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Sian Anderson can be heard Wednesday at 10pm on BBC Radio 1Xtra as well as deputising across the network.
Alongside this Sian, runs SighTracked –her own Marketing and PR Company, a youth mentoring programme One True Calling with Julie Adenuga, and is a freelance journalist for a handful of well-respected publications including The Fader, i-D Magazine, Red Bull and Noisey (VICE).
Starting her career at Live Magazine, a now defunct social enterprise for young people., she began as Books Editor, quickly climbed the ranks, working her way up to Assistant Editor before eventually taking charge as Editor. It was in this period that her appetite for journalism began to blossom, and she was soon writing features for The South London Press, The London Paper, The Guardian, RWD Magazine and, eventually Red Bull’s Daily Note newspaper where she authored a ‘Grime girl’ column.
A South London girl, Sian fell into grime early on, sparring with friends in the playground over ripped Wiley and Ruff Sqwad instrumentals. When, at Live Magazine, she began to interview artists (Nu Brand Flexxx and Kano were among her first) she soon realised that the life of an MC was not for her. She much preferred talking and writing about the music. It was at this point that her and best friend Julie Adenuga pulled together and decided to send a pilot in to underground radio station Rinse FM. Rinse would eventually get in touch with the pair anyway, offering them a show on the station, Sundays at 11am.
From there further involvement with grime was inevitable. Her next break came when she presented Topman CTRL on Channel 4, a programme centred on exploring the women involved in the growing scene, and was one that laid grounding for wider opportunities in the music industry. Following years as a journalist, a transition into PR was a natural one for Sian. And, when Channel 4 commissioned Top Boy, a drama series (featuring Ashley Walters, Bashy and Kano) that vividly depicted the same inner city culture that birthed grime, she took on a role behind the scenes, handling the PR for the first season.
Still involved in music, that same year Sian project managed the release of Ed Sheeran’s No 5 Collaborations EP, where he teamed up with a handful of the UK’s finest MC’s. That followed a similar project management post in P Money’s ‘Money Over Everyone’ release in 2009 and eventually led her to a role at Warner Bros Records, where she took on the mantle of Marketing Manager, overseeing the roll out for Wiley’s ninth studio album ‘The Ascent’.
Sian had begun to hit her stride and her music career continued to flourish with SighTracked, the PR and Project Management firm she had founded in 2010. In the years that followed, the company flourished, assembling and executing campaigns for Stormzy and Wiley, Big Narstie and True Tiger, embedding itself as the go-to agency for grime’s emerging and most experienced MC’s and DJ’s. As SighTracked enters its sixth year, the roster continues to swell and currently includes veteran DJ Logan Sama, London MC P Money and rising star Capo Lee.
While continuing to toil away behind the scenes, including a year spent as a Marketing Manager of Atlantic, Sian slowly began to bring her talents to grime’s live event scene, billing the likes of Big Narstie, Newham Generals and the OG’z for monthly Camden club night ‘This Is Not A Rave’ which she started in 2013. That was supplemented three years later with the introduction of ‘JACK EM’ at Vision’s in East London.
In 2015 Sian hit the airwaves, when, after leaving her role at Atlantic, she landed a slot on BBC Radio 1Xtra. On-air every Wednesday night, her three-hour show stands resolutely as the only exclusively-grime platform on the BBC 1Xtra Network and, with a weekly set and a revolving door of exciting guest MC’s, serves to capture the sound at its essence. She followed up on her new show later that year, presenting the televised BBC Grime Proms, before holding her own grime symphony at the iconic Maida Vale. In 2016 her show was described as “One of the finest shows in U.K Radio” by CLASH Magazine.
Still an avid writer, that’s the task she set about, she has acquired freelance roles at Noisey and US magazine The Fader, where she pens her own monthly grime column. Then, in April 2016, Sian kicked off a new gig at i-D magazine, curating a monthly mix titled ‘FUXX Sian’ that plays host to exciting instrumentals and vocals from a spread of MC’s and producers.
Now, at 26, Sian is ready for more and is set to embark on the next phase of her journey. This year alone she debuted at Glastonbury with a DJ set back to back with Madam X and played sets at legendary U.K. clubs Fabric, and Studio 338 as well as representing Noisey for a second year running at this years Fresh Island Festival in Croatia and playing twice for Warehouse Project 2016. As a presenter Sian documented grime photography for BBC 3’s Beyond The Music and featured in a three-part documentary on grime and Hip Hop for 4 Music, The Box and Kiss and is set to embark on her own documenatary on the history of grime.