On Saturday, January 19th 2013, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens performed a DJ set at the Engine Shed, as part of the “Propaganda” club night.
The Linc caught up with Stephens before he rocked the house with some indie bangers.
In 1999, Stephens became the youngest ever DJ on Radio 1 presenting a show in partnership with BBC Radio Cymru with Bethan Elfyn.
Stephens has become known as one of the champions of new music in Great Britain and is the compere of the main stage at Reading Festival. The Welshman has given airtime to up and coming bands such as Pulled Apart By Horses and Dinosaur Pile-Up.
However, he admits that Propaganda normally isn’t the time for championing what’s hot and new: “You’ve got the fact that it’s Saturday night people who want to have a good time. I’ve tried playing some of the new stuff before and it doesn’t always go down well.”
Stephens continued: “It’s great on the radio playing the more innovative new stuff and it’s great at live gigs if that’s what you’re going for. But Propaganda is famed for the big indie hits so I try and keep it to that. Obviously a few new bands do make it into the playlist.”
The BBC Radio 1 DJ is also a member of the group of industry “tastemakers” who decides the “BBC Sound of 2013” list. The “Sound of” list is an annual BBC poll of music critics and industry figures to find the most promising new music talent.
Nevertheless, while being an advocate of the list, Stephens knows it can’t cover everyone who will make it big in the coming year: “There’s a band called the 1975 that I really rate very highly who didn’t make the Sound of 2013 list, and there’s a band called Bastille around at the moment that should do quite well.
“It depends on how commercial they can sound and if they are going to end up scaring people away by doing that. There are some bands on the ‘Sound of’ list who might find it difficult to sell records, but who are really good.”
Stephens added: “I just bought an album by a guy called Matthew E. White, which is something I am really enjoying at the moment. He’s kind of a very soulful guy from America and he’s made a really good record.”Tweet