New project explores the history between Black music and record stores

today04/07/2023 19

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New project, The Record Store & Black Music, A UK History, is set to explore the history of Black music in connection with the UK’s independent record shops — and is looking for stories from members of the public.

Titled, The Record Store & Black Music, A UK History the project is asking for people to share their experiences which could later contribute to the film, publication, podcast and more.

Based in the Midlands, The Record Store & Black Music, A UK History is curated by 2Funky Arts — an organisation that celebrates Black music and new artists, as well as runs festivals and events showcasing Black talent in the community.

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Stories which the project are looking for must illuminate the Black, African and Caribbean community and can include film, audio and photographs from the 1950s onwards.

As a press release explains: “For the Windrush generation and Black diaspora, the early independent UK record store was a music-fuelled vehicle for resistance against systemic racism. Such sites became fertile ground for new music and cultural ecosystems that shaped society’s relationship with Black music.”

Once everything is compiled, The Record Store & Black Music, A UK History will be shared as an educational resource exploring the themes: New Pioneers of Street Sounds (the 1950s-70s); Influence on the UK Charts (1970s-80s); and Club Culture & Birth of Sub Genres (1990s onwards).

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In 2013, 2Funky Arts created the documentary Spectrum which explores the history of Black music in Leicester and how the project grew from its former independent music store, 2Funky Records.

2Funky Arts Director, Vijay Mistry said: “2Funky Arts has been planning The Record Store for around 4 years, in conjunction with DJ Simon ‘Schooly’ Phillips, who will work on our heritage documentary. We are thrilled to have received funding for such a culturally significant project.”

Mistry adds: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to research this fascinating history and will be working with volunteers and practitioners from across the country, to present oral histories in inspiring formats.”

If you have a story as a record store customer, owner, artist or have some relevant film, audio or photographic memories to share, get in touch with 2Funky Arts at [email protected].

Check out 2Funky Arts’ announcement including an archival image of Birmingham’s beloved record store, Punch Records below.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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