Plan B (born Ben Drew, 22.10.1983) Plan B is a British rapper, songwriter, singer and actor.
Childhood: Plan B was born and raised in the Forest Gate area of East London. His father played in local punk rock bands and his mother worked for a local authority. When he was six years old, his father left the family home.
Plan B initially attended the Anglo European School in Ingatestone, Essex, but was transferred to Tom Hood School in Leytonstone after being expelled. He taught himself to play guitar from the age of 14. At first, he learnt to play songs by the likes of Blur and Oasis but soon moved on, when his love of hip-hop and R&B developed.
Music Career: Plan B's debut musical appearance came when he rapped on 'Cap Back' by DJ Wonder ( a member of the respected Roll Deep crew). The track was used on the grime compilation Run the Road in 2005. Later that year, Plan B also released his debut single on the Pet Cemetary label. The 'Kidz'/'Dead' "7 was released as a limited edition and he soon landed a recording contract with 679 Recordings (originally home to Mike Skinner's The Streets). His debut single for his new label was 'No Good' / 'Sick 2 Def'.
When Plan B's debut album was released - entitled Who Needs Actions When You Got Words - it was positively received by the music press and gained a five-star review in The Guardian from Alexis Petridis.
To continue promoting the album, Plan appeared at the Reading and Leeds festivals, as well as releasing a remix album, which included Hadouken!'s remix of his track 'No More Eatin''. Plan B also embarked on a tour that saw him being supported by Hadouken! as well as Example, Killa Kela and Professor Green. He also released a mixtape, which included songs by the likes of Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen and Radiohead.
Plan B's second album evolved into a concept album entitled The Defamation of Strickland Banks. In March 2010, Plan B supported Noel Gallagher at the Royal Albert Hall. He also appeared on a number of mainstream TV shows, to promote the album, including a live slot on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
Musically, Plan B has been compared to the US rapper Eminem, though with the acoustic sensibilities of the songwriter Damien Rice.
Acting: Plan B landed a lead role in the 2008 film Adulthood, alongside Danny Dyer and Scarlett Johnson. He also recorded three tracks for the film's soundtrack.
In 2009, Plan B went on to star as Noel Winters in the hit British movie Harry Brown, which starred Michael Caine in the lead role.
J Alvarez, Plan B, Maldy, Alex Sensation, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, Farruko and Justin Quiles - Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards - Day 3 at The Ritz-Carlton Miami Beach - Miami Beach, Florida, United States - Wednesday 29th April 2015
Stars were quick to lend their name to this just cause, which takes place at London's O2 Arena in September
Emeli Sande, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran are all set to play a special memorial service for Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered two decades ago in a racially motivated attack. His death galvanised a nation, furthering the cause of equality in the U.K, and heralded the start of the Lawrence Charitable Trust, founded by his mother, Doreen.
Amongst the other star-studded performers set to commemorate Lawrence’s tragic death are Labrinth, Plan B, Tinie Tempah, Rudimental, Rizzle Kicks and Jamie Cullum. The concert will take place at London’s O2 Arena on September 29th. “I would like Stephen to be remembered as a young man who had a future,” explained Doreen. “He was well loved, and had he been given the chance to survive maybe he would have been the one to bridge the gap between black and white because he didn’t distinguish between black or white. He saw people as people.”
She added: “Our aim is to build hope for the future. Justice for Stephen is about all of us, every one of us, in society having justice. I want young people to feel inspired, be confident and have hope in their own future.” Proceeds from the concert will go towards the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
Emeli Sande is among the nominees for two prizes at the Ivor Novello awards in May.
Emeli Sande may be adding to her growing list of accolades as she is newly nominated for two different awards at the 58th Ivor Novello awards.
Her UK number 2 hit 'Next To Me' is nominated for Best Song Musically and Lyrically as well as the Most Performed Work award. Competing in the former category is 'Laura' by Bat For Lashes and 'Two Fingers' by Jake Bugg while the latter category also sees nominations from Olly Murs' 'Dance With Me Tonight' and Coldplay's Paradise. Sande has previously received two Urban Music Awards, three BRIT, three MOBO awards and an ECHO Music Award among several others and she's definitely up for a chance in the Ivor Novellos as her nominated track was apparently the third most listened to track of 2012 - a pretty impressive achievement in itself, though not as impressive as the reception her number one debut album 'Our Version of Events' received!
Other artists nominated in two separate categories are Plan B with 'Ill Manors', which is up for Best Contemporary Song and Best Original Film Score, and Alt-J with 'Fitzpleasure' for Best Contemporary Song and 'An Awesome Wave' for Best Album. The awards ceremony will make its way to the Grosvenor House hotel in London later this Spring on May 16th 2013.
The band are the likely winners of the Ivor Novello for Best Contemporary Song.
Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J could well be adding an Ivor Novello award to their collection of gongs, NME announced today (April 17, 2013). The band have been nominated in the Best Contemporary Song category for their song Fitzpleasure, alongside Plan B’s Ill Manors and The Maccabees Pelican. Alt J won last year’s Mercury Music Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. The album has also been nominated in the Album Award category, alongside Beon Howard’s Every Kingdom and Lianne La Havas’ Is Your Love Big Enough?
The awards ceremony celebrates songwriting ability and the remainder of the categories are Best Song Musically and Lyrically, Best Contemporary Song, PRS for Music Most Performed Work, Best Original Film Score and Best Television Soundtrack.
The full list of nominees is below. The 58th annual Ivor Novello awards will take place on May 16th, 2013 at London’s Grosvenor House.
Continue reading: Will Alt J Add An Ivor Novello Award To Their Mercury Gong?
The east London festival boasts an all-star line up
LoveBox is quickly emerging as one of thr most popular festivals in the U.K, as easier to reach, cheaper and less muddy inner-city festivals take precedent over trekking to the countryside and losing all your money in a puddle.
This year, Lovebox will see the likes of Plan B, Goldfrapp, Azealia Banks, Jurrassic 5, Flying Lotus, Hurts, Rudimental, Paul Kalkbrenner, Aluna Georgem Wiley and Foreign Beggars descend upon Victoria Park. Saturday's headliner, Plan B said: “Lovebox at Victoria Park! My home crowd of East London right on my doorstep – I can't wait.” DJs confirmed for the summer festival so far include A-Trak and Mark Ronson while Noisey, Heidi, Red Bull Academy, Hot Creations and Annie Mac, who will each host stages at the festival. Banks said, "I love UK crowds, so it's going to be amazing to play a festival in London." Speaking about their excitement at closing the Sunday session Goldfrapp said: “I am so honoured to have been asked to play at this year's Lovebox festival. It’s a really special festival and I’m excited to get back on stage in front of what is always one of the best crowds!”
Continue reading: Lovebox Line Up Features Plan B, Goldfrapp, Azelia Banks
Last night's Brits were an utter yawn fest, so says us
Awards ceremonies are supposed to make you laugh. They’re supposed to make you cry. They’re supposed to make you angry. They’re supposed to shock the living daylights out of you. They are supposed to provide some serious ‘water cooler’ moments for you to talk about at work the next day. Did The Brits do any of these things? Did they heck. The most animated we got last night was when we managed to muster up the energy to actually yawn.
Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J have been given their first BRIT Award nods, after being nominated for three awards: Best British Group, Best British Album and British Breakthrough.. Still, despite earlier success the band have admitted that they were still taken by surprise with the announcement of their recognition.
Speaking to NME, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton described the news as "incredible," but admitted that he and the rest of the band were taken by surprise by the announcement, saying: "thought this this wouldn't be for the likes of us."
Last year the group's debut album, An Awesome Wave, received wide-spread acclaim and was awarded the title of BBC Radio 6's Album of 2012 as well as the Mercury Award and with the BRITs constantly vying to remain relevant and 'cool' it looks like the group might also be in contention to take away at least one gong at February's awards show, regardless of what the modest group members may think of their chances.
Continue reading: Alt-J Taken By Surprise By BRIT Nominations
Albums of Note... It looks as though Bruno Mars has stepped things up a gear on Unorthodox Jukebox. From straight-up pop songs, to disco and funk stylings, and a nod to reggae in there too, Mars very rarely fails to hit the mark with these new tracks. “Unorthodox Jukebox is a rich pick and mix of different and colourful elements. His lyrics sometime fall short, but a likeably mischievous personality shines through nonetheless, and so on the whole this is a real step up even from the songs that broke him so hugely two years ago.”
Adding a fresh slant to the out-dated genre of twee-duets, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro release a self-titled album of brief ditties, which may appear cutesy at first glance but soon reveal their darker side, with lyrics such as “I can't be the first to say you're the worst, surely there's one or two? / I care more if you act as though you like me than if you really do.” Adam Green is probably the better known of the two, from his work as part of Moldy Peaches and of course his solo work, too. Binki Shapiro already has indie cred from her other band, Little Joy. “Like everything the pair have done individually, together they have made a record that's short, sweet, and maturely macabre; a late contender for an album of the year.”
Doing little to dispel their image as white, middle class indie kids, Alt-J pointed out in their acceptance speech at the 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize that the £20,000 that they won could go towards paying off their student loans. And taking their parents out to dinner. Somehow, you couldn’t imagine Plan B, or Richard Hawley making the same references if they’d won the title.
We’re not entirely convinced by the band’s assertion that they hadn’t thought to prepare for winning the award. As they took to the stage, they said “wow, we literally haven’t prepared for this.” Which shows a gross lack of time management skills, then, given that they have been hailed as the favourites for the award for weeks now and managed to fend of competition from Richard Hawley in the bookies’ odds. By their own admission, they had been tipped as favourites to win before the shortlist even came out. The band decided against naming the people that they wanted to thank, but chose to acknowledge everyone in “team Alt-J,” instead.
Whilst Alt-J are understandably revelling in the praise that has been heaped upon them, for fighting off competition from the likes of Jessie Ware, Plan B and Richard Hawley, one man has taken to Twitter to reveal how Alt-J allegedly tried to prevent him from reviewing their gig, to avoid him publishing a negative reaction. The latest post on the matter, from The Independent’s music critic Simon Price (@simon_price01) reads “Ironically, the call about being banned from the @Alt_J gig came just after I'd been lecturing Solent uni kids about editorial independence.”
The winner of this year's Mercury Music Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London tonight, with British indie pop quartet Alt-J the bookies favourite at 6/4. However, an interesting market mover has sent tongues wagging as to the possibility of an outsider scooping the £20,000 prize.
When the nominations were first announced SkyBet had Sunderland rockers Field Music at 14/1 for their fifth album Plumb, though today, just hours before the ceremony, the band's odds have more than halved to 6/1. That puts them third favourites behind Alt J and Richard Hawley and Field Music are now shorter than Jessie Ware's record Devotion, which has been quietly tipped for the prize. Early favourite Plan B has drifted out to 9/1, while Django Django have also drifted to 8/1. Reacting to a wave of support on their Twitter page today, Field Music told followers, "Thanks everyone for all the kind wishes. Whatever happens we're going to have a right laugh and maybe even a few shandies." Late market movers can often suggest information has leaked out, so if Field Music's odds go any shorter, we suggest sticking your money on! Odds aggregating website Oddschecker.com has obviously noted the market move, tweeting, "Field Music are the big mover ahead of tonight's Mercury Award, 10/1 tops and cut across the board."
Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw will host coverage of the Mercury Prize, which begins at 9.45pm tonight on 4Music.
Continue reading: Mercury Music Prize: Field Music's odds plummet as ceremony looms
As the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012 draws near, we have a look at the shortlist and the likelihood of each act actually walking away with the prize. There’s no such thing as a done deal when it comes to the Mercury Music Prize; the ones that you think are the favourites never seem to walk away the title, the judging panel is very hard to second guess. But hey, that’s not going to stop us giving it a try!
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
These quirky popsters have crept up on the public throughout 2012, and with their debut album garnering critical acclaim in all corners of the press, they’ve been pegged by many as the favourites to win. A recent survey conducted by Spotify showed that Alt-J’s tracks had been streamed more times that any other nominated artist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to walk home with the prize though.
Continue reading: Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012: Our Predictions