The Summer of Sainté

The latest chapter in the GAFFER x Beautiful Struggles story sees us chat to Leicester-born, and now London-based, artist Sainté. After initially dropping music “for fun" while at uni at the start of the pandemic in 2019, Sainté emerged out the other side in 2021 armed with a culture-shifting EP, a single in Champagne Shots that had millions of streams, and a debut album featuring some of the U.K’s most exciting talent. Ahead of his first festival season, we sat down with Sainté to find out how he is stepping different to everybody else in the UK music scene.

One Step Ahead: JNR Choi

As part of the GAFFER x MJB Sonic The Hedgehog 30 Year capsule collection we sat down with the man of the moment JNR Choi to find out how the model-turned-musician has a lot more moments to serve up as he aims to use his influence as model royalty to rule over a new world.

Arsenal: Where We Belong

To welcome in the start of another new season and to celebrate the first official outing of the new third Jersey, we linked up with a cast of 90s born, creative UK talent to find out how this new kit represents the true DNA of the North London club as we head into a new era and a new away day to Brentford FC. 

Making Moves: JAY1

The list of UK rappers that fancy themselves as the scene’s best footballer is never-ending, but having played for the GAFFER-sponsored Hackney Wick FC All Stars at Old Trafford earlier this summer, we can attest to JAY1 as a contender.

No Stylist – Unknown T – Series 2 – Episode 2

The second episode in the brand new series of No Stylist is all about firsts. The ballers - the likes of Jesse Lingard, Steven Bergwijn, Joe Willock and Jordyn Huitema - have all shown us how it’s done and now is the very first time an artist takes on the challenge.

Wes & Curtis Nelson: Brothers in Arms

It’s no secret that talent runs in the veins of the Nelson family, so we wanted to put the two of them to the test. For this edition of Head to Head, we had both brothers compete in a series of arcade games and a classic quiz to see who would claim the crown in the Nelson family.

Born Ready: Sinéad Harnett

Thai-rish R&B songstress Sinéad Harnett is stepping up to earn her flowers with her most self-defining full-length project to date; Ready Is Always Too Late. London bred, LA-based singer-songwriter Sinéad Harnett has been clocking clout since her lush R&B vocals first hit airwaves. As a skilled lyricist, she laid her emotions bare alongside top-tier producers […]

AWA on Fame, Meditation, Mental Health and Growing Up in the Music Industry

We sat down with the rising star to discuss her creative awakening alongside spirituality, peace, the power of meditation and how she’s learned to carve her place in an industry that prizes overworking.

This Modern Life: KwolleM & Joe James.

We take a walking tour of East London with the UK’s best kept secret - KwolleM and Joe James - to reveal the threads of friendship, music and football that link the two artists and define KwolleM’s new EP c2c.

Inside The Fearless Spirit, Boundless Creativity & Unfolding Legacy of Dermot Kennedy

Dermot Kennedy shares his love of Roy Keane, the psychological parallels between the top levels of sport and music and his friendship with NBA star Jimmy Butler

Head to Head: Ezri Konsa x Yxng Bane

GAFFER puts two of the UKs brightest stars - Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa and platinum-selling artist Yxng Bane -Head to Head to find out what they’ve learned from each other and a little bit more about their life away from the spotlight.

Mind, Body & Music: Kida Kudz

Nigerian-born, UK-grown Kida Kudz is ready for a global takeover; he talks to GAFFER about balance, drive, talent shows, family ties, football memories, tales of Wiley and haircuts like Taribo West.

Going Clear: A2

Whilst wearing a classic black away shirt with Eric Cantona’s name on the back, A2 offers his solutions to the current predicaments at Old Trafford, including a bold recruitment strategy, as well as a bit about his music too, and just why he chooses to work the way he does, despite everyone else’s advice…

The Time is Now: Sasha Keable

We sat down with one of the most refreshingly honest personalities in modern music to talk new tracks, new timelines and, of course, football; from split international loyalties as the daughter of a proud Colombian, to her unique relationship with Chelsea FC...

Mr Eazi on African Pride, 90s Nigerian Goalkeepers & Leaving a Legacy Beyond Music

Mr Eazi shares his favourite football memories and reveals his childhood nickname - inspired by a classic Nigerian goalkeeper - alongside his plans on putting his money where his heart is...

Leading The Way: D-Block Europe

We explore the duality of Young Adz and LB: take a deeper look into the flow and interplay between two long-term friends who intersperse styles and genres to create their own hybrid of hip-hop.

The Reinvention: EDEN

We caught up with EDEN to discuss the release of his second album 'No Future', the art of reinvention and to discover a little bit more about his love of Liverpool FC.

GAFFER x StockX End of Year Party

To celebrate our breakout year, and to continue to bridge the gap between football, music, fashion and culture, GAFFER linked up with StockX to host our first end of year party.

True To Myself: Lil Tjay

2019 will be remembered as the year when Lil Tjay graced nearly every ‘next big thing’ or ‘one’s to watch’ list going. The irony is, despite his fast-track to the top, not a lot of people know a lot about him. So, we spent a couple of hours with the New York sensation to find out his plans for global domination alongside first loves, first shows and the first time he stepped foot in London.

Lessons in Life: Ashley Walters

To find out what a difference a decade makes, we sat down with Ashley Walters to track the ups, downs and unusual moments of a life and career which has been beautifully unpredictable. So, here it is. Ashley Walters on life, his one love - Arsenal - and why he thinks Raheem Sterling could make it on the small screen.

Upon Reflection: Uncovering The Real Wretch 32

We peel away the layers of Wretch 32’s thirteen year career, which has just entered a new chapter with the release of his latest album Upon Reflection and the launch of his first book, Rapthology, to find out what really matters to one of the UK’s most unique and effervescent artists. So, this is Wretch 32 on starting out, selling CDs, Ian Wright, new ventures and why all the world needs is you just being you.


Meet the man widely recognised as the founding father, the king, of Afro Dancehall. We caught up with Stonebwoy on his trip to London to talk FC Barcelona, legacy making, dream chasing and the challenges which he’s overcome out of the sight of his fans.

Sophie Hird & Sports Team on Football, Fashion & Britishness

After finally perfecting the latest garments of her graduate collection this past June, Sophie Hird was eager to find suitable candidates to wear and sport her ornate designs. When Sports Team rolled up for her undergraduate fashion show and eagerly expressed an interest to wear her clothes in upcoming performances, Hird was confident that the eclectic 6-piece would be just the right match for her vision.

Issue 02 Cover: Maya Jama

When it comes to modern icons who sit at the crossroads of fashion, music, football and popular culture, none have made a bigger impact in the last 2 years than Maya Jama. The TV and radio presenter opens up about career breaks through football, finding success on her own terms and the power of pep talks in Issue 02: Heart and Soul.

Issue 02 Cover: Mo Stack

No time to talk. We go inside the creative mind of one of the UK’s maverick musicians: MoStack, as the UK artists tells you everything you need to know through his lyrics alone.

Rio Ferdinand, Wilfried Zaha & Eni Aluko Talk Heritage & Homecomings at The Best of Africa Awards

GAFFER linked up with all the award-winners and attendees at the eighth annual Best of Africa awards in London to find out why night’s like this are so significant, how their heritage inspires their future endeavours as well as what African footballer they believed has made the biggest impact in the Premier League.

Issue 02: The Amazons

Reading FC may have stolen their hearts, but rock music opened their eyes and swung open doors.

Issue 02: Novelist

Some people are hard to contain on paper. They’re too big, too nuanced and too authentic to make permanent with words alone. Novelist is one of them - so it’s lucky he’s so good at self-expression. We picked him up from his mum’s road in Brockley, SE4. He climbed in, reclined the seat and rested his head against the window. He seemed as comfortable here as he does on stage, on national news or in the studio. ​Talking to GAFFER, this is Novelist on community, family, faith and football...

Issue 02: Easy Life

Root to Rise: In this hyper-“linked” digital age, Easy Life’s homecoming helps us reconsider what connection is really all about. Despite their upbeat sound and optimistic outlook on life, things haven’t come so easy for the band. The five-piece tell all as they take us on a tour of the ‘Easy Life’ Leicestershire farm to share the stories of growing up in the Midlands, their unconventional route into music and their one love - Leicester City FC.

Issue 02: Nafe Smallz

We catch up Nafe Smallz to talk about making it big out of a small town, his journey into the industry and his views on the parallels between music and football.

Leven Kali

We hopped on and off a Boris bike and linked up with Leven Kali in London to unearth a few of his favourite spots across the city as he opens up to GAFFER about his focus in the studio, his relentless ambition and the most important influences in his life; from golf, the iconic ‘Oranje’ jersey and his favourite brands of the past 12 months.

Issue 02: Heart & Soul

GAFFER Issue 02: Heart & Soul honours the way football cultivates community spirit, empowers the next generation and gives fans, teams and players something bigger and more beautiful to believe in. To celebrate the launch of the new issue, we’re introducing you to our five cover stars; a special collective of people who are driving the culture to new heights and changing the face of the game forever.

Behind The Scenes: Capo Lee & Jamal Edwards Share The Story Of The Chelsea FC ‘Style & Swag’ Remix

We go behind the scenes of Capo Lee & Jamal Edwards 'Style & Swag' Chelsea remix video which features, Callum Hudson Odoi, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Ngolo Kante and many more.


Despite being in the game for over a decade now, Scorcher’s music and style is more relevant than ever. That’s because there is an awful lot more to Scorcher than meets the eye. Which is exactly what we found out when we sat down with one of the most versatile and multi-faceted minds in the game to talk new tracks, Top Boy and, most importantly, his one love - Tottenham Hotspur.

M Huncho

There has never been a greater canvas for storytelling in the UK music scene than right now. Particularly, when it comes to a number of the UK’s rising stars: artists that are charmingly authentic, somewhat enigmatic, and unable to be anything but themselves.

Night Lovell

Many interviews write themselves, when you sit down with certain artists, footballers, musicians  – whoever – or attend the shoot that they’re on, you often pick out characteristics, mannerisms, sayings, skits or even menial things, like tattoos, that you cling onto to make introducing them a little bit easier and a lot more natural. But when I sat down with Night Lovell – the 21-year-old rapper from Ottawa, Canada – I was struggling to find a detail befitting of this opening.

01 Cover: Siobhan Bell

Siobhan Bell was no stranger to the music industry when she first started DJing. “I was interning at Atlantic, assisting the A&R’s,” she says. “I started DJing on the side at places like Work It, which was an East London night with my friends.

Yxng Bane

Yxng Bane, one of the most exciting new artists in the UK right now, is telling me exactly how it is. I’ve just asked him whether 2018 was the biggest year of his life.

Steel Banglez

It’s coming home. Grime that is. To Newham, if you want to be more specific. Much like the current wave of energy and optimism that surrounds English football, it has been refreshed and reinterpreted by a burgeoning wave of emerging talent, and no one represents that more than Steel Banglez.

Rising 11: AJ x Deno x EO

Childhood friends who’ve combined their sound to impressive effect, the incredibly young London duo have found an enthusiastic fan-base through their heartfelt and infectious Grime meets Afro Beat hybrid.


If you follow Avelino on Instagram, you probably know he’s a serious baller. On all levels. He regularly gloats that he’s the G.O.A.T. on FIFA 19.


West London rap/R&B collective WSTRN are coming back strong, with their new album DOU3LE3AK out just a few months ago. The critics have been unanimous in this aspect: WSTRN, who only signed with the record label Atlantic in 2015, are the past, present, and future of West London.

Rising 11: Amelia Monet

Amelia Monet is on a mission, with a determination that belies her age. Singer, model, west end performer and more besides, Monet’s stock is rising faster even then her own social media channels (380k on Instagram alone at the time of printing), as the success of breakout track ‘The Baddest’ (ft fellow Gaffer featured artist EO) struck an instant chord in summer 2018.

Rising 11: Unknown T

Homerton B was the track of 2018. A late summertime grower, the track found its way into the record box of every established selector - everyone from Mistajam to Annie Mac (and even Tim Westwood) could be found blasting it out to legions of ravers from London to Ayia Napa.

Rising 11: Young T & Bugsey

Urgent, unique and completely of it’s time: Words and phrases commonly thrown at Young T and Bugsey.

Rising 11: Kara Marni

The young London native has quickly established herself as one of the most exciting new talents to emerge from the flourishing RnB and soul scene.

Kojo Funds

2018 has seen Brexit whip up a nationwide frenzy and increased media coverage of youth violence illuminate the fissures in English society.

Rising 11: Big Zuu

Grime MC, bon viveur, Twitter troublemaker and part-time Grenfell activist, there’s a lot to like about Bug Zuu.

Rising 11: Lancey Foux

It would be difficult to find artists that encapsulate the modern marriage of urban music and fashion more than Lancey Foux.

Lotto Boyz

Ever since they first released music back in 2016, Ash and Lucas aka the Lotto Boyzz have been on an upward trajectory. Tagging their sound as ‘Afrobean’ – a collision of Afro-Caribbean music mixed with rap and R&B – the pair have enjoyed a two-year spell where they’ve topped nearly every single hitlist around.

Rome Fortune

Rome Fortune lives and breathes authenticity, unapologetically embracing the phrase “what you see is you what you get”.
Subscribe now!