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Michael Aldag headlines BBC Introducing show

05 Aug Michael Aldag headlines BBC Introducing show

BBC Introducing returns this September with a stellar line up. London Lexington once again plays host to BBC Music Introducing, welcoming three new artists breaking through in their field. MICHAEL ALDAG, HENJILA and ALFIE INDRA will all perform on Thursday 16th September.

Meet Michael Aldag: a singer and a songwriter (but not a singer-songwriter), a producer, an accidental TikTok star and — let’s not beat around the bush here — every inch a total popstar. At just 19 his prodigious knack for observational tunesmithery vividly captures life’s joys, sorrows, and confusing in between bits. “My music’s for anybody who feels slightly-to-constantly overwhelmed and unsure of who they are, flailing around in this massive ridiculous world,” he states. “When I feel like I’m in a clouded headspace I can go and write, and by the time I’m done I’ll have a better idea of how I feel, even if what I’ve made is not a particularly good song.”

While Michael takes an episodic approach to his songwriting, the vignettes he captures in songs like Arrogance, Divorce and Conversation collectively tell a far bigger story. He’s particularly interested, he says, in examining “the way people present themselves, as opposed to who they actually are”. His smartly observed tunes seem to exist in that space in between fiction and reality, with lyrics that are simultaneously exquisitely honed and incredibly conversational. You’ll hear flashes in tracks like ‘Hockey Practice’ (one of the first ever pop songs to reference calamari), ‘Snapchat’ (“I loved your private story, but you’re actually so boring”), and ‘Trust Funds’. They’re commentaries, Michael says, “on how the area that I’ve been brought up in, and the people I’ve been brought up around, have affected me.”

This may be pop made in a bedroom, but brand it ‘bedroom pop’ at your peril. The ambition of Michael’s music reaches far beyond the four walls of a West Kirby box room: it’s anthemic, global, main-stage music you can sing your heart out to. Or as Michael himself imagines it: “You’re on a cliff somewhere, you’re hanging on with one hand and you’re reaching for something else with the other: you’re crying out for redemption.” He pauses. “I mean, I suppose you could say it’s quite melodramatic. But the point is, I’m not making niche music. I’d love to headline Glastonbury. I really want to be as big as I can be.”

Nineteen-year-old Henjila grew up in the small Berkshire town of Sandhurst, just around the corner from the British Army barracks. Her parents emigrated from Nepal to Britain when Henjila was a baby – her father had joined the British Army from Nepal at the age of seventeen.

Henjila grew up inspired by the power and strength in femininity – Disney princesses as well as Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Lily Allen, Corrine Bailey Rae and TLC – all of which she’d play on her Hello Kitty cassette player. Introducing herself with a DIY cover of ‘Moonriver’ Henjila followed up with debut single ‘Paper Boy’. Her debut EP ‘Moon Shot’ is out now with the focused track, ‘Fake Friends’.

Ipswich-born and Norwich-based, Alfie Indra combines melancholy lyrics with contrasting upbeat indie vibes reminiscent of Easy Life and Parcels. His first recording experience came through sneaking into Ed Sheeran’s recording studio at the age of 17, but has since honed his alt-pop sound with producers George Fitzgibbon (from Fuzzy Sun) and Rory Lovatt (from Patawawa).

Having been championed strongly by his local BBC Introducing show in Suffolk, Alfie has also received airplay support from BBC Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and Gemma Bradley, BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, and Co-Op Radio’s Hattie Pearson, as well as landing on various Spotify editorial playlists.
More recently, Alfie made the Final 5 of BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge Introducing competition and received high praise from the judging panel consisting of the likes of Sam Fender, Arlo Parks and YUNGBLUD.