Amazon Music launches “+44” — a brand ded­ic­ated to rep­res­ent­ing the sound of the UK, spot­light­ing and cel­eb­rat­ing the best UK rap, R&B, grime, drill and afrobeats music and the artists behind it. “+44” is not only a playl­ist fea­tur­ing the artists of today and tomor­row. It also exists as a space to cel­eb­rate and amp­li­fy these black music genres, the artists that make the music, as well as the cul­ture behind it — con­nect­ing audi­ences to the artists they love via ori­gin­al con­tent on +44’s Ins­tagram handle.

The “+44” playl­ist will be updated reg­u­larly to rep­res­ent the latest hot new tracks as they’re released — from big names in the scene as well as emer­ging tal­ent — and will fea­ture a dif­fer­ent cov­er artist each week. At launch, the playl­ist will cel­eb­rate col­lect­ives and col­lab­or­at­ors, amp­li­fy­ing Essie Gang, Mini Kingz plus MizOr­Mac, Loski and Blanco via three dif­fer­ent week 1 playl­ist cov­ers.

In the playl­ist, expect to find music from the likes of AJ Tracey, Darkoo, Unknown T, Kof­fee, Pa Salieu and Lavida Loca. Amazon Music cus­tom­ers can listen to the “+44” playl­ist here or can simply say “Alexa, play +44” in the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android and on Alexa-enabled devices. “+44” replaces the “UK Fire” playl­ist.

Through its social chan­nel, “+44” will drop per­form­ance-led pieces, quick-fire inter­views and artist-led stor­ies that take audi­ences deep­er into the music and closer to artists. This kicks off with a fea­ture called Artist Spot­light, show­cas­ing the diversity of sound in the UK via short doc­u­ment­ar­ies that fea­ture insight­ful inter­views with artists, giv­ing audi­ences a deep­er under­stand­ing of the tra­ject­ory of the artists they love, as well as ones they may only be dis­cov­er­ing.

In three sep­ar­ate Artist Spot­lights drop­ping on Ins­tagram next week, “+44” hears from col­lect­ives rep­res­ent­ing some of the dif­fer­ent sounds that can be heard in the playl­ist. From Mini Kingz (Oscar #World­peace, Ragz Ori­ginale and Benji­Flow) who as the new­er col­lect­ive on the scene say they “rep­res­ent every­one else”; Octavi­an, J Rick, Michael Phantom and L3 — who as four eclect­ic artists, influ­enced by all parts of Lon­don — adapt into the fusion they call Essie Gang; to Loski, Blanco and MizOr­Mac who more recently have gained trac­tion indi­vidu­ally with­in the UK rap scene.

In Artist Spot­light, the artists delve into their cre­at­ive pro­cess, how they came togeth­er and col­lab­or­ate, as well as how they dis­cov­er and cel­eb­rate UK music. Audi­ences can hear:

· Loski talk­ing about the state of the music scene now, his thoughts on Drill hit­ting Amer­ica, and about work­ing with Blanco and MizOr­Mac: “Col­lect­ives come and go, that’s been hap­pen­ing for years, but when it’s your friends, and you’re all basic­ally solo acts. If they’re doing well, you’re also doing well”.

· Oscar #World­peace talk­ing about being a part of the Mini Kingz col­lect­ive and how it also inspires his solo music: “My crew is giv­ing me hope and mak­ing me feel like — rah this ting is crazy what we’re doing over here — and it inspires my music and I hope it’s the same on their end as well.”

· Essie Gang talk about rep­res­ent­ing the cul­ture of Lon­don and show­cas­ing it to the rest of the world, as well as not con­form­ing to ste­reo­types: “We have our own inde­pend­ent images and char­ac­ters and we don’t delib­er­ately sub­scribe to cer­tain ste­reo­types that you get rewar­ded for”.

Watch a teas­er of the con­tent —


The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.