Globalisation has transformed the face of travel journalism. Originally an economic process used to describe the growth of trade between countries, globalisation today is as much about the meshing of different global cultures and ideas as it is about anything else. Combined with a growing diaspora presence, this process of globalisation has created abundant opportunities for mutual development and cultural exchange.
As a result, music has undergone an extensive evolution process, most of all the British music scene, turning it into an ever-churning cultural melting-pot. Bringing with it a wealth of diverse sounds to an industry that is constantly changing, globalisation has taken centre stage in discussions about musical development. In fact, Afro-pop, Afro-swing and collabs between Latin American and American artists top the charts time and time again, cementing the popularity and marketability of cross-cultural collaborations. Ultimately, these crowd-pleasing fusion sounds pay homage to the beauty of the international music conversation.
On the 17th of August, in collaboration with our long-time friends Tommy Jeans, we put on an evening of dialogue and dancing in celebration of their new campaign Less Buzz, More Music. We brought together people who we think are this year’s pioneers of cutting-edge cultural sounds and especially new and bold African sounds. With a panel hosted by Tash LC and unmissable live performances by ShayBo, Boj, Juls and Karen Nyame KG, the night tapped into the intellectual and experiential.
We kicked off the evening with a panel hosted by DJ Tash LC on the Globalisation of Cultural Sounds. During this open forum she discussed the celebration, movement and ownership of cultural sounds with our esteemed guests, David Sonubi, KG and Dj Edu.
David Sonubi is the co-founder of No Signal Radio, the online radio station famous for its lockdown DJ battles and for creating a sonic platform for the sounds of the African diaspora. He is also founder of Recess, a line of much-loved London events.
Karen Nyame KG is a presenter at Capital Dance, DJ and producer. She recently released her EP ‘Sensei II’ in June 2021, which draws heavily from Ghanaian and South African musical influences as well as Afrobeats and R&B. She has also worked with Redbull’s Normal not Novelty programme, supporting women in the music industry.
Dj Edu is the BBC’s African Music Ambassador and presenter of Destination Africa on BBC Radio 1Xtra. He also hosts This is Africa, the BBC World Service’s pan-African podcast where he platforms musicians and producers from across the African continent & is an official African music ambassador for Audiomack.
During this event, we addressed whether the musical field is witnessing the impact of globalisation or if it is actually a process of international Africanisation, facilitated by streaming services and diaspora influences. The conversation also focused on the role of Blackness in this popularisation and inevitably, the issues of ownership and appropriation, and how credit can be given to the rightful originators of the sounds.
Following the panel was the live music performance dedicated to celebrating African cultural sounds. Our performers represented the hottest genres right now, from UK rap to Nigerian Alté.
The performances were kicked off by Juls, a vanguard of the realm of African-inspired musical production. His career has seen him collaborate with everyone from Mr Eazi to Burna Boy, slowly but surely ensuring he becomes a household name.
Then we heard from Boj, a pioneer of Nigeria’s Alté sound, who has brought new vitality to the country’s existing Afrobeats scene. Most recently, he featured on the new Dave album and has forthcoming collaborations with the likes of Pa Salieu.
Afterwards, we had our headlining act, Shaybo, affectionately named ‘Queen of the South’. She has consistently wowed in recent years, drawing heavily from her Nigerian heritage and using it to propel her growth in the UK rap scene and to push it to new heights.
Last but certainly not least, our panellist Karen Nyame KG, treated us to a Dj set. Playing from her new EP, KG brought the night to a vibrant ending, ensuring our guests left with a spring in their step.
In our collaboration with Tommy Jeans, we encouraged audiences to take a break from the overwhelming nature of hyper-connectivity and instead to take a moment to appreciate the ever-evolving musical products of globalisation.
Using this rare opportunity to explore the transformative power of African sounds, we’ve looked for the intersection between British and African sounds and are committed to keeping on championing global creativity.