In partnership with V&A East

Meeting Ground: The Importance of Local Music Culture in East London

BY Darcie Imbert

music, access and culture


East London is a meeting point of cultures, generations and communities. Known as the creative and artistic part of London, the area is now the subject of a new series called Meeting Ground.

Brought to you in partnership with V&A East, Meeting Ground tells the stories of preservation, progression and identity from those that are living, working or making in east London. Comprised of three chapters, each instalment brings together two creative individuals working within the same industries to discuss generational divides; confronting the privileges, tensions and changes that have shaped their experiences.

For episode two of Meeting Ground, we brought together two music heads to chat about access and culture in the industry: Elijah, DJ, promoter and co-founder of the grime record label Butterz, and Jesse Bernard, music journalist, DJ and filmmaker. In London, new spaces are constantly popping up and the facade of the city reinvents itself every decade; having spent most of their lives East, Jesse and Elijah talk about the venues that shaped them and what makes a nightlife institution in a city that’s always changing. The conversation is as much about the past as the present; when it comes to music culture in London today, the door is more open than ever before. Open for artists to experiment with new sounds borrowed from other scenes, and for audiences to explore the parameters of their own taste.

Creatives are always keen to get out and dream bigger than the neighbourhood they grew up in; but magic happens when you reconnect with your roots and give back to the local culture that made you. Tune in – or read on – for more thoughts on why getting into your local scene is the new “getting out”.

Watch Episode 2 of Meeting Grounds