UK urban breaks USA – part 6

Mark Beaumont tracks the course of the latest British invasion across the pond.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 24 Nov 2010
  • min read
‘Taio had a Number One here with that song beforehand,’ says Saul Milton from London production duo Chase & Status, themselves rising US stars after producing tracks for Snoop Dogg and Rihanna’s Rated R album. ‘That was the American release of that song. They thought “How can we spice it up for the American market? I know, let’s get Luda.” Luda’s name on something means it must be cool, it’s like a seal of approval if you will.’

Plus, the internet had made European music more accessible, as Saul explains. ‘Snoop Dogg just contacted our MySpace in the middle of the night one night. The next day his manager called us up and the day after that Snoop Dogg Millionaire was done, we re-arranged it slightly and that tune was born. When we met Pharell he was like “Straight away I got online, downloaded your album, listened to the track on YouTube, went and bought it”, so for us, the internet instantly showed him who we were and he could do his research and figure out if he liked the music immediately.’

Dubstep, Drum’n’Bass, Garage – Britain leads

According to Saul, British sounds have been tweaking American ears of late. ‘There’s a geezer called Alex The Kid, he just wrote the B.O.B. single Airplanes and the new Eminem single featuring Rihanna and they’re number one and number three in the charts over here and doing just as well out in America.'

'UK music and UK producers are big right now – Rosko, ourselves, Magnetic Man. People are taking note of UK production. We’ve got the most exciting, cutting edge dance music and underground scene in the world here. All of the cool music seems to come from England, London predominantly – dubstep, drum’n’bass, garage. We’ve got a niche that’s getting exploited.'

‘They don’t want us to go out there and be American, production wise, because they can just call in The Neptunes, Just Blake or Swizz Beatz and get the American beats. They ask for our UK flavour and identity.’

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