31 episodes

Where music stars discuss how they make their music.

Music Life BBC

    • Society & Culture

Where music stars discuss how they make their music.

    'Write about what you know' with Yuna and mxmtoon

    'Write about what you know' with Yuna and mxmtoon

    The weekly show Music Life returns with Malaysian singer Yuna, guiding us through a number of musical topics with British singer and record producer Shakka, 19-year-old Chinese American YouTube star mxmtoon, and self-taught Malaysian Queer Pop icon Alex.tbh.

    We’re all over the musical dial with this one, in which our stars talk about how they write their music, the things they can and can't say in their lyrics, and the artists they'd most like to meet and collaborate with.

    Yuna has worked with everybody from Usher to Tyler The Creator, and her latest album Rouge – released last year – featured the likes of Little Simz, Masego, and G-Eazy. Her experience in the music industry is unique and we look forward to finding out the truly amazing stories she has to tell.

    • 23 min
    Soul v technology with Raphael Saadiq and Samm Henshaw

    Soul v technology with Raphael Saadiq and Samm Henshaw

    In this week’s Music Life, singer-songwriter and Pharrell Williams collaborator Samm Henshaw gets inspired by the thoughts of Raphael Saadiq, Denai Moore, and Moses Boyd.

    Raphael Saadiq is a Grammy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné!, as well as being a critically acclaimed solo artist, and has worked with the likes of D’Angelo, Kelis, Mary J Blige, Solange, Whitney Houston and John Legend.

    Jamaican-born, London-based singer and songwriter Denai Moore is newer on the scene, but has worked with the likes of SBTRKT and released two solo albums to date. She’s also the founder of Dee’s Table, a weekly food pop-up and supper club serving vegan Jamaican food.

    And Moses Boyd is one of jazz's most exciting upcoming artists. He’s a multi-award winning drummer, composer, producer and radio host, who fuses jazz, grime and electronic sounds.

    Led by Samm Henshaw, the group tells us what colour would best describe the music they make, which of their songs they’d want to be remembered for, and how they find the balance when they use technology to create soulful music.

    • 32 min
    Strange fan encounters with Nabihah Iqbal and Nilüfer Yanya

    Strange fan encounters with Nabihah Iqbal and Nilüfer Yanya

    This week’s episode of Music Life gets personal with musician, producer and black belt in karate Nabihah Iqbal, who is joined by Khruangbin’s Laura Lee, as well as singers Nilüfer Yanya and Gaye Su Akyol.

    Laura Lee was a maths teacher turned bass player who started her musical journey 8 years ago in the three-piece band Khruangbin. The band have toured with the likes of Bonobo, Father John Misty, Massive Attack and Leon Bridges, and are known for blending global music influences, classic soul, dub and psychedelia.

    London-born singer-songwriter of Turkish and Barbadian descent Nilüfer Yanya started writing songs at the age of 6, and has since toured alongside The xx, Interpol and Mitski. Last year she released her debut album Miss Universe, a semi-conceptual project that blends rock, pop, electronica, R&B, and soul.

    And Turkish singer, songwriter, producer and audio-visual artist Gaye Su Akyol rounds off the panel. She blends traditional Turkish melodies and structures with psychedelia, surf rock and grunge.

    Led by Nabihah Iqbal, they’ll be discussing strange fan encounters, dating as a musician, and using music as an escape.

    • 26 min
    Drumming for legends with Tony Allen and Billy Cobham

    Drumming for legends with Tony Allen and Billy Cobham

    Ezra Collective drummer Femi Koleoso and Dele Sosimi of Fela Kuti's Egypt 80 are joined on Music Life by two of the greatest drummers of all time: Billy Cobham and Tony Allen.

    Billy Cobham is a Panamanian-American jazz drummer who played with Miles Davis in the 60s and 70s, before forming the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He's gone on to play with Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, James Brown and many more.

    Nigeria's Tony Allen was once described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived". With his band mate Fela Kuti, he founded the Afrobeat sound - as Fela once said, "Without Tony, there would be no Afrobeat".

    Dele Sosimi is a Nigerian-British musician who also played with Fela Kuti, playing keyboards in his Egypt 80 band, before forming Positive Force with his son Femi Kuti.

    Femi Koleoso gets to put questions to his musical heroes, those who have done a great deal to inspire his work with Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner and London jazz group Ezra Collective.

    • 24 min
    Composing naked with Christophe Chassol and Sudan Archives

    Composing naked with Christophe Chassol and Sudan Archives

    Parisian pianist Christophe Chassol has written music for Frank Ocean, Solange, Sebastian Tellier and Phoenix, as well as releasing a string of successful solo releases. On this episode of Music Life he talks to Emmanuel Jal, Ala.Ni, and Sudan Archives.

    Sudan Archives AKA Brittney Denise Parks is a violinist, singer, and producer from Los Angeles whose debut album Athena is out now. Ala.Ni is a London-born, Paris-based singer influenced by the music of her uncle, the Grenada-born cabaret singer Leslie Hutchinson. Emmanuel Jal is a South Sudanese-Canadian musician, actor, and former child soldier, whose latest album, Naath, is a collaboration between him and his sister.

    These great musicians get together and discuss their composition process, their musical heroes, and the challenges of collaboration.

    • 31 min
    Clichés with Gabriella Cilmi and Natacha Atlas

    Clichés with Gabriella Cilmi and Natacha Atlas

    Australian singer Gabriella Cilmi hosts Music Life, the show where some of the best musicians in the world come together to talk about creativity and living as a musician. She is joined by Portuguese singer Carmen Souza, France-based Algerian singer Soud Massi, and Egyptian-British singer Natacha Atlas.

    Carmen Souza is a jazz singer, pianist, and guitarist of Cape Verdean decent who sings in Portuguese, English, French and Creole. Soud has widely been touted as the most successful female singer-songwriter to emerge from the Arabic-speaking world. Natacha has collaborated with the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Peter Gabriel, and Jean-Michel Jarre, and her latest album Strange Days was released last year.

    Gabriella, whose platinum selling debut album Lessons to be Learned came out in 2008, talks to these other great singers about staying true to artistic visions, songwriting clichés, and the unsung people who have helped them in their careers.

    • 35 min

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