Richard Russell

XL Recordings co-founder hits a high note

XL Recordings co-founder Russell spent his teenage years selling mix tapes at Camden Market in north London. Today, his canny compilation of outstanding artists on the label, based in Ladbroke Grove, west London, earns good money and neatly encapsulates the cross-cultural fusion that’s made London a creative hub for talent from around the world. Click play on Russell’s current playlist (this is the iPod generation, after all) and the White Stripes’ cutting-edge bluesy Americana-meets-Britrock might hit you before the dirtier street beats of East End grime star Dizzee Rascal, some straight-shooting rebel talk from sassy Tamil London grrr-el M.I.A, and the Cockney rockabilly ruckus of Jack Penate. It’s all about the attitude.