Radio 1 ‘supported Mercury acts all along’

Radio 1 has today declared it has always championed all of the shortlisted Mercury Music Prize artists all along, despite not having heard of half of them until the nominees were revealed a few weeks ago.

“I’ve always been into Led Bib,” says daytime presenter Edith Bowman. “I like the way they fuse all kinds of different ideas and there’s lots of stuff going on in the background. I think, from what I’ve heard so far, that they’re amazing – absolutely incredible. I would play their records on the lunchtime slot, but at the moment there are so many great records that have been released in the last couple of years by the likes of Eric Prydz, Fedde Le Grand, David Guetta and Black Eyed Peas that we just don’t have the time to include them.”

The Scottish DJ continued: “I absolutely love Speech Debelle’s album and I’ve had it on in my car non-stop for the last fortnight. I nearly played a track off it a few days ago, but the computer said I had to play ‘Kiss You Through The Phone’ by Soulja Boi – which is also a great song – so I ended up playing that instead.”

Weekend presenter Vernon Kaye has also championed bookie’s favourite Debelle, ever since he first heard her album last week: “It’s a cracking album with great lyrics and you can really relate to what she’s been through. It’s absolutely fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, it’s really good. I almost played one of her songs last weekend actually, but the playlist was already full and there was no-one around to re-program it, so we ended up playing ‘I Know You Want Me’ by Pitbull instead – which is also a top track.”

Soon-to-be-departing morning host Jo Whiley explains Radio 1’s long-running love of the Mercury Prize: “It’s so important to have a prize like this in the industry and for a brand like Radio 1 to be closely associated with it. I remember there was a real buzz around Roni Size here back in 1997 just after he won the award. A lot of presenters wanted to be the first to play Brown Paper Bag, though in the end we decided not to, as it was unlistenable and completely at odds with the Radio 1 brand. Plus Puff Daddy had just released ‘Missing You’, so we ended up playing that on rotation for the next 3 months, as the record company were paying us a lot of money. I think Roni Size got dropped a few months after that.”

Controller of Radio 1 Andy Parfitt agrees with Whiley’s view and, whilst keen to include a greater variety of music on the station’s playlist, he is also conscious of the corporate brand: “There are so many great songs out at the moment and we’d love to be able to play all types of music in order to give the listeners a broad spectrum from which to make an informed and unbiased decision on the records they buy. Unfortunately we think 95% of that music is entirely unlistenable and not in accordance with the sort of thing that we believe a typical 16-24 year old person would want to listen to. With that in mind, it is imperative that we target our musical output to that demographic – despite the fact that it doesn’t strictly exist.

“I think what we’re ultimately saying, as a radio station, is that we like the idea of new and challenging musical acts, but we would distance ourselves from the actual records. We like Speech Debelle – just not in that kind of way.” he concluded.


2 Responses to “Radio 1 ‘supported Mercury acts all along’”

  1. dleighmiad Says:

    Your very funny send-up reminds me of the year when tabla player Talvin Singh won the Mercury Prize. I don’t think that he received airplay in the UK before or after the win, but I bet that lots of media back-peddling took place!

    • falsenews Says:

      I particularly like the way Radio 1 is funded by the licence payer, yet it decides what that licence payer gets to listen to. I love how pointless target demographics are and how the media bases all its output around them, despite them not actually existing…

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