2018 > 2019

Hello people... Last day of the year, right? I don't know for you but over here 2018 has been full of challenges and difficult people. Respect seems to have been lost somewhere between Macron's election and the Brexit referendum. Happily for me, it ended in a much brighter note!
So all I want for 2019 is to work with kind, committed people and luckily I found them recently 

But Iet's not forget that peace is a high value and that sometimes constantly fighting the fight ends in everyone losing...

Sending GOOD vibes to everyone. We'll only survive this messy world if we add our personal drop of love. And maybe we'll even succeed in changing it, sooner than later, I hope.



On Music, Bristol and Brexit

I worked on this book over the past four years, a book about art and music, coming from England but heavily inspired by external and non-English influences.

The last three years have been marred by the Brexit debate, referendum and terrible talks toward a mostly hated deal, about to be rejected by the British Parliament.
For British music, and for British culture in general, this political context in an absolute killer, a self-inflicted suicide.
Music cannot live with such hard borders. Like American music from the 1920s to the 1990s, British music grew higher thanks to worldwide influences and Bristol music is the best example of it. Hence my choice to write about this scene.
Unfortunately, so many people intervened behind the scene to postpone its UK release that it couldn't have a voice in the current debate...
But I'm still here and if nothing else happens, the English version of the book will be out early March 2019.
In the meantime, we have this:

Foreign musicians could have to earn over £30,000 a year to enter UK post-Brexit
Read more at https://www.nme.com/news/music/foreign-musicians-earn-30000-year-enter-uk-post-brexit-2424827#lfVLAhYPzZTVQuHl.99

A new white paper outlining the country's plans for immigration policy made the claim
Foreign musicians could have to earn over £30,000 a year to be allowed entry into the UK post-Brexit, according to a new white paper. 

In the paper, which outlines the country’s plans for immigration policy after leaving the EU, the Government Migration Advisory Committee state musicians and other workers will need to earn a minimum of £30,000 to be able to apply for a five-year visa. 

The government says the new policy, which wouldn’t come into effect until December 31, 2020, will help prioritise higher-skill workers and a new skills-based immigration system would “favour experience and talent over nationality.”  People from “low risk” countries will be allowed to visit the UK and work for one year without a job offer. 

In regards to touring, the paper suggests visiting bands will still be allowed the same freedom as they are now. “Visitors coming to the UK for short-term business reasons will be able, as now, to carry out a wide range of activities, including permitted paid engagements,” it reads. 

UK Music responded to the paper, saying the minimum salary requirement posed a “major threat” to the music industry. “Requiring musicians, songwriters, and producers from the EU to earn salaries of at least £30,000 to work in the UK poses a major threat to the music industry where music creators earn on average £20,504), way below the average for other jobs,” they said in a statement. 
They added the UK “may suffer retaliation from EU member states”, including “extra costs and red tape for artists who need to cross borders for their work.”

Deborah Annetts, the Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), also said the policy would be a negative one for British music. “The end of freedom of movement will have a devastating impact on British musicians,” she said. “The introduction of harsher immigration rules after Brexit will cause declining diversity and creativity in the British music industry. It could also potentially lead to the introduction of reciprocal immigration rules by EU countries.”

Last month, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher warned Brexit could pose a risk to the country’s live music industry and touring acts. In a letter to Theresa May, he wrote: “The ending of free movement with no waiver for musicians will put our fast-growing live music sector, that generates around £1 billion a year for the UK economy, at serious risk. The costly bureaucracy will make touring simply unviable for very many artists who need to earn a living and it delivers a hammer blow to development of future, world-leading British talent.”


Massive Attack: Out Of The Comfort Zone 

Paperback – 4 Mar 2019

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

“Suddenly, Massive Attack are happening”, writes Miranda Sawyer in Q Magazine in March 1991. “A silver album! That ‘all-important’ critical acclaim! Even seminal world rockers U2 want to meet them!”… From the caves of Bristol’s underground and forbidden parties, the non-musicians will emerge worldwide in only a few months… 

From 1989, the work that Massive Attack’s three core members have started take a more definite shape, and it becomes clear for Cameron McVey and Jonny Dollar that an album is on its way, and not an ordinary album. Produced without a definite plan in mind, their art, which creates after “cutting and pasting” from an extraordinary playlist of references, seems to work magically, just like 3D’s art of collage at the time…

Tricky and 3D write the raps featured in ‘Daydreaming’, where we see Tricky’s talent for “storytelling” rap: “Attitude is cool degrees below zero / Up against the wall behaving like De Niro / Tricky’s performing taking his phono”. He also mentions the social context a while later: “Yes Tricky kid I check my situation / Maggie this Maggie that Maggie means inflation”. And adds details on daily violence: “Wise guys get protection when they carry a knife / They shouldn’t have been born they’re making me yawn”, while 3D brings a more hopeful note: “We’re natives of the massive territory and we’re proud / Get peaceful in the dance, adapt the glory and the crowd / The problem ain’t a different kind of skin, Tricks / I love my neighbour I don’t wait for the Olympics”. 

Tricky and 3D also work on lyrics for the songs ‘Blue Lines’ and ‘Five Man Army’, on which they’re joined by Daddy G, Willy Wee and Horace Andy. The reggae singer, born Horace Hinds, in Kingston, Jamaica, on the 19th of February 1951, is the third main guest vocalist on the album. Grant considers Horace as a legend and knows by heart his first album, Skylarking, released in 1972, after a first single in 1967, ‘This is a Black Man’s Country’, recorded at the young age of 16.

About the Author

Melissa Chemam is a French journalist and author who has worked for France 24, the BBC World Service and Radio France International, as well as many magazines, and for the filmmaker Raoul Peck. Since 2003, she has been based in Prague, Paris, Miami, then in London, Nairobi and Bangui, travelling into more than 40 countries.


"The Music Lover’s Christmas Book List" by Classic Album Sundays

A few words from the great music-loving website Classic Album Sundays, created by the DJ and radio heroin Colleen Cosmo Murphy:

We’re eagerly awaiting
's deep exploration of Bristol’s iconic duo Massive Attack. Discover your next great read in our Music Lovers' Christmas Book List.


The Music Lover’s Christmas Book List

As the evenings grow ever-darker and the temperature drops further a great book can be the perfect Winter companion. Whether you’re on the lookout for the ideal Xmas gift or something to get you through the Holiday season, our rundown has you covered.

1. Mars by 1980: The Story of Electronic Music – By David Stubbs

2. Lou Reed’s Transformer (33 1/3) – By Ezra Furman

3. Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star – By Tracey Thorn

4. To Throw Away Unopened – By Viv Albertine

5. Massive Attack: Out of the Comfort Zone – By Melissa Chemam

We’re eagerly awaiting Melissa Chemam’s deep exploration of Bristol’s iconic duo Massive Attack, which promises to recontextualise their work in relation to the hustle and chaos of modern life in the UK. Despite a slightly delayed release, the book is shaping up even nicer than before, with additional interviews providing more valuable insight on the band, Bristol and beyond.


Our website is your classic album destination. Our events provide you with an immersive and emotional album listening experience.



Europe and Britain

Hi everyone, and merry Christmas!

Just an update on my work as the year ends...

I'm currently working on a series of reports on Europeans citizens in the UK, interviewing different voices from European people. 

I have met so many in the past two years. Nurses, musicians, doctors, restaurant owners, artists, etc. From Spain, Poland, Romania, Italy, France, Germany...

Publications to come.

More soon!

Here are a few photographs in the meantime:


"I'm sorry that I let you down"

Are you sorry...? When you let someone down? How do you feel?

I guess we never talk about it, we never get to have that discussion with the people who let us down. Who lie, make broken promises.

Like politics has let us down all over the world, like Brexit has let British and European down, an uncomfortable number of people we worked / are friends with seriously let me down.

I guess it has happened to everyone.

May they vanish with the year 2018...



'Let You Down' by NF from the album Perception


Feels like we're on the edge right now
I wish that I could say I'm proud
I'm sorry that I let you down
Let you down
All these voices in my head get loud
I wish that I could shut them out
I'm sorry that I let you down
L-l-let you down

Yeah, I guess I'm a disappointment
Doing everything I can, I don't wanna make you disappointed
It's annoying
I just wanna make you feel like everything I ever do wasn't ever tryna make an issue for you
But I guess the more you
Thought about everything, you were never even wrong in the first place, right?
Yeah, I'ma just ignore you
Walking towards you, with my head down lookin' at the ground, I'm embarrassed for you
Paranoia, what did I do wrong this time? That's parents for you
Very loyal?
Shoulda had my back, but you put a knife in it; my hands are full
What else should I carry for you?
I cared for you, but

Feels like we're on the edge right now
I wish that I could say I'm proud
I'm sorry that I let you down
L-l-let you down
All these voices in my head get loud
I wish that I could shut them out
I'm sorry that I let you down
L-l-let you down

Yeah, you don't wanna make this work
You just wanna make this worse
Want me to listen to you
But you don't ever hear my words
You don't wanna know my hurt yet
Let me guess, you want an apology, probably
How can we keep going at a rate like this?
We can't, so I guess I'ma have to leave
Please don't come after me
I just wanna be alone right now, I don't really wanna think at all
Go ahead, just drink it off
Both know you're gonna call tomorrow like nothing's wrong
Ain't that what you always do?
I feel like every time I talk to you, you're in an awful mood
What else can I offer you?
There's nothing left right now, I gave it all to you

Feels like we're on the edge right now
I wish that I could say I'm proud
I'm sorry that I let you down
L-l-let you down
All these voices in my head get loud
I wish that I could shut them out
I'm sorry that I let you down
L-l-let you down

Yeah, don't talk down to me
That's not gonna work now
Packed all my clothes and I moved out
I don't even wanna go to your house
Everytime I sit on that couch
I feel like you lecture me
Eventually, I bet that we
Could have made this work
And probably woulda figured things out
But I guess I'm a letdown
But it's cool, I checked out
Oh, you wanna be friends now?
Okay, let's put my fake face on and pretend now
Sit around and talk about the good times
That didn't even happen
I mean, why are you laughing?
Must have missed that joke
Let me see if I can find a reaction
No, but at least you're happy

Feels like we're on the edge right now
I wish that I could say I'm proud
I'm sorry that I let you down
Oh, I let you down
All these voices in my head get loud
And I wish that I could shut them out
I'm sorry that I let you down
Oh, let you down

I'm sorry
I'm so sorry now
I'm sorry
That I let you down


Reggae On Radio Roundtable

Hello people.
Just before the holidays, I went to listen to this talk.

I will develop the subject further in 2019.
More soon.

Reggae On Radio Roundtable

Thursday Dec. 20 2018, 7-8.45pm
Hogg Lecture Theatre, Room L294, University Of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Made Tussuard’s; 2 minutes from Baker Street tube station)


The University of Westminster’s Bass Culture research project, in association with BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress and REIMI (Race Equality In Music Indutry), organised on Thursday December 20 2018 Reggae On Radio Roundtable, which took place on  from 7pm-8.45pm.

This discussion forum was convened in response to ongoing concerns on the extent to which there is support for reggae music on British mainstream radio.

Online traffic over the last week or so would suggest that given the impact and continued contributions this music has made to popular music in Britain, it deserves more airtime. The UK has been pivotal in the development of reggae’s international profile, which was recently underscored by its inclusion on the UNCECO Cultural Heritage List. 

So why the lack of support in the on national radio?

Key questions at the roundtable included:
Is reggae fairly represented on radio?
Is there any on-radio support for the development of new reggae artists?
What is the way forward for getting better representation of reggae on radio?
+ 3 points for moving forward reggae on music

Invited panel and special guests included:
Neil 'Mad Professor' Fraser, Mykaell Riley, Kwaku BBM, Kienda Hoji, Winston Francis, Lloyd Coxsone, Mandingo, Paulette Long, Steve Barrow, David Katz, Pyhia Robinson, DJ Elaine, Leroy Wilson, Alison Mason

This roundtable was aimed at all Reggae Stakeholders, from fans, musicians, broadcasters, DJs, promoters, managers, academics, to journalists.


Organised thanks to Bass Culture/Black Music Research Unit/Mykaell Riley (Principal Investigator and Director of the Black Music Research Unit, at the University of Westminster)

'Love is Stronger than Pride'

Sade - 'Love is Stronger than Pride' (Live from San Diego)


Such an Orwellian world!!!

We're going through so much unnecessary pressure, bad decisions, surveillance, de-humanisation... 

Can't we stop running like headless chicken and just sit, breath, and read? And some of us who like it, write. 

Such an Orwellian world!!! 

I recommend going back to the basics, light, apples, trees, knowledge and literature...  

Homage to Mr. Orwell by The School of Life:

George Orwell is the most famous English language writer of the 20th century, the author of Animal Farm and 1984. What was he trying to tell us and what is his genius?


"The Songs of Freedom"

2018 is almost ending... 
Hell knows it was a hard year. 
Politically, socially, environmentally, and especially for the media.
As a freelance journalist, I've learned a lot, and I know there are definitely things I'll do differently from now on. It was also the year of #MeToo but one part of the problem we never talk about is bullying and menace against women in our field. I had a terrible year at work because of the men I was working with. 
Luckily I was most of the time physically away from them, sometimes even in separate countries. But the constant harassment and bullying in communication is a terrible problem, affecting millions of women around the world.

This is hard to address. We're afraid to lose a job, a contract, further prospect for work, trust, even friendships...
But we must speak up.
It all started a while back from me. In 2008. I tried to avoid certain places, certain people. Lost a lot of opportunities.

Then I chose to write more and more about music these past 10 years to be able to speak about positive and inspirational stories but also to talk about social change.
I'm proud of it. But I surely didn't expect so much resistance, competition, control and harassment.
Music is an inspiration. It belongs to all of us. It should not be use for appropriation, to belittle someone, to steal profits from the one making it or to change their story. Which is why I'm so proud of writing about reggae, the sound of rebellion. The sound that changed the world. 

You're going to see more of this on this blog... I'm working on another project related to reggae!

Reggae is Jamaica’s rebel music – it doesn’t need establishment approval

Unesco can add reggae to its cultural heritage list, but this music has no time for government and global power
Wall painting of Bob Marley, Kingston, Jamaica
Wall painting of Bob Marley, Kingston, Jamaica. ‘The reggae beat is Jamaica’s heartbeat and its lyrics are the soul and conscience of its people.’ Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
Don’t you just know that Unesco’s decision to add reggae to its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity will be the kiss of death for any remaining semblance of “rebel music” in Jamaica? While the island’s delegation at the United Nations was skanking in celebration the other night, there was no corresponding “jam out there” in the streets of Kingston, Spanish Town, Mo’ Bay or Ochi. Once upon a time there would have been, but this recognition by the UN is at best too little too late and, at worst, somewhat suspect.

Suspect? Yes, when the institutions that reggae has been decrying for decades as “Babylon” – the Jamaican government and global power – are the very ones hailing it as an international cultural treasure worthy of protection and promotion. Turkeys endorsing Christmas come to mind, with the gobblers hatching a cunning plan to turn 25 December vegan. If this gong gives the Jamaican government the ownership of reggae that it craves, Unesco may be guilty of endorsing the Caribbean equivalent of John Lydon (once Johnny Rotten) appearing on a television butter advert. That moment whacked the final nail into the coffin of punk and the 1977 anarchy in the UK that roots reggae went in tandem with back when, if you were fortunate enough to be the white man in the Hammersmith Palais, you got two rebellions for the price of one. Unlike the punk thing, the political potency of reggae has endured for generations. And the Jamaican authorities certainly don’t like that.

Jamaicans do not need the UN to endorse the soundtrack of their lives. They do not need Unesco to tell them that reggae is “cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual”. Jamaicans know that already. They have known for half a century that the reggae beat is their nation’s heartbeat and that its lyrics are the soul and conscience of its people – from Burning Spear’s Slavery Days to Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock.
It’s not the Jamaican people but the Jamaican establishment that needs to hear that. The very same Jamaican establishment that fought against reggae for years until they realised it was bringing in more revenue than the nation’s ailing bauxite industry so they had to incorporate it – minus the lock, stock and two smoking barrels, still smouldering from the days when it was inspiring revolutions from Zimbabwe to Angola to Grenada. In those days the Jamaican establishment only cared about reggae at election time, when they used it as a conduit to reach out to the masses, many of whom got their political education through the music of the Wailers, Culture, Burning Spear, the Mighty Diamonds and toasters/rappers such as Big Youth, I-Roy and, much later, Buju Banton.

The government’s contempt for reggae meant the revenue that was earned from the music worldwide went into the coffers of every other country but Jamaica.

Wherever people were oppressed, reggae provided a battle cry for change: “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.” In Jamaica especially, reggae was accusing the authorities of being the new “slave drivers”. That message was tantamount to sedition as far as the authorities were concerned and they came down hard on it. Back then, in the genre’s 70s heyday, you couldn’t hear a reggae tune on the state-controlled airwaves on the island. You could hear Abba and Jim Reeves, but Jamaican radio gave you no inkling that reggae was the “heart and soul” of the country, as the minister for culture, Olivia “Babsy” Grange gushed at the Unesco gathering earlier this week.
Oh the irony. Grange, a former reggae producer herself, is touting a sanitised vision of the island because that’s where the money is. This was evident from the Bob Marley track her delegation chose to play to celebrate the momentous occasion – One Love, a tune that became a huge posthumous hit for the reggae king, but one that he rarely, if ever, performed live. As subversive a song as it is, its outward sweetness didn’t sit well with the music maker from the ghetto of Trenchtown, when he toured the world as a superstar in the late 70s.

The government- and Unesco-sanctioned “heart and soul” of Jamaica is that of the happy tourist on a beach with a few club sodas, meditating to the music of Bob Marley. Where the reggae doesn’t point fingers at the establishment that sold you that all-inclusive holiday in the sun. It is not the gritty sufferer’s heart and soul – that’s one the tourists will never see. This is reggae without its teeth.

 Dotun Adebayo is a BBC radio broadcaster and chair of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham


Last words to the music:

Bob Marley - 'Redemption song'