is a singer-songwriter and self-taught producer from Kent, England. He signed with Atlantic Records when he was 17, and released his debut album Sweet Dreamer in 2017. His second record, Something to Feel Good About, came out on his own label, Bad Hotel, earlier this year. Queenie and Olivia are two of the five members of breakthrough girl group Boys World, all of whom were discovered after posting their covers of songs to social media. They have since moved into a house together in LA, and have just released their debut EP While You Were Out. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist dodie launched her career performing piano and ukulele covers online, and has gone on to release 3 EPs and collaborate with former Music Life host Jacob Collier. She recently released her debut album, Build a Problem. Alfie Templeman is a singer-songwriter and producer who released his debut EP, Like an Animal, in 2018. He cites Carlton, the English village where he was raised, as one of his biggest inspirations, and has just released the mini-album Forever Isn't Long Enough.
5/28/202129 minutes, 10 seconds
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Getting personal with Lila Iké, Sevana, Jaz Elise and Naomi Cowan

Jamaican rising stars Lila Iké, Sevana, Jaz Elise and Naomi Cowan discuss whether or not they think about genre when creating, how much they write about their personal lives in their music, and how their experiences as a woman in the music industry are reflected in their songs. Lila Iké is a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose genreless sound fuses contemporary reggae with elements of soul, dancehall and hip-hop. She signed to Protoje's In.Digg.Nation label in 2017 and released her debut EP, The ExPerience. last year. Singer-songwriter, actress and label-mate Sevana's music is rooted in soul and R&B, or, as she describes it, "every sound but with a Jamaican filter". She recently released her second EP, Be Somebody, and is also the star of Jamaican web series Losing Patience. Naomi Cowan was 2018's Breakthrough Act at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Awards, and since then she has toured with Estelle and released several singles, including chart-topping hit Paradise Plum. Jaz Elise has been singing since she was 5 years old and released her debut EP earlier this year, an In.Digg.Nation production titled The Golden Hour. The artists discuss whether or not they think about genre when creating, how much they write about their personal lives in their music, and how their experiences as a woman in the music industry are reflected in their songs.
5/21/202132 minutes, 16 seconds
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Eurovision! With Conchita Wurst, Duncan Laurence, Daði Freyr and Emmelie de Forest

Emmelie de Forest, Conchita Wurst, Duncan Laurence and Daði Freyr share their experiences of the Eurovision Song Contest, including what makes a winning Eurovision entry, how taking part in the Contest has influenced their music outside of Eurovision, and the personal stories they tell through their songs. Emmelie de Forest won the Eurovision Song Contest for Denmark in 2013 with her song Only Teardrops. She has gone on to release two albums, and in 2017 she co-wrote the UK’s Eurovision entry Never Give Up on You. She’s joined by 2014’s winner, singer and drag artist Conchita Wurst, who represented Austria with power ballad Rise Like A Phoenix and went on to become a global icon for the LGBTQI+ community. The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence is the reigning Eurovision champion, winning in 2019 with his self-penned debut single Arcade. Last year, he released his debut album Small Town Boy. Daði Freyr is a musician and songwriter who will represent Iceland at Eurovision 2021 with the song 10 Years, which he wrote about his wife. He was due to perform at Eurovision last year before the Contest was cancelled due to the pandemic, but his 2020 entry Think About Things became a viral hit on social media and has been streamed more than 75 million times.
5/14/202135 minutes, 6 seconds
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Music as a tool for self-expression with Biig Piig, Nayana IZ, Puma Blue and Louis Culture

Biig Piig, Nayana IZ, Puma Blue and Louis Culture explore the power of community, how social media has affected the way they make music, and what it's like to make music as an introvert. Biig Piig blends soul-tinged melodies over hip-hop and pop beats with lyrics in English and Spanish. After growing up between Ireland and Spain, she moved to London and joined the Nine8 music collective alongside Nayana IZ. Born in India and raised in North London, Nayana was named on BBC Asian Network's 2020 Future Sounds list and last year released her debut EP Smoke & Fly. Puma Blue is a musician and songwriter originally from South London, now based in Atlanta. His first two EPs have built up millions of streams and he recently dropped his debut album In Praise of Shadows to critical acclaim. Also representing South London is rapper and lyricist Louis Culture, who released his debut EP Smile Soundsystem last year and has worked with Frank Ocean producer Vegyn.
5/7/202124 minutes, 8 seconds
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Influences and identity with Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Brandee Younger and Alissia

Soul producer and composer Adrian Younge, A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad, American harpist Brandee Younger, and Geneva-born, New York-based producer and bassist Alissia go deep on the decade that most inspired them musically, the fight for equality in the music industry, and using their music to show respect for what's come before. Adrian Younge is a musician, broadcaster and DJ who founded the LA-based label Linear Labs. He has scored for film and TV and his production credits include collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z. Joining Adrian is his close collaborator and fellow member of The Midnight Hour, Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Ali is an American DJ, producer and hip-hop legend, known for being a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, as well as production collective the Ummah and R&B supergroup Lucy Pearl. Brandee Younger is an American harpist whose sound is a blend of classical, jazz, soul and funk. Her latest album, Force Majeure, is a collaboration with her partner, the bassist Dezron Douglas, which they recorded in lockdown in their New York apartment. Alissia is a producer, songwriter and bass player who is lauded as the future of funk. She has collaborated with the likes of Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, Anderson .Paak and Bootsy Collins, as well as releasing music under her own name.
4/30/202132 minutes, 54 seconds
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Creative catharsis with Gazelle Twin, Lucrecia Dalt, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Keeley Forsyth

Gazelle Twin, Lucrecia Dalt, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Keeley Forsyth, four artists making truly original music outside of the mainstream, discuss how they use electronics to build different themes in their music, working within and breaking out of their sonic comfort zones, and how making music leads to creative catharsis. Composer and producer Gazelle Twin explores industrial and avant-garde sounds through her albums, soundtracks and remixes. Her latest record, Deep England, sees her collaborate with electronic drone choir NYX. Sharing her experiences is Lucrecia Dalt, a sound artist from Columbia now based in Berlin. She draws on influences from her academic background as a civil engineer, encompassing electronics and avant-garde sounds in her compositions. Cosey Fanni Tutti is an English performance artist, author and musician who is known for her ground-breaking band Throbbing Gristle, which she co-founded in 1976. She has released music as a solo artist and as part of the duo Chris & Cosey. Keeley Forsyth is an artist and actress from the north of England, known for starring in many acclaimed film and TV series over the last 20 years. At the start of 2020 she released her atmospheric debut album Debris, in which she explores personal experiences through minimal arrangements and her evocative, intimate vocal.
4/23/202131 minutes, 30 seconds
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Give it some space with Alex Isley, Tiffany Gouché, India Shawn and Gwen Bunn

Alex Isley, Tiffany Gouché, India Shawn and Gwen Bunn discuss the creative foundations of songwriting – how has your sound evolved over time? How do you finish a track that you’ve been working on for ages? And crucially, how do you know if a song is actually good? R&B and soul singer-songwriter Alex Isley grew up surrounded by the musical influences of her father and uncle’s band, the Isley Brothers. Her classical vocal training and jazz background have shaped her three self-written and produced projects, and she has worked with artists including Kendrick Lamar, Moses Sumney, and Brandon Williams. Three-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer Tiffany Gouché's 2015 EP Pillow Talk turned heads across the music industry. She has gone on to collaborate with Terrace Martin, and produced Lalah Hathaway’s acclaimed album Honestly. India Shawn is an LA-based singer-songwriter whose writing credits are as impressive as her vocal performances. She is an in-demand collaborator, having worked with Anderson .Paak, Solange and 6LACK. Gwen Bunn started out as a singer in the church choir in her hometown of Atlanta, going on to set up her label Melody Dungeon Music, and released her debut record Safe Travels in 2017. She has collaborated with the likes of Rapsody, Ty Dolla $ign and Faith Evans.
4/16/202135 minutes, 12 seconds
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'I was told I was too much' with, Static & Ben El, Lioness and Lady Leshurr, Static & Ben El, Lioness and Lady Leshurr take a deep dive into beatmaking, how to collaborate with other artists, and the best way of writing a song - from getting ideas down with a pen and paper, to just getting on the mic and seeing what happens. Hip Hop innovator, songwriter and producer has released eight records over 22 years with the Black Eyed Peas, which he formed in 1995. He has released four albums as a solo artist and is one of the world’s most in-demand producers, having worked with everyone from Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus, to rock legends U2. Joining are Static & Ben El, an Israeli pop duo who formed in 2015. They have amassed close to half a billion streams and have worked with the likes of J Balvin, Pitbull and Flipp Dinero. Lioness is a grime MC from south-east London whose mixtapes have gained support from hip-hop legend Rick Ross. She has featured on tracks with Ghetts, Toddla T and fellow guest Lady Leshurr. Born and raised in Birmingham, UK, Lady Leshurr dropped her first mixtape at the age of 14 and turned heads with her Queen’s Speech freestyle series. Her accolades include a MOBO Award in 2016 and a spot on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list, as well as collaborations with the likes of Lethal Bizzle, Krept & Konan, and Labrinth.
4/9/202131 minutes, 43 seconds
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Muted musicians with Liraz, Bedouine, Daniel Smienk and Tolga Boyuk

Liraz, Bedouine, Daniel Smienk and Tolga Boyuk discuss the link between music and heritage, turning the past into the future through music, and how to be creative whilst navigating obstacles. Liraz is an Israeli singer, actress and dancer of Iranian descent, whose latest album, Zan (which translates to "women" in Farsi), features collaborations recorded in secret with Iranian artists. Her music combines the traditional sounds of the Bağlama, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument, with 1970s disco and funk rhythms. Joining Liraz is Bedouine, a folk singer and guitarist born in Syria, who spent time living in Saudi Arabia and across the USA before settling in Los Angeles. Her inspirations range from her childhood to her travels, and the feeling of wanderlust. Tolga Boyuk is a producer and founder of electro-acoustic trio Islandman, whose music combines Turkish psychedelia with African roots. Daniel Smienk is the drummer of Amsterdam-based band Altın Gün. The group’s name translates to ‘Golden Day’, and their music seamlessly blends Turkish psych and traditional folk songs.
4/2/202130 minutes, 36 seconds
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The disappearing album with Eyedress, Dâm-Funk, Jessica Pratt and Low Leaf

Eyedress, Dâm-Funk, Low Leaf and Jessica Pratt discuss how the toughest times they’ve been through inspired their music, how horror films influence their sounds, and the most special moments in their careers. Eyedress is a musician and producer, born and raised in Manilla in the Philippines, and now based in LA. His sound encompasses everything from synth-pop to R&B and shoegaze. The ‘modern funk’ king Damon Riddick, aka Dâm-Funk, is a musician, vocalist and producer who blends everything from P-Funk to computer-game inspired soundtracks. He’s released a number of critically acclaimed albums, and collaborated with the likes of Tyler the Creator, Snoop Dogg, and Christine & the Queens. Low Leaf is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and producer. Classically trained in piano as a child, her Filipino roots and DIY recordings fuse traditional and digital sounds. She’s a self-taught producer and can play the guitar and harp. And Jessica Pratt is a Folk artist, whose acoustic guitar melodies and voice are a truly special thing. She’s toured the world with artists like Real Estate and Julia Holter, and has released three studio albums thus far.
3/26/202127 minutes, 58 seconds
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You are what you make with Ibeyi, Kindness, Hiatus Kaiyote and Charlotte Day Wilson

Music Life this week joins the World Service Festival and brings together a truly global gathering. Ibeyi talks to Kindness, Charlotte Day Wilson, and Nai Palm from the band Hiatus Kaiyote about their first emotional dealings with art, why they create, and celebrating culture and ancestors. Ibeyi are French Cuban duo Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, currently based in Paris. They weave together everything from jazz and gospel to hip-hop and soul, pushed through a modern electronic filter and have released two albums to date: their self-titled debut, and Ash. Joining them is cinematic pop and soul producer and artist Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness. They’ve produced for the likes of Blood Orange, Solange and frequent collaborator Robyn. Charlotte Day Wilson is a Canadian R&B singer-songwriter who’s released three EPs to date and has worked with the likes of Daniel Caesar, River Tiber, and BadBadNotGood. And Nai Palm from the band Haitus Kaiyote is a Grammy-nominated future soul vocalist and guitarist from Melbourne, Australia. Only six months after the band formed, they collaborated with Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, and their second album Choose Your Weapon took them all over the musical spectrum.
3/19/202135 minutes, 47 seconds
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'My feet felt like a metronome' with Rostam, Santigold, Dijon and Samantha Urbani

Rostam, Santigold, Dijon and Samantha Urbani discuss whether melody or lyrics come first, how to avoid the temptation to go back to tracks to make alterations, and how naming an album is the last bit of personality you can sprinkle on a project. Rostam is a Grammy-winning producer, composer, musician, and founding member of the band Vampire Weekend, producing their first three albums. Now a solo artist, he released his debut album Half-Light in 2017, and went on to produce Haim’s Women in Music Pt. III LP, as well as working with the likes of Frank Ocean, Solange, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Joining him is singer, songwriter and producer Santi White, aka Santigold. She’s released three albums to date, and draws influences ranging from 1980s pop and rock to new age hip-hop. Dijon is an artist whose reflective, folk-inspired R&B has drawn comparisons to Frank Ocean and Nick Hakim. He began producing music as part of the duo Abhi//Dijon whilst in college before establishing himself as a solo artist. And finally, Samantha Urbani is an artist, filmmaker, and songwriter who formed the influential DIY indie band Friends. She then moved to LA, where she lent her skills to collaborators including Dev Hynes, Nite Jewel and Zoe Kravitz.
3/12/202133 minutes, 28 seconds
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Don't run away from pressure with Caroline Polachek, Perfume Genius, Jlin and Oneohtrix Point Never

Caroline Polachek, Perfume Genius, Jlin and Oneohtrix Point Never discuss their links to poetry, and how they find harmony between competing elements in songs. Caroline Polachek is a pop and avant garde musician, record producer, writer and singer, who broke through in 2008 with her band Chairlift. She’s now releasing music under her own name, and counts Lady Gaga, Charli XCX, and Taylor Swift as fans. Mike Hadreas, better known as Perfume Genius, is an art-pop singer who addresses topics such as sexuality, domestic abuse, and his personal battle with Crohn’s disease in his music. Experimental electronic producer Jlin has worked with the likes of previous Music Life host Max Richter, Holly Herndon, St Vincent and Björk, and her latest record deals with issues such as “history, mythology, imprisonment, culture wars, and a clash of civilizations”. Finally, Brooklyn-based musician, soundtrack composer, and producer Daniel Lopatin works under the name Oneohtrix Point Never, and has collaborated with Iggy Pop, Anohni, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, and FKA Twigs.
3/5/202132 minutes, 37 seconds
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A million ways to make a song with Eliza Shaddad, This Is the Kit, Oddisee and Gaidaa

Eliza Shaddad is joined by Oddisee, Gaidaa and This Is the Kit's Kate Stables to discuss working from home, where they now record, and how factors such as politics and heritage feed into the creative system. Eliza Shaddad is a singer songwriter whose debut album Future came out in 2018, which she described as her “sonic journal”. Oddisee is a Sudanese-American rapper and producer based in Brooklyn, originally from Washington DC. His first release was a collaboration with DJ Jazzy Jeff in 2002, and since then he has released a series of acclaimed mixtapes, EPs and albums, as well as founding the rap trio Diamond District. Gaidaa is a Sudanese Dutch artist who grew up between Sudan and Eindhoven in Holland. Her debut EP Overture came out last year, firmly establishing her as a rising star in the spheres of neo-soul and R&B. And Kate Stables is the creative force behind the band This Is The Kit. Their songs are said to “untangle emotional knots and weave remarkable stories”, and the band’s latest album Off Off On came out on Rough Trade last October.
2/26/202131 minutes, 52 seconds
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Toys in the studio with Hannah Peel, Tunng's Mike Lindsay, Falle Nioke and JFDR

Mike Lindsay of the pioneering folktronica band Tunng is joined by Falle Nioke, Hannah Peel, and JFDR to discuss the power of a concept album, disappearing music, and how it feels getting new gear for your studio. Plus Falle gives us all a lesson in percussion. Falle Nioke is a singer and percussionist from Guinea, West Africa. He was part of the DawoLos crew as a teenager, sings in eight languages, and is a master of the gongoma, a traditional instrument combining percussion and melody that you play with your thumbs. JFDR is an Icelandic songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She studied classical clarinet before releasing music as part of different groups including Pascal Pinon, Gangly and Samaris, catching the attention of Bjork along the way. Hannah Peel is a composer, producer and broadcaster from Northern Ireland. She’s inspired by connections between science and music, and has scored music across television, film and theatre, including the Game of Thrones soundtrack, which earned her an Emmy nomination.
2/19/202132 minutes, 15 seconds
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Comparison is the thief of joy with Liz Lubega, R-Kay, Intalekt and TINYMAN

Liz Lubega, R-Kay, Intalekt and TINYMAN discuss the importance of community, the love of language and culture, and whether self-doubt has got in the way of creating. R-Kay is a Ugandan producer and multi-instrumentalist from Brixton, South London. His sound blends hip-hop and jazz influences with his classical training, having studied cello from an early age before taking up piano. Last year, he composed the score for the documentary Damilola: The Boy Next Door, and released his debut album Ivory. Intelekt is a South London-based producer, artist, DJ, and mentor. As well as being a solo artist, he makes up half of soulful, jazz-influenced rap duo Billy Dukes. He self-released his debut EP It Is What It Is in 2015, which featured collaborations with Ella Frank and former guests on this show Jacob Banks and Kojey Radical. TINYMAN is an artist, writer and founder of groundbreaking collective Orphgang, which counts R-Kay and Intalekt as members. His boundary-pushing music means he’s been able to work with the likes of Ray BLK, Jaz Karis, and Che Lingo to name just a few. And the host this week is Liz Lubega. Born in East London and raised in Uganda for most of her teenage years, she’s worked and toured with the likes of Childish Gambino, Nicole Scherzinger, Tom Odell, and Stormzy.
2/12/202131 minutes, 4 seconds
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History in the making with Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Abby Anderson and Twinnie

Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, Abby Anderson and Twinnie discuss issues around the country music industry, how they tell stories in their songs, and the importance of being yourself and speaking your mind. Jimmie Allen is an artist from Southern Delaware, USA, who mixes country, rock, R&B, and pop. He released his debut album Mercury Lane in 2018, a tribute to the street he grew up on, which led him to be labelled “one of the hottest rising stars in country”. His latest EP, Bettie James, is a collaborative projective released last year. On that EP is Mickey Guyton, and she’s also on the show today. She’s a singer-songwriter from Texas described as “the unapologetic voice country music needs right now”. Her debut single, Better Than You Left Me, broke the record for being added to more country radio stations in its first week of release than any other debut single. She also recently made history as the first Black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category. Abby Anderson is also from Texas, where she learned to play the piano from the age of 5. She moved to Nashville at 17 before releasing her debut EP I’m Good in 2018. Since then, she’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in country, and is getting ready to release her debut album. And finally, Twinnie is a singer-songwriter from Yorkshire, England, with strong ties to Nashville. Her career started in acting, and she performed in film, TV and theatre, before releasing her debut album Hollywood Gypsy in April 2020.
2/5/202129 minutes, 51 seconds
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The courage to be disliked with BŪJIN, Desire Marea, Lynn Daphne Rudolph and Jackie Queens

South African artists BŪJIN, Desire Marea, Lynn Daphne Rudolph and Jackie Queens discuss why the collective experience of creating is better, their biggest failures, and getting into trouble. Cape Town-based artist BŪJIN makes music that blends East African techno with funk, bass and classical orchestrations. Her work incorporates performance, sound installation and research into the realms of sonic theatre. She is joined by Desire Marea, a multi-disciplinary artist born in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. They’re one half of the music and performance duo FAKA, along with Fela Gucci, and at the start of 2020 they released their first solo album, Desire, on their label Izimakade Records. Also joining them is one of South Africa’s leading classical violists, Lynn Daphne Rudolph. They switched to viola from the violin in 2014, and won the Mabel Quick prize for Best Instrumentalist in 2015. They studied performance at Nelson Mandela University and are part of the Alternative Orchestra SA. Jackie Queens is a South African songwriter and vocalist born in Zimbabwe. She makes Afro-house and tech and set up her own record label, Bae Electronica, which provides a platform to new and emerging artists through projects such as GIRLS and Women of House.
1/29/202130 minutes, 33 seconds
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'Educate yourself quickly' with Sarathy Korwar, Nadine Shah, James Holden and Nubya Garcia

Jazz musician Sarathy Korwar talks to Nadine Shah, James Holden and Nubya Garcia about whether there is something inherently dysfunctional about being a performer, relationships with their voice or instruments, and what it means to control and own your own music. Sarathy Korwar was born in the US, grew up in Chennai and Ahmedabad in India before moving to London. He’s a percussionist, drummer, producer, and bandleader who’s at the forefront of the jazz world right now, using both modern methods and pulling resources from his classical roots. Joining him is the formidable singer-songwriter Nadine Shah. Her 2017 album Holiday Destination was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and her most recent record, 2020’s Kitchen Sink, arrived to huge acclaim. Her sound has been described as everything from "loner pop" to "jazz meets indie". James Holden is an electronic pioneer who’s revered by musicians and fans alike. He now runs his own label, has made a soundtrack, and performs improvised synth music in his ‘spiritual-synth-jazz-trance’ band The Animal Spirits. And finally, Nubya Garcia is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader. As well as being one of the most important musicians in the UK right now, her long awaited debut record Source was released in the summer of 2020. She also plays in the bands Nérija and Maisha with some of the UK’s finest musicians.
1/22/202132 minutes, 26 seconds
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Dancing in the kitchen with Eris Drew, Octo Octa, Kate Pierson and Jayda G

DJ and producer Eris Drew talks to Octo Octa, Jayda G, and Kate Pierson of The B-52's about who they’ve remixed recently, why it's hard to do DJ mixes and not be able to look at the crowd, why 1950s rock'n'roll is important for dance music, and the role positivity plays in their music. Eris is a transgender DJ and producer, originally from Chicago, who started raving in the early 90s, eventually mastering the art of vinyl DJing. She now tours the world playing back-to-back with her partner in life and music, Octo Octa, the ecstatic House producer and DJ based in New Hampshire. They run the T4T LUV NRG record label together. Also on the show is Jayda G, a Grammy-nominated Canadian DJ and producer now based in London, who has made a huge impression on the underground dance scene over the last few years. She released her debut album Significant Changes on the Ninja Tune label in 2019. She’s also a scientist, having studied environmental toxicology. And finally, we have musical royalty with Kate Pierson. A singer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founder of one of the world's most famous rock'n'roll bands, the B-52’s. They defined rock through the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s with hits such as Love Shack, Roam, Private Idaho, and Rock Lobster.
1/15/202130 minutes, 22 seconds
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Writing under blankets in planes with Aloe Blacc, Gregory Porter, Kadhja Bonet and Chelsea Jade

Soul singer and producer Aloe Blacc talks to Gregory Porter, Kadhja Bonet and Chelsea Jade about the purpose behind some of their work, writing songs in planes under blankets, and what happens to the creative process after losing those closest to you. Aloe Blacc is a soul singer and producer raised in Orange County, USA. He absorbed the sounds of cumbia and salsa from his Panamanian parents, before moving on to hip-hop, forming the duo Emanon. Then came his worldwide hit I Need a Dollar, and his life would never be the same again. He’s talking to artists both new and legendary, all now based in California. First up is soul, jazz, and gospel singer Gregory Porter, a Grammy winner who’s been compared to the likes of Nat King Cole and Stevie Wonder. He released his latest album All Rise is August last year. Next is Kadhja Bonet, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter with a background in classical violin. She blends cosmic jazz, R&B, folk, and classical, and her father is an opera singer, so music runs in the family. Finally, Chelsea Jade is a South African-born pop singer and producer, who grew up in New Zealand and is now based in LA. She was previously known as Watercolors, and dropped out of art school before finding her feet in the music industry.
1/8/202129 minutes, 47 seconds
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Chaos vs perfection with Ami Dang, Elisita Punto, Nazar and Tuna Pase

Experimental sitarist, singer, and producer Ami Dang is from Baltimore in the US. Her sound fuses North Indian classical with ambient electronics. She’ll be asking the group today all about the importance of not knowing where a song will end up, persevering with a project even when it’s not going well, and how relations with family can inspire stories of positivity and tragedy. Talking about those subjects is Elisita Punto, a producer and composer who was part of the band MKRNI from Santiago, Chile. They made ”psyche-elec-tropical” sounds before disbanding; she now performs solo as Futuro Fosil, and has been described as creating "unpredictable, reverb drenched, beat-heavy, delicate, ambient sounds”. Nazar is a producer who draws on deep subject matter with his music, including his father’s role in the Angolan civil war. Nazar returned to the country in 2002, which is where his journey into music production began. Having grown up in Belgium, he describes his music as “rough Kuduro”, mixing traditional music with sounds of war, synths, chanting samples, and lyrics that deal with issues of massacres and violence. And Tuna Pase is an artist, lecturer, ethnomusicologist and engineer born in Istanbul, and now based in Barcelona. She plays electronics, flute, percussion, and sings, and her music is inspired by “sleeping, dreams, nature, poetry, photography, street art, and bicycles”.
1/1/202125 minutes, 24 seconds
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'Swans ruined our recording' with Ólafur Arnalds, Agnes Obel, Dustin O'Halloran and Hania Rani

Are you happy working alone? Does location affect your music? What happens after the album is done? This is what Icelandic composer, producer and king of the ambient Ólafur Arnalds will be asking the group in this episode of Music Life. He’s just released his new record Some Kind of Peace, has scored for film and TV, and has carried the Icelandic sound further around the world than it’s been before. Dustin O'Halloran forms one half of A Winged Victory For The Sullen and is an American pianist and composer. They released their latest project last year with The Undivided Five, whilst Dustin has been busy writing music for films including Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette and TV show Transparent. He now lives in Iceland. Hania Rani is a composer and pianist based between Warsaw and Berlin. She released her debut solo record Esja last year, in which she said, “No hiding behind collaborations anymore. For the very first time, [it’s] just me, as I am.” And finally Danish singer, composer and pianist Agnes Obel has been a superstar in the chamber music world for some time. She cemented her popularity with 2013’s Aventine album, and her most recent project was this year’s Myopia.
12/25/202026 minutes, 37 seconds
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Trapped in an idea with David Byrne, St Vincent, Sinkane and Vagabon

St. Vincent is an artist, songwriter and producer from Texas, now based in LA. After playing with the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, she formed her own band in 2006. She’s since released six albums including Love This Giant, a collaboration with David Byrne, and she completely shreds on the guitar. Vagabon is a Cameroonian-American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer described as an “indie rock game changer”. She started uploading tracks to Bandcamp in 2014 before releasing her debut album Infinite Worlds in 2017. And finally, David Byrne is one of the planet’s most engaging and prolific creators. He formed new wave band Talking Heads after dropping out of art school and they became one of the most influential bands of the twentieth century. Recently he has been working with Spike Lee on a film version of his Broadway show American Utopia, which has been described as ‘The Best Live Show of All Time’. Ahmed Gallab, also known as Sinkane is a Sudanese-American musician and singer based in New York, who blends Funk, Jazz, Dance, and Pop. His latest album ‘Dépaysé’ is about self-discovery as an immigrant in the USA. Together they’ll discuss feeling the pressure to do something different, what American identity is and how it shows in their music, and whether they make things to make people think, or move their feet.
12/18/202030 minutes, 45 seconds
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The science behind the perfect hit with Becky Hill, MNEK, Ella Eyre and Frances

This week Music Life gets crazy about pop with host Becky Hill, who asks MNEK, Ella Eyre and Frances all about their signature styles, if there's a formula for writing the perfect hit, and when songs don’t turn out as expected. Becky was a finalist on the first series of The Voice UK, and has since gone on to achieve global Pop stardom, working with the likes of Rudimental, MNEK, Little Simz, Jonas Blue, Jax Jones, Sigala and many more. An album is finally expected next year. Former Music Life guest MNEK is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. He has written and produced for some of the biggest artists around the world, including Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, HER and Dua Lipa, and he’s amassed over 1 billion streams. Frances is a singer-songwriter and producer. She’s been releasing her own music since 2015, and has written and produced for the likes of Katy Perry, Dua Lipa and Meghan Trainor. And Ella Eyre is an award-winning British/Jamaican/Maltese singer-songwriter, who rose to fame back in 2013 when her collaboration with Rudimental topped the UK chart. Since releasing her debut album, Feline, back in 2015, she has toured with the likes of Olly Murs, Little Mix and the Script, and has worked with everyone from Ty Dolla $ign, Yxng Bane, and Kiana Ledé to Meghan Trainor and French Montana.
12/11/202033 minutes, 50 seconds
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Coconut water and confidence with Kranium, Masego and Alicai Harley

Kranium is a singer and songwriter who blends dancehall and reggae. Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York, he’s worked with the likes of Ty Dolla $ign, Burna Boy, Mahalia and Ed Sheeran. He chats to Masego and Alicai Harley about working quickly in airports, what their best choruses are, how they use the sounds of what came before, and what it’s like working with the industry’s biggest names. Answering those questions is Masego, a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and rapper based in LA. The video of him recording and live-looping his hit single Tadow with producer FKJ has been viewed over 240 million times. They're joined by an artist blowing up in London right now, Alicai Harley. She’s a singer, songwriter, and rapper known for her freestyles, whose sound fuses elements of dancehall, R&B, pop and UK grime.
12/4/202031 minutes, 57 seconds
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Loving and hating the studio with Tune-Yards, Haim, Black Pumas and Chicano Batman

An unbelievable line up this week sees Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus ask Danielle and Este from Haim, Black Pumas' Eric Burton and Bardo Martinez of Chicano Batman if they consider the audience when writing, the ways in which their creative process has adapted from when they started out, and how they use the music of the past in their work. Eric Burton - a singer, songwriter, former busker, and one half of Black Pumas - was discovered whilst performing on the streets of Austin, Texas, by a friend of Grammy-winning artist and producer Adrian Quesada. Bardo Martinez is a Los Angeles-based vocalist, keyboardist, and bandleader of Chicano Batman. They have toured with the likes of Jack White, Alabama Shakes and Portugal The Man. And Haim are one of the biggest pop-rock bands of our time. Their latest album, Women in Music Part III, reflects on the strength of their bond, and personal struggles the three sisters have experienced during the writing process, which they have described as “collective therapy”.
11/27/202033 minutes, 13 seconds
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The politics of pleasure with Thurston Moore, Brix Smith, Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley and Rachel Aggs of Sacred Paws

Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore is joined by Brix Smith, Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))) and Rachel Aggs to discuss staying creative in lockdown, connecting to their audiences, and the link between politics and their work. Thurston Moore is a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and founded the band Sonic Youth. Joining him is Stephen O'Malley, a guitarist, producer, composer, label boss, and visual artist from Seattle, Washington, best known for his work in the doom metal group Sunn O))). The band has been described as creating “titanic drone metal” and their latest release was last year’s Pyroclasts. Brix Smith is a songwriter and guitarist best known for her work with post-punk band The Fall. She went on to form Adult Net and more recently Brix & The Extricated; she’s now recording her first solo album. And Rachel Aggs is a multi-instrumentalist originally from London and based in Glasgow. She sings, plays the guitar and is best known for her distinctive guitar work in Sacred Paws, Shopping, and Trash Kit. She’s also recently released her first solo album, Visitations 0202.
11/20/202030 minutes, 48 seconds
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The importance of improvising with Bebel Gilberto, Martha Wainwright, Sam Amidon and Martin Hayes

Bebel Gilberto welcomes Martha Wainwright, Sam Amidon and Martin Hayes to talk about the influence of their musical families, their most memorable live shows, why improvising is so essential, and walking the creative tightrope between doing something new and following traditions. Brazilian singer and songwriter Bebel Gilberto is the daughter of Bossa Nova star Joao Gilberto and singer Miucha. Martha Wainwright is a Canadian-American singer and songwriter born in New York City to musicians Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, and her brother is Rufus Wainwright. She released her debut record in 2005, and has since released a further six albums. Sam Amidon is a folk artist from Vermont, USA, who plays guitar, fiddle, and banjo. He followed in the footsteps of his folk musician parents, who would play Irish and Appalachian folk music for him. And Martin Hayes, a traditional Irish fiddle player, and founder of the Irish-American group The Gloaming. He grew up in County Clare, where his father PJ Hayes was a respected fiddle player. He won six All-Ireland Fiddle competitions before moving to Chicago, and has played for President Obama at the White House.
11/13/202031 minutes, 54 seconds
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Magic moments with Paul Epworth, Arlo Parks, Dave Okumu and 100 gecs

If you don’t know Paul Epworth’s name, you’ll certainly know his music, as he’s produced for the likes of Adele, Florence and the Machine and Rihanna. He asks 100 gecs, Arlo Parks and Dave Okumu about working with analogue equipment in a digital world, studio disasters, ideas that evaporate as they take too long to capture, and the difference between making your own music as opposed to making it for other people. Futuristic pop duo 100 gecs's debut album, 1000 gecs, captivated fans all over the world, including Charli XCX, Rico Nasty and Fall Out Boy, and they’ve been described as a “brain-melting, genre-crushing vision of pop’s future”. Arlo Parks is a 20-year-old musician and poet who is one of the most exciting artists coming out of London right now. She is redefining intelligent pop-soul with her thoughtful, confessional music that has seen her described as "the voice of Generation Z". And Dave Okumu is a producer and songwriter, known for fronting the Mercury Prize-nominated band The Invisible. He is one of the most sought-after collaborators in music, having worked with Adele, Amy Winehouse, Yoko Ono, King Sunny Ade, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, and Tony Allen.
11/6/202032 minutes, 17 seconds
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The ‘Lost Beats’ folder with Felicia Douglass, Sly5thAve, Leon Michels and Tiana Major9

Songwriter, keyboardist, percussionist and Dirty Projector Felicia Douglass chats to Sly5thAve, Leon Michels, and Tiana Major9 about their desires to become musicians, skills and hobbies they’ve acquired during quarantine that have fed into their work, and how they start a new piece of music. Tiana Major9 is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter who has been praised as a “singular voice in British Black soul”. Her music combines thoughtful soul, jazz, and R&B, and she features on Stormzy’s Mercury-nominated album Heavy Is the Head. Leon Michels is an American producer and musician. As well as co-founding the labels Truth & Soul Records and Big Crown Records, he’s also credited on Adele’s Grammy-nominated album 19, and has worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Dr John and the Black Keys. And finally, Sylvester Onyejiaka, aka Sly5thAve, is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger whose compositions are shaped by his faith in hip-hop and a deep understanding of soul, R&B, jazz, and West African music. He has performed alongside Prince, and worked with Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe and Quantic. In 2017 he released an orchestral album in tribute to Dr Dre, who congratulated his arrangement live on stage.
10/30/202032 minutes, 36 seconds
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Music in our grandmother's DNA with Kelsey Lu, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Lotic and Fatima Al Qadiri

Singer and cellist Kelsey Lu is joined by Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Lotic, and Fatima Al Qadiri to discuss how their ancestral backgrounds influence the stories they tell, the use of nature as a metaphor, and if they ever feel alone being an artist. Fatima Al Qadiri is an experimental Kuwaiti music producer and artist, currently based in Los Angeles. Last year she received a Cesar nomination for Best Original Score for her work on Mati Diop’s debut feature film Atlantics. Lotic is a Berlin-based electronic musician, born and raised in Houston, Texas. She has worked with and opened for Björk, who described her as “one of the fiercest performer DJs” she has ever heard. Beverly Glenn-Copeland is a Philadelphia-born singer, composer and transgender activist, whose recording career spans fifty years. His music fuses vision, technology, spirituality and place to create a genre-defying sound. And Kelsey is a classically trained cellist from Charlotte, North Carolina. She has collaborated with the likes of Skrillex, Sampha, Solange, and Florence and the Machine, and recently created an audiovisual project of meditative sound baths called Hydroharmonia.
10/23/202034 minutes, 7 seconds
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Recording tradition with Derya Yildirim, Yousra Mansour, Hasan Nakhleh and Merve Erdem

A very exciting show this week, featuring the best artists from west Asia and north Africa. Turkish singer and saz player Derya Yildirim from Grup Simsek chats to Yousra Mansour, Hasan Nakhleh and Merve Erdem about how they work in the studio, what their songs tell us about tradition, and their biggest inspirations in the development of their work. A very exciting show this week featuring the best artists from west Asia and north Africa. Yousra Mansour is a Moroccan guembri player and lead vocalist of Moroccan-French quartet, Bab L’ Bluz. They’re now at the forefront of the new wave of women fronting Gnawa bands. Merve Erdem is a Turkish multi-disciplinary artist, born in Istanbul and now based in London. She writes, sings and produces multi-media visuals for her group Kit Sabastian, who last year released their debut album Matra Moderne. And finally, Hasan Nakhleh is a keyboardist and guitarist who’s one half of Tootard, a band comprised of brothers from the Golan Heights. The band are described as “unleash[ing] a disco whirlwind that pays homage to the Middle Eastern dancefloor scenes of the 1980s”.
10/16/202033 minutes, 32 seconds
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Floppy disks and cassette tapes with Témé Tan, Nick Hakim, Raquel Berrios and Ela Minus

Témé Tan welcomes Nick Hakim, Raquel Berrios and Ela Minus to discuss the purpose of the work they make, whether they imagine their albums as one piece or a playlist of songs, and the importance of travelling and meeting other creatives from around the world. Témé is an artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, now based in Belgium, who mixes pop, soul, hip-hop and Afro elements in his music. Nick Hakim is a a psychedelic soul and R&B producer, singer, and songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. He released one of the albums of the year with his second LP Will This Make Me Good, after battling grief, writer’s block, and the Coronavirus outbreak. Raquel Berrios is one half of Puerto Rican pop duo Buscabulla, who released the excellent album Regresa earlier this year. The album explores the theme of returning home after several years in New York, and finding it devastated by two hurricanes. Ela Minus is a Colombian-born, New York based-singer and producer who prefers using and building her own synths to using computers. She was also a drummer in a hardcore band before releasing her own music in 2016.
10/9/202029 minutes, 20 seconds
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Musical resistance with Rina Sawayama, Angel-Ho, Shamir, and Mykki Blanco

Rina Sawayama, Angel-Ho, Shamir, and Mykki Blanco talk about where they get the inspiration to create when they are not performing, trying to be original or not, and the role resistance plays in their music. Mykki Blanco is an internationally renowned musician, performing artist and LGBTQ+ activist who defined the queer rap genre with their mixtapes Cosmic Angel and Gay Dog Food. This year alone they have completed two albums' worth of material. Shamir is a singer, songwriter, and actor from Las Vegas, now based in Philadelphia. He has just released his self-titled latest album, which is his most intimate to date. Angel-Ho is a performance artist, producer, and singer from Cape Town. Her most recent record, Woman Call, is rooted in “empowering the voice of a woman who is not the perfect mould of society”. And our host of the week is Rina Sawayama. Her album SAWAYAMA will be appearing on many Best Albums of the Year lists – including Elton John’s, who called the album his favourite of the year so far.
10/2/202034 minutes, 24 seconds
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Heart v technique with Norah Jones, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar and Soumik Datta

An absolutely fascinating discussion this week sees Nitin Sawhney welcome Norah Jones, Anoushka Shankar and Soumik Datta to discuss the differences between being a solo artist versus being part of a band, the importance of playing with heart over technique, and how collaborating and working with different musicians changes their sound. Nitin Sawhney grew up studying the piano, guitar, sitar and tabla. He has released scores of albums, and composed for theatre, dance, video games and cinema, including the film Mowgli for Netflix and the BBC TV series Human Planet. He’s also worked with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Nelson Mandela, Joss Stone, Annie Lennox, Sting, and Mira Nair. Norah Jones is a nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician. She launched her solo music career in 2002 with her debut album Come Away with Me, and since then she’s sold over 50 million records worldwide. She’s also collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Outkast, Foo Fighters, Willie Nelson, Q-Tip and former Music Life guest Robert Glasper. Anoushka Shankar is a musician, composer and producer who began training on the sitar with her father, Ravi. She made her professional debut at the age of 13 and had made three classical solo records by the time she was twenty. She was also the first Indian musician to perform live at the Grammy Awards, and she has worked with the likes of M.I.A., Rodrigo y Gabriela, Gold Panda, Lenny Kravitz, Deva Premal, and Zakir Hussain. And finally, Soumik Datta is a British-Indian musician and composer who specialises in the sarod. He has collaborated with Beyoncé, Joss Stone, Anoushka Shankar, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and host Nitin Sawhney. He has also presented documentaries examining how music helps us understand India’s past and present, and was invited by Jay-Z to join him on stage for Royal Albert Hall’s first ever hip-hop concert.
9/25/202031 minutes, 38 seconds
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Songwriting first dates with Melanie C, Nadia Rose, Rae Morris, and Jin Jin

A stellar collection of musicians and songwriters this week, and who better to lead the discussion than somebody who has sold in excess of 85 million records? Singer, songwriter, presenter, DJ, and Spice Girl Melanie C asks the group candid questions about creativity, including the importance of dynamics in a songwriting team, what is it that informs the sound they want to make, and the thing they really love about making music. First up Nadia Rose, a rapper from South London who’s been writing bars and performing since her school days. She’s gone on to write for Rihanna and has won a MOBO Award for the music video to huge hit Skwod. She’s also Stormzy’s cousin. Rae Morris is a singer and songwriter who released her debut single aged 20. She’s since shared stages with Lianne La Havas, Bombay Bicycle Club and George Ezra, and has worked with Lucy Rose and Clean Bandit. And finally, Jin Jin is a platinum-selling musician, songwriter and entrepreneur who grew up around her grandfather’s reggae music store. Since then she has written with the likes of Sigala, Jax Jones, David Guetta, Clean Bandit, Little Mix, Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Raye, and Jess Glynne.
9/18/202035 minutes, 8 seconds
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Dark places and bliss with Reuben James, Izzy Bizu, Scribz Riley and Gracey

Singer, pianist and producer Reuben James started playing the piano from the age of three, so in terms of the percentages of a life spent in music he’s right at the top. In this episode of Music Life, he asks Izzy Bizu, Scribz Riley and Gracey about the best song they’ve written, what they would change if they could go back in time and alter a piece of work, and the thing that they erase the most during the writing process, be it a lyric, a subject, or a feeling. Izzy Bizu is a British-Ethiopian singer, songwriter, and BBC Introducing Artist of the Year, who has toured with Coldplay, AlunaGeorge, and Sam Smith. Scribz Riley is a two-time Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and artist who’s worked with the likes of Khalid, J Hus, Normani and Yxng Bane. He was also handpicked by Marvel to contribute to the Black Panther soundtrack in collaboration with Kendrick Lamar. And finally, Gracey is a pop singer and writer who’s worked with the likes of Kylie, Pet Shop Boys and Cher. As her career took off, she lost her voice and needed surgery to fix it, but her career is now back on track.
9/11/202028 minutes, 20 seconds
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Getting into trouble with Moonchild Sanelly, Etuk Ubong, Cuppy and Bryte

South African musician and dancer Moonchild Sanelly is joined by Bryte, Cuppy, and Etuk Ubong. Together they discuss if there are there things they can’t say in their music, what sounds and lyrics are inspired by their environment, and how successful women are viewed in the male-dominated industry. Sanelisiwe Twisha, better known as Moonchild Sanelly, is the ‘future ghetto punk’ star from South Africa, fusing experimental electronic, afro-punk, and edgy-pop with kwaito, hip-hop and jazz. She welcomes a group of musicians at the forefront of their respective genres. First up is Nigerian DJ, producer, and entrepreneur Cuppy. In August 2015, she set off on her first DJ tour, entitled Cuppy Takes Africa, in which she visited Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa. In-demand trumpeter, composer and bandleader Etuk Ubong, also hailing from Nigeria, draws inspiration from the jazz greats, Afrobeat, highlife and ekombi. He also adds the sounds of water, wind and fire, which is why he calls his sound "earth music". And finally, Ghanaian musician, singer, and producer Bryte has established himself as one of the most exciting voices in recent times by fusing African afrobeats with UK funky and bassline sounds.
9/4/202032 minutes, 43 seconds
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Musical dreams with Ishmael Butler, KeiyaA, IAMDDB and Bishop Nehru

Experimental hip-hop artist Ishmael Butler hosts this edition of music life - he's a member of Shabazz Palaces, and was also part of Grammy-winning hip-hop pioneers Digable Planets. He’s also worked with the likes of Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Animal Collective. He’s joined by IAMDDB, a songwriter and vocalist based in Manchester, UK, who is very much the artist in demand right now. Her performance of the song ‘ause on the music platform Colors has been viewed more than 16 million times, and her 2019 album ‘Swervvvvv.5’ made her a household name in the international community. Bishop Nehru is a young rapper and producer from New York. He has made two albums with elusive rap poet MF Doom, and worked with Dizzy Wright, 9th Wonder and Kaytranada. And KeiyaA is a singer, songwriter and producer from Chicago, now based in New York. She’s previously worked as a session musician for Noname, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, and Mick Jenkins, and released her debut album Forever, Ya Girl earlier this year. Together the group discuss the chemistry in collaborations, first steps in the creative process, and if they’ve ever dreamt an idea.
8/28/202031 minutes, 11 seconds
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'I forgot to hit record' with Ellen Allien, Afrodeutsche, Catnapp and Mentrix

This week, we’re celebrating artists that have close ties with the German city of Berlin. Ellen Allien is a globally renowned DJ, electronic musician, producer and label boss based in Berlin. Her label, B-Pitch Control, has shaped the sound of the city over the last decade, and she’s constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable with music and a dancefloor. Catnapp is an experiemental, self-taught electronic music artist and sound engineer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who moved to Berlin in 2015. She recently appeared in the Netflix series Unorthodox, and in the future she wants to score music for sci-fi films. Mentrix is a Berlin-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer from Tehran, Iran. Her music blends her experiences of eastern and western culture, and she brings together electronic sounds with traditional Sufi instrumentation. And our host this week is Afrodeutsche, a Russian/British/Ghanaian composer, DJ, producer, and remix artist who’s performed and worked with the likes of Aphex Twin and former Music Life guest Marie Davidson. They’ll be discussing how the sounds of history make their way into their music, feeling the pressure to create, and the importance of finding inspiration.
8/21/202029 minutes, 3 seconds
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The science of soundtracks with Max Richter, Hans Zimmer, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Angélica Negrón

A huge episode of Music Life this week sees one of the most versatile composers working today, Max Richter (Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror, Ad Astra, Mary Queen of Scots), ask renowned creators of music for film, TV and the stage how they got their starts in the music business, their creative processes, how they convey emotion through their work, and how it’s actually quite difficult to create something simple. Among those answering these questions is a man who really needs no introduction, Hans Zimmer. He’s scored over 100 films so far, putting his signature sound on everything from James Bond to the Dark Knight Trilogy via Thelma & Louise. There isn’t a film that isn’t vastly improved with Hans’ work behind it. Also with Max is Icelandic composer, cellist and vocalist Hildur Guðnadóttir. She won the Academy Award for best score for the controversial film Joker, and you can also hear her music-less score in the haunting TV series Chernobyl. Puerto Rican composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón completes the line up; she writes music for chamber ensembles, orchestras, film, theatre, robotic instruments, and even toys. This is a meeting of minds that’s not to be missed.
8/14/202034 minutes, 1 second
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Obsessed with production with Kelly Lee Owens, Jessy Lanza, Jehnny Beth and Tei Shi

Jehnny Beth, frontwoman of noise queens Savages and now a solo artist, leads the discussion with three thought-provoking and inspirational musicians. Kelly Lee Owens is one of the most exciting DJs and electronic producers right now, a Welsh musician who’s collaborated with the likes of St. Vincent, Bjork, Jenny Hval, and Jon Hopkins. Jessy Lanza is an an electronic songwriter, producer, and vocalist from Ontario, Canada. A former music teacher, she grew up playing piano and clarinet, before going on to study jazz and eventually finding her feet in electronic music. And finally, Tei Shi is a Colombian-Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer born in Buenos Aires, but now based in LA. She’s jokingly described her work as "mermaid music". Together, they discuss the history of the studio gear they use, positions they record vocals in the studio, watching films to get inspiration, and the difficulties of recording animals.
8/7/202033 minutes, 9 seconds
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Throwing away lyrics with Chali 2na, Omar, Skye Edwards and Rodney P

Jurassic 5 founder Chali 2na welcomes Rodney P, Skye Edwards from Morcheeba, and Omar to the show. Ever wondered what the first step in the creative process is for musicians? What kind of obstacles do they face in achiveving success? These are just some of the questions that Chali will asking the group. Plus there’s some hilarious anecdotes and gentle ribbing along the way. Chali 2na has one of the most distinguishable baritone voices in hip-hop. He’s an MC, graffiti artist and founding member of the collective Jurassic 5, and forms half of Ozomatli with DJ Cut Chemist. Rodney P is known as the Godfather of British hip-hop. An MC and broadcaster, he released what is widely regarded as the most important UK hip-hop album of all time with Gangsta Chronicle in 1990. Skye Edwards is known for being the lead vocalist of Morcheeba. She’s also worked with the likes of Nouvelle Vague, Grace Jones collaborator Ivor Guest, and our host, Mr Chali 2na. And finally, Omar is a soul singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and actor, best known for the hit There’s Nothing Like This. He’s worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Kele Le Roc, Lamont Dozier, Common, Estelle and Angie Stone. His father was a studio musician and drummer with Bob Marley, Horace Andy and the Rolling Stones.
7/31/202034 minutes, 32 seconds
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'Synths are my best friends' with Suzanne Ciani, Marie Davidson, Sui Zhen, and Lorenzo Senni

Legendary electronic artist Suzanne Ciani welcomes Marie Davidson, Sui Zhen, and Lorenzo Senni. Suzanne is based in San Francisco and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards. She was the first woman to score a major Hollywood film, and was the first female voice to be used on a computer game. Marie Davidson is a French-Canadian musician, and one of the world’s most exciting electronic producers. Her most recent record, Working Class Woman, considers “the stresses and strains of operating within the spheres of dance music and club culture”. Lorenzo Senni is a Milan-based electronic music producer, composer and visual artist, and has composed for cinema and theatre. He has even created an installation designed to comfort people in the intensive care unit of a hospital. And Sui Zhen is an experimental pop and performance artist from Melbourne, Australia, whose work focuses on the intersections between human life and technology. Joining from different timezones across the planet, they’ll dicuss what it’s like to release an album, the importance of human interactions with machines, and how they first discovered their beloved synths.
7/24/202038 minutes, 56 seconds
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'I get scared' with Azekel, Kwesi Arthur, Shab and Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano

Nigerian-born songwriter, producer, and musician Azekel welcomes Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon, Kwesi Arthur, and Shab. Together, they talk about why it’s tricky writing with people you don’t know, what it’s like working with big names, and how important it is to express identity in music. Azekel has collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, Massive Attack, GAIKA, and Grammy-winning producer Om’Mas Keith (who’s worked with Frank Ocean and Anderson .Paak). Prince also tweeted about one of his songs, and Grace Jones is a fan. The lead singer of Swedish band Little Dragon, Yukimi Nagano has a Swedish-American mother and a Japanese father. The band are back with a new record called New Me, Same Us. Kwesi Arthur is a 25-year-old rapper and musician from Tema, Ghana. He initially wanted to be a footballer but was inspired to pursue a career in music after listening to Drake’s album Thank Me Later. And Shab is an Iranian singer-songwriter who is one of 13 brothers and sisters, a refugee now based in America. Her debut album is due later this year and the first track from it, Spell On Me, is produced by Grammy-winning producer Damon Sharpe (Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez). She describes the track as a “disco ode to female wildness”.
7/17/202029 minutes, 3 seconds
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The art of pop with Soweto Kinch, Charlotte Adigéry and Jordan Rakei

Saxophonist, MC and poet Soweto Kinch talks to Charlotte Adigéry and Jordan Rakei about pop music inspirations, writing to fit in a genre, and the role ego plays in their art. Charlotte Adigéry is a Belgian-Caribbean musician, born and raised in Ghent to parents from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and she’s hard to define by genre. She also performs as electro-punk alter ego WWWater. When making music, Charlotte has said, “I try and make something without thinking about direction or genre or sound.” Jordan Rakei is a New Zealand-Australian jazz, soul, R&B, and pop musician, singer, songwriter and producer. His breakthrough record came in 2017 with Wallflower, and he released the Origin LP earlier this year. He’s also worked with the likes of Disclosure, Jessie Ware, Loyle Carner and Anna Calvi.
7/10/202024 minutes, 49 seconds
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The best of the guests

Music Life digs out some of the highlights of the series so far for its 50th episode. The first musician to ever host an episode of Music Life was John Grant, and he’s back to guide us through some of the highlights that have happened on Music Life since the show began last year. Through 50 unbelievable episodes we’ve heard from the likes of Billy Cobham on playing for Miles Davis, Souad Massi on being an artist from a country that frowns upon it, Iggy Pop on genre-crossing, Raye on surviving the lows, Chassol on hilarious creative rituals, Yuna on working with superstar Usher, Rhiannon Giddens on how music can be a tool for social justice, and Niarui from Les Amazone D’Afrique on when the best time to write is. We’ve covered so many subjects with nearly 200 musicians, and no episode has ever been the same or covered the same ground. Here’s to the next 50.
7/3/20201 hour, 35 minutes, 2 seconds
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The words, the rhythm, the melody with Angelique Kidjo, Melissa Laveaux, Flavia Coelho and Maya Kamaty

Canadian guitarist Melissa Laveaux welcomes Flavia Coelho, Maya Kamaty, and Angelique Kidjo. Melissa gets to the bottom of issues within the industry, the importance of asking questions rather than finding answers, and themes in their music that they keep returning to. All of this while being completely in awe of the legendary Angelique. Angelique Kidjo is a four-time Grammy award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter, actor, and activist of Nigerian descent. She’s fluent in five languages, and has worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Philip Glass, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, and Herbie Hancock. Flavia Coelho is a Brazillian singer-songwriter born in Rio De Janeiro, who mixes samba, bossa nova, Brazilian rap, reggae and ragga. Her latest release, DNA, explored themes of corruption, homophobia and racism; an echo of the political difficulties in Brazil. And finally, Maya Kamaty is pioneering a new generation of the Reunion Island’s traditional song form, maloya. She is also the daughter of legendary maloya musician Gilbert Pounia, leader of the band Ziskakan.
6/26/202031 minutes, 5 seconds
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Fascinations with the future, with Rvdical the Kid, Gafacci, Ria Boss and Keyzuz

This week, Music Life brings together four of the best West African young producers and trend setters for the first time. Rvdical the Kid is from Nigeria and Ghana, raised in Benin, before moving to Accra. In 2015 he released the genre-defining album Carte Blanche, and is due to follow it up later this year. Joining him is Gafacci, one of the most exciting Ghanaian music producers, DJs, and songwriters right now. Club nights and publications around the world are spreading his name, so keep your ears on him. He’s worked with homegrown and international artistes such as Sarkodie, Samini, Bryte, Mina, Famous Eno, and Fever Ray. Ria Boss is a Ghanaian-Burkinabe singer songwriter, also based in Accra. Her debut EP, Find Your Free, is a compilation of healing songs she wrote to help get her through her rough battle with depression, identity issues, and quest for self-love. She also released the #THANKGODITSRIA series in which she released 11 EPs in 11 weeks. And finally, Keyzuz is a DJ and producer who has shaped her creative identity around being a nonconformist, an artist who pushes the boundaries of her expression both aurally and visually. She’s originally from Ghana and is now based in America. They’ll be discussing elements that repeat in the music process, how much of the artists’ work is intentional, and how they deal with imposter syndrome (a very common syndrome amongst musicians).
6/19/202031 minutes, 5 seconds
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Dance and wash the dishes with Laetitia Sadier, Peter Zummo, Mabe Fratti and Marie Merlet

Stereolab founder Laetitia Sadier chats to Mabe Fratti, Peter Zummo, and Zooey’s Marie Merlet. French singer, keyboardist, percussionist and trombonist Laetitia Sadier has worked with the likes of Blur, Luna, Deerhoof, Common, Mouse on Mars, and Tyler, The Creator. She’s asking the guests how they overcome hurdles, how they define originality, expanding musical ideas, and what sparks the creative process. Answering these tough questions is American composer, trombonist and producer Peter Zummo. He’s perhaps most famous for his years of work with cellist and producer Arthur Russell, plus the Love of Life orchestra, Flying Hearts, and Lounge Lizards, which saw him create a style that he wryly termed "minimalism plus a whole lot more". Guatemalan cellist, singer, and sound artist Mabe Fratti started playing the cello when she was just eight years old. She released her debut album Pies Sobre la Tierra earlier this year to critical acclaim. And French singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Marie Merlet completes the line-up. You might also know her as Iko Cherie; she also makes up one half of French duo Zooey with Matthieu Beck, and used to be in the French post-rock band Monade with host Laetitia.
6/12/202032 minutes, 37 seconds
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Accidents, humour, and guilt with Joy Crookes, Georgia, Jaz Karis and Afrikan Boy

On hosting duties is Olushola Ajose, a.k.a. Afrikan Boy, a London-born rapper and producer of Nigerian heritage whose music blends hip hop, grime and afrobeat. His track One Day I Went To Lidl caught the attention of MIA, who invited him to collaborate and tour with her. He’s since worked with the likes of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, DJ Shadow, The Noisettes, Lady Leshurr and Nneka. He’s joined by South London-based neo-soul singer and songwriter of Bangladeshi-Irish heritage, Joy Crookes. She has firmly established herself as one to watch with three critically acclaimed EPs and receiving a Rising Star Award nomination at the 2020 Brit Awards, just in time for the release of her debut album coming later this year. Jaz Karis is a soulful RnB singer-songwriter who cites Erykah Badu, Frank Ocean and Amy Winehouse as some of her biggest influences. Since releasing her debut EP Into the Wilderness in 2017, she has signed to NAO’s record label Little Tokyo Recordings, and amassed nearly 10 million views for her performance of her track Petty Lover on music platform Colors. Also joining the conversation is producer, singer and songwriter Georgia, who began her music career as a drummer for Kwes and Kate Tempest, and has gone on to collaborate with Africa Express, Honne, Mura Masa, Gorillaz and Peter Hook. She won the One to Watch Award at the AIM Independent Music Awards in 2019, and released her second record Seeking Thrills in January this year to critical acclaim. They’ll be discussing what aspects of their personalities shine through the most when making music, what drives their creativity, and what life lessons they’ve learned so far from working in music.
6/5/202028 minutes, 49 seconds
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Turning fear into excitement with Austra, Dry Cleaning's Florence Shaw, Dan Deacon and Cosmo Sheldrake

Prepare to be inspired by this week as Canadian singer Katie Stelmanis, AKA Austra, sits down with Dan Deacon, Cosmo Sheldrake and Dry Cleaning’s Florence Shaw. Dan Deacon is a singer-songwriter and film score composer from Baltimore, USA, who is known for his exhilarating live shows and is described by his record label Domino as an "alchemist of electro-acoustic recording tools". He released his latest record Mystic Familiar in January 2020, his first to display his natural singing voice. Another artist known to surprise his audiences is Cosmo Sheldrake, who often brings sounds from the natural world into his records and live performances. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter, Cosmo released his debut album in 2018, and his compositions have featured in theatre, film, and London's Natural History Museum. They’re joined by Florence Shaw, who is a visual artist and university lecturer as well as being the lead vocalist and lyricist for London-based band Dry Cleaning. Her sources of lyrical inspiration include social anxiety, YouTube comments and even takeaway menus. They’ll be discussing the odd places they find inspiration, how an album’s format can impact the music itself, and overcoming anxiety.
5/29/202031 minutes, 53 seconds
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Creative freedom with Labdi, Hibotep, Karun and Faisal Mostrixx

A show dedicated to artists from the Kenyan and Ugandan underground. Kenyan musician and singer-songwriter Labdi, the only female Orutu player in East Africa, is going to guide us through the episode. She’ll be asking the group how they settled on making their authentic sounds, if they feel free creatively, and whether the influence of West African music is a positive or negative. Answering those questions is: Hibotep, a Ugandan counter-culture visionary, DJ, filmmaker, fashion designer, installation artist, rapper and producer. She’s performed twice for Boiler Room at Nyege Nyege Festival and is one of the lead artists in East Africa’s New Wave. Karun is a Nairobi-based singer and songwriter, Berklee College of Music alumni and formerly part of the BET Awards nominated Camp Mulla. She’s now a solo artist and one of Kenya’s most celebrated soul voices, appearing in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 last year. And Faizal Mostrixx is one of Kampala’s most recognised contemporary dancers and a producer giving traditional Ugandan sounds a modern makeover with electronics in an effort to preserve its heritage. He also featured in the Resident Advisor artist 15 East African Artists You Need to Hear, and he recently provided the music for the Adidas Originals campaign Freedom.
5/22/202034 minutes, 40 seconds
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'Why didn't I think of that?' with Ella Eyre, Mahalia, MNEK and Hamzaa

A huge episode of Music Life this week, with Ella Eyre, Hamzaa, Mahalia, and MNEK. Our host today is BRIT Award and MOBO winner Ella Eyre, a singer who's worked with the likes of Rudimental, Sigala, Meghan Trainor, Bastille, and French Montana. She's joined by Mahalia, an R&B/Neo-Soul singer, songwriter and actor who started playing the guitar at 13, and has worked and toured with the likes of Rudimental, Emeli Sande and Ed Sheeran. Her album Love and Compromise, released last year, features Burna Boy, Lucky Daye, and Ella Mai - as well as another of our guests today, Hamzaa. She's an alt-soul singer-songwriter and pianist who’s worked with Wretch 32 & Ghetts, been championed by Stormzy and compared to Adele, and supported Ray BLK. Completing the lineup is Grammy-nominated songwriter, record producer and recording artist MNEK . He’s had a major impact on the British pop charts by co-writing hits for the Saturdays and Duke Dumont, and has since gone on to work with the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Little Mix. They’ll be discussing what you look for in a co-writer, what you want out of a producer, and how easy or hard it is to get the record labels on board with your music.
5/15/202034 minutes, 3 seconds
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'I don't like rules' with Moelogo, Pongo, Silvastone, and Viva Msimang

This week on Music Life, Nigerian born artist Moelogo welcomes Pongo, Silvastone, and Viva Msimang (Penya). We are very lucky to be joined by; Pongo, a vocalist and songwriter based in Portugal, born in Angola. She has renewed the Kuduro music by mixing her African roots with EDM, Bass, Dancehall, and Pop and her videos have been watched over 11 million times online. Silvastone is an genre-defying artist, producer and songwriter, raised in Freetown in Sierra Leone, and born to Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean parents. He describes his music as “a creative hybrid of African Beats and UK Street Sounds marinated in Global Melodies”. He’s worked with everybody from Popcaan and Davido to Damian Marley and Rita Ora. And finally, Viva Msimang who is a trombonist and singer of Chilean and South African heritage from the band Penya. She’s also worked with the likes of former Music Life host Sarthy Korwar, the Mercury-nominated Go Team, and Tanzanian musician Msafiri Zawose. And host Moelogo is an Afrobeat, R&B, and Hip Hop singer and songwriter who has collaborated with the likes of Giggs, Mostack, Tiggs Da Author, Mr Eazi, Adekunle Gold, Da Beatfreakz, Wretch 32, and Jonas Blue. Together, they’ll be discussing how to stand out in today’s music scene, whether record labels help or hinder the creative process, and how their music connects with audiences.
5/8/202027 minutes, 48 seconds
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The influence of family with Soweto Kinch, Shingai Shoniwa, Eno Williams and Barney Artist

Music Life this week sees British jazz saxophonist, MC, and poet Soweto Kinch host Shingai Shoniwa, Eno Williams, and Barney Artist. Singer and bassist Shingai Shoniwa is formerly of the band The Noisettes. The name Shingai, according to Wikipedia, means "bold/courageous/strong" in the Shona language. Eno Williams is the lead vocalist in the electronic funk band Ibibio Sound Machine. She was born in London but spent most of her childhood in Nigeria where her family spoke Ibibio, the native language of the Ibibio people in Akwa Ibom Staten. And our final guest is Barney Artist, a London rapper, who’s worked with George The Poet, Tom Misch, and Jordan Rakai. Soweto is a Mercury prize nominated / MOBO winning artist who’s been championed by Mos Def and Rodney P and has supported the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele, and TY. He’s also the nicest guy in music. Together they explore themes in music that revolve around family and its influence, the idea of homecoming and identity, and the importance of language.
5/1/202025 minutes, 37 seconds
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Music therapy with Kane Brown,Holly Macve and Olivia Lane

Young country stars Kane Brown, Holly Macve and Olivia Lane discuss writing songs as therapy, recurring themes, and being put in a difficult position by their lyrics. Kane Brown is a superstar in the making from Tennessee, and has been called the ‘Justin Bieber of country’. He has worked with the likes of Khalid, Becky G, and Marshmello, and his influences include Chris Young, George Strait, Lee Brice and Garth Brooks. He’s also the only artist in to simultaneously top all five of Billboard's country music charts. Olivia Lane is an up and coming artist who is also from Tennessee, but was born in Texas. Her lyrics cover a wide range of topics from romance to mental health struggles. She cites Shania Twain, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King and Taylor Swift as some of her musical influences. And this week’s host, Holly Macve, is an Irish alt-country singer and guitarist, who has shared a stage with the likes of John Grant, Benjamin Clementine, and Ryley Walker. Her grandfather was a classical composer and her mother sang and collected blues, country and jazz records, so music definitely runs in the family.
4/24/202026 minutes, 1 second
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The voice of the inner critic with Caroline Polachek, Robert Glasper, Colin Greenwood and Tamino

Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood discusses all things music with Tamino, Caroline Polachek, and Robert Glasper. Together, they’ll be attempt to solve the riddle of how they keep the creative flame alive, overcoming the voice of the inner critic, and why you need a plan B – a get out plan - if you’re a musician. Colin Greenwood – the brother of Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny – is the bassist with Radiohead. He’s selected an awesome array of musicians to talk to: Belgian singer, musician, and model of Egyptian and Lebanese heritage Tamino; songwriter, producer, and singer formerly of Chairlift, who’s worked with the likes of Solange, Blood Orange, Travis Scott, and Charli XCX, Caroline Polachek; and Robert Glasper, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning jazz pianist, producer, composer, and arranger, who’s worked with Kendrick Lamaar, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, J Dilla, Jay-Z and Anderson Paak.
4/17/202031 minutes, 49 seconds
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Overcoming obstacles with Melisa Whiskey, Zlatan, Lyta, and Garry Mapanzure

Melisa Whiskey, a singer from London by way of Nigeria, talks to some of the finest young African talent out there at the minute: Nigerian musician and dancer Zlatan, who has worked with the likes of Burna Boy, Olamide, Lil Kesh, and Davido; fellow Nigerian musician Lyta, who's making waves after releasing the singles Selfmade, Time, and the Davido-produced Monalisa; and Garry Mapanzure, a 21-year-old artist and architecture student from Harare, Zimbabwe, who’s an All Africa Music Awards winner. Together they discuss their creative processes, if stage fright exists, and the pretty huge obstacles they’ve had to face to achieve success. BIG obstacles.
4/10/202024 minutes, 38 seconds
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'Do my friends like my music?' with Shura, Kim Petras, Mae Muller and Ego Ella May

A bumper edition of Music Life this week sees alt-pop singer and guitarist Shura host Kim Petras, Mae Muller, and Ego Ella May. German pop icon Kim Petras is now based in Los Angeles. She’s worked with everybody from Charli XCX and Fergie to MAX, Sophie, Jojo, and ALMA, and topped the Spotify viral 50 chart in 2017. Mae Muller is a rising pop star, releasing her debut album Chapter 1 last year. Self-taught songwriter, producer and guitarist Ego Ella May has worked with the likes of Oscar Jerome, Joe Armon-Jones (from Ezra Collective), Wu-Lu and Eddie Hick (from Sons of Kemet). They discuss how social media affects the ability to create, how to know when a song is done, and whether trying to be commercial affects how songs are written. Plus the greatest names for dogs.
4/3/202027 minutes, 43 seconds
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'Never plan' with La Roux, Channy Leaneagh, Elaha Soroor, and Dana Gavanski

Channy Leaneagh, the lead singer and synth player with the Minnesota band Polica, asks La Roux, Elaha Soroor, and Dana Gavanski what makes them want to write more, if they feel satisfied with the way they release music, and about their issues with the media industry. Elly Jackson, also known as La Roux, is a bona fide alt-pop star and Grammy Award-winning singer, who is now back with her first album in five years, Supervision. Dana Gavanski is a folk singer-songwriter born in Vancouver, Canada, to a Serbian family. She’s a newcomer on the music scene, who has made waves with her debut album Yesterday Is Gone. And “protest singer” Elaha Soroor, from Afghanistan, born in Iran, found fame on the TV show Afghan Star – the Afghan equivalent of American Idol. She was forced to flee the country after singing songs critical of the Afghan culture and its oppression of women.
3/27/202026 minutes, 37 seconds
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Singing in the dark with Niariu, Dyo, Lady Donli and Marla Brown

This week’s episode of Music Life is an absolute powerhouse of the some of the greatest talent in contemporary music right now. Led by Tiguidanké Diallo, AKA Niariu, originally from Guinée, they'll talk about why it’s easier to sing in the dark, why musicians need to be rebels, and finding your own voice in your music. Niariu is a multidisciplinary artist and singer with the band Les Amazones d'Afrique. They’re a supergroup with members coming from all over the continent, with the aim of raising awareness of violence against women. Joining her is Dyo, an Ivor Novello nominated artist of Nigerian heritage, who’s worked with everybody from Maroon 5, Chip,and Wiley, to Mr Eazi, Iggy Azalea, Adekunle Gold, and Luis Fonsi. The first “pan-African rock star”, Lady Donli, is also here; she grew up in Abuja, Nigeria, and released the Enjoy Your Life album last year, which featured the huge track Cash. And finally, Marla Brown, a dancer and performer, and the daughter of the “crown prince of reggae”, Dennis Brown.
3/20/202025 minutes, 52 seconds
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Musical identity with Sinkane, Emel Mathlouthi, Laima Leyton, and Shirley Tetteh

This week on Music Life Sinkane (Ahmed Gallab) is joined by Emel Mathlouthi, Laima Leyton, and Shirley Tetteh. With such an eclectic mix of musicians it’s only right they talk about straddling multiple cultures, the role spirituality plays in their music, how you turn an idea into a song, and the all-important question of who their biggest fan is. Macaulay Culkin may get mentioned. Sinkane returns to host his second show of Music Life. He’s a Sudanese-American musician who blends krautrock, prog rock, electronica, free jazz and funk rock with Sudanese pop. Emel Mathlouthi is a Tunisia-born, New York-based singer-songwriter, who gained popularity after a video of her performing during a Tunisian street protest went viral online during the Arab Spring. As a result, her music was banned from Tunisian radio airwaves, which earned her the title "voice of the Tunisian revolution". Brazilian music producer Laima Leyton has been DJ-ing around the globe as one half of Mixhell, and has played with Igor Cavalera, as well as producing her own music and remixing and collaborating with artists such as Moby, Buraka Som Sistema, Soulwax, and Diplo. And finally, Shirley Tetteh AKA Nardeydey is one of the most exciting guitarists in the UK right now. As part of the band Nerija, they released their debut album Blume last year.
3/13/202033 minutes, 48 seconds
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Delving into the subconscious with Jon Hopkins, Anna Meredith, Holly Herndon and Max Cooper

Four behemoths of the current electronic music scene - Max Cooper, Anna Meredith, Holly Herndon, and Jon Hopkins – join the BBC World Service to talk all about creativity. They’ve made some of the most influential music of the 2010s, and that continues into the new decade. Led by Irish composer, producer, and former geneticist Max Cooper, the group discuss how much their subconscious plays a part in their music, their composition likes and dislikes, and – the biggest question of all – the reasons why they became a musician in the first place. Answering those questions are: one of the most innovative voices in British music, the contemporary-classical composer Anna Meredith, who released the album Fibs last year; American composer and sound artist Holly Herndon, who developed her sound in Berlin, and released the excellent album PROTO last year; and keyboardist, producer, and 'sonic technician' Jon Hopkins. Fresh from releasing various offshoots of the album Singularity, he’s been touring the world, and has played with everybody from Brian Eno and Coldplay to King Creosote.
3/6/202033 minutes, 14 seconds
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Playing to people who don't look like you with Sarathy Korwar, Damien Escobar, Fehdah and Osman Gerein

Music Life is led this week by percussionist and producer Sarathy Korwar. He was born in the US and grew up in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India, and began playing tabla at the age of 10. His album More Arriving was released last year; featuring rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi, it was described as “an honest reflection of [the] experience of being an Indian in Britain”. Joining him is the American violinist, author, and entrepreneur Damien Escobar from New York; Irish, by way of Sierra Leone, future-Afro soul vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Fehdah; and percussionist Osman Gerein, who plays with The Scorpios, of whom several members are originally from Central Sudan but are now based in the UK after fleeing the fundamentalist takeover in that region. They’ll be finding common ground in the music they make by discussing relationships with their instruments, how much they need to practice, whether audiences look like them, and what rituals they go through to perform.
2/28/202027 minutes, 38 seconds
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'Playing live is scary' with Marika Hackman, Eliza Shaddad, Dino D'Santiago and Ayo Odia

On this globetrotting episode of Music Life we are taken into the mind of the artist with Portuguese singer of Cape Verdean descent Dino D’Santiago. A singer, guitarist, and beat-boxer, he bridges the traditional sounds of Funaná, Batuku, Morna with modern recording techniques and sounds. He's joined by half-Finnish vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Marika Hackman; singer and writer of Sudanese and Scottish heritage Eliza Shaddad, who's a frequent collaborator with UK chart toppers Clean Bandit; and Ayo Odia, a saxophonist and singer of many guises, who currently plays with the collective Yung Afrika Pyoneers. Together, they discuss the first songs they ever wrote, whether they feel most comfortable as artists in the studio or on the stage, and how they get away from the limitations of a genre.
2/21/202030 minutes, 31 seconds
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'Write about what you know' with Yuna, mxmtoon, Shakka and Alex.tbh

The weekly show Music Life returns with Malaysian singer Yuna, guiding us through a number of musical topics with British singer and record producer Shakka, 19-year-old Chinese American YouTube star mxmtoon, and self-taught Malaysian Queer Pop icon Alex.tbh. We’re all over the musical dial with this one, in which our stars talk about how they write their music, the things they can and can't say in their lyrics, and the artists they'd most like to meet and collaborate with. Yuna has worked with everybody from Usher to Tyler The Creator, and her latest album Rouge – released last year – featured the likes of Little Simz, Masego, and G-Eazy. Her experience in the music industry is unique and we look forward to finding out the truly amazing stories she has to tell.
2/14/202023 minutes, 45 seconds
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Soul v technology with Raphael Saadiq, Moses Boyd, Denai Moore and Samm Henshaw

In this week’s Music Life, singer-songwriter and Pharrell Williams collaborator Samm Henshaw gets inspired by the thoughts of Raphael Saadiq, Denai Moore, and Moses Boyd. Raphael Saadiq is a Grammy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné!, as well as being a critically acclaimed solo artist, and has worked with the likes of D’Angelo, Kelis, Mary J Blige, Solange, Whitney Houston and John Legend. Jamaican-born, London-based singer and songwriter Denai Moore is newer on the scene, but has worked with the likes of SBTRKT and released two solo albums to date. She’s also the founder of Dee’s Table, a weekly food pop-up and supper club serving vegan Jamaican food. And Moses Boyd is one of jazz's most exciting upcoming artists. He’s a multi-award winning drummer, composer, producer and radio host, who fuses jazz, grime and electronic sounds. Led by Samm Henshaw, the group tells us what colour would best describe the music they make, which of their songs they’d want to be remembered for, and how they find the balance when they use technology to create soulful music.
2/7/202032 minutes, 28 seconds
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Strange fan encounters with Nabihah Iqbal, Nilüfer Yanya, Laura Lee and Gaye Su Akyol

This week’s episode of Music Life gets personal with musician, producer and black belt in karate Nabihah Iqbal, who is joined by Khruangbin’s Laura Lee, as well as singers Nilüfer Yanya and Gaye Su Akyol. Laura Lee was a maths teacher turned bass player who started her musical journey 8 years ago in the three-piece band Khruangbin. The band have toured with the likes of Bonobo, Father John Misty, Massive Attack and Leon Bridges, and are known for blending global music influences, classic soul, dub and psychedelia. London-born singer-songwriter of Turkish and Barbadian descent Nilüfer Yanya started writing songs at the age of 6, and has since toured alongside The xx, Interpol and Mitski. Last year she released her debut album Miss Universe, a semi-conceptual project that blends rock, pop, electronica, R&B, and soul. And Turkish singer, songwriter, producer and audio-visual artist Gaye Su Akyol rounds off the panel. She blends traditional Turkish melodies and structures with psychedelia, surf rock and grunge. Led by Nabihah Iqbal, they’ll be discussing strange fan encounters, dating as a musician, and using music as an escape.
1/31/202026 minutes, 14 seconds
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Drumming for legends with Tony Allen, Billy Cobham, Femi Koleoso and Dele Sosimi

Ezra Collective drummer Femi Koleoso and Dele Sosimi of Fela Kuti's Egypt 80 are joined on Music Life by two of the greatest drummers of all time: Billy Cobham and Tony Allen. Billy Cobham is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who played with Miles Davis in the 60s and 70s, before forming the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He's gone on to play with Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, James Brown and many more. Nigeria's Tony Allen was once described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived". With his band mate Fela Kuti, he founded the Afrobeat sound - as Fela once said, "Without Tony, there would be no Afrobeat". Dele Sosimi is a Nigerian-British musician who also played with Fela Kuti, playing keyboards in his Egypt 80 band, before forming Positive Force with his son Femi Kuti. Femi Koleoso gets to put questions to his musical heroes, those who have done a great deal to inspire his work with Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner and London jazz group Ezra Collective.
1/24/202024 minutes, 1 second
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Composing naked with Christophe Chassol, Sudan Archives, Emmanuel Jal and Ala.Ni

Parisian pianist Christophe Chassol has written music for Frank Ocean, Solange, Sebastian Tellier and Phoenix, as well as releasing a string of successful solo releases. On this episode of Music Life he talks to Emmanuel Jal, Ala.Ni, and Sudan Archives. Sudan Archives AKA Brittney Denise Parks is a violinist, singer, and producer from Los Angeles whose debut album Athena is out now. Ala.Ni is a London-born, Paris-based singer influenced by the music of her uncle, the Grenada-born cabaret singer Leslie Hutchinson. Emmanuel Jal is a South Sudanese-Canadian musician, actor, and former child soldier, whose latest album, Naath, is a collaboration between him and his sister. These great musicians get together and discuss their composition process, their musical heroes, and the challenges of collaboration.
1/17/202031 minutes, 27 seconds
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Clichés with Gabriella Cilmi, Natacha Atlas, Carmen Souza and Soud Massi

Australian singer Gabriella Cilmi hosts Music Life, the show where some of the best musicians in the world come together to talk about creativity and living as a musician. She is joined by Portuguese singer Carmen Souza, France-based Algerian singer Soud Massi, and Egyptian-British singer Natacha Atlas. Carmen Souza is a jazz singer, pianist, and guitarist of Cape Verdean decent who sings in Portuguese, English, French and Creole. Soud has widely been touted as the most successful female singer-songwriter to emerge from the Arabic-speaking world. Natacha has collaborated with the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Peter Gabriel, and Jean-Michel Jarre, and her latest album Strange Days was released last year. Gabriella, whose platinum selling debut album Lessons to be Learned came out in 2008, talks to these other great singers about staying true to artistic visions, songwriting clichés, and the unsung people who have helped them in their careers.
1/10/202035 minutes, 23 seconds
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Cultural exchange with Sinkane, Cautious Clay, Lea Lea and Elenna Canlas

Sudanese-American multi-instrumentalist and singer Sinkane hosts Music Life this week, the show where some the best musicians in the world come together to discuss their creative process and life as a musician. Sinkane is joined by New York's Cautious Clay, an estate agent turned pop-artist whose track Cold War was recently sampled by Taylor Swift, Filipino-American keyboardist and vocalist Elenna Canlas, who was a member of the world-renowned dub reggae collective Easy Star All-Stars, and Lea Lea, a singer from East London of Trinidadian and Italian descent, who has shared stages with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Roots Manuva, and Amy Winehouse. Host Ahmed Gallab, AKA Sinkane, has collaborated with the likes of David Byrne, and was also a member of the Atomic Bomb Band, which celebrates the music of Nigerian musician William Onyeabor. He also recently released his seventh studio album Dépaysé. The artists discuss the ways in which they collaborate with musicians from different genres and cultures, along with talk of first gigs and life on the road.
1/3/202029 minutes, 12 seconds
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'Don't move your hair so much' with Self Esteem, Maisie Peters, Rakel Mjoll and Alex Cameron

Rebecca Lucy Taylor AKA Self Esteem hosts this week's Music Life - the show where some of the best musicians from all over the world get together to talk about how they make music, and their lives as musicians. Joining her are some other great pop musicians. Alex Cameron is a singer born and raised in Sydney who makes what has been described as “Australian sleaze pop”. He apparently is used to dressing up as an old man, and his most recent record is a love letter to his partner and a musing on masculinity. Also joining the group is Maisie Peters, a 19-year-old singer songwriter from Brighton in the south of England, who started writing songs aged 12 and cites the likes of Taylor Swift, Lily Allen, First Aid Kit, Kacey Musgraves and Kanye West among her biggest influences. She gained fame after releasing recordings of herself on Youtube, and the internet has decreed that she is making the “best observational pop of 2019”. Finally, Rakel Mjoll, lead singer of the band Dream Wife. She is a former art-school student and singer from Iceland who grew up in California. Dream Wife are a band who tackle subjects such as body image, gender roles, and the various faces of womanhood. Led by Rebecca, they discuss honesty in lyrics, musical pet hates, getting your hair caught in a violin, and trying to determine what’s cool.
12/27/201931 minutes, 25 seconds
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Waking up in a good mood with Seun Kuti, Sheila Maurice Grey and Eno Williams

This week, Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti AKA Seun Kuti – singer, saxophonist, Egypt ‘80 band leader and son of Fela Kuti from Lagos, Nigeria – hosts a very lively episode. He’s joined by trumpeter, vocalist and visual artist, the leader of the excellent Afrobeat band KOKOROKO (meaning 'be strong' in Nigerian language Urhobo) Sheila Maurice Grey. And lead vocalist from Ibibio Sound Machine, born in London but spending most of her childhood in Nigeria where her family speak Ibibio, the native language of the Ibibio people in Akwa Ibom Staten, Eno Williams. Led by Seun they’ll be discussing whether music should have a social responsibility, favourite songs to play live, dealing with heckles, and where the art form goes to next.
12/20/201923 minutes, 4 seconds
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Fed up of the plain old form with Iggy Pop, Anna Calvi, Jason Williamson and Leron Thomas

This week, we’re going into the holiday season with a bang. Trumpeter, composer, vocalist, and producer Leron Thomas (Pan Amsterdam, Iggy Pop) is joined at the world famous Maida Vale studios in London by: the godfather of punk, David Bowie collaborator, actor, singer, and all-round legend Iggy Pop; singer, composer, producer, three-time-Mercury-Music-Prize-nominated guitar shredder, and now a soundtrack artist for the hit TV show Peaky Blinders, Anna Calvi; and punk poet, and an all-round musical rebel from Nottinghamshire in the UK who writes and shouts about everything to do with 21st Century Britain, it’s Jason Williamson from the band Sleaford Mods. Led by Leron they’ll be discussing innovation in music, how they implant different genres into their work, and how it feels to be an artist in the current political and social climate.
12/13/201929 minutes, 21 seconds
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The art of the wedding DJ with John Grant, Jarvis Cocker, Gruff Rhys and Simon Raymonde

This week, we’re joined by a who’s who of indie royalty. John Grant - American singer-songwriter, multi-linguist, former member of the Czars, and now an incredibly successful solo artist in his own right – guides us through this episode. He’s joined by Pulp founder and frontman Jarvis Cocker, one of the greatest voices in UK music; musician, producer, record label boss and former Cocteau Twins bassist and keyboard player, Simon Raymonde; and Gruff Rhys, Welsh musician, composer, producer, filmmaker, author, and man of many bands, including Super Furry Animals. Led by John, they’ll be discussing how your career changes your relationship with music, the strains of being a travelling musician, and how to perfect the art of the wedding DJ.
12/6/201923 minutes, 20 seconds
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Dismantling preconceptions with Stephanie Phillips, Blick Bassy, Gabriela Quintero and Daymé Arocena

This week, we’re going truly global, taking in three continents. Lead singer and guitarist of the UK black feminist punk band Big Joanie, Stephanie Phillips, guides us through this bumper episode. Joining her is: one half of the duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, who’ve been playing together for almost 20 years and have been inspired by everything from Heavy Metal to Jazz, it’s Gabriela Quintero; a singer, composer and choir director from Cuba, she’s signed to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label and has been quoted as saying: “We want to make Cuban music universal again by mixing the traditional with our young spirits”, it’s Daymé Arocena; finally, a Cameroonian singer songwriter, one of 21 children and who started singing at the age of just 3. He mixes African, Latin and American influences, it’s Blick Bassy. Led by Stephanie, they’ll be discussing the expectations that are placed on their music from outside forces, how their various influences manifest themselves in the music, and whether or not politics can be a creative force.
11/29/201926 minutes, 55 seconds
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Advice to your younger self with Quantic, Tamar Osborn, Pete Wareham and Orphy Robinson

The host this time is musician, engineer, and ambassador for all things South America, Will Holland aka Quantic. Will is joined by: British saxophonist, Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear founder, Pete Wareham; one of the busiest saxophonists in the business with her band Collocutor, Tamar Osborn; and British multi-instrumentalist, television, film, and theatre score composer Orphy Robinson MBE. Led by Quantic, they’ll be discussing the moment they realised they were a musicians, how important are their surroundings when they are creating music. Will aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
11/22/201925 minutes, 32 seconds
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Inequalities in the music industry with Raye, Jacob Banks, Tenesha the Wordsmith and Melle Brown

This week, Beyonce writer and pop star Raye is back in the presenter’s chair with a new round of musicians. This time she is joined by: the winner of the 2012 MOBO UnSung regional competition in Birmingham and ‘Unknown (To You)’ singer Jacob Banks; producer, radio host, and DJ on the up Melle Brown who’s also signed to Jamz Supernova’s label; and Californian poet and spoken word artist Tenesha the Wordsmith. Led by Raye they’ll be discussing how their careers affect the people around them, how women treat other women in music, and inequalities and race in the industry.
11/15/201927 minutes, 7 seconds
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Video game inspirations with James Lavelle, Elsa Hewitt, Skinny Pelembe and Rahel Debebe Dessalegne

This week, born in Johannesburg and raised in Doncaster, UK, the multi-talented, young, and much hyped musician Skinny Pelembe is joined by: Mo Wax founder, UNKLE leader, and an artist who’s collaborated with everybody from Thom Yorke to Massive Attack, James Lavelle; on the other side of the sofa sits avant-garde electronic artist Elsa Hewitt who has been enjoying much success this year; and rounding off the group is a singer of Ethiopian heritage and leader of the band Hejira, Rahel Debebe Dessalegne. Led by Skinny, they’ll be discussing stealing from their heroes, whether or not they dance to the music whilst they make it, and whether video games have inspired what they do.
11/8/201925 minutes, 14 seconds
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Mental health and music with Stephen Malkmus, Peter Hook, Jesca Hoop and BC Camplight

This week, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, former Bjork label mate Brian Christinzio AKA BC Camplight is joined by an eclectic line up of musicians, including: the legendary New Order and Joy Division bassist and co-founder Peter Hook; Pavement frontman and solo artist in his own right Stephen Malkmus; and mentored by Tom Waits, Californian singer and guitarist Jesca Hoop completes the group. Led by Brian they’ll be discussing which part of your personality is the biggest detriment to your creativity/productivity, musical memories, and why you don’t need to be a ‘tortured artist’ in order to make music that people take seriously. Brian aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
11/1/201934 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why gigs feel like football matches with Kojey Radical, Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia and Ashley Henry

Welcome to Music Life, the weekly series and podcast in which musicians talk to their peers about all aspects of life making music. This week, poet, artist, musician, rapper, model, and visual artist Kojey Radical commands the red sofa and hosts this episode. He is joined by: jazz superstar saxophonist, Sons of Kemet and The Comet Is Coming band leader Shabaka Hutchings; the only jazz artist on a UK major label, the up and coming pianist Ashley Henry; and the person who is “changing jazz” right now, the award winning saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Led by Kojey they’ll be discussing how you write about something you’ve not personally experienced, feeling accepted by your peers, and whether or not you need to be an outsider in order to be original.
10/25/201926 minutes, 14 seconds
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Divine inspiration with Rhiannon Giddens, Josh Turner, Cam and Justin Osborne

It's a country music themed episode of Music Life, coming to you backstage from the Long Road Festival in Leicestershire in the English Midlands. Musician, historian, and activist Rhiannon Giddens is joined by singer Josh Turner from South Carolina; singer and song-writer to the the stars—including Sam Smith and Miley Cyrus—Cam from California; and frontman of the band SUSTO, Justin Osborne. They talk about their public personas, using art to effect change, and spirituality.
10/18/201939 minutes, 5 seconds
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Missing your friends' birthdays with Arlo Parks, RAYE, Kabaka Pyramid and JMSN

This week, Beyonce writer and pop star on-the-up RAYE is joined Jamaican superstar and Damian Marley collaborator Kabaka Pyramid, 19 year old London musician and poet Arlo Parks, and with six albums under his belt, Detroit producer, mixer, musician, singer and Ed Sheeran label-mate JMSN completes the quartet. Led by Raye they’ll be discussing balancing love, friends, school, and a social life with music, trying to find the off button and being able to relax, smiling for pictures, and missing your mum when on tour.
10/11/201925 minutes, 10 seconds
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Does your heritage affect your sound? With OSHUN, Uche and Carla Marie Williams

This week Carla Marie Williams returns to host and she’s joined by Niambi and Thandi aka American hip-hop soul duo OSHUN (over 10 million Spotify streams), and Uche from production duo Da Beatfreakz (who worked with Chris Brown, Sean Paul, Usher, Ellie Goulding). Led by Carla they’ll be discussing the importance of their heritage in their music, being independent artists, and the most fun part about writing music. Carla aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
10/4/201929 minutes, 10 seconds
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Reggae today with Don Letts, Hollie Cook, Josh Rudge and Eva Lazarus

In this week’s episode of Music Life we hear from Don Letts, Hollie Cook, Josh Rudge of the Skints and Eva Lazarus. Music Life is a weekly series and podcast in which musicians talk to musicians about all aspects of life making music. The host this time is Don Letts (aka the Rebel Dread, film maker, radio broadcaster and DJ). And he’s joined by British/West Indian reggae singer and keyboardist Hollie Cook; founding member of London reggae band The Skints, Josh Rudge; and multi-talented artist Eva Lazarus who has worked with Gentleman’s Dub Club, Mungo’s Hi-Fi and Nextmen to name a few. Led by Don they’ll be discussing why bass is so attractive as a sound, what has inspired them to get where they are today and reggae's place in the modern world. Don aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
9/27/201929 minutes, 48 seconds
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Is there a place for politics in music? With Benjamin Zephaniah, Novelist, Sophia Thakur and Hussain Manawer

Music Life continues in this weekly series and podcast in which musicians talk to musicians about all aspects of life making music. The host this time is poet, author and musician Benjamin Zephaniah (The Times listed him as one of 50 greatest postwar writers). And he’s joined by rapper Novelist (Mercury nominated), spoken word artist Sophia Thakur (performed live with London Symphony Orchestra, published author), and spoken word performer Hussain Manawer (supported Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, and Cher). Led by Benjamin they’ll be discussing whether there is a place for politics in music, is it more difficult for men to be vulnerable and do they regret anything they have released. Benjamin aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
9/20/201937 minutes, 2 seconds
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How has the music industry changed over time? With Lee Fields, Nina Nesbitt, Pixie Lott and Barns Courtney

In the eighth episode of Music Life, four musicians talk about all aspects of their lives and music making. The host this time is singer Pixie Lott. She’s joined by singer and songwriter Nina Nesbitt who has written for the likes of Jessie Ware and has toured with Ed Sheeran. Fresh from touring, folk pop and blues rock artist Barns Courtney joins the discussion. Also on the show is American soul singer Lee Fields who has been recording for over 50 years. Led by Pixie Lott they’ll be talking about signing and losing deals, how the music industry has changed over time and how they manage to perform the same songs over and over again.
9/20/201925 minutes, 14 seconds
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How hard is it to be original? With Sally Beamish, Rob Lewis, Jo Quail and Robin Haigh

The host this time is arranger and composer Rob Lewis (critically acclaimed latest album ‘Momentum’ out now). And he’s joined by composer and violist Sally Beamish (received 'Award for Inspiration' at the 2018 British Composer Awards), composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail (worked with Salif Keita, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim) and composer Robin Haigh (one of the youngest winners of the British Composer Award). Led by Rob Lewis they’ll be discussing where do you start when composing a piece of music, writers block, and how hard is it to be original. Rob aims to get to the bottom of how they all do what they do, and why they do it.
9/6/201935 minutes, 4 seconds
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Would you make music for no money? With Swindle, Joel Culpepper, Ahnanse and Lioness

Instrumentalist and music producer Swindle (signed to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label) is joined by R&B singer songwriter Joel Culpepper (who's worked with Paloma Faith, Jimmy Hogarth, Roy Davis Jr.), vocalist Lioness (over a million views on YouTube), and multi-instrumentalist composer Ahnanse (runs most popular underground UK jazz night Steam Down). Led by Swindle, they’ll be discussing how the city you grow up in influences your sound, weirdest place they’ve recorded a song and would they still be doing this if there was no financial reward.
8/30/201924 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why The Smiths are actually happy with Quantic, Rosie Lowe, Emma-Jean Thackray and Adriano Adewale

Musician and producer Quantic (signed to Tru Thoughts) is joined by singer songwriter Rosie Lowe (who's worked with Jay Electronica and Floating Points), Brazilian percussionist and composer Adrian Adewale (worked with Salif Keita, Airton Moreira and Flora Purim) and multi-instrumentalist Emma-Jean Thackray (award winning jazz musician). Led by Quantic they’ll be discussing how they know when a song is finished, what the biggest obstacle has been and how they overcame it, and the moment they realised they were a musician. Photo: L to R - Adriano Adewale, Emma-Jean Thackray, Quantic and Rosie Lowe Credit: BBC
8/23/201924 minutes, 24 seconds
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The pitfalls of being pigeonholed with Femi Koleoso, Connie Constance, Nadia Rose and Maverick Sabre

Maverick Sabre - singer, rapper and songwriter, who's worked with Chase & Status and Professor Green - is this week's host. And he’s joined by recording artist Nadia Rose (known for singles Skwod and Tight Up, plus written for Rihanna), Ezra Collective drummer Femi Koleoso (who's worked with Pharoahe Monch and Jorja Smith), and recording artist Connie Constance (has worked with producer Jim Abiss). Led by Maverick, they’ll be discussing that feeling you get before and after releasing music, the pitfalls of being pigeon holed into a genre, and the role of faith in their music. Photo L-R: Connie Constance, Maverick Sabre, Femi Koleoso and Nadia Rose Credit: BBC
8/16/201934 minutes, 7 seconds
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When the demo is better than the final song with Jacob Collier, dodie, Lianne La Havas and Makaya McCraven

The host is Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and composer Jacob Collier. And he’s joined by dodie, a YouTuber with almost two million subscribers, recording artist Lianne La Havas, and jazz drummer and producer Makaya McCraven. Led by Jacob, they’ll be discussing whether they suffer from ‘demo-itis’ (when the demo is better than the finished product), how they develop an initial idea for a song into reality, and how they bring spontaneity to their live shows.
8/9/201922 minutes, 22 seconds
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What would Beyonce do? With Ghetts, JP Cooper, Kojo Funds and Carla Marie Williams

This week's host is platinum-selling songwriter Carla Marie Williams (Beyonce, Britney Spears, Kylie). And she is joined by recording artists Ghetts (ex-NASTY crew), Kojo Funds (over 200 million streams) and JP Cooper (platinum-selling artist). Led by Carla, they discuss how they overcome writers block, how they decide on which direction to go in musically plus, how grime can grow as a genre.
8/9/201934 minutes, 3 seconds
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Rookie errors on social media with Guy Garvey, John Grant, Planningtorock and Fiona Brice

Singer-songwriter John Grant (ex-The Czars) is joined by special guests Guy Garvey (Elbow), Planningtorock (genderqueer electronic musician) and orchestral composer and violinist Fiona Brice (Placebo, Anna Calvi, Jay Z, Robbie Williams). Together they talk candidly about how success is connected to self-worth, embarrassing rookie errors on social media, anxiety and being yourself.
8/9/201933 minutes, 1 second
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The preview

Four different big-name musicians talk together each week about what matters most: making music. The first three episodes, with guests including John Grant, Dodie, Carla Marie Williams (Beyoncé’s songwriter) and Guy Garvey (Elbow), drop on Friday 9 August 2019.
8/2/20192 minutes, 6 seconds