Ash London: “We Have A Responsibility to Champion Local Artists”

Staff Writer

Just ten months after rebranding their night show from Shazam Top 20 to Hit 30, Southern Cross Austereo are doing it again, hoping to win back cap city market share from Nova’s more popular equivalent, Smallzy’s Surgery.

In a game of musical chairs, Ash London will return to the SCA-owned Hit Network to “shake things up” with a new music-based show, Ash London LIVE, which begins on air tonight at 8pm.

After a year-long trip around the world – and with the full support from her predecessor, Angus O’Loughlin – London hopes to reinvent a tired format by ditching Kardashian content and replacing it with more Australian music. Or, in London’s own words, “Bangers”.

Ash and Angus

Talking to TMN ahead of the show’s debut tonight, London said: “[…] This is my opportunity to take what [O’Loughlin] has taught me, and the incredible legacy he’s built with Hit 30 and, before that, Shazam Top 20, and make it my own.”

On her recent travels, London enjoyed discovering new tunes from around the globe, but it’s her love of new Australian music that should offer some confidence to a sceptical music industry hoping to break commercial artists through night time radio airplay.

Admittedly, London has an equal love affair with Chance the Rapper and Justin Bieber. But if her local musical-finds-of-the-moment are anything to go by, there is hope yet.

It’s Tash Sultana and Sydney-based band Glades that have won over London in recent weeks: “They’re the kind of artists that could easily sit on Triple J, but there is no reason they can’t sit on our show too.” She’s dead right.

Neither Sultana nor Glades have broken into TMN‘s Hot 100 Chart just yet, but Sultana is on the move up courtesy of her latest offering Jungle, which was #4 on TMN’s Alternative Chart last week.

“I saw Tash Sultana last night play in Newtown… and that was such a special show. She’s so young and doing it all on her own, which I think is brilliant.”

London’s not fibbing when she says “We are just so spoilt for choice”. The show’s first-week lineup includes interviews with Peking Duk, What So Not, Tkay Maidza, and Two Door Cinema Club; and if London gets her way, both Sultana and Glades will also make an appearance.

When pressed about local pop artists who don’t have a place on the J’s, London wants to make room for them too, telling TMN, “We have a responsibility to champion local artists. Young people especially know what cool music sounds like so we need to keep up.”

Night radio has, in recent years, failed to break any non-alternative Australian pop artists in a meaningful way, according to multiple record company pluggers and A&R’s that spoke to TMN.

But to London’s credit, she wants to change that by putting the show’s influential digital properties to work, telling TMN, “Especially with our socials, we want to be doing some interesting things with acoustics and performances.”

Ash London LIVE can be heard nationally from 8pm every weeknight on SCA’s Hit Network.

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