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BBC Music Awards Tonight

  • Published in News

Declan McKenna has been named BBC Music Introducing Artist Of The Year. The accolade is the first of 2017’s BBC Music Awards to be announced. The remaining three will be revealed tonight at 9pm on BBC Two on The Year In Music 2017, hosted by Claudia Winkleman with guest presenter Clara Amfo. Declan says: "I'm delighted and honoured to accept this award from BBC Music Introducing. I'd like to say a big thank you for relentlessly rooting for me throughout the years; no award could ever overshadow the time, effort and support given by so many others to get me to the point I'm at now, and for that I'm eternally grateful!"

Declan, a singer-songwriter and musician from Hertfordshire, originally uploaded his breakthrough single, Brazil, to BBC Music Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks in 2014 when he was only 15 years old. That first play on Introducing on BBC Three Counties Radio was heard by someone at Columbia Records, the label that later signed him, and was also quickly picked up by Radio 1.

In 2016 Declan recorded an Introducing session at the legendary Maida Vale studios and also performed on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter. Fast forward to 2017 and he was invited back as a returning artist to perform at Big Weekend and at BBC Music Introducing Live at O2 Academy Brixton for their tenth birthday. Declan also appeared on the longlist of the BBC’s Sound Of 2017 poll and this year released his acclaimed debut album, What Do You Think About the Car? to much critical acclaim.

In The Year In Music 2017 (9pm, Tonight on BBC Two), three further BBC Music Awards 2017 winners will be announced - Artist of the Year, British Album of the Year and Live Performance of the Year - and the artists presented with their awards. The show will see musicians and broadcasters giving their views on the highs and lows in the world of music over the last 12 months, including the greatest performances and the biggest stories. Contributors include Stormzy, Foo Fighters, Nile Rodgers, Rag'n'Bone Man, Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa, Sampha, George Ezra, Blossoms, Nick Grimshaw, Mistajam and Jo Whiley, among others.




Declan McKenna - What Do You Think About The Car?

  • Published in UNX

You’ve surely heard of the teenage wunderkind Declan McKenna at some point in the past two years. His debut song, ‘Brazil’ was a comment on the 2014 World Cup and FIFA’s blind eye to the local issues surrounding it. He entered it in Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent contest and won a slot at the festival. He was signed up by management behemoth Q Prime, and at the following year’s festival, he signed to Columbia Records. Which brings us to this, his debut album.

After recording ‘Brazil’ himself, What Do You Think About the Car? was produced by James Ford, known for his work with established acts like Arctic Monkeys and Depeche Mode. Ford’s influence is most noticeable on new song ‘Make Me Your Queen’, which is slick and refined compared to the previously released tracks.

Five of the songs have previously been released. Along with the aforementioned ‘Brazil’, there’s the Fox News-baiting ‘Isombard’, and the contemplation of organised religion in ‘Bethlehem’. ‘Paracetamol’ was inspired by the abhorrent treatment and subsequent suicide of a transgender teenager. His latest single ‘The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home’ is the recent general election in microcosm. McKenna has said that:

“It's about wanting to be part of a powerful and intelligent young generation - who stand up against these negative things we're shown incessantly on our phones. There's a lot of confusing information out there - but I'd like to be hopeful in a world that's often thought to be in despair”.

Regarding the new songs, it would be surprising if ‘Mind’ is not released as a single. It has a catchy chorus and a post-punk lead guitar riff that you’ll be humming after hearing it. McKenna comes off like Ray Davies at times and, on ‘I Am Everyone Else’ he counters The Kinks outsider classic ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ with a modern inclusivity that we can only hope will overcome the isolationist individualism we’ve seen in recent years.

It’s too early to judge Declan McKenna properly but What Do You Think About the Car? is a consistently impressive work of imaginative tunes and accomplished lyrics. If he can retain his individuality amid the major label hype and sludge, he’ll be one to watch for a while to come.

What Do You Think About the Car? is available via Amazon and iTunes.

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