Monday 14 December 2020 to Thursday 31 December 2020

The Selector 2020 - Top Ten

And so 2020 finally comes to an end – a very mixed bag for so many artists. Coronavirus put paid to live performance and put many musicians into dire straits. Despite all the bad news, the emerging UK artists showcased on Selector Radio 3 this year have been a constant source of inspiration. From jazz, grime and RnB to alternative pop and experimental electronica, this playlist is nothing more than a tiny snapshot of the enormous talent factory that is the British music scene. This is how The Selector sounded in 2020. Enjoy!

1) Pa Salieu - Frontline 
British-Gambian Pa Salieu hails from Coventry in central England and uses his music to paint a picture of the social realties of being Black in today’s Britain – something he has in common with fellow Anglo-Gambian J Hus. Pa Salieu often mixes English with Wolof in his songs alongside African melodies. Beyond collaborating with other big names on the scene like Meekz, SL y BackRoad G, his hits this year have included the highly catchy B***K and Block Boy as well as the sublime Frontline. The Best of Selector Radio 3 2020 is Pa Salieu. 

2) Alewya - Sweating  
Egyptian-Ethiopian model and artist Alewya was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in West London from the age of five, taking inspiration for her music from her African heritage. According to Alewya, Sweating explores the chemistry between two people on the dancefloor as well as female power and authority. With production from duo The Busy Twist – another Selector favourite - this track will make you sweat. 

3) Actress con Aura T-09 - Turin 
Some artists, over and above their talent, just have an X-factor that’s hard to pin down. Ex-footballer Darren Cunningham, AKA Actress, is one those. In Turin, Actress hooks again up with Los Angeles DJ and producer Aura T-09. The track is part of Actress’s new album Karma and Desire which showcases the power of this artist who only turned to music when an injury cut short his career in football. 

4) Shivum Sharma - Ride 
Indian-Irish singer-songwriter Shivum Sharma has been one of the big revelations of 2020, launching his EP Diamond in August which includes this track, Ride. According to the artist, the song is an ode to that sense of wellbeing we get from the sun and was composed on one of those grey days London is so famous for. It’s the perfect song for summer, allowing us to float above the city feeling invincible, hypnotized by Shivum Sharma’s velvet voice. 

5) Fred Again - Kyren (My Son) 
As a producer and composer Fred again… (AKA Fred Gibson) is no newcomer, having produced or composed songs for big names of British music like Stormzy, The xx, Clean Bandit, George Ezra and Ed Sheeran. On The Selector we know him best for his work with the drill artist Headie One but this track Kyren (My Son) is Fred Again out on his own and comes from his first solo EP Actual Life. The idea of creating a solo album came by way of Fred again’s mentor, Brian Eno. The track is inspired by a You Tube video of a father speaking to his son.

6)Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes - Can You Feel It  
Not only is this track an example of the work of two brilliant emerging UK artists but it’s also the mark of a lifelong friendship. Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes played in the same school concert together when they were nine years old and this year launched an album – What kinda music – which includes this song Can you feel it. Drummer Yussef Dayes made it onto our Ones to Watch list at the beginning of 2020. He hasn’t disappointed us. 

7) Nubya Garcia - Pace 
Saxophonist and composer Nubya García comes from the North London borough of Camden from where she is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most important figures in contemporary UK jazz. Besides her solo career, Nubya García is a member of jazz collective Nérija, another big Selector favourite. In this track, Pace, Nubya joins forces with Selector artist Joe Armon-Jones from Ezra Collective, her first work since signing with legendary label Concord Jazz. The track follows on from her two previous EP’s Nubya’s 5ive and When We Are. 

8) Loraine James con Lila Tirando a Violeta - Nothing 
Growing up in the disadvantaged neighbourhood of Enfield in North London, supply teacher Loraine James is emerging as one of the UK leading producer talents. Nothing is the title track from her latest EP and includes vocals from Uruguayan performance artists Lila Tirando a Violeta. It’s not the first time that Loraine James has collaborated internationally, having worked previously with Iranian rapper Tardast and the Australian Jonnine Standish. Loraine James offers a queer vision of London with her music, combining digital and analogical production in the intersection between grime, jungle, dub and ambience. 

9) NSG – Porsche
NSG is a hip hop collective made up of six artists from Hackney in East London who combine bashment, dancehall and afrobeat. Their album Roots includes the tracks Trust Issues, Options, OT Bop, Lupita and Porsche, all of which have played on The Selector, as well as garnering over 60 million plays on Spotify. The acronym NSG could stand for lots of things: No Sleep Gang, Non-Stop Grinding, Nigeria Slash Ghana or Never Stop Growing.

10) Porridge Radio - 7 Seconds
Porridge Radio is a quartet from Brighton created by Dana Margolin, originally as a solo project. The band launched their first album Rice, Pasta and other fillers in 2016 and last year published two singles Give/Take and Don’t ask me twice, both of which are on their Mercury Prize nominated LP Every Bad. This song, 7 Seconds, is their first track since the album although composed some years before. Who said the guitar is dead?

11: Sega Bodega – Masochism
12: Bicep – Apricots
13: Gia Ford - Sleeping In Your Garden
14: Karun & Faizal Mostrixx - In My Soul
15: TeeZandos & Fizzler - Phone Call
16: Midas The Jagaban - Party With A Jagaban
17: Bree Runway & Maliibu Miitch – Gucci
18: Rarelyalways - Another
19: Jockstrap con Elsas - Niños y niñas (Taylor Bass Mix)
20: Morgan Harper-Jones - Lie to Me

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