Writer Candice Carty-Williams and the cast of Champion reveal all about the new music drama set in south London

Published: 0:01 am, 27 June 2023

Champion is the first TV project from Candice Carty-Williams, author of The Sunday Times bestselling novels Queenie and People Person.

Rap sensation Bosco Champion is home from prison, and ready to dominate the music industry once more. But when his dutiful younger sister Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another and tearing apart the whole family in the process.

A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture. Featuring original music written and produced by some of the leading musicians this country has to offer including Ray BLK, Ghetts and more.

Sibling rivalry never sounded so epic.


Key Cast

Vita – Déja J. Bowens

Bosco – Malcolm Kamulete

Aria – Nadine Marshall

Beres – Ray Fearon

Honey – Ray BLK

Memet – Kerim Hassan

Chantelle – Adeyinka Akinrinade

Mark – Tom Forbes

Tayo – Genesis Lynea

Dawn – Jo Martin

Milan – Olivia-Rose Colliard

Lennox – Karl Collins

Yemi – Rachel Adedeji

Rusty – Keiren Hamilton-Amos

Bulla – Corey Weekes

Laurent – Francis Lovehall

Amber – Grace Farrell

Jade – Priscilla Fagbemi

Philip – Fergus Rees


Candice Carty-Williams – Writer (Episodes 1, 2, 5 & 7) and Executive Producer

Bryan Elsley – Executive Producer

Charlie Pattinson – Executive Producer

Dave Evans – Executive Producer

Willow Grylls – Executive Producer

Imogen O’Sullivan – Executive Producer

Danielle Scott-Haughton – Executive Producer & Producer (Episodes 7 & 8)

Isis Davis – Writer (Episode 3)

Edem Wornoo – Writer (Episode 4)

Emma Dennis-Edwards – Writer (Episode 5)

Ameir Brown – Writer (Episode 6 & 7)

Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor – Producer (Eps 1 – 5)

Charles Bates – Producer (Episode 6)

John Ogunmuyiwa – Director (Episodes 1 – 3)

Adeyemi Michael – Director (Episodes 4 – 5)

Caleb Femi – Director (Episode 6)

Christiana Ebohon-Green – Director (Episodes 7 & 8)

Ray BLK – Music Executive

Justin Clarke aka Ghetts – Music Executive

Catherine Grieves – Music Supervisor

Hattie Collins – Music Advisor

Daniel Edwards – Casting Director

Christopher Sabogal – Director of Photography (Episode 1 – 3)

Robin Whenary – Director of Photography (Eps 4 – 5)

Adam Barnett – Director of Photography (Episode 6)

Cinders Forshaw – Director of Photography (Episode 7 & 8)

Gini Godwin – Production Designer

Cynthia Lawrence-John – Costume Designer

Marcia Blackwood – Hair & Make-Up Designer

Interview with writer and creator Candice Carty-Williams

Candice Carty-Williams with hand up to face and sunflowers in the backgroundCandice Carty-Williams (Image: Emil Huseynzade)

Tell us about Champion

Champion is about a brother and a sister. Bosco Champion – a rapper who’s been in prison for the last two years – and Vita Champion his sister. Vita is his long-suffering PA and has been doing everything for Bosco; running around after him, lying for him, covering up for him – everything a PA could do and more. Then you have their parents Aria and Beres Champion, they have their own history in the music industry too from ‘back in the day’, as we find out as the show goes on. Everyone in this family is so invested in music.

When Bosco comes back from prison the world has changed, and the world of music has changed, so what should he do? Vita has been behind the scenes keeping everything going, ready for him to come back. She wants to step up to be his manager now but Bosco wants her to just keep doing what she’s been doing.

Bosco also has a rival, a drill rapper called Bulla. Vita and her friend Honey sing with Bulla and he recognises Vita’s talent… and the show unravels from there.

What are the main conflicts in the series?

Bosco and Vita, obviously, but also their parents Aria and Beres Champion. They’re divorced but Beres is still very much inserting himself into the lives of these people. There is Beres and Lennox, Aria’s new partner, Bosco and Bulla – a musical rivalry. Honey and Vita are best friends who’ve been singing together since they were kids, but Vita makes some choices with their music that Honey isn’t very happy about.

We have so much conflict in every episode. When we were doing the writers room there was one point in the final week where I said we needed to keep a score system. That was the way I made sure every character had their fights and everyone had their wins, and their losses.

What makes this show and the music so special?

I think this show is special in its own right but the music is very close to me. I’m obsessed with music and I always have to listen to something. What got me into this show was the prospect of being able to make music. I’m not a producer but I know the producers and artists that I love, we’ve brought some of those people together to make an amazing soundtrack. Drill, rap, R&B, soul, neo-soul, reggae – we have so many things covered. That in itself was a challenge.

The music team is quite small; me, a music supervisor called Cat Grieves, music consultant Hattie Collins, and Ghetts. He joined as a music exec and writes all of Bosco’s raps working with his own producers. We have Ray BLK, in the show as Honey but also a song writer and music exec for the show, and some amazing music written by Debbie, plus Shola Ama – all of my musical dreams.

What are the themes of the show?

When I watch most TV shows, especially concerning young people I’m always thinking where’s the family, where did they come from? I think where we come from says so much about us. Even if your parents aren’t necessarily around they still make you – what does that absence do to you? When we were making the show I immediately understood that it’d be a family drama. Everyone in that family – Beres, Aria, Bosco and Vita – all have a place, a function and a role – even though the family is fragmented and fragments further throughout the show.

Everyone has to come from somewhere, I love family drama, writing about and observing families. My family in itself is very fractured but I’m always interested in that rather than being sad about it because I can see why it can happen. I can see why when people don’t talk to each other you can have massive rifts that last lifetimes sometimes. Putting that into my work is really important because family is so foundational.

Tell us about the link between the music and the drama?

I didn’t want it to be a musical in that someone breaks into song, I wanted you to see people making songs in their own right. While the song might not adhere to the situation at hand when we were briefing the songs we’d give the context of the storyline. Debbie wrote a song for Vita called My Ones, it’s about hating everyone because they’re taking advantage of you. It doesn’t necessarily name characters but I wanted that feeling in the song and she did such an amazing job. My job overall was to create a sonic world and decide if everything fits.

With Ghetts for example, sometimes we’d give him the brief or sometimes he’d send a song as a suggestion. When Ghetts sent a freestyle we rewrote an episode to have Vita helping Bosco write it, then Bosco recording it in the studio in a later scene.

You have to be very agile, it all works because I’m quite good at remembering the place of everything – where things should work and go. I think it’s because I write novels, you have to know where everything is in a story. I’m good at doing the jigsaw of what is going to work with what.

What are your favourite songs in Champion?  

My first is the clash, which is actually four songs in one. It’s amazing and I was in every rehearsal for that because I was specific about it. It’s like a clash but also a rap battle, that’s my favourite musical moment. I really love Bosco and Rusty in episode four when Bosco goes to Birmingham.

Why should people watch Champion?

People should watch Champion because I think we’re doing something people haven’t seen before. Even though I’ve written it when I watch the cuts I get really excited. There is something about what happens with family and music, the heart and pain that comes together really beautifully in this show. We’ve packed so much good stuff into each 45 minutes and it looks really beautiful.

What is the show about for you at its core?

For me, it’s called Champion and it is about fighting because Vita is the person constantly fighting to be seen and to be heard – not just in family but in music, life and as a black woman, this is really important. Champion is about fighting just to exist and exist comfortably and happily.

What is unique about the music in Champion?

In most musicals someone is talking and you feel a song coming up because they’re about to gear up to it, but in Champion all the music is very specific, everything has a point and a place. I really like that we’re not breaking the wall of the drama. We’ve got all these amazing hybrid actor-musicians which is incredible.

The music in the show is written by Ghetts, Ray BLK, Debbie, Shola Ama and more. In terms of producers we have Nana Rogues, KZ, Ten Billions Dreams, Toddla T, so many incredible names. And we have a score being produced by Swindle who is an amazing producer. 

And the series wasn’t always called Champion, right?

It was named Star for a while and then I was playing table tennis with Danielle Scott-Haughton – who is one of the exec producers – she won, I said ‘ah, champion’, and everything happened from there.

Who are your five musical GOATs? (Greatest of all time)

That’s really hard…! Chakka Khan, because there is so much emotion there. Ghetts, obviously, it’s been a dream working with him. Vybz Kartel, shady past but great lyricist. Little Sims, I think lyrically she’s absolutely incredible, one of my favourite rappers. The final one is Freddie Mercury who I think is the greatest performer ever to have lived.

Interview with Déja J Bowens (Vita Champion)

Déja J Bowens as Vita in ChampionDéja J Bowens as Vita (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/Ben Gregory-Rin)

What can you tell us about Champion?

It starts off with Bosco who is the golden boy and Vita, his sister. Vita is being treated like his assistant, being at his beck and call. The series is about her being discovered for her own talents, coming into her own person, finding herself and blossoming into this new person, this new artist.

What is the main conflict of the series?

The main conflict is between the two siblings, Bosco and Vita. They are both artists in their own right trying to fight for their own limelight. But Vita still has this heart for caring for her brother, at the same time she’s trying to balance that with looking out for herself.

Tell us about Vita’s relationship with her mum, Aria.

Vita is really struggling to understand why her mum would never accept her in the same way that she accepts Bosco. It’s heart-breaking for Vita because she is trying to do the most for her mum to make her proud, and see her in the same way but it has never been good enough. I guess in Aria’s eyes it’s sort of justified, but in Vita’s eyes she does not understand why until later on down the line. Later in the series we discover where that comes from.

What makes Champion such a unique series?

I think what makes Champion so unique is the absolute talent behind the music, and the artistry within the series. We had a conversation about how in other series the music can be a bit cheesy – but in Champion just as much effort behind the camera has been put into the production and the music. Candice’s writing is spectacular, the performances are spectacular. I think that is what makes it so amazing, that there are real life artists behind this. The music is just as good as the drama.

What has it been like to sing, act, dance? You wear a lot of hats in this series!

A reason why I really love this project and was drawn to it in the first place is that I feel like myself and Vita are very connected in terms of our stories. A lot of what happens to her in the story has actually happened to me in my own personal life. A lot of things are similar and mirror each other, such as the fact that we are from the same area in real life. I have always sang in church, as part of a choir, but I was never seen as good enough to be the lead or soloist. I have always been ok with being the background vocalist.  The fact that I knew this role was going to be a singing role was very nerve wracking for me, but I just felt such a connection to this story. So I thought I would just have to get over this fear, do the audition and see what happens. And now that I am in this series, acting, singing and I am dancing… I never expected that I would be dancing!

What can you tell us about the family in the show?

The main themes are obviously family, I feel like Champion exemplifies the family feud in such a great way. In episode one, it starts off at a family function and it embodies it so perfectly – because I am from Jamaican heritage as well – how an actual Jamaican function would be like. The food, the music, the all-round family warmth is great. It embodies this naturally and truthfully. There is a lot of family conflict but I think that’s due to hidden skeletons in the closet, what they haven’t been able to talk about openly. This series allows us to uncover a lot of family secrets and drama.

What is it like having creator and writer Candice Carty-Williams on set?

The fact that I was in the room with the author of Queenie is crazy. She has so many ideas and she has so much insight into obviously her own work. She knows exactly how she wants it to be embodied and how she wants it to be brought across.  Obviously she has been the one living with this idea in her head. That she is able to be on set and give us insight into how she sees things is great because we can collaborate together and make magic.

What has it been like working with the rest of the cast?

I am so blessed to be able to be on set with such a brilliant cast. This is my first ever TV job, so the fact that I get to be with these people on screen – Jo Martin, Nadine Marshall, Karl Collins, Ray Fearon, all such legends in this game.

I remember the first couple of weeks being on set really learning from the other actors, looking at their technique and see how much they really power through their takes. They bring so much experience and joy and laughter to the set, we are all like a family.

What can you tell us about Vita’s relationship with Memet.

Memet is the love interest of Vita. It’s a sticky one because of the relationship he has with Vita’s brother Bosco, and whilst Bosco has been away for a little while that relationship bloomed. When Bosco comes back Vita and Memet have to keep that under wraps. As we get later down the line we see how that unfolds.

If you had to describe Vita’s musical sound what would it be?

I would describe Vita’s sound as organic, it’s natural in terms of the fact that she does not have to try too hard. She is almost meant to be a musical genius, her whole being is music, she loves music. When you see her being her everyday self and when she is thrust into music, they are two different people. In terms of genre I would say modern R&B.

She writes for Bosco so she has to adjust what she writes to his style, to suit how he will be out in the open and how audiences will perceive him because they are their own artists in their own right. But she still slays the Bosco stuff.

I think Vita is definitely inspired by particular people, maybe Brandy, maybe in the modern sense like Cleo Sol – those two infused together.

Who are your top five music GOATS?

Jill Scott, Lauren Hill, Brandy, Biggy and Maurette Clark as well, I love her.

How important is music in Champion?

It’s the crux of the show. Without the music most of the characters would not have a story line. Vita is all about music. Bosco is all about music, Beres is a sort of radio presenter, Memet is a DJ, Honey is a singer – that’s six already. Music is central and so important to Champion, I can’t stress it enough.

What are your favourite tracks in the series and why?

I really love Dancing in my Underwear even if it’s not meant to be a good song, in the show its meant to be a really bad song but it’s great. I really love Champion to the World, I know everyone is going to be banging that tune out. You Got it, which is written by Debbie and KZ, and a song by Ray BLK and PRGRSHN called Drowning. There’s loads, all of the songs are amazing.

An interview with Malcolm Kamulete (Bosco Champion)

Malcolm Kamulete as Bosco Man singing into microphone with eyes closedMalcolm Kamulete as Bosco (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/Ben Gregory-Ring)

What can you tell us about the character of Bosco?

He is so many things. He really is an interesting person – there’s so many layers to him. He’s one of those people – as generic as it might sound – who’s more than what meets the eye. You may think you have a version of him and tomorrow, he’s another version. He is constantly evolving, he is a person trying to find himself whilst also wearing a bit of a bravado shield to the world. He knows there is a certain vulnerability within him that he doesn’t want to address. As a result, it makes him second guess, or if not second guess shy away from what he knows is wrong. It’s like he’s a roller coaster of a person. Today, Bosco goes angry tomorrow, then Bosco is depressed, the day after Bosco is happy. It’s like he doesn’t even have enough control over who he is to understand why he’s feeling the way he’s feeling.

What is Bosco like as a musician?

Bosco is a really good musician who had a great run at the top while it lasted, a really good shot at stardom. And in the process of him having a shot of stardom, he gets himself in trouble with the law has to go and sit down for a minute. In the process of him sitting down – it’s a two year period – he basically loses the momentum.

Bosco is a grime/rap rapper, a youthful guy, a man of many talents, he’s got vocals. He also teamed up with his sister, Vita, she happens to be the catalyst of most of his label-worthy songs. He needs Vita to be there for him, to be able to keep churning out the goods, because he’s obviously on a pedestal. He’s at a level where he’s expected to churn out certain material which he can’t really match the criteria of. The label may need a single from him, whereas all he’s ever known is to rap on grime beats, go into clashes and battle people. Now he’s having to become an artist and his sister has the gift of the gab for that. It’s almost as if as a talent, as a musical talent, he’s amazing, he just doesn’t write all his music.

What’s is like having creator and writer Candice Carty-Williams on set?

It’s been great because she’s such a creative person and she has a great attachment to the story. This is a story that she curated from the pits of her heart, it comes from a very special place. She’s a really musically oriented woman – she’s very much into the craft, and she understands UK culture to a T. To have someone like that, especially being able to watch their work come to life, it must be beautiful for her as much as it is for us to have her around. She’s really great to be around, like an older sister.

What are your favourite tracks in the series?

I have a song which I do at my headline show in London with one of the actors who plays Rusty, it’s more of a freestyle. It’s a really, really good number and one of my favourite performances to date. It was just really electric. Everyone was off their feet and lyrics are just punchy, they jump out at you.

And I’ll top it off with Champion to the World because it’s a classic and the catalyst song for the show.

Who your top five GOATs?

If I was to name my GOATs, my ‘greatest of all time’ music artists – probably Biggie Smalls, Little Wayne, J. Cole, Future, and lets go for Tupac.

Why should people watch Champion?

So many reasons, it is just a really beautiful story to begin with. It is well shot, well told, well written, well-acted. This is something I know people have probably been dying to see.

It’s amazing to see so many people from similar upbringings and similar backgrounds in the same place. It’s a big confidence booster and gives you the batteries in the back to say I want to keep doing this. I came up as a kid in Top Boy. When I was in that, I remember feeling like I was in a place where I was really accepted because you are in a place that is accentuating the culture, that is talking about experiences in your upbringing, someone’s experience that you may know.

This whole series has been an eye opener. Just to understand that we have narratives and stories that we can look into and that they can be expressed on a platform like this. It gives us nothing but confidence.

What has it been like to do the performance scenes?

It’s been tricky. It takes so much more than it looks to be a performing artist, it’s down to the smallest things. It might be in your choreography, there’s steps to remember, you need to know when to punch in and when to stop. You always have to be prepared for everything. It’s almost like asking you to be way more alert than you would be on a normal day.

 Interview with Ray BLK (Honey/music executive)

Ray BLK as Honey in Champion - signing into microphoneRay BLK as Honey (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/Ben Gregory-Ring)

What is the story of Champion?

Champion is about a family who are involved in the music industry. It’s really about relationships and how the music industry affects peoples’ relationships, how it affects their mental health. It’s about the breaking up and reunion of different characters.

How did you first get involved in this project?

I initially came onto the project because they asked me to make the music for the show, that is how I was introduced to it. But, I also went to drama school and acting is a big part of my background. I started doing acting before music and I was asked on one of the calls if I was interested in auditioning for any of the roles and I said absolutely. I did a couple of auditions and landed the role of Honey as well.

How did you approach creating the music for the show?

I spent a lot of time reading the scripts and getting into the shoes of the characters, envisioning the scenarios they were in and making sure the music I was making reflected that really well. One of my favourite songs throughout was Shades of Blue because I really connected with Vita’s character when I first read about being out of the spotlight in her brother’s shadow, not singing. It was really great to step into someone else’s shoes to write that.

When approaching writing songs for Vita, I really wanted it to come from an honest, raw place. I feel like her character is someone who writes from the heart. That’s why her brother goes to her as his ghost writer because he can maybe sing bars that are braggadocios but she hits at the core and she is really raw. When I was writing for her I wanted to bring that and her vulnerability out in the music. Whereas Bosco is more braggadocious – but Ghetts did a phenomenal job writing those songs.

I was so excited that Ghetts was part of the project because he is a phenomenal rapper and someone I listened to when I was really young. When I heard about all the songs that he made, I was so impressed. As an artist he writes for himself but he was able to step into the shoes of this Bosco character and just hit the nail on the head so perfectly. I was really blown away.

How does music fit into the story?

What I love about the show is that it’s not a musical. The songs are really integrated into the stories of the characters, so the song comes out either when the characters are in the studio, making the music or on tour performing the music. That feels so much more natural to me and a great way to introduce the music to the viewers where they can really connect with not just the music but the storyline around it without it being cliché.

How important is music in Champion?

The music in Champion is integral to the characters because it reflects their personalities, it reflects what they are going through. It’s at the crux of the storyline, the music and the music business. I really loved that in the writing.

With Bosco’s character, we get to see the vulnerable side of him when he experiences a panic attacks. A lot of people in the music industry struggle with their mental health but it’s something that is kept very quiet. You wouldn’t usually see this side of a rapper, I think it’s really important to show real parts of the music industry and what the artists that we love go through.

What are your favourite tracks of the series and why?

My favourite tracks of the series are Champions to the World, which is also in the opening credits because it is just a banger. I really love Shades of Blue because I remember being in that space when I wrote it, really stepping into the shoes of the character.

Who are your top five musical GOATs?

Kendrick Lamar, that’s my number one. Kanye West, period. Lauryn Hill, one album you know and she makes it as a GOAT, that’s crazy. I have to say Drake, he is a GOAT, period. Nikki Minaj.

Why should people watch Champion?

People should watch Champion because it’s the show I wish I had when I was growing up. I wish this show was out when I was a teenager, 13, desperate to be an artist and desperate to see people who look like me on TV.

It’s a story of love between all the different characters like Honey and Vita, Bosco and Vita. Her character is really about her labour of love to her brother.

Particularly for anyone who loves music, this is the show to watch.

 Interview with Ray Fearon (Beres Champion)

Ray Fearon as Beres in Champion. Looking in distance leaning on a barRay Fearon as Beres (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/William Richards)

What can you tell us about your character and how he sits in the family unit?

I am the father, Beres. He came from the Caribbean, Jamaica in the mid-80s, and has been here for a number of years. He is sort of the manager of Bosco, Beres’ son. He would love to have his own record label and have his kids on it. He comes from a sound system family, his father owned a big sound system in Jamaica and he came here with the sound system. He runs a radio station which plays reggae music, which he owns. He basically wants to be an entrepreneur and a sort of big time record producer or mogul. He thinks he is anyways…

What would you say the story is about?

I’d say it’s a domestic drama about a family of musicians. Beres’ son is a British rap artist and Beres’ daughter becomes, or is a really good R&B singer.

But the main story is seen through this family’s eyes – the relationship between father and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter, father and ex-wife. It revolves around the Champion family but there are other great characters that come off it.

What have you enjoyed the most about this project?

I suppose I have enjoyed most the fact that I am playing a person that is close to my culture, my mother and father are from Jamaica. I very rarely play any of those characters. I really enjoyed Candice’s writing and working with all the actors. You can work with all black casts in things, but very rarely on telly. This is the first time for me that that has happened.

What I like about it as well is that behind the camera there has been black cameramen, sound, audio directors. It’s great to see a vast amount of people of colour working behind and in front of the camera at the same time. I have been in this business for a long time and I’ve never seen this. Actually, this is the first production that I worked with a black cameraman. I have worked with a couple of black directors but cameramen and sound – it has been great.

Who are your top five goats in music?

Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and Prince.

Interview with Karl Collins (Lennox)

Karl Collins as Lennox in Champion. Leaning on a a fence in a residential streetKarl Collins as Lennox (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/Ben Gregory-Ring)

What are the themes of the series?

It’s about family, it’s about loyalty.

What you tell us about the character you play?

I play Lennox, the partner of Aria, they have been together for six years. I’ve come into this family and I’ve been around the kids at quite influential period in their growth, but they’ve still got a very strong relationship with their father, Beres. Not that Lennox is trying to be a father to the kids. His relationship with Vita is really integral, really real and really close. I think he sees he sees Vita as like his own daughter, and I think he would like that kind of relationship with Bosco, but Bosco doesn’t let him in, so there’s contention there.

What makes the show unique?

Obviously, the music. I think it is something that I haven’t seen. It feels as if the music and the drama are one and the same, all the songs have been written specifically for the show. And they’re not just a background to the drama, they are front and centre to the drama. Unfortunately, Lennox doesn’t sing, can’t sing. Trust me, I’m wicked in the shower.

Who are you are top five musical GOATs?

Erykah Badu, Gil Scott Heron, Nina Simone, Bob Marley and Prince. I knew every lyric to Sign of the Times album. Gil Scott Heron – that activism, that kind of jazz, that soul. I never saw him in concert, I wish I had. Nina Simone – the heartbeat of the culture and a diva in every sense, in the most positive and in the negative sense. Four Women, for me is one of the best songs ever written. We take Bob Marley for granted but growing up in a pan-African household, some of the political songs, Exodus, Natty Dread, those two albums and obviously Catch a Fire. I have the original Catch a Fire in zippo gate folder. Erykah Badu – that first album of hers, if you’re a certain age, you’ve made love to every single song on that album.

Interview with Kerim Hassan (Memet)

Kerim Hassan as Memet and Déja J Bowens as Vita Champion Kerim Hassan as Memet and Déja J Bowens as Vita Champion (Image: BBC/New Pictures Ltd/Ben Gregory-Ring)

Who do you play in Champion?

I’m playing Memet and he’s a Turkish DJ music producer. And I would say a family member of the Champion family, obviously not officially, but if he feels like it in a way.

What’s so unique about this this show?

It’s a musical drama with grime and neo soul at the forefront. It’s a black British drama set around a Caribbean family – a Jamaican family, specifically – that makes it special. As much as it is a musical drama and about the music, it’s really about family and those intricate relationships.

What’s your process been going into this issue of getting into the character and backstory?

It’s not too dissociated with where I come from, not in the music side of things but just the world it sits in. Delving into a lot of grime music, a lot of Ghetts, a lot of neo soul music, a lot of hip hop, old school. And actually learning to DJ as well, which was an incredible experience. It’s crazy, it’s like an actual instrument and I never knew that about DJing. There’s so many little intricate details and nuances to this technical piece of equipment in front of you that it’s like playing an instrument. Obviously, I’m a super basic level but hopefully I can DJ for some parties in the future.

Has it inspired you to be a DJ?

Yes. I love being in a flow state and that’s what acting gives me. There’s not really much other than sport in my life that gives me that. I’m not musically inclined, I can’t sing, I’ve got two left feet, but the DJing side of things has allowed me to put headphones on, even if there isn’t an audience, and go into a flow state, you can just mix tracks. There’s something special about that, meditative, it can really take you away. You look at the time and three hours have passed, it’s just you and your room, speakers. It’s beautiful, it truly is.

Why should people watch Champion?

People should watch Champion because it’s relatable. I think all good art should mirror the world that we live in, and mirror society. And I think a myriad of music we listen to is a mirror to the intricate relationships, dynamics and real-life problems or struggles that we face.

 BBC Sounds Obsessed With… Champion

Obsessed with Champion in orange, pink and blue text. Illustrations of cast below

For fans of Champion on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, there will be a companion podcast Obsessed with Champion coming to BBC Sounds on 1 July. With the help of cast members and celebrity fans of the show, Obsessed With… Champion delves into what makes Champion the ultimate love letter to Black British music. More details to follow shortly.”



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