Liner notes: London Calling

Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor || Features Editor

With the thrill of the summer Olympics in London, the recent Kate Middleton obsession and England’s fashion influence, the British are pretty huge in the media right now. But, the media are not the only people catching on to this craze.

If you turn your radio on right now, assuming it’s a modern hits station, you won’t have to wait an hour before a song by Adele, Florence and the Machine, One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, or The Wanted plays. What do they all have in common? A British accent (yet somehow it’s not always detectable when they sing …).

If you watched the Olympic Opening or Closing ceremonies this summer you witnessed some of their country’s biggest musical performers. The ceremonies might have felt a little dull at some moments but when the modern references (Mary Poppins, J.K. Rowling, anyone?) and bits of their popular music were on-screen, I was all eyes and ears. Paul McCartney’s performance of “Hey! Jude” was emotionally moving, and somehow the Spice Girls still managed to hype up the audience even though they separated years ago.

Ellie Goulding currently has the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with her single “Lights.” Going from being exclusive to her country, to a new American favorite is probably every English musician’s dream.

Then, there’s Adele, but everyone knows how big her music is here. The singer took home six Grammy awards earlier this year including the most prestigious three: album, song, and record of the year.

The recent boy band One Direction is huge here, too. I really don’t understand the symptoms that come with the so-called One Direction infection because I outgrew my boy band phase when Justin

Timberlake went solo. But, maybe it’s the accents and young faces that girls like. I’m anxious to see how far they go.

The Wanted, another English boy band, is played just as much on American radio stations as One Direction. The main difference between the two is their genres. The Wanted makes more dance pop music where 1D is solely pop.

Rita Ora, the supposed protegee of Jay-Z and Beyonce, is probably more known right now for her blonde hair and bright colored lipstick than her music, but I’m sure that won’t always be the case. Her song “How We Do (Party)” is making its way onto the music charts.

Alex Clare, the guy who has the song in those Internet Explorer commercials, combines dubstep with rock, which is actually really cool and unique.

If you’ve heard Rihanna’s chart topper “We Found Love” then you have heard the work of British DJ Calvin Harris. This guy has worked with Ke$ha, Kylie Minogue and Flo Rida, too. He will be releasing his third studio album this October.

Other notable English performers not mentioned above: Elton John, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, and The Who. Let me know who I left out on Twitter @MSUNewsFeatures.

It’s neat how music that is popular in other countries and cultures is also big here in the U.S., too. Going international is definitely a sign that you’ve arrived.