Franky Wah: "Annie Mac Changed My Life"
Oct 28, 2022
Ana Monroy Yglesias
2 min read
Getting recognized by BBC Radio 1 is a DJ rite of passage, be it releasing a hallowed Essential Mix for Pete Tong or getting support from Annie Mac, Danny Howard, and any of the other long-time DJs on the British national radio service's "modern popular music" channel. And for Franky Wah, a small-town lad turned globe-trotting DJ/producer, the continued support from BBC Radio 1 DJs is not something he takes for granted.
"It's played a huge part in my career," the "Surrender" producer told Gray Area in 2021.
He closed 2020 with the release of his Essential Mix featuring only his productions and remixes. And he has garnered support from Tong, Mac, and Mistajam on their Radio 1 shows, even going B2B with Mr. All Gone himself for the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend celebration in May of 2022.
"Annie Mac, she changed my life [with] her support. She's gained the nation's trust and the industry's trust in her taste in music. So, if Annie Mac's on the airwaves telling you this track is a banger…you listen," he said of the impact of getting her musical blessing.
Mac has named quite a few of Wah's tracks "the hottest record in the world," her superlative for the big tune of the week. These include "You Don't Know" and "Come Together" in 2020 and "Not In Love" featuring Lowes in 2021.
For those unfamiliar, Mac spent 17 years as a champion of women in dance music and a respected and beloved BBC Radio 1 host. She celebrated music that spoke to her, made her feel good, and helped make the careers of countless artists. The Irish DJ, producer, author, and event curator launched her first BBC show, The Mash Up, in July 2004, which was all about playing music from listeners' perspective rather than from DJs. Her main show evolved into Future Sounds, and she also hosted Friday night's Dance Party.
While a large part of her appeal is her humbleness and lack of pretension, she makes waves when she champions a song, as Wah attested. And after 17 years of changing the face of electronic music with her impactful Radio 1 show, she left the BBC in July 2021 with one last broadcast and played a Wah track during it.