Clara Amfo is approaching her second anniversary in charge of BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds.
The station’s key tastemaker recently won the Radio Show category at the Music Week Awards (a feat she also achieved in 2021 for the morning show and Live Lounge, alongside hosting the awards).
“Everyone is welcome on our show and I'd like to think that’s why we won,” Clara Amfo told Music Week. “We’re very welcoming with our listeners, I don't think we're too elitist. We are able to toe the line between what is new and upcoming, as well as what is perceived as commercially viable at the same time. And I think that's why it works.”
The broadcaster, who is currently on a summer break, has recently featured artists on the show ranging from Elton John to Yungblud and Hak Baker.
“We have a space where we can have really good conversations with artists,” she added. “I think they know when they come on our show that they feel supported and safe, and they can always tell the truth.”
We have a space where we can have really good conversations with artists
Radio 1’s Hottest Record has become a key platform for new music, with Amfo’s recent selections including tracks by Georgia, Flowerovlove, Holly Humberstone, Bombay Bicycle Club, Stone, Mahalia, Dermot Kennedy, Crawlers, Royal Blood and Digga D.
“The whole point of Future Sounds is supporting new music, whether it is from established people, rising stars or those in between,” said Amfo. “Royal Blood are four albums deep but then you've got somebody like Nia Archives who is just starting – they both deserve the same level of respect.”
Although it’s a specialist evening show, Amfo stressed that superstars are always welcome.
“When Dua Lipa comes back, we'll have her on,” she said. “We did the whole thing around the Adele album, but then there are bands like The Flints who we love playing as well. It's a mixed bag and it's about treating everyone with the same level of respect.”
Click here for all the winners at the Music Week Awards 2023.