10 jaw-dropping live performances from 1Xtra’s Hot For 2016


BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Hot 4 2016 shortlist contains the finest new rappers and MCs, vocalists and bands across grime, soul, hip hop, RnB and reggae. But before they were tipped for big things this year, the artists were already blowing away listeners in 2015 with live performances, either in the Live Lounge, at festivals or from the depths of Charlie Sloth’s fiery booth.

Here’s a selection to show what makes this year’s crop of contenders so hot:

Bugzy Malone covers Tupac

Already well established as one of the hottest grime stars coming through (and one of very few Mancunian MCs to reach national prominence), Bugzy’s contribution to 1Xtra’s MC Month was this inspired retread of 2Pac’s Changes, in which he updates Tupac Shakur’s sober and reflective lyric for the social media age. It’s a world away from his pugnacious contribution to 2015’s great grime beef, and all the better for it.

NAO stuns Glastonbury

In a festival environment it can be tough for new

10 most influential moguls in pop history – and what you can learn from them


The term ‘music mogul’ might conjure up images of record-label billionaires who drive Rollers and always look awkward when photographed with their acts, but a new three-part BBC Four series, Music Moguls: Masters of Pop, takes a wider view – examining managers, producers and PR maestros, rather than the business overlords like David Geffen and Clive Calder.

It’s an interesting viewpoint, suggesting that those closer to the day-to-day operations of musicians are just as influential (and sometimes as wealthy) as the bean-counters who own the industry, and they’ve got a point. Here are just a few discussed in the series (along with a couple of extras we’ve thrown in).

1. Brian Epstein

By his own admission, Brian Epstein was more an ideas man than the kind of lethal business practitioner who would rule the music industry after him, but no one had taken a band from a standing start to truly international stardom before (except Colonel Tom Parker with Elvis, but Elvis never toured outside the US). Intelligent and viciously organised (although sometimes naive), Epstein

What we’ve learned from interviews with female musicians on Woman’s Hour


Time after time, the presenters on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour – Jenni Murray, Jane Garvey, and others – get superb interviews out of the fabulously wide range of musicians they invite onto the programme, many of whom use the opportunity to speak more frankly than they do to the music press. Here’s some wisdom gleaned from just seven, and there are plenty of others to enjoy on Woman’s Hour’s Women in Music page.

1. Take credit where credit is due

We were a force of nature
Steve Nicks on working with Christine McVie

In 2013, Stevie Nicks explained how there was no way that the two women in the 1970s’ incarnation of Fleetwood Mac – herself and Christine McVie – weren’t going to get proper recognition for being the songwriting nucleus of the band (along with Lindsey Buckingham).

“It was very important for us [to get credit] in a man’s world,” Nicks said. “In the very beginning, we made a pact that