1xtra live 2012 starring Rita Ora, Misha B, Grime MC Wiley, Daley and dubstep supremo DJ Fresh

BBC Radio 1Xtra Live came to Manchester last week and brought with them a mouth watering night of UK urban music.

The night features hotly anticipated performances from headline act Rita Ora, X Factor contestant Misha B, Grime MC Wiley, Manchester singer Daley and drum 'n' bass and dubstep supremo DJ Fresh. This event is the second of the four day 1Xtra Live tour, the O2 Apollo provides the performance venue, and the entertainment's being simulcast live on BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 1.


Backstage at these events it's never short of manic, technicians triple checking, artists composing themselves and new media vying for killer quotes.


Misha B's just left the stage having performed 3 tracks from her new album (out March 13) and crowd favourite Rollin in the Deep by Adele...


Ain’t no place like home, she tells me still clearly buzzin' from her first appearance at the o2 Apollo,  A venue she said she's always wanted to play - just 15 minutes from where she grew up; in and around south Manchester's Moss side.


I always get a funny feeling in my stomach when I come home and see all the old landmarks that I used to be good friends with. She added.


I've been a supporter of Misha B since she first emerged on our screens courtesy of X factor last year, she has a voice that can and with the help of 1xtra probably will move mountains. If I was a supporter before, after meeting her - I’m smitten.

I’ve grown up listening to 1xtra so to have their support from the get-go is brilliant. I feel blessed that the station’s embraced me and embraced the music more importantly. Misha B

Nope, with practice she replied when i asked if she was born with a great voice, with that in mind i can't resist inviting myself to a private Misha B singing lesson, OK let me hear you sing, she said, now when i say private; there are still 6 heads in the room! now's not the time to play coy I concede and burst into song, simultaneously wishing I'd practiced earlier and picked something easier to sing, never the less; second line in of Rollin in the deep and Misha B joins in! just for a moment we're harmonizing, then laughing.

You won't be surprised to learn that Misha B's more excited about the release of her debut album in March 2013 than she is about doing a duet with me:


My favourite track on the album is a track called called Runway, she said


It’s all about strutting your stuff, embracing who you are, your style, your shape, you don’t have to be a super model or a pro – but are you ready, on your marks - get set - go!


Misha B - Do You Think of Me - at 1Xtra Live 2012


Next on my agenda it's DJ Fresh. I like to think of DJ Fresh as the 'Mark Ronson' of the drum and bass world, collaborating with a variety of different artists to make his hits, he's the man responsible for tracks  like Rita Ora's 'Hot right now', Dizzee Rascal's 'The Power' and  DJ Fresh featuring Sian Evans – 'Louder' the first single from his third album nextlevelism and first ever dubstep number one in the uk, make no mistake; this guy’s a real power house in the bass world, I ask him what’s the secret formula?

I’m a lunatic perfectionist about stuff, he said


You know for every track that’s made it onto the radio there’s another 10 artists that I’ve worked with where the finished tracks I just haven’t been happy with. The secret is getting the track to sound just right.


I don’t really listen to any other music apart from the track I’m working on at the time.


It can get a bit boring just listening to your own music,  I’d like to branch out and be a little more experimental in the future.


DJ Fresh - Hot Right Now - at 1Xtra Live 2012


How instrumental has 1xtra been in publicising your music?


Massively, 1xtra and radio 1 have almost single handedly put bass music on the map; commercially they’ve been a massive part of the movements cross-over. They started with artists like Pendulum who were signed to my label back in the day, they’ve really helped with the music’s popularity not just in the UK but also in Europe and in America.


Are you the go-to man when artists want a track capable of rockin' the rafters?

I’m Mr Energy when it comes to dance music. That’s the great thing about dance music; somebody like Rita will have a diverse album with tracks from ballads to dance, the dance music tracks give them the chance to go out and perform in front of a big audience, and get everyone jumping around. It’s great to be doing something where artists can come to you for that, especially as I love it.


The genre’s had a lot of skeptics over the last 10 years but it just goes to show how young people today like music more upfront and intense than perhaps they first thought, now that’s it’s been given the chance to shine I think it’s done really well and surprised everyone.



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