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NextGen Spotlight: Luke RV and the Impact of Radio Play

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two photos of Luke RV. He wears a yellow jacket, fawn trousers with brown shoes and a blue cap.

Selected in the first round of the Youth Music NextGen Fund, Luke RV is a rapper, singer and songwriter from South Wales.

Thanks to the Youth Music NextGen Fund, Luke released his project, WHAT'S THAT, over there, in November. The record combines relatable, witty lyrics with a laidback production to create a lo-fi, alt hip-hop, post-garage feel.

Before sharing the full project, however, Luke dropped singles 'Stop Spoiling Everything', 'BLOW MY HIGH' and 'LONG TERM PARKING' to build up anticipation.

The latter single was covered in various media, such as GRM Daily, Guap and New Wave Magazine, and over the summer, Luke performed at Boomtown Festival.

To top it all off. 'LONG TERM PARKING' was then picked up by Lady Leshurr as Track of the Week on BBC Introducing on 1Xtra. 

We caught up with Luke to hear how he got his track noticed and the impact it had on his career.

How did you find out that Lady Leshurr had selected your single ‘LONG TERM PARKING’ for BBC Radio 1Xtra Introducing Track of the Week?

I had an email from one of the producers saying that they heard my track on the BBC Introducing uploader, and they really liked it and were going to pitch it in a meeting. I thought that was cool but didn't really expect anything to come from it. I think it was the next week, I got an email saying it was going to be BBC Introducing track of the week on BBC 1Xtra.

What did it feel like when you heard the track played on the radio?

It was sick hearing my track being introduced as the Track of the Week. I have been getting played on the radio and 1Xtra for the past couple of years but to have a track bigged up and made a big deal out of is definitely a cool moment. 

After Lady Leshurr made ‘LONG TERM PARKING’ her Track of the Week, other DJs across the BBC 1Xtra team such as Sian Anderson and DJ Cuppy played it too. Did you know this would happen or was it a total surprise?

I sort of knew it was going to happen. Once it was made Track of the Week, I was told which DJs would be playing my track and when, so that I could tune in.

Your Spotify monthly listeners also went up from below 10,000 to more than 44,000 after the radio plays. It just goes to show the impact that radio still has on boosting artists’ profiles! Have you noticed anything else happen since?

My Spotify monthly listeners has definitely seen an increase. I'm sure a part of this is down to the radio exposure. It was also down to getting a track I did with KeepVibesNear, Minas and Harvey Whyte getting into a sick Spotify editorial playlist. 'LONG TERM PARKING' was my first solo track to get into a Spotify editorial playlist too so that's been a goal for a minute.

Do you have any tips for other emerging artists looking to get their tracks played on the radio?

My tips for other emerging artists trying to get heard on radio is to keep uploading to the BBC uploader, and keep making connections, going to events etc. The only way to get heard is to try and get yourself heard I guess.

Now your EP is out, what else is on the horizon?

Now the EP is out, I have a few gigs to close out the year in London and here in Cardiff. I am in the studio wrapping up my next project and I am just trying to stay busy! I have a few cool announcements so I am just getting everything prepared!

The Youth Music NextGen Fund has been made possible thanks to generous support from TikTok, Turtle Bay, and players of People's Postcode Lottery. We are also grateful for our vital support from the National Lottery via Arts Council England.