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Straight Up

Straight Up

By Straight Up
They say music gives way to the soul, so get to know the world's most successful stars better than ever before with Straight Up: the music podcast that sits down with some of the biggest names in culture to talk about the songs that shaped them. From the song that soundtracked their childhood and their first romance to the song that makes them feel invincible and the one that makes them cry, Straight Up digs deep to reveal the real person behind the work. Expect intimate, informal conversations unlike any interview you’ve ever read, and always recorded over a strong drink.
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Apple Music's Austin Daboh on going from bail to the most influential man in music

Straight Up

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Ray Blk on money, dating and the dark side of X Factor
Four years ago, unsigned South London RnB singer Ray Blk won the BBC Sound Of poll and became one of the most hotly tipped rising stars of her generation. But, pressured to make pop music at the expense of her true self and in the throes of an identity crisis caused by the music industry's obsession with labels, her debut album stalled. Finally however, the brilliant album (Access Denied) is just around the corner, with her two freshly dropped singles Dark Skinned and MIA proving it was well worth the wait and beautifully authentic to boot.  Ahead of the much anticipated album's release this September, Kathleen and Eleanor chatted to the singer over her favourite drink (dark rum) all about the songs that have soundtracked her incredible journey: from making music with her school friend MNEK to collaborating with Stormzy and paving her own way. She also gets candid about her come-up in this often cruel and exploitative industry, with Ray sharing for the very first time a traumatic X Factor audition that happened when she was 16, and a song from a few years ago that she regrets making today.  Ray also shared hilarious anecdotes around first dates and first paycheques, her very first experiences of success and her craziest moments from the last few years (including her funniest drunken night out in Ghana). Follow Ray on Instagram @rayblk and pre-order Access Denied on iTunes or Amazon Music. Follow Eleanor on Instagram @elliehalls1 and Kathleen @kathleen.m.johnston This episode of Straight Up has two wonderful sponsors. First up hometipple, the one-stop-shop for creating your own at-home bar all the while giving back to winemakers, brewers and distillers all around the world. Use the discount code straighthome21 to open a PRO account that gets you 10% off every purchase. Open yours now at hometipple.com And second, the independent jeweller Katie Mullally, whose gorgeous handmade collections are all hallmarked at either the London or Dublin Assay Office and are therefore an investment for life. Check out her designs at katiemullally.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy. Follow him on Instagram @marlonpercy
01:13:40
July 14, 2021
Zack Snyder on music and vulnerability
One of the world’s most adored film directors Zack Snyder comes on the brand-new second series of Straight Up to talk all about the music that made him: from the songs that soundtracked his childhood and his first romance to the song that always makes him cry. Zack also chats to Kathleen and Eleanor all about his favourite songs from across his films, as well as getting stuck into topics around being a provocateur, reading reviews, vulnerability and the power of fandoms. Plus, Zack picks his favourite character from Justice League and Army of the Dead, gives us a sneak peak at the Army of the Dead TV series and what‘s happening with Fountainhead. Thank you to our three amazing sponsors for this episode: Polaroid, the game-changing instant camera legend which has just launched the world’s smallest instant analog camera and 2021's coolest little gadget: the Polaroid Go. It's a must-have for young creatives, with a newly developed selfie mirror, self-timer, a battery life for 15 packs of film, dynamic flash, and double exposure. Check it out at uk.polaroid.com hometipple, the one-stop-shop for creating your own at-home bar all the while giving back to winemakers, brewers and distillers all around the world. Use the discount code straighthome21 to open a PRO account that gets you 10% off every purchase. Open yours now at hometipple.com Q Acoustics, the must-have wireless, widescreen speakers that can turn your sitting room into a mini at-home cinema: perfect for watching all of Zack's incredible films and hearing the soundtracks in all their glory! Snap up your pair at qacoustics.co.uk Find Kathleen on Instagram @kathleen.m.johnston and Eleanor @elliehalls1 Thank you to Marlon Percy for our music and editing. Find him on Instagram @marlonpercy
01:01:09
June 9, 2021
Hélène Pambrun on the stories behind her Harry Styles photographs and how she got a grumpy Tom Hanks to smile
What's it like to tour the world with Harry Styles, capturing some of the most intimate and symbolic moments of his life and career? Paris-based photographer Hélène Pambrun talks to Kathleen and Eleanor all about how she first met Harry, and why her interest in his fans is the reason she was hired by his team. Also in this episode, Straight Up and Hélène talk all about the power of seduction in photoshoots, as well as her most striking memories shooting everyone from Lenny Kravitz and Ed Sheeran to Tom Hanks. Plus, Hélène reveals what she wants to do next. Have a listen! Thank you to this episode's two wonderful sponsors, Piper-Heidsieck champagne, which we enjoyed while recording this episode to toast to Hélène's incredible career, and Eliou jewellery, which Harry Styles fans will know is loved by the pop star himself. Fans of Straight Up get 15 per cent off at Eliou using the discount code STRAIGHTUP15, via www.eliou-eliou.com. Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy.
56:24
May 26, 2021
Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis on how Hipgnosis is flipping the music industry upside down
Chic co-founder and super producer Nile Rodgers, along with his longtime manager Merck Mercuriadis, joins Straight Up to chat about how they’ve made a decades-long professional partnership work, what they love most about each other and why they’ve never had an argument (except a small one in this episode). They also told us all about their new business venture, Hipgnosis, which is essential to anyone who loves music and cares about the fair treatment of performing artists and songwriters. It is completely changing the way the music industry works by challenging the power of the big record companies, redressing an uneven power balance that has been corroding the music industry for decades.  How? By buying some of the most famous songs in the world, because Hipgnosis believes that songs are just as valuable as gold and oil, completely unaffected by economic cycles, and basically just about the safest investment you can make. By buying up these songs and "actively managing" them, they are giving these old songs a new lease of life, protecting their cultural legacy, while giving songwriters more money. Merck and Nile also chat about why songwriters are so undervalued, how it feels to disrupt music industry from the inside when its top execs are the people they go on holiday with, and the UK artists they love right now. Thank you to our three wonderful sponsors: Q Acoustics, which has just launched the most handsome active speakers on the market, ideal for music lovers who want rich, beautiful, widescreen sound as well as a living room upgrade. The Q Active 200 speakers will transform your interiors and listening experience in equal measure. Check them out at qacoustics.co.uk.  Eve bar, our favourite Covent Garden bar from Adam Handling, which serves some of the most luxurious and theatrical cocktails in the city. Their espresso martini (laced with white chocolate) will have you coming back every Friday. Book a table at evebar.co.uk and you can buy their beautiful cocktails for home delivery at adamhandling.co.uk/hame.  VOX, which has everything any amateur or professional guitarist needs for the home and studio, from noise-cancelling headphones to retro-looking electric guitars and amps. Check their brand-new VOX Bobcat V90 & S66 semi-hollow body guitars and VH-Q1 smart noise-cancelling headphones for guitarists voxamps.com.
01:09:44
April 17, 2021
Maya Jama on imposter syndrome, creepy DMs and Drake's name-drop
From the first record she ever bought and song that soundtracked her first dance with a boy to her anthems for success and the song that defined 2020, Maya Jama talks to Straight Up all about her most formative songs. Maya also revealed the pressures of imposter syndrome and finding a work life balance after three years of no holidays, her ambitions to get more women behind the camera, her funniest radio fails and her top tips for success.  This episode of Straight Up has three wonderful sponsors. First up Vivir Tequila, which we drank in our Paloma cocktails with Maya. It's also perfect in margaritas! Fans of Straight Up can get a 10 per cent discount with the code MAYAJAMA10 via vivirtequila.com Then we have Chick n Sours, who make the best fried chicken burgers and sour cocktails in London that are loved by everyone from Mike Skinner to Usher. They've just launched a range of DIY meal kits for delivery across London, which are utterly delicious. Order yours from chicknsours.co.uk And finally the independent jeweller Katie Mullally, whose gorgeous handmade collections are all hallmarked at either the London or Dublin Assay Office and are therefore an investment for life. Check out her designs at katiemullally.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy
53:58
March 27, 2021
Creative director Willo Perron on designing tours for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and JAY Z
How did Drake build his floating yellow ferrari and who owns it now? What inspires Gaga's theatric performances or JAY Z's political visuals? And what's it like to edit Kanye West's wardrobe? Willo Perron, creative director to the stars and co-founder of Los Angeles based architect studio Perron–Roettinger, talks to Straight Up about all of this and more. Also in this episode, we chat about how the best ideas come from our subconscious, what happened when his Rihanna show went wrong, and why his favourite artists are the ones with "shitty attitudes". Thank you to this episode's wonderful sponsor Shop Cuvée, the hugely successful lockdown project from renowned North London restaurant Top Cuvée, which launched a gorgeous online shop at the start of the pandemic and has since become one of the leading sellers of natural wine in the UK. Shop Cuvée also stocks incredible cocktails from Three Sheets bar in London, as well as beautiful store cupboard essentials and deli items including charcuterie and cheese. With Willo we drank a super fresh bottle of Austrian orange wine, the Joiseph Muskat Ottonel, that came specially recommended by the team. Enjoy 10 per cent off shop-wide with the code STRAIGHT UP Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy 
42:24
March 20, 2021
DJ Semtex on gaining Drake's trust and the tortured genius of Kanye West
How do you bag the only interview with Drake, and get Kanye to open up to you? DJ Semtex’s interviews are the stuff of legend, so over a bottle of Semtex’s favourite drink – Ruinart champagne – Straight Up quizzed him on how he gets the biggest names in music to open up to him and nobody else, his most amazing behind-the-scenes anecdotes with everyone from Travis Scott to J Cole, and his surprising interview fails. Semtex also revealed who from the UK rap scene throws the most iconic parties, how he’d pulled together a Drake interview at a DM’s notice and what he thinks of cancel culture, including which artists and songs he no longer feels comfortable playing in his sets. In this episode, Semtex and Straight up also discuss the damaging impact of fame on artists’ mental health, and the complicated and corrosive nature of artistic genius. This episode of Straight Up has two incredible sponsors. First up, Pioneer DJ, the biggest DJ focused electronic hardware brand in the business, stocking everything from players, mixers and controllers to speakers and headphones, and where every DJ, producer or music lover in the know gets their kit. For DJs just starting or music fans after studio quality sound at an affordable price, then check out Pioneer DJ’s new (and super compact) HDJ-CUE1 headphones. Head to Pioneerdj.com  Our second sponsor is the unbeatable Bleecker Burger – winner of the National Burger Award and hands down London’s juiciest burger (don’t believe us? Check out its mouthwatering Instagram). Excitingly for those not lucky enough to live near one of Bleecker’s London restaurants for local delivery, Bleecker has now launched  an epic range of DIY burger kits for delivery nationwide, which includes a full bottle of Bleecker's signature house sauce for you to enjoy long after the burgers are gone. That’s our Friday night sorted...forever. Head to Bleeckerburger.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy 
01:03:08
March 5, 2021
Jimmy Napes on the story behind his Oscar-winning Bond song with Sam Smith, and Spotify's big problem
What do you do when you're at your first-ever Grammys, sitting next to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but too high to speak? In this eye-opening chat with Straight Up, the Grammy and Oscar-winning collaborator to Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Stormzy and Dave reveals some of the most unforgettable moments of his career, from his hilarious Grammys blunder to penning the Oscar-winning Bond song Writing's on the Wall for 2015's Spectre. Also in this episode, over some delicious Old Fashioned cocktails, Jimmy talks about how he first met Sam, and what it was like to co-write their first big hit, Latch, going from singing at empty North London pub nights to becoming world-famous. Plus, Jimmy reveals some of him and Sam's strangest songwriting sessions, why hangovers are brilliant for creativity, and what it was like to work with Dave on Lesley and Stormzy on Crown.  Jimmy, Kathleen and Eleanor also get deep into one of the biggest talking points in the music industry right now: the way that Spotify treats musicians, and what needs to change. This episode of Straight Up has two wonderful sponsors. First up, Bar Swift, the London bar with locations in Soho and Shoreditch, which is now offering a brilliant cocktail delivery service, Speakeasy at Home, via which you can order their world-famous Old Fashioned's – including the ones made with Woodford Reserve which we drank with Jimmy – as well as many other delicious cocktails.  Head to barswift.com Our second sponsor is Popsockets, the one-stop-shop for all things digital accessories, from their famous PopGrips to their beautiful phone cases and wallets. Fans of Straight Up get an exclusive 25 per cent discount, STRAIGHTUP25. Simply enter it at the check out! Head to popsockets.co.uk Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy
01:02:33
January 2, 2021
Songwriter KAMILLE on creating Little Mix's 'sexual sadness' and the impact of trolling
Songwriter, producer and singer KAMILLE is one of the most in-demand collaborators in pop, having crafted four number one hits for the likes of Mabel, Little Mix and The Saturdays, as well as working with everyone from Headie One and AJ Tracey (yes, that's her on the hook to Ain't it Different) to Clean Bandit. Here, over some bottled cocktails, KAMILLE talks to Straight Up all about how she went from working in the city as a stockbroker to writing some of the UK's catchiest songs, what it was like to submit tracks for queens Beyoncé and Rihanna, her experience of working with Simon Cowell as a vocal coach on the X Factor (including a sneak peak into his insane house) and launching her own successful solo artist career. She also chats about how hard it was starting out as a black woman in the music business, the difficulties of getting your songs rejected by huge artists, and why there aren't more women in music production. This episode is sponsored by London bar The Proofing Room, which has just launched a range of beautifully bottled cocktails, which are available for home delivery and ready to drink. On the podcast with Kam we drank the delicious Tequila Habanero: light, refreshing, and creamy with coconut. Fans of Straight Up get a very special 20 per cent discount! Simply enter straightup20 at the checkout. Head to theproofingroom.co.uk Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy
53:56
December 15, 2020
GRM Daily founder Posty on going from homeless to media mogul
What do you do when your entire life's work gets deleted from the internet? Koby 'Posty' Hagan founded GRM Daily while studying law at university in 2009, and it went on to become the most successful youth platform in the UK, hosting thousands of rap and grime videos from a generation of black British talent and playing a part in the careers of everyone from Giggs to Stormzy. But in 2011, YouTube deleted the channel, losing 2,000 pieces of archive content – content Posty has never seen again.  Here on Straight Up, Posty talks about how he coped during one of the most testing times in his career, building the channel back up again to what it is today, as well as launching everything from the RATED Awards to his record label, and, partnering with YouTube again for his new documentary about GRM Daily's come-up, Together We Rise.  He also chats to Kathleen and Eleanor how GRM Daily runs day-to-day, the real reason Wiley isn't in the documentary, which stars he knew were going to blow up after seeing their first videos, and his tips and secrets for a successful business.  This episode is sponsored by Equiano Rum: the world’s first premium aged rum from Africa and the Caribbean. Equiano have given fans of Straight Up an exclusive 10 per cent discount code to redeem on a bottle that would have cost £49.95. Simply enter STRAIGHTUP10! at the checkout to get it for £45. Head to https://equianorum.com/ Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy
56:14
November 26, 2020
Women in Music special: how to get ahead in your career
How to find yourself a mentor that could change your life? How can women take charge in male dominated spaces? And how can we ensure black female executives are getting top level jobs?  In a special live record from women's members club The AllBright in Mayfair, Straight Up speaks to two of the most important women working in music today, Taponeswa Mavunga, Head of Publicity at Columbia Records, and Claire Coster, Head of Publicity at Atlantic, about their inspiring journeys to the top of the music industry.  Between them, Tapi and Claire have worked with everyone from Ed Sheeran and Jay Z to Wizkid, Charli XCX and Koffee, and they first met after Claire interned for Tapi, and subsequently became her mentee.  Packed full of career advice for women across all industries, as well as insider analysis on how the music industry is adapting post MeToo and Black Lives Matter and where change is still crucial, this episode of Straight Up is a must-listen for creatives of all levels. Stay listening until the end to hear Kathleen and Eleanor chat about their major artist interviews this month, which include Headie One, Nile Rodgers, D Double E and rising star Kamal. And, to get a sneak preview of our exciting upcoming guest! This episode of Straight Up was sponsored by Beija London, a beautifully inclusive and empowering lingerie and swimwear brand for all cup sizes from AA up to 36H. Fans of Straight Up can get 15% off your first order by entering ‘straightup’ at checkout. Their website address is www.beija.london Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy
01:09:54
November 6, 2020
Ed Sheeran manager Stuart Camp on the pressures of fame, fans and when Ed almost died
What strange clauses does Ed Sheeran insist are in his management contract? What is the one unexpected item he asks for on his rider? And what really happened at Russell Crowe's house in Australia? (Clue: it involves a field of snakes.) Stuart Camp, longterm manager to the world's most successful male recording artist, talks to Straight Up about what it's like to be Ed Sheeran's right-hand man. Stuart, who cut his teeth managing James Blunt, Lily Allen and The Darkness, is so close to Ed the star calls him dad, and even lived with him for several years. Stuart reveals how he got his first job in the music business despite being told by his careers advisor that he should become a binman, the one skill you need to be a good manager, how he deals with mad fans and the emotional toll of looking after the physical safety and mental health of one of the world's most famous people. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can get all of your favourite drinks, including this episode's bottle of Fortaleza Blanco tequila.
01:02:48
October 2, 2020
Music video director Henry Scholfield on dancing with Dua Lipa and the story behind Stormzy's Vossi Bop
What's it like to dance with Dua Lipa? How does Billie Eilish think up her lyrics? And what is the book Stormzy's reading in Sounds of the Skeng? Henry Scholfield, one of the world's most sought after music video directors, spills his creative secrets to Kathleen and Eleanor, from why Wiley didn't turn up to the Boasty shoot to the story behind Stormzy's Vossi Bop uber.  Henry also chatted to Straight Up about how he got his very first job and the niche sources of his inspiration, his advice for aspiring film makers, and what he believes are some of the most iconic music videos of the last decade. Also in this episode, Kathleen and Eleanor share their recommendations across podcasts, books and TV on the themes of race and white privilege, from Little Fires Everywhere and George the Poet's podcast to Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age and Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can get all of your favourite drinks, including this episode's refreshingly botanical bottle of Ki No Bi gin. 
01:06:10
June 23, 2020
Radio 1Xtra's Tiffany Calver on blacklisting rap lyrics and when her nans met Drake
What's it like to spend weeks on the road with Drake (with your nans in tow)? How to react when Fredo buys you a gas mask as a present? And what is it really like to DJ for the King and Queen themselves, Beyonce and JAY Z?  Most importantly, how does it feel to be one of the most in-demand and respected DJs in the world? Tiffany Calver, the 25-year-old, Shropshire-born host of Radio 1Xtra's Rap Show talks to Straight Up about everything from first jobs and career disasters to owning her presence as one of the few women shaping UK rap.  Over a couple of glasses over prosecco, Tiffany also chatted about how she overcame her imposter syndrome and why she blacklists certain lyrics from her radio show. Plus, where is really good to go out in London, which celebrity throws the best parties and what's it like to live down the road from Maya Jama? Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy this episode's bottle of Galeotti Prosecco.
01:05:02
May 15, 2020
Publicist Barbara Charone on the wild times touring with the Rolling Stones
Why is touring like a drug to artists and what happens when they get off stage? Is all press good press? And can the tabloids still break a celebrity? For this episode, over a dry bottle of rose, Eleanor and Kathleen spoke to publicity legend and former music critic Barbara Charone about working with some of the world’s biggest artists, from Madonna and The Rolling Stones to Mark Ronson and the Foo Fighters, Kesha, Duffy and Christina Aguilera. Barbara also revealed what it was like to tour with The Rolling Stones while writing Keith Richards' authorised biography, launching a young Madonna in the Eighties, and the one artist she regrets not working with. In this week's cultural run-down, Eleanor and Kathleen chat about the one album, book, TV show, film and podcast they can't get enough of. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy Barbara's favourite bottle of Williams Chase rose
01:11:04
April 10, 2020
Atlantic Records UK co-President Ed Howard on signing Ed Sheeran
How do musicians deal with fame and is there such a thing as an overnight success story? What's the story behind Ed Sheeran getting signed? (It involves a Bruno Mars gig and a tonne of beer). This week Kathleen and Eleanor speak to one of the music business's most influential players, Ed Howard, who was promoted to co-President of Atlantic (alongside Briony Turner, who is on maternity leave), in January. Ed talks about crafting the long-term strategy behind his first-ever signing Charli XCX, how he consoled Burna Boy after the star lost out on a Brit Award, how labels will adapt to an era of stars coming off social media, how a label imprint like Stormzy’s Merky Records actually works, and the difficulty of taking on his mentor Ben Cook's role after Cook was asked to leave Atlantic following a blackface controversy. Kathleen and Eleanor also talk about what it’s like to interview Niall Horan, and why the most recent episode of internet culture podcast Reply All has got everyone hooked. To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy a bottle of tasty Haku vodka.
56:20
March 12, 2020
Guardian music critic Laura Snapes on interviewing Taylor Swift at home
What's it like to meet Taylor Swift in her Nashville home and chat politics and Kanye? Guardian Deputy Music Editor Laura Snapes is one of the best critics in the country and on this episode of Straight Up talks about profiling Taylor Swift and the difficulties of interviewing Avril Lavigne, why she convinced Matty Healy from The 1975 to pledge only playing festival line-ups with enough women on the bill, as well what it’s like to have a male musician sexually harass you over an email interview, before making explicit, inappropriate references to you during one of his shows. In this episode, Kathleen and Eleanor also discuss the musicians they interviewed at the Brits – from Burna Boy to Aitch – what the Brits Chiltern Firehouse afterparty is really like (including secret smoking areas and performances), and what happened to Duffy. To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy Kathleen and Eleanor's choice Alkkemist gin. 
56:52
February 27, 2020
Stylist Carlotta Constant on dressing Stormzy and the Arctic Monkeys
What's it like to get celebrities naked for work every day? Carlotta Constant, the super stylist who has dressed everyone from Rihanna, Stormzy and Loyle Carner to Krept and Konan, Hrvy and The Arctic Monkeys, lifts the lid on what it's really like to work so up close and personal with some of the music industry's biggest names.  Over a couple of glasses of Tattinger champagne, Carlotta chatted to Kathleen and Eleanor about the piece of advice she gave Rihanna, the musician she'd most like to give a makeover to and the behind-the-scenes issues that happen on set, including what happens when musicians take drugs during a shoot or steal shoot clothes and jewellery. Carlotta also talked about the brand every musician wants on their rail, and her hypebeast tips for getting ahead of the best fashion drops. To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy Carlotta's favourite bottle of Tattinger. 
52:32
February 13, 2020
Chicken Shop Date's Amelia Dimoldenberg on dating everyone from Dave to Aitch
No one puts the UK's biggest musicians in their place like Amelia Dimoldenberg, CEO of Chicken Shop Date, the cult YouTube series in which the comedian and broadcaster takes stars to their favourite chicken shop, and grills them about everything from their love lives to their most embarrassing moments. Both deliciously awkward and completely hilarious, Chicken Shop Date has become a massive viral hit, racking up millions of views, and with guests including AJ Tracey, Dave, D Double E, Sean Paul, and Maya Jama. Amelia talked to Kathleen and Eleanor about her favourite Chicken Shop Date episodes, the musicians who have turned her down, the one date that went disastrously wrong and the musician she still keeps thinking about. Also on this episode, Amelia dissects the behind-the-scenes of how Chicken Shop Date is filmed, how she prepares her questions and who she still wants to get on the show. This week, Kathleen and Eleanor also chat about the wild success of pop prodigy Billie Eilish, who has become the youngest writer of the Bond song. Keep listening right until the end to hear all about her pet tarantula, her brother Finneas and her sleep paralysis.  To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy Amelia's bottle of Artigianale Prosecco.
58:44
January 24, 2020
Producer Fraser T Smith on the most intimate studio moments with Stormzy and Dave
Fraser T Smith witnessed Stormzy's tug of war between the light and dark while the rapper recorded Gang Signs and Prayer, went with Dave to meet his brother in prison while recording Psychodrama, and was a shoulder to cry on for Adele while she recorded Set Fire to the Rain. Having been at the side of the UK's most successful musicians during their most vulnerable moments, Fraser shares them with Kathleen and Eleanor in this episode of Straight Up. Over a couple of gin and tonics, Fraser also talks to Straight Up about the one song he regrets producing, the thorny issue of freedom of speech in his studio and his craziest memory with Craig David – who hired him as a backing guitarist and was then best man at his wedding. Listen in to learn all about Fraser's signature style, his favourite songs and how he became producer to the stars.  Kathleen and Eleanor also discuss Adele's rumoured new album, the just-announced Sound of 2020 list, interviewing Wiley and Lizzo's killer chat-up line to Niall Horan. To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy Fraser's favourite bottle of Monkey47 gin.
51:09
January 9, 2020
This is Grime photographer Olivia Rose on why D Double E is the best friend you could ever have
What's it like to photograph everyone from Kano to Jeremy Corbyn, and direct J Cole and Skepta's music videos? Olivia Rose, grime's most trusted photographer, spills her secrets, from how she got Slowthai naked and chased Tempa T through Milton Keynes for her perfect shot, to making her biggest mistake on a shoot with JME and leaning on D Double E as an agony aunt. It's a fun one, enjoy! You can also read Eleanor's GQ cover interview with Skepta and watch her Facebook Live with Jeremy Corbyn, and read Kathleen's interviews with Slowthai and Jorja Smith.  To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Loved this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy our bottle of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum
01:10:01
December 26, 2019
Festival boss Jason Carter on experiencing the mad demands of Madonna, JAY Z and Eminem
What does a festival organiser do when there's a bomb threat beneath the main stage and a royal in the crowd? How to cope when Madonna's manager is shouting at you down the phone, when JAY Z threatens to pull out of your event, or when Eminem starts being a diva?  This week, over a couple of whiskeys, BBC Introducing and GetOnMusic founder Jason Carter gives Straight Up the skinny on what working with the stars (and their entourage) is really like.  Also in this episode, Jason talks about booking a then unknown Ed Sheeran to play the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, how the BBC Sound Of lists get drawn up and why Radio 1Xtra was launched, and the time a manager tried to bribe him to get his artist on the radio.   Keep listening until the end to hear Kathleen and Eleanor chat about interviewing Stormzy and Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne's problematic new album and the queer narrative around Harry Styles. Enjoy! To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Enjoyed this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy a bottle of Jason's Ardberg single malt. 
58:24
December 12, 2019
Sony 4th Floor's Cassandra Gracey on why George Ezra is so nice
What makes an artist blow up and what happens when they fall? Do artists still need press, how much do their music videos cost and who tells them off when they step out of line?  Why does Rita Ora have such a complicated reputation and why is George Ezra so nice? Cassandra Gracey, President of Sony’s in-house creative agency 4th Floor Creative and one of only two female label presidents in the UK, lifts the lid on all this and more over a cold glass (or two) of her favourite drink: Moët champagne.  To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Enjoyed this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy a bottle of Cassandra's Moët.
58:18
November 28, 2019
Apple Music's Austin Daboh on going from bail to the most influential man in music
Austin Daboh almost lost his very first job in music at the BBC, yet now he's one of the industry's most respected voices. Previously at Spotify, then Head of Editorial at Apple Music, and now Executive Vice President at Atlantic Records UK, Austin chatted to Straight Up all about his life changing career moves, what he has learned from failure along the way, and advice for all aspiring creatives. Over his favourite drink, a Hennessy and coke, Austin also spoke to Kathleen and Eleanor about how he created Spotify's game-changing Who We Be playlist, his thoughts on cancel culture and the controversial word 'urban', meeting JAY-Z, and his most surreal career moment to date.  To listen to all the music discussed on Straight Up and the songs we've got on repeat, follow our Straight Up playlist on Spotify. Enjoyed this episode of Straight Up? Have any suggestions for our next episode? Are you a brand wanting to chat to us about sponsorship opportunities? We'd love to hear from you: hello@straightuppodcast.co.uk Straight Up's music and editing is by Marlon Percy: @marlonpercy Straight Up was recorded at club and co-working space The Ministry by Chris Bailey of The Boy in the Corner @cornerHQ Straight Up is sponsored by online spirits specialist Master of Malt, where you can buy a bottle of Austin's Hennessy VS. 
48:32
November 14, 2019
Welcome to Straight Up: the chart-topping music podcast for the stories you've never heard before
Ever wondered how Ed Sheeran became famous or how Stormzy writes his songs? What artists really get up to on tour, their craziest diva moments and what goes down at the wildest industry parties? Intrigued by the secrets managers keep or how publicists keep a lid on controversy? Straight Up, a game-changing new podcast pulling back the curtain on UK music at its most exciting moment yet, lifts the lid on all this and more. Co-hosted by GQ journalist Kathleen Johnston and Telegraph journalist Eleanor Halls, Straight Up extracts the juiciest stories, the most valuable career advice and expert insight on music's most important headlines from the talent behind your favourite talent: from the biggest producer in the game to the top managers, via the most legendary publicist and the hottest photographer. Because these are the real industry shapers. And, because conversation and music always flow better over a drink, every episode is recorded over our guest's favourite. So why not grab a glass, and join us?
01:12
November 11, 2019