New Radio 1 boss says grime will be the UK’s next big cultural export

Chris Price also said the Brit awards could better have reflected diversity

The new head of music at BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra has said that he thinks grime will be the UK’s next big cultural export.

Chris Price, who has taken over in the role from George Ergatoudis, spoke out about the genre’s revival and reflecting diversity on the BBC.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “This year could be quite a turning point for grime. Can this become our big cultural export moment, our hip hop? It feels like international eyes are on the genre.”

He continued: “Look at Drake signing to Boy Better Know last month or signing grime artists to his own label and Kanye West turning up at the Brits mob-handed with the entire grime industry last year.”

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Price did say the genre faced one problem currently – how to produce seminal grime albums. “It’s not really been an albums genre … In the past 10 years, I think even most grime fans would say there’s been one seminal grime album and that’s ‘Boy In Da Corner’ by Dizzee Rascal,” he explained. “But Stormzy’s going to drop an album this year, Skepta’s probably going to drop an album this year, Kano has just released a phenomenal body of work.”

He also spoke about diversity and the Brits. The awards ceremony was the subject of the hashtag #BritsSoWhite this year after failing to nominate any non-white artists outside of the international categories.

“At Radio 1, we’re really focused on making sure we reflect the diversity of our audience in our music policy. And I’d love to see the success of an artist like Stormzy, who’s got a long history with 1xtra and Radio 1, and a top 10 single with ‘Shut Up’ – the first freestyle ever to do that – to be reflected at the Brits,” Price said.

“I’d also really love to see the excellent work that 1xtra does at the black and ethnic minority end of the scale be reflected.”