Monday 19 March 2018

Radio 1Xtra to mark 15th anniversary with day of celebration

There will be special guests and a trip down memory lane.

DJ MistaJam (Niall Carson/PA)
DJ MistaJam (Niall Carson/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

BBC Radio 1Xtra will mark its 15th anniversary with a day of special guests and highlights from the archive.

The station, which launched on August 16 2002, will dedicate one hour to the best in black and urban music from every year of its existence, starting at 7am with music from 2002.

Professor Green, Chip and other artists who have become friends of the station will join DJ Target, who is sitting in for MistaJam, between 7pm and 10pm for in-depth interviews across the week of the anniversary.

Professor Green (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Rapper Chip will also be a special guest in the 1Xtra Live Lounge on August 16 while Tinchy Stryder will perform on August 17.

The station has been instrumental in supporting the growth of grime music in the UK, giving a national platform to artists such as Stormzy, Lethal Bizzle, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah and Wretch 32, and was the first national UK station to put Kanye West on a playlist in 2003, Rihanna in 2005 and Frank Ocean in 2011.

Stormzy (Andrew Milligan/PA)

BBC Radio 1Xtra ‘s annual event 1Xtra Live has brought artists including Alicia Keys, Craig David, Chase & Status, Giggs, J. Cole, Kano, Kendrick Lamar, Krept & Konan, Rick Ross, Sean Paul, Stormzy, Tinie Tempah, Wiley and Wretch 32 to cities across the UK since 2008.

Rapper Tinie Tempah hailed 1Xtra as an “amazing platform for so many artists who have emerged from the underground over the past ten years”.

He added: “They’ve definitely helped to spread our sound and make it part of popular mainstream culture.”

Tinie Tempah (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Emeli Sande added: “1Xtra has been such an influential force in my career.

“Throughout the years they’ve shown me nothing but love and support, I’m so thankful for their continued confidence in my music.”

She continued: “They embraced me and my music from day one, and for that I’m so thankful. I was a shy kid in a brand new, daunting city.

Emeli Sande (Ben Birchall/PA)

“Having that belief installed in me back then was such a huge motivator and confidence-builder within me.

“I have nothing but respect for their intuition and consistent bold confidence in young talent.”

Ben Cooper, controller of Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, said: “I’m proud of 1Xtra’s authentic voice, its growth from half a million to a million listeners, its skill in providing the wider media with a greater diversity of presenting talent and its ability to support and establish exciting new British artists.

“It’s been an amazing 15 years for the station which has grown and become a huge asset to its young audience, the music industry and the BBC.”

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment