At last month’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister David Cameron presented the attending world leaders with mixtapes of popular British musicians. The USB mix was distributed to Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Angela Merkel, among others in attendance at the summit. The ten song playlist was compiled with guidance from the British Phonographic Industry who described the finished piece as a ‘bespoke creation for the leaders’ but did not elaborate on its song choices. The love-filled mix featured songs from Mercury Prize winners Alt-J and singer-songwriters Jake Bugg and Tom Odell. But what do songs like Lianne La Havas’ ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ and ‘Feel The Love’ by Rudimental ft. John Newman express to its recipients, some of the most powerful men and women in the world? As any seasoned mixtape creator knows, most mixes have a message, some hidden and some more transparent. Song selection and track order are integral to getting that message across to its intended listener. One can only assume that Cameron requested a mixtape that would express the feelings that he couldn’t admit to the politicians’ faces. The complete tracklisting is below:
- Alt-J – ‘Tesselate’
- Jake Bugg – ‘Lightning Bolt’
- Laura Mvula – ‘Green Garden’
- Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’
- Ben Howard – ‘Only Love’
- Gabrielle Aplin – ‘Home’
- Tom Odell – ‘Another Love’
- Rudimental ft. John Newman – ‘Feel The Love’
- Birdy – ‘Skinny Love’
- Conor Maynard – ‘Can’t Say No’
Cameron has demonstrated his music cred on more than one occasion. Upon meeting with President Barack Obama at the Houses of Parliament in 2008, he presented him with a selection of British albums, including releases by Lily Allen, Gorillaz, and his favorite band, the Smiths. Unfortunately, Obama did not give any feedback on the albums and was, allegedly, unimpressed by the meeting, describing Cameron as a ‘lightweight.’ Perhaps Cameron should stick to an iTunes giftcard next time.
Last month, Cameron revealed that he needed to choose a new favorite band after Johnny Marr officially forbade him from listening to the Smiths. In 2010, Marr tweeted, ‘David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you like it.’ Recently, Marr admitted that he would rather Cameron didn’t know any Smiths’ songs at all than say he liked them. Morrissey approved Marr’s statements, and, apparently, Cameron has been mulling over his next step ever since. Cameron spoke at an event last month celebrating the UK music industry’s highest ever share of global sales. At the event, he lamented, ‘I’m a huge music fan but obviously it’s been something of a music crisis for me because Morrissey and Johnny Marr have said I’m not allowed to listen to the Smiths any more, so I’ve had to find some other stuff I am allowed to listen to.’ No word yet on what that might be, but he has shown a predilection towards Mumford & Sons.