For those not in the know, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, running since 2004, have become a seminal accolade, often preceding an unassuming artist’s meteoric to fame. A quick glance over releases associated with the award drives this home – Fat Freddy’s Based on a True Story (2005), James Blake’s self-titled debut (2012) and Fatima’s Yellow Memories (2015) have all had their moment in the sun courtesy of Britain’s favourite taste–maker.
For the 2016 edition, the WWA returns to Koko on 16th January and has just announced the first three names playing on the night. 79ers Gang promise to bring authentic New Orleans Mardi Gras direct to Camden, redolent with an excess of horns, snare drums and big bass drums. Little Simz, will represent North London with lyrical prowess, while South is covered by Peckham-based Henry Wu. He’ll be presenting his exciting live trio show, Yussef Kamaal, with live Rhodes and drums shedding new light on that trademark 22a sound.
This diversity, sure to be expanded upon as more artists join the bill, is nothing less than people have come to expect from Gilles, whether listening to him over the waves or in the club. The reputation of the awards, along with the exciting initial trio of artists should be ample motivation to grab the first tier tickets (£30) from Dice.