Belfast Telegraph

Stormzy and Skepta lead the grime scene as music sales double in one year

The genre has seen an explosion of success thanks to online streaming services.

Sales of grime music have almost doubled in the last year with artists such as Stormzy and Skepta leading the way, figures show.

The Official Charts Company found that the genre was “outperforming the market” when physical sales, digital downloads and plays on streaming services over the last 12 months were taken into account.

Its research showed that, in the year up to May, Stormzy dominated sales with his anticipated debut album Gang Signs & Prayer and singles Big For Your Boots and Shut Up.

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Skepta also made a mark with record Konnichiwa and tracks Shutdown and Man.

The top five albums of the year also included Landlord by Giggs, Facing Time by Bugzy Malone and Made In The Manor by Kano.

According to the company, album equivalent sales (which combine streaming with physical purchases) rose by 93% in the last year, compared with the overall music market increase of 6%.

It added that physical album sales more than doubled while sales across all genres dropped by 8%.

Meanwhile online, digital record album sales rocketed by more than 50% compared with a 27% fall in the overall market.

Traceable back to the early 2000s, grime artists have seen massive success in recent months, with Skepta claiming the 2016 Mercury Prize for Konnichiwa and Kano shortlisted for two Brit awards.

Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer was certified gold after shooting straight to number one in February and, while he was also tipped for a Brit, it was his surprise performance with Ed Sheeran that gripped the nation’s attention on the night.

Total figures from the study show around 410,000 grime album sales, 1.3 million track downloads and 1.5 billion track plays on streaming services over the last year.

Disrupt Media’s Matt Thorne, who also worked on the research, attributed the genre’s explosion to streaming sites, which he said make music most accessible to the core audience.

He said: “From the dark times of file sharing to the days of iTunes, where artists were striving to break a pirate mentality from fans, streaming has opened up grime’s core fandom and allowed for exponential growth of the genre to transcend culture far and wide”.

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