Why the UK will be leading the music industry in 2021

Like it or not, we’ve transformed Drake and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Aeron Davies
4 min readNov 2, 2020

I’m British, if you haven’t already guessed, and am proud to be associated with daily tea drinking, polite manners, a shambles political system, and of course our unique music industry.

Thanks to grimepioneers over at BBK and drill artists such as Headie One, Tion Wayne and LD, we are now way past the ‘on the map’ stage. In fact, we’re one of the leading influencers in Western Hip Hop at this moment in time.

With acts like Drake and Pop Smoke spreading the word of the newly adapted ‘US Drill’, one can only wonder how a small island like ours can influence the 2 powerhouses of the US, the East coast and the West coast.

Drill’s brief history

As you may know, UK drill was originally influenced by Chicago Drill, with pioneers like Fredo Santana and Chief Keef contributing to its renowned success, but it wasn’t quite mainstream.

Fast forward to about 2013. UK drillers such as 67 and radio sessions like TimWestwood’s Crib Sessions and Fire in The Booth started putting their own twist on Chicago Drill, to create UK Drill.

From this moment on, we show the world what we’ve got.

Related article: UK Drill can teach us all a huge lesson about society

How we changed drill

Do me a favour, listen to Fredo Santana’s Jealous, now listen to Unknown T’s Deh Deh. Spot the difference!

Of course the gruesome, dark lyrics are still alive and well, but as far as the instrumentals go there are very little similarities.

Why is this?

Because of our rich innovation in Dance and Hip Hop, with genres like Dubstep, Grime, Garage, Two step, and Drum and Bass being invented here, we’ve kept a close inner circle of respect and admiration for our predecessors. In other words, artists are not afraid to search our catalogue of genres to gain some influence.

Yes of course we’ve had stages of hating Grime, and calling Garage dead. But in 2020, there’s barely any sign of hatred towards our olders.

Take Garage music for example. AJ Tracey is renowned for his Garage influence, and I’d say is responsible for bringing the genre back from its 15 year slumber. His mixed discography of Garage, Drill and Grime music has piqued young listeners’ interests.

Grime legend Dizzee Rascal has collaborated with Drill artists, and has even released a few Drill songs. Not only that, but continues to make Grime tracks suitable for 2020, alongside JME, Skepta, Stormzy and Wiley.

In my personal opinion, our acceptance of new and old sounds is a key factor as to why we’re dominating the music industry right now.

We have such a rich culture of artists and innovators, just imagine if we all hated each other’s music. Imagine if we wanted to go ‘Punk’ and shy away from our innovators just because we didn’t see eye to eye.

Related article: How to create your own genre

What happens when people hate ‘the in-thing’?

What happened when Heavy Metal artists heard Punk Rock?

What happened when acts like Eminem and Kendrick heard Mumble Rap?

Yep, we then call that genre ‘Punk’.

Punk is not only a name of a Rock genre, but also a term used to describe an art movement that stems away from traditional culture. Reasons for this could be that they have lines that shouldn’t be crossed, or maybe they just don’t like each other.

Either way, when genres go ‘punk’ I see it as a bad thing. Mostly because it’s no one’s fault but the more traditional artists as they’re unwilling to accept that music changes, for better or worse, and they should support this change in order to get the best out of it.

Of course there are artists like Lil Xan who famously stated that Tupac is boring, which tells us that newer artists need to take more of an advantage of their rich culture, otherwise their music will lack in depth and concept.

Part of what makes UK music great is that all of our genres are connected in some way, in other words, a 2020 hit song can remind you of a 90s classic.

(I’d also like to mention that US styled EDM music has close to no influence on US Hip Hop culture, and are widely considered to be miles apart from each other. If both genres helped each other push boundaries, then who knows what sounds could be created in the next decade.)

Related article: 5 ways to be unique in the music industry


What if our nation created a bond with the likes of Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. Our music most probably wouldn’t be rock, but it would’ve been influenced by the greatest artists to ever set foot on our land.

No, I’m not hoping that every boomer has to enjoy the latest mumble rap track. But to accept the modern music industry’s direction, no matter how strange it may seem. After all, gaining support from newer genres can help extend older genres as well.

Thank you for reading!!