Amid the BLM protests of 2020 came a call to make the music industry accountable on race – but while new initiatives are helping, real change is still slow in the UK
It is a year since two Black female music executives, Jamila Thomas of Atlantic Records and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon, called for the music industry to shut down for the day in protest following the killing of George Floyd.
If there’s one takeaway that Shabaka Hutchings had from last year’s summer of racial reckoning, it was that everyone needed to take a step back and reconsider what was important. “I remember in the time of the Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd, there were lots of conversations going on online and I realised that a lot of people are full of s**t,” says the Sons of Kemet bandleader.
Although I thought Solange came hurtling into my world following the release of her seminal 2016 album A Seat at the Table, she has always been there. As a tweenage Destiny’s Child fanatic, I saw Solange danced alongside her sister Beyoncé when the group performed in Birmingham in the early Noughties.
Post Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, Solange was left without a label or a direction. Her album was a composite of the music she loved, but still she felt she had hit a glass ceiling in her attempt to communicate her style to a wider audience. Still, with a sense of acceptance from a fan base she loved, she ventured further and further beyond the R&B scene on a journey that would take her to the ironically cool world of the hipsters who ruled Brooklyn indie rock.
Beverly Glenn-Copeland takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that fuelled his love for music over the years, from the soundtracks to secluded woodland trips to meetings with younger artists inspired by his work and how he found the work of Sting
In an exclusive extract from her new book Why Solange Matters, Stephanie Phillips explores the significance of appropriation in indie music.
Hannah Reid, best known as the vocalist of indie-pop trio London Grammar, casually reveals a major lockdown achievement as she chats from her West London home. “One positive is that instead of going out on the road, we’ve carried our creative process on,” says the 31-year-old singer, “so we’ve been writing loads and working on a fourth album.”
The life of the singer Tina Turner has been one of the most pored over in music. She is known as much for the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband Ike Turner as she is for her role in rock history.
In April 2020, I wrote a batch of articles for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries website. These were SEO-driven, advice-based articles aimed at young people (14–15) and their parents, explaining the industry and why it might appeal as a career.
Named by Bob Dylan as a contemporary great, the versatile songwriter straddles folk, R&B, bluegrass, soul and more – and her creative freedom has been hard-fought
George C Wolfe on Chadwick Boseman’s Levy: ‘It’s one of the greatest performances ever captured on film’
The past six months have been a difficult period of processing for George C Wolfe. The director’s film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was a huge hit over the new year and yet it’s been six months since its star, the actor Chadwick Boseman, died from colon cancer. “For the longest time I could not speak of him in the past,” says Wolfe solemnly, about coming to terms with his leading man’s death. “My brain just wouldn’t let me do it. But in the past two weeks or so I started to do that.”
Steve Diggle guides Stephanie Phillips through the records that shaped him, from the girl across the road who introduced him to The Beatles and Bob Dylan to the sensual allure of late era Supremes.