DJ Target Talks ‘Tonight With Target’, Drill & Grime, Advice For Budding Creatives & More

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

22 Sep 2021

A man of many talents; an author, a presenter, a DJ, and now a TV host, DJ Target has recently launched his brand new show, ‘Tonight With Target’ on BBC Three with the aim to champion Black British music. Formerly known for his position in Roll Deep, the mogul has since become an integral name within British rap and it’s surrounding culture. Shining a light on many of our favorite artists we’ve all grown to love, DJ Target has formed a hub for all things UK!

Joined alongside breakout talent Remi Burgz, ‘Tonight With Target’ is a fresh and exciting show that brings not only some of the biggest names in the scene together, but also shines a light on some talented up and coming artists from across the country. Following the rise of places like Manchester, Nottingham, and Birmingham over the past few years, Target has taken it upon himself to ensure there is a broad range of talent being showcased on air for the nation to see. From live performances, cyphers, chats with guests and more, ‘Tonight With Target’ is yet another pivotal point for the scene.

Mixtape Madness caught up with DJ Target over Zoom for a quick chat about his brand new TV show, ‘Tonight With Target’, his thoughts on Drill and Grime, cyphers, which side of London is better musically, and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!

Following the rise and success of Black British music over the last few years, your show couldn’t have come at a better time! What was the main focus you wanted to push with the show?

Like you just said, everyone’s been saying the same thing! There was such a big gap for a show that can celebrate Black music culture. Following on from everything that’s been happening over the past few years, there has been a massive surge of success from certain artists. There wasn’t anything on TV that was bringing live music, packaging it up, and having conversations, delving deeper into the artists and the culture, having fun with it and making it feel celebratory. That was where the idea for the show came from, like you said, the timing of it feels right because the thirst for the music, the artists, and the culture is at an all time high!

The performance’s are really cinematic! You previously said that one of things you wanted from the show was for it to be the ultimate place for live music, especially now we’ve come out of a lockdown – Why was this so important to you and how hands on were you in regard to visioning how these would look?

Live music was the seed that was planted to grow the rest of the show, it was built around the live sector. Bringing live performances to what could be a mainstream audience, it hadn’t been done before. I grew up on Top of the Pops and Jools Holland, there’s nothing that has focused on the success of Black music and the culture in the UK. I wanted to bring the live element to TV but not make so it’s continuous performances, I spread it out with conversations, whether you find out something new about your favourite artist, discover a new artist, we have the cyphers and the iconic spaces performances as well. We wanted to stage it different, that’s why we have three stages that can be shot and lit differently so they don’t feel the same each week. We were very hands on all the way through, from how it was going to look, feel, and get through. Big up the wider team as well!

You’ve included a real nostalgic element with the cyphers! .o5% ivermectin sales How important was it for you to include them? How essential are cyphers to rap?

It’s true, you do see less of them now! Everyone does freestyles, there aren’t as many cyphers. That whole segment was made to showcase newer rappers from the streets, or ones that have a small buzz in there local area that wouldn’t normally get showcased on TV. Some of the smaller names as well, we have some of the bigger names performing on stage but I wanted to represent the next level and showcase them through that. It’s about giving opportunities and inspiring a generation that might only have a small buzz in there local town but still have a chance of getting on mainstream TV.

I know you’ve probably been asked this a million times but it’s something that always comes up in conversation on the timeline! What are your thoughts in regard to there being no Drill without Grime?

I’m definitely an advocate of there being no drill without grime! I know some people like to say it’s a different generation, a different style of music, and I get all of those points but it’s more about tracing back the lineage, and seeing what grime did in terms of setting a foundation for British music and rappers. Grime was the foundation when UK grime and rap was only at an underground level. It’s very self sufficient, it built it’s way up without the help of the music industry and started to birth stars. From Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah, and Kano, they were the ones that really started to break down the doors and open up emcee based music to a mainstream audience. Without that 10-15 years of banging on the door repeatedly, after being told no, that’s enabled the next generation to take things further and diversify the sound with drill or whatever.

Another question that always comes up on the TL [timeline] that I wanted to ask was, which side of London is best for music?

Ohhh… *laughs* I’m from East London so I cant not say East but it definitely goes in waves! East London was on top for a while, we had a variety of vibes and people breaking through from there. North London also came through with Wretch 32, Skepta, and Chip and it was a huge movement. South has always got more in terms of numbers, it’s always been prolific! West London has AJ Tracey, Digga D, and Central Cee, the list goes on! Every part of London does represent but being from East, if you look back historically I think we might be able to take it but people will definitely have something to say about that! *laughs*

Having watched the scene grow from the early Grime days, is there anything in particular you miss about them in comparison to where we stand now as a landscape?

I love the internet and social media and what it’s enabled people to do but I miss the physical-ness of grime. You had to be there to experience it. It wasn’t about watching sets back online, watching video’s, or listening to a track online, you had to be there in the room and feel the energy. That side of grime in how we consume music today is very different. There are events and stuff, but that vibe and energy of having a scene with whoever is DJ’ing or emceeing, that’s missed! In actual grime music that’s missed because people always talk about whether it’s struggling or if it’s gone, a big part of why the scene doesn’t think it’s as vibrant is mainly because there isn’t enough of that energy. You need that with grime, it can’t live online.

The Rap Game season 3 recently finished as well! What are the key things you look out for in up and coming artists?

Something that makes you stop and say “Hang on, what’s this!” – it sounds cliche but being different. ivermectina cachorro bula Having great music is important but being different is a bonus because we are in a day and age where you do hear a similar vibe if something is hot. koupit revectina Being consistent and showing that you can be prolific, not just dropping a song and ghosting for a year. Especially as a new artist, you’ve got to come out the gate and be able to show people from the off that you are a serious contender because there is too much going on to not be. Performing live is important as well, a lot of people are just thrown into it and before you know it they’re doing festivals –

Yeah! They just stand there, waving there arm around not knowing what they are doing!

Yeah, exactly! *laughs* Going back, there was a time where rappers were doing live circuits so by the time they are performing bigger shows they’ve performed on every other level. Whereas today, you might drop a song and it perform really well throughout summer and by the end of summer you have all these festival bookings but you’ve never done any type of show! I think artists should definitely work on there live stuff!

You are a man of many talents from being an author, to a presenter, a DJ and now on TV! What advice would you give to young and budding creatives who want to go down a similar route?

If you are someone who is creative or has a passion for creative arts, whether it’s writing, art, or music, follow where the passion leads you. Take chances and take risks. Try and be consistent and on your game so you can stand out from the pack because it’s so hard to cut through in this day and age. Don’t be afraid to take that opportunity. I should never have tried to write a book but I had a burning desire in me to do it, so we tried to see what we could do. After I wrote the book, a lot of people came up to me and said it was something they had wanted to do for years but never got round to doing it, I just threw myself into that idea and see where it took me. I’m not a writer at all! It taught me a lesson in regard to putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, testing it out and the best rewards can be there.

Keep up to date with all things DJ Target via his Instagram here. Make sure you catch up with ‘Tonight With Target’ on iPlayer here.