The Cardiff grime scene is an ever-growing movement, a gritty reflection of what is happening in our society. Emerging originally in London around the early 2000’s within underground scenes and pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM. Enlightening us with the depictions of urban life throughout working-class communities and ethnic minorities and becoming a hugely popular genre of music throughout the years. The mainstream became more accepting of underground music when pirate radio stations gave upcoming artists a platform to create a huge fan base which has contributed to the popularity and success of worldwide artists like Dizzee Rascal, Wiley “The King of Grime” and Kano.
The impact of social media between the early 2000’s and 2019 is a huge contributing factor to the popularity and growth of the UK grime scene with artists using platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify and Facebook to promote their music. The evolution of Grime hasn’t always been as accepting as it is now, as we become more welcoming as a society we still debate whether Grime is “socially acceptable” genre of music due to the “aggressive” lyrics with many having said it insights violence to due an outbreak in gang culture, gun and knife crime mostly in London.
The Cardiff grime scene is continuously growing and becoming hugely popular within society and mainstream media. Over ten years ago Cardiff’s urban music scene wasn’t necessarily taken seriously, when ‘Goldie Lookin’ Chain’ from Newport, released “Guns don’t kill people, rappers do”.
When we look at diverse groups of people, ethnic minorities and our working-class neighbours we can relate, Cardiff’s Tiger Bay once home to Cardiff’s coal industry has always had a large ethnic minority community with grime artists now such as the group ‘Astroid Boys’ one of Cardiff’s biggest grime success stories who won ‘Best Group’ at the Cardiff Music Awards back in 2017, alongside artist ‘Mase’ having filmed collaborative and solo music videos at locations known as ‘The Docks’ and around their local CF24 postcode, widely publicised through social media, the capital of South Wales is a culturally robust city hoping to become the ‘Music City’.
Back in 2017, I interviewed Mason Burnett, he made it clear that it is important for us as a city and as a society that we know about ethnic minorities outside the London postcode. “I think it’s little simple things like that, that make people feel a part of something, filming a music video in Cardiff will make the people of Cardiff feel involved, which makes people want to support it.” When we discussed the Grime scene ‘Mase’ also highlighted the lack of media coverage at ceremonies such as ‘The Mobo Awards’ in comparison to ‘The Brit Awards’ he felt that as a multi-cultural society we should be doing more to reward music made mostly of black origin.
Broadening horizons, back in July 2017 Cardiff was one of four major cities to feature on BBC 1XTRA’S ‘MC Month’. Young aspiring local artists would visit Cardiff’s city centre to perform aiming to become a success story, proving they were capable of a national fanbase given the opportunity.
A connection between ourselves and music cannot be subverted. We use music to relax, relate, dance, socialise and as a source of freedom. Cardiff is home to four universities which has catered for growing student population and has become an advanced music scene allowing us to experience various music genre’s we enjoy through hugely successful local underground music venues such as The Globe, Undertone and Clwb Ifor Bach, not forgetting our more mainstream music venues such as The Motorpoint arena, The Principality Stadium and St David’s Hall.
Social media presence is a vital contribution to success as we move with the times with events featuring local artists being advertised through websites and social media platforms such as Facebook events. Social media, whether it be Instagram, Facebook is a highly successful marketing strategy as we, social media users subconsciously recognise talent. I have discovered many local artists via social media. Mainly based on their interaction with their followers on a regular basis, its recommended that to build your social media presence as an upcoming artist you need to sharing at least one post per week, showing sneak peaks of upcoming songs or videos and to keep your fans and followers in the loop with upcoming tour and release dates.
Mason Burnett ‘MaseTheGreat’ is one of Cardiff’s local grime artist success stories. Mace who built his national fanbase through social media has successfully achieved a following on Facebook of just over 4,000 followers, 800 subscribers on YouTube and over 3000 followers on Instagram. Back in 2010 when ‘Mase’ was just fifteen he auditioned for ‘Must Be The Music’ as part of a group called ‘Flow Dem’ they reached the semi-finals however even after considerable live courage the group parted ways.
Five years later, a solo track was released called ‘It’s Mad’ featuring ‘Traxx’ the lead MC of the Astroid Boys which has been ‘Mace’s’ success story raking in 200,000 views on Facebook and just over 22,000 views on Youtube. Since then his social media presence has been at large, not only as an artist has he grown but he has represented Cardiff’s grime scene by performing at established events such as Black History Month, The Princes Trust Awards and X Festival in Cardiff. Not only was he invited but Mason Burnett was also nominated for an award at the Cardiff Music Awards 2019, We hope to see more of ‘Mase’ in the future representing Cardiff as we continue our love for the UK grime scene and our city as one of the four major cities representing urban music culture.