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British music scenes outside London are thriving, says BPI

By | Published on Wednesday 22 June 2022


British people like British artists to originate from outside London. So say new figures from record label trade group the BPI and the Official Charts Company. Kind of.

According to some champion number crunching by the two organisations, 62% of the most popular albums by British artists in the UK over the last year were made by music-makers who grew up, or formed their bands, outside of London.

Given how many more artists grow up outside of London than inside the capital, I guess that’s probably not a surprise. But still, hurrah for the regions! Can we make it an even bigger hurrah? Well, yes, if we remove or hone in on certain genres. Because, as you might expect, there are some genre discrepancies here.

If rap is removed from the totals, then the share of music originating from outside London rises to 74%. Looking at rock music alone, 79% of the music-makers behind the best performing albums are not from (or at least not originally from) the capital.

“The UK has long been recognised as one of the world’s leading music cultures, with a track record of producing globally successful superstars”, says BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor. “This new BPI analysis highlights that artistic talent continues to be nurtured and developed across all parts of the UK, and it’s this rich diversity both musically and geographically, supported by record labels, that is the key to our global music status and should be protected and enhanced”.

Liverpool proves to be the UK’s most successful city outside of London for generating successful music talent, with albums from the likes of CamelPhat, Wombats, Jamie Webster, Mysterines and that Paul McCartney all counting to its score. The North West as a whole is the most successful region, with 29 of the top 300 UK albums made by artists from the region.

Here’s the full top ten of non-London places you should probably be looking for new talent:

1. Liverpool
2. Glasgow
3. Manchester
4. Birmingham
5. Brighton
6. Bristol
7. Sheffield
8. Leeds
9. Nottingham
10. Wigan