CELEBRATING BLACK CULTURE IN THE UK

Updated: Jun 13, 2020


Highlighting some of London's best radio stations, podcasts, blogs, websites, magazines and venues for you to check out and support.



The senseless shooting of George Floyd and the following outcry around the world has given us a moment to reflect, listen, and hopefully change the world. In a time like this we must not forget the contribution of black people within music, fashion and other aspects of culture.


This article appreciates black owned initiatives, from established podcasts and blogs, to websites or stations that are just starting out, to help highlight the impact of an influential race that is still under oppression.


WEBSITES / BLOGS


1. gal-dem (gal-dem.com)


This one really needs no introduction. If you don’t know already, gal-dem is the premier voice in the UK for women and non-binary people of colour, sharing perspectives and giving a voice to those who traditionally have had little to no presence in journalism. For an industry which is 94% white and 55% male, gal-dem is trying to redress this huge imbalance in media through their editorial and commercial work. Founded in 2015 by Liv Little as a loose idea whilst at uni, Liv has grown the company to a 9-strong, fully fledged media company and long may it continue.





2. TRENCH (trenchtrenchtrench.com)

TRENCH describe themselves as ‘a music, style, and culture platform based in London dedicated to uncovering and uplifting the voices of now,’ but I feel their scope covers so much more than that. Founded by one of the leading names in music journalism, Joseph JP Patterson, TRENCH was launched in 2017 whilst he was gaining prominence for his work as Senior Editor at Complex UK. Let’s face it, black music and culture is not represented in mainstream media in the way that it should be, so TRENCH decided to be the leading blog which actually pays homage to black British music and culture, past and present. In his own words, the aim was to represent the culture ‘in a way that anyone who reads a traditional newspaper can appreciate it as much as the kid on a council estate.’ From all their brilliant work so far they have really cut through and made a tangible impact on the scene.



3. SISTEM (sistem-magazine.com)

Founded by CAPITALXTRA presenter Yinka Bokinni, Sistem is aiming to address the gap in the publishing industry which caters toward the young, professional woman. In their own words, ‘We are talking about the women who are young enough to appreciate Tik Tok but maybe don’t want to create one. The women who want to discover new music but don’t need to be told who Stormzy is. Who appreciate a good book just as much as a slow whine in the club on the weekend.’ A little more lighthearted than gal-dem, their objective is the same; let’s pay attention to the voices of those who have traditionally been shut down in the publishing and media industry. Following recent events Sistem are looking to grow the team and shine a further light on exactly the perspectives we need to be looking at right now.


4. PAQ.WORKS (paq.works)

Billed as a conceptual creative agency that specializes in design, art direction, photography, film & fashion, paq is a multi-discipline artistic force that is hoping to impact all aspects of the modern zeitgeist, whether that be dressing Kendrick Lamar or creating the LNDR x NIKE campaign. Cofounded by Chiamaka Ojechi, paq run a stunning series called ‘rap in paper’ which twins a freestyle against the backdrop of beautifully designed wallpaper; connecting music and print design. They also have one of the CLEANEST website x Instagram combos I’ve ever seen – their graphic designers and animators deserve every single accolade coming to them.



5. The Pit London (https://www.thepitldn.com/)

The Pit London is the brain-child of Tramell “Darkstepper” Mugarura and Alfred Afari, two childhood friends that share a passion for quality home-grown music. Since its inception in 2014, The Pit London have produced a multitude of successful events touching each corner of London with key brands: The Pit London Live, Playlist Party UK, Genre Clash and The Pit LDN: Open Mic Cypher.  







MUSIC MAGAZINES

1. PLACES+FACES (https://www.instagram.com/placesplusfaces/)

What started off as a photography blog simply as a hobby, has now become one of the biggest lifestyle brands in the music scene. It is a simple, yet effective idea – take photos of some of the most amazing talents in music, fashion and film and document it all in a magazine. But P+F is not just a print magazine; they hold their own parties with special guests; they curate their own mixes; and their merchandise has become a streetwear staple. Most recently, in raising money for the Black Lives Matter movement, the brand sold new merch and donated 100% of the profits to various bail funds in the US.


2. GAUCHOWORLD (gauchoworld.com)


A multidisciplinary magazine covering music, fashion and sport, GAUCHOWORLD will be releasing the first issue of their magazine in September of this year.




3. New Wave Magazine (https://www.instagram.com/nwavemagazine/)

This is a magazine for all creatives, giving a platform for anyone to express their thoughts from music to film. Issues of their magazine can be purchased on their website.

4. GUAP (https://www.guap.co.uk/)

GUAP is the world’s first video magazine, and are dedicated to showcasing emerging talent, with a particular focus on youth, within music, fashion, business and more. They have recently launched ‘The Black GUAP Fund’, where they will provide £100 to at least one black creative to support their endeavours; they will be doing this every week. You can also support the fund by donating here: https://donorbox.org/guap-fund-for-black-creatives-communities?default_interval=o&amount=10


5. WAVE Mag (wavemag.co.uk)

WAVE Mag is a bi-annual publication formed with the intention to explore the cultural surroundings of a new wave of artists. The publication sets out to highlight fresh new talent, following their careers upon entering the music scene, incorporating elements of their lifestyle, reflecting their art and channelling their fashion.    WAVE intends to provide a platform for all types of creatives allowing thought-provoking content touching on taboo subjects within the industry both fashion and music. 


PODCASTS


1. HALFCAST PODCAST

“Two guys half the size of each other casting opinions”.

This podcast is made up of Chuckie, Poet, Dan and camera man Callum. The podcast began over 5 years ago at a time when podcasting was not the trendy thing to do like it is. The influence of this podcast is clear to see with the number of podcasts in the black community within the UK that have followed since then. Chuckie and Poet are two people that are a part of the furniture within the UK scene as they have been present since the beginning of the grime era and over at IAMNEXT we commend the work they have done for the scene and essentially people of colour within this field.



2. Score Per Podcast

This is one that many may not have heard of before but remember the name because this podcast is going to be a standout in future. Anchored by long-time friends Nathan and Thaddeus, the podcast covers a range of topics in a light-hearted manner while giving profound perspectives. With the help of close friends of the podcast, topics are discussed and laced with personal, unique experiences and light-hearted banter that make for easy listening. Keep an eye out for this home of intellectual waffle because if you do not get on the wave now, you will have to catch up later.


3. F&S Uncensored

F&S Uncensored is another podcast that you may not have heard of if you are reading this. it is hosted by Nigerian A&Rs and long-time friends Simisola Badiru and Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and mainly covers what is happening in Nigerian pop culture. Working in the industry as well as being passionate about Nigerian pop culture makes for good conversation between these two and the guests they have on the podcast from time to time. Not to forget, they are also good friends which makes for natural conversation and the chemistry is evident to listeners (you now being one of them after you read this).



4. The Receipts Podcast

When it comes to brutal honesty not many are able to communicate that on a podcast the way that Milena, Tolly T and Audrey can. From solving dilemmas sent in by listeners to speaking on topics that range from summer dating to colourism in the workplace, The Receipts girls ensure they speak openly and unapologetically whatever the topic is.



5. 3 SHOTS OF TEQUILA

Another trio of friends providing very candid and honest conversation that the UK has grown to love are the Tazer Black, Marvin Abbey and Keith Dube. For the past few years their casual conversations have captured the ears of many and long may it continue to do so.






VENUES

1. The Jago, Dalston (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-jago-hardship-fund)

At the beating heart of Hackney The Jago features live music, performance, workshops, community led initiatives and much more. A truly creative hub for London's diverse audience.


2. Bussey Building (CLF Cafe, Rye Wax), Peckham (https://www.instagram.com/clfartcafe/)

A 120-year-old multi-level warehouse space (that the CLF helped name, save and are still known as), hosting leading events in music, theatre, dance, film, art, and more. From grass roots to cutting edge, Bestival to Secret Sundaze, The South London Soul to Train to The Royal Court Theatre, Fred Wesley and The New J.B.s to Disclosure via MJ Cole, The Fatback Band, Nathaniel Ratliff & The Night Sweats - the list goes on and on and on.


3. Hideaway, Streatham (https://www.instagram.com/hideaway_live/)

London's award-winning live music and comedy venue featuring the very best Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Swing and Soul, showcasing new talent, established artists and star performers.


4. Prince of Peckham, Peckham (https://www.instagram.com/princepeckham/)

A pub for south London, by south London. Serving up Caribbean inspired food, great beer and big tunes.


5. Buster Mantis, Deptford (https://www.bustermantis.com/)

Buster Mantis takes its name from the first prime minister of Jamaica, Sir Alexander Bustamante, who was instrumental in establishing the country's independence. It is a small, independent family business, whose owners have lived between Jamaica and this area for the last 60 years.



RADIO



1. No Signal (http://nosignal.live/)


The best thing invented this entire lockdown. Powered by Recess events company.

"No Signal radio is reaping the rewards of authentic black creativity and we love to see it/ As the world stands still and independent media struggles to get by, NS10v10 is an addictive sound-clash for us, by us, which is doing big numbers."



You can donate to support via these 2 links:

https://link.dice.fm/63E3YbK9A5 / http://paypal.me/theresnosignal



2. Transmission Roundhouse (https://www.mixcloud.com/transmission_rh/)

A home for radical chat and specialist tunes. Powered by the Roundhouse, lead by Nicole Logan.


3. NTS (https://www.nts.live/radio)

Built by music lovers, for music lovers.


4. THE BEAT LDN 103.6FM (http://www.thebeat1036.com/)

Formerly known as BANG Radio,The Beat London 103.6fm will continue to fly the flag as London's number one urban community radio station for young people. Teaming up with their new sister station The Beat 99.9 in Nigeria, The Beat London celebrates its strong connection with a global audience and in particular between the UK and Africa.






Words: Milly Lupton, Dinesh Mattu, Nirav Doshi, Arenma Ahonsi



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