'There's going to be a lot more breakthrough British artists': Annie Mac on emerging UK talent

'There's going to be a lot more breakthrough British artists': Annie Mac on emerging UK talent

Annie Mac’s AMP 2017 compilation drops today (November 29) via Virgin EMI and – as revealed in this week’s Music Week – it’s the first time the label has experimented by putting it on streaming platforms.

The Radio 1 DJ is closely involved in the music business as a compilation curator (AMP 2017 is her ninth) and in the live business with her Lost & Found festival in Malta and AMP live brand. A new line-up of AMP Sounds gigs has been unveiled for February 2018, comprising nine shows across three venues – The Jazz Café, Koko and the Roundhouse – with artists including Tom Misch, Billie Eilsh, Jessie Ware and Superorganism alongside DJ slots from Mac. She talked to Music Week about her latest plans…

Does AMP 2017 reflect your favourite music of the year?

Yeah, that’s the purpose of the album, reflecting my favourite records and the records that define the year, so it’s a bit of both. There will be other records like Despacito, for instance, that define the year but I’m going to gladly leave that one off the tracklist – that’s the privilege of doing my own album. It’s always interesting when you start putting it together because you kind of see the year for what it was. In other years, there’s always been a really clear hit in terms of the dance world – and it just hasn’t been that way this year. So I’ve been able to be a lot more self-indulgent in terms of the dance side of it and just have the stuff that’s been big for me and that I’ve enjoyed playing. In terms of CD2, that’s where you have more of the kind of breakthrough artists and the ones that will kind of define this year – SZA, J Hus, French Montana and Stormzy.

Do you think there are plenty of emerging UK artists?

I think there is actually – it’s a really exciting time. We’ve kind of been a little bereft in the last couple of years with British acts coming through. But I feel like, looking forward, we have a lot more, we have a bunch of great, very talented female pop stars coming through, like Jorja Smith, Stefflon Don, Mabel, Raye. I feel really confident that there’s going to be a lot more breakthrough British artists moving forward, definitely.

What are the plans for the AMP Sounds shows in February?

We got to a point where I'd done two Brixtons [O2 Academy Brixton] and Ally Pally felt the next step. But we really wanted just to try and do something different, and it's about trying to incorporate AMP and me as a curator in with me being an actual performer and a DJ and doing shows. So the Jazz Cafe is a kind of showcase for new music, Koko will be a showcase for me as a DJ and for the more electronic side of what I do, and then the Roundhouse is a celebration of all things AMP, a celebration of all the acts we've supported up to now and just knowing how to put on a good party, hopefully.

Is the live brand expanding?

Both myself and my manager have had babies at exactly the same time, we’ve both kind of come out of the fog of new mums and been really hard [at work] planning since the start of the autumn. We’re a really small team and we work very hard – I think we’re going to have to start expanding soon and get more people involved. 

Subscribers can read the interview with Annie Mac here and her take on streaming here

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