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Black History Month: Unplugged

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Black History Month: Unplugged
Written by Anisha Chana
- 29/09/2022

In honour of Black History Month, we are excited to announce the next event in our Qube Unplugged series. This exclusive live music showcase will feature some of the most exciting black talent from our community and provide a fascinating insight into their musical influences over the years. Read on to find out more about the artists taking part and reserve your spot for the live event here.

 

BINA.

Singer-songwriter, DJ, model and artist, BINA. (stylised accordingly), finds her freedom of expression through a multitude of art forms. Calling her music “the most constant, most loyal companion” in her life BINA. grew up using her love for art and music as a way to stay grounded through the instability of moving between her family home and foster homes.

She describes her music as storytelling in the “most vulnerable and honest way possible”, and sees her art as a healing process for all. Although BINA. believes her moods describe her music better than any genre will, her style gravitates towards alternative-soul and is inspired by two key black artists. Her blend of soul, hip-hop and jazz echo Erykah Badu’s embrace of black womanhood whilst her smooth and understated vocals, pose similarities to those of UK Soul queen, Sade.

Her most recent single ‘Do Not Disturb’ is a transparent homage to her mental health and her struggle combined with the glimmer of hope of reconnecting with others. More singles and even an EP are in the pipeline and will reflect the ups and downs of black womanhood in their rawest form.

 

Keys the Prince

Starting off in the West London underground live music scene to quickly establish himself as one of the most exciting new artists in the UK black music scene, Keys the Prince demonstrates his versatility through his effortless fusion of rap, gospel and afrobeat influences.

Keys got his name from his talent for piano playing, which adds another dimension to his artistry aside from rapping and producing alone. The release of his debut mixtape Nothing Else Matters in 2020 undoubtedly put Keys on the map as one-to-watch. This was followed by a series of 90’s inspired rap instrumental freestyles, including ‘Wicked‘ and the infamous ‘Litty‘ which rose to popularity through tapping into TikTok trending Nintendo ‘Super Smash Bros’ sample.

Keys is continuing to grow and evolve his sound, working with established producer Diztortion (Tion Wayne, Darkoo and NSG). Together they co-produced his latest single ‘Ballaz’: a summer anthem that showcases diversity through an array of sounds and influences.

 

Junior Garr

Ghanaian-born UK MOBO awards nominated singer-songwriter and worship artist, Junior Garr, has used his skills in songwriting and creative leadership over many years to revolutionise worship music in the UK.

It’s safe to say that opportunities for gospel performances within the traditional UK worship music scene can be few and far between. Yet in 2020 Junior Garr, alongside arranger/conductor Marsha B Morrison, broke down some of these boundaries with the formation of The Spirituals choir. The Spirituals received remarkable recognition with two EPs and performance opportunities at prestigious venues, such as Lambeth Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have also had their performances televised and showcased by the likes of BBC One and BBC Radio 4.

Black History has been at the heart and soul of The Spirituals’ mission which was demonstrated through their reimagining of spiritual classics for their ‘Black History Project’ last year. Receiving over 11 million views on YouTube with their single ‘Wade in the Water’, Junior describes the project as “a powerful tribute to songs that have marked monumental moments in black history, music and culture”.

 

Clement Marfo

South London-based, Clement Marfo, first received notable recognition in 2012 for his single ‘Champion’ alongside his band, Clement Marfo and the Frontline. The song has been used for various television sports promos, including BBC London Olympics, NFL Super Bowl XLV, Sky Sports and WWE Royal Rumble.

Working with artists and producers such as Kano, Ghetts, Sway, Andrew Frampton and Iain James, Clement has established a name for himself by combining his love for hip-hop, funk and Northern soul with rock influences such as James Brown.

Since parting ways with his band, Clement has flourished in the world of sync with his uplifting and anthem-like songs being used by companies such as Nivea and HSBC and most recently, The Voice of Poland.

His latest singles, ‘Trophies’ and ‘O.M.G’ give us a glimpse into what Clement has planned for his next studio album, experimenting with a range of different styles and broadening the horizons of what he has to offer.

 

Monita

Born and raised in a small town in Germany and now based in London, you would never think that Monita only started teaching herself how to record and produce in 2017. Reaching almost 2 million streams on Spotify, her solo projects are a blend of understated vocals, trap-influenced beats and lyrics that proclaim self-love and empowerment. Monita produces all her music herself and shares her talent by producing for other ‘high-vibe’ artists too.

Growing up as the only black kid in her environment, representation has been important for Monita. Seeing Beyonce as one of the few mainstream artists to share her complexion as a child was an important source of inspiration for her love of dance and pursuit of creative arts.

She is currently working on her next EP which will showcase a more tropical sound, blending reggaeton, dancehall and afro influences. As these are Monita’s favourite genres to dance to, she looks forward to using her music as an expression of her love for dance. When speaking on the project, ‘divinity’ is the word that comes to mind, as she hopes it will allow her listeners to “embrace the divine feminine energy from within”.

 

Reserve your spot for the 27 October showcase here

Written by Anisha Chana
29/09/2022
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