Exclusive Backstage Gossip: Radio 1 Hackney Weekend

Are you ready? The festival season has STARTED. It all kicked off in London this weekend for Radio 1’s Hackney weekend with a killer line up and we have a summer of live music ahead of us. With a festival, it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like – we are going to make the most of it!

And talking of making the most of things, when you get Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Leona Lewis in one place, it’s important to go out and get the most news possible. Here’s what I found out:


The Rude Boy singer was a surprise guest on the Saturday night of the festival as well as headlining on the Sunday and I can reveal she has yet more surprises for us this year. Yay! Firstly, Rihanna is in the UK for eight weeks now, making London her home,  so we can expect to see a lot more of her. And secondly, while she’s over here she plans to write and record her 7th studio album, a follow-up to last year’s massive success Talk That Talk. She revealed she’s hoping to put it together quickly and release around November. Go, girl!

Nicki Minaj

It was the first ever UK gig for Nicki Minaj – previously she has only visited the UK for talk show interviews and promotional work. She revealed she had a wardrobe problem as she’s mid-way through a world tour and all her clothes are ‘travelling’. Nicki revealed: ‘it was so hard to work out what to wear for my first London gig. I couldn’t exactly wear my tour clothes because I don’t know where anything is right now. So I just thought when in doubt go for black.’ Nicki’s black bodysuit looked amazing though – she chose well!

Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis opened the festival and looked beautiful in a colourful outfit, stepping out of a red heart. It brought tears to my eyes and I’m not the only one – her parents were in the audience nd also bawling. Leona revealed she has her next album coming out in October this year and shared some of the details. She’s co-wrote some tracks with Emeli Sande, the hot British star who released her own debut single Next To Me earlier this year. What’s interesting is Emeli co-wrote tracks on Alicia Keys last album so we’re going to see Leona back to her best with lots of ballads to showcase her impressive vocal range. Leona also told us she’s been working with Wretch 32, wonder if there’s anyone else yet to be announced?


Where Jay-Z goes, Beyonce follows –  Bey was in the audience of the Jay-Z gig, trying to keep a low profile in a casual hoody. I spotted her though! Jay-Z’s one lucky guy to have such a supportive wife and it’s been reported she bought him a private jet for his first ever father’s day gift. She paid about £25 million for it! He’d better start thinking of her birthday present now (it’s 4 September!).

So that’s Hackney Weekend done, there’s Wireless, Reading and Leeds, V-Festival, The Secret Garden Party Latitude, Bestival and more still to come.

Love Zoe x

25th June 2012
Written by Zoe Griffin