Music / Genre report

It’s official, grime is as powerful as punk music

Ticketmaster's new State of Play report shows rise and rise of grime music

Anyone who’s got their ear to the ground will have heard the alluring beats of the UK grime scene pulsating under the oceans. 

Chances are, even if you haven’t noticed it just yet, you’re probably already hearing the influence of the grime scene without even realising it.

Ticketmaster’s UK division has dived deep into grime with its new State of Play report, confirming the genre’s powerful rise up through the ranks.

A genre that functions on pure creativity, self-expression and forward-thinking politics, there hasn’t been a scene this invigorating since ’80s punk.

“Grime is the most forward-thinking subculture since the heyday of punk,” says Joseph JP Patterson in the new Ticketmaster report.

In the new report, 47% of grime fans pick Stormzy as their favourite artist. While Spotify playlists confirm the genre is growing two times faster in 2017 than it did in 2016.

It’s no coincidence, then, that Stormzy released his debut album, Gang Sings & Prayers, in February of this year. Releasing the record independently through #Merky Records, Stormzy set the agenda for grime in 2017, making sure its underground ethos broke into the mainstream.

Gang Signs & Prayer saw the Croydon-born grime star score a No.1 chart position in the UK, while securing No.11 in Australia and No.14 in New Zealand.

He stole the show at this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, as well as finding time to sell out two nights at Forum Melbourne during his July visit.

With 45% of fans saying they find out about grime events through social media, it’s no surprise that Stormzy’s popularity transcends countries.

In Ticketmaster’s Grime report video, Novelist says, “I did a tour in Australia and people were going wild… I’m from Lewisham. What’s a 19-year-old Lewisham boy doing in Australia mashing up dances…”

Looking at the most-played grime artists on Spotify, the Ticketmaster report goes on to name Skepta, JME, Dizzee Rascal and Bugzy Malone among the artists at the forefront of grime.

The most-streamed grime artists on Spotify

1. Stormzy
2. Skepta
3. Dizzee Rascal
4. JME
5. Bugzy Malone
6. Wiley
7. Lethal Bizzle
8. Kano
9. Chip
10. Big Narstie

This week Dizzee Rascal announced his long-awaited return to Australia, confirming a show at Forum Melbourne among a handful of headline dates.

Dizzee is back in support of his critically-acclaimed sixth album, Raskit, after changing the limits of grime and UK garage with his 2003 debut, Boy In Da Corner.

Interestingly, research showed that grime fans are more likely to purchase a single ticket to an event (26%), when compared to rap/urban (20%), rock/pop (19%) and RnB (6%). One in three of those surveyed also said they attend grime gig to meet potential partners.

The report also went on to look at the impact grime has had on UK politics. Of the 58% of grime fans who voted for Labour during the 2017 election, one in four said they were influenced by the #Grime4Corbyn campaign which many grime artists backed during the UK elections.

Women in grime has been an equally powerful talking point throughout 2017, with Pitchfork asking the vital question ‘where’s the love for women in grime?’, and Fact Mag including Stefflon Don and Ray BLK in their grime artists to watch at the beginning of the year.

Clash also showcased ‘the female MCs who matter’ in May 2016, while Fader delivered their ‘7 women pushing grime forward’ around the same time.

Are you hooked on grime? Love the atmosphere of the shows? Let us know via #grimereport

Read the full State of Play: Grime report here.

Find past State of Play reports on Dance, Comedy, and Theatre, here.

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