Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works Online Masterclass via Zoom. Saturday July 25, 2020, 1-5pm (UK, GMT +1):

BBM Alert

This mailout is sent by Music Congress (BBM/BMC), which covers music industry and community activities associated with BBM/BMCAkoben AwardsBTWSCTAOBQ (The African Or Black Question), African Histories Revisited (AHR) and RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry). Is this of interest to your contacts? Then hit the link at the bottom to FORWARD it, and also like or tweet it. You can also use the link below to UNSUBSCRIBE.

Greetings Gleem

Re: 22/07/20 BBM Newsletter: New Official AFROBEATS Chart & Top 20 Acts + New REGGAE Releases & Playlists, IRD UK Press Release, Bob Marley & The Wailers Plaque Crowdfund, Marley75 + AUG. REPARATIONS & PAN-AFRICANIST EVENTS

This has turned out to be a bumper BBM Newsletter. Initially intended to mark 3 weeks since experiencing IRD UK online and other Reggae related runnings. In addition to the IRD UK 2020 Press release and mainly Reggae and George Floyd/#BlackLivesMatter/#AfricanLivesMatter reviews, it now includes coverage of the Aug. 1 Reparations Rebellion, Blackout, Grounding, Music and Dub experiences; Mosiah (August) African history, Pan-Afrcanism and community activities, and news of the introduction of Britain's Afrobeats charts and a Top 20 of the biggest-selling Afrobeats acts of the last 12 months! 

Oh, and don't forget  this Friday July 24, 6-9pm (UK, GMT +1), our Fridays in July online The Friday BBM Set Livestream continues with a Gospel & Socio-political focused set. You can catch it live at or you can register at to be reminded and updated wen necessary.

If you wish to gain a bit more music industry knowledge in an afternoon, then make sure you join Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works Online Masterclass online via Zoom this Saturday July 25, 1-5pm (UK, GMT +1), by booking at

And if you are reading this in good time, you may want to contribute to the Bob Marley & The Wailers plaque crowdfunding campaign.

Please at least scan to the end.

Kind regards,


Kwaku and Music Congress, the UK co-ordinator of IRD UK (International Reggae  Day), wish to thank our corporate partners: Reggae Fraternity UK, Sound System Outernational, Goldsmiths, University Of London, Shining Stars, and The Weekly Gleaner UK.

Thanks also to all who attended or supported in any shape or form, especially our presenters Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland H.E. Seth George Ramocan, Gregory Isaacs Foundation UK rep Mikey Campbell, president of UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) Jamaica Steven Golding, Colin 'Cee Bee' Brown (Reggae Fraternity UK), and Kennedy 'Prezedent' Mensah (Back2DaFuture Music Ltd).

Congrats to IRD UK Reggae Promoter Awardees Orlando Gittens (Giants Of Lovers Rock), Rory Taylor (Positive Vibration Festival Of Reggae), Rankin Gatecrash (UK Legends Of Legends), Dennis Rowe (Saxon Sound) and Cecil Reuben (Reggae Thursdays), and Ras Charmer and Maxi Priest, who respectively topped the International Reggae Day People's Choice UK Reggae Music Poll single ('Hitz Magic') and album ('It All Comes Back To Love').

DJ Ade & Junie Rankin (Nzinga Soundz)


Geoff Parker (Catch A Fire)

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Prezedent (Back2 DaFuture Show)

Cee Bee (UK Reggae Expose Show)

Roy Forbes (Hawkeye Sounds)

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Big up to the DJs (in UK, selectors in JA) Cee Bee (UK Reggae Expose Show), Prezedent (Back2DaFuture Show), Geoff Parker (Catch A Fire), Junie Rankin & DJ Ade (Nzinga Soundz), and Roy Forbes (Hawkeye Sounds), and for their tributes daughter of Dennis Brown Marla Brown, Trish and Janis Punford, respectively Bob Andy's agent and label rep, and Allison Mason (Shining Stars) for hosting.

Click here to watch 'Marla Brown Wishes Us All A Happy International Reggae Day IRD UK Shout Out'.

Click here to watch 'Marla Brown Talks About Her Father Re: International Reggae Day UK DJ Tribute Set To Dennis Brown'.

Click here to watch Bob Andy's label rep Janis Punford's 'International reggae Day UK 2020 Bob Andy Musical Tribute'.

Click here to watch Bob Andy's agent Trish's 'Bob Andy International Reggae Day London UK Tribute By His Agent Trish'.

Edited versions of the IRD UK Zoom 2020 videos covering 'IRD UK 2020 State Of British Reggae: The Solutions Forum', 'The Influence Of Marcus Garvey 

Seani B used his July 2 BBC 1Xtra show to celebrate International Reggae Day with exclusive live reggae performances from UK artists Poppy Ajudha, Omar (yes, the soul legend) and General Levy. Plus contributions from some important names from generations of Reggae including, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Anthony B, Marcia Griffiths, Errol Dunkley and more. Click here to listen - there's just over 2 weeks window left.

Watch this space for details of a Kwaku BBM interview with Ghanaian reggae star Rocky Dawuni, originally recorded to mark International Reggae Day. It's entitled 'Rocky Dawuni, Reggae, Ghana, The Environment'. In the meantime, click here to check out his brilliant latest video 'Champion Arise'.

IRD UK Contributes To Global Success Of International Reggae Day 2020 Music Congress (BBM/BMC) and partners including Reggae Fraternity UK, hosted the fourth official International Reggae Day (IRD) London, UK hub event online on JulyOne as part of the global celebration produced by Jamaica Arts Holdings Ltd.

The IRD UK hub event, hosted by Shining Stars hosted by Allison Mason, consisted of two panel sessions, followed by a DJ set featuring guest selectas (JA, DJs in UK). 'The Influence Of Marcus Garvey On Reggae Music' panel included Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland H.E. Seth George Ramocan, veteran producer and manager, and a representative of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation UK Mikey Campbell, and president of UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) Jamaica Stephen Golding. Moderated by BBM/BMC founder Kwaku, the panel commemorated the 80th anniversary of the passing of the pan-Africanist icon Marcus Garvey in London in 1940 and the 100th anniversary of his UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League) group's first convention in New York in 1920.

The London stream included a panel titled the 'State Of British Reggae: The Solutions Forum'. Reggae Fraternity UK’s Colin Brown spoke about how musicians can engage with music streaming opportunities, whilst Back2DaFuture Music Ltd owner Kennedy 'Prezedent' Mensah highlighted the intricacies of music publishing.

International Reggae Day UK Reggae Promoter Awards were presented to Orlando Gittens for Giants Of Lovers Rock, Rory Taylor for Positive Vibration Festival Of Reggae, and Rankin Gatecrash for UK Legends Of Legends. The honours were virtually received by the three promoters who welcomed the acknowledgement and boost as they face a difficult time in a Covid-19 world and have had to postpone their 2020 events. Also recognised for their contributions to the UK reggae live scene were Dennis Rowe and Cecil Reuben for Saxon Sound and Reggae Thursdays respectively.

Ras Charmer and Maxi Priest respectively topped the International Reggae Day People's Choice UK Reggae Music Poll single ('Hitz Magic') and album ('It All Comes Back To Love').

IRD UK coordinator Kwaku also wearing his hat as the co-ordinator of BBM/BMC's associated race advocacy group RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry), shared a quick outline of some of the senior executives at various music industry bodies with whom discussions had been had regarding their race/racism-facing plans following on from the George Floyd inspired #BlackOutTuesday/#TheShowMustBePaused on June 2 and their solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter/#AfricanLivesMatter movement.

Despite some technical problems, the audience was appreciative of the themed DJ sets. Guest selectas included Cee Bee (UK Reggae Expose Show) who played new British releases, Prezedent (Back2DaFuture Show) who highlighted Reggae from continental Africa, Geoff Parker (Catch A Fire) who showcased classic Reggae anthems, Junie Rankin & DJ Ade (Nzinga Soundz) who spotlighted female artistes, and Roy Forbes (Hawkeye Sounds) whose set featured tracks only by Bob Andy, who Roy regards as Jamaica's best songwriter.

Kwaku BBM (BBM/BMC) played a tribute set in honour of recently departed artistes, Delroy Washington, Millie Small, Bob Andy, Majek Fashek, and Principal Root. There was also a musical tribute to Bob Andy by his former label representative Janis Punford and his former agent Trish, who gave a personal reflection on Bob Andy’s life and work. The segment ended with a salute to Dennis Brown that included a few words from his daughter Marla Brown, who spoke about her fond memories of her father who passed on July 1, 1999.

An interview with Ghanaian artiste Rocky Dawuni entitled 'International Reggae Day - Rocky Dawuni On Reggae, Ghana, Environment', closed out the JulyOne IRD UK virtual event.

Three weeks on, we hope this release re-kindles the generally positive feedback to our debut online IRD event.


IRD UK co-ordinator

Join The Last Few Days Of A Bob Marley & The Wailers Crowd-Funding Campaign For A @ 40 Plaque At Crystal Palace Bowl

40 years ago, Bob Marley & The Wailers played their biggest and last concert on June 7 1980 at south London's Crystal Palace Bowl open air venue, as part of the 'Uprising' tour. This concert was also when some of the estimated 20-25K audience would have heard for the first time Bob's solo, acoustic rendition of 'Redemption Song', which was the concert's final song.

There is now a plan to unveil a plaque marking the band's landmark performance in during African History Month in October, which also marks the 40th anniversary of the release of 'Redemption Song', taken from the band's ninth album 'Uprising'. The song is another of Bob's inspired by the words of pan-Africanist icon Marcus Garvey. This time, it's Garvey's "The Work That Has Been Done".

Incidentally, this year marks the 80th anniversary of the passing of Garvey in London and the centenary of his UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League) organisation's first convention in New York. This was commemorated with 'The Influence Of Marcus Garvey On Reggae Music' talk at the International Reggae Day London 2020 event -, which featured contributions by Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK HE Seth George Ramocan, Mikey Campbell of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation UK, and UNIA-ACL Jamaican President Steven Golding.

A Bob Marley & The Wailers' plaque crowdfunding campaign can be found at, which has just 3 days left! Fans who wish to know they made a financial contribution to the plaque need to get in quick. Any overage will go towards financing a short legacy film of 'Remembering Bob Marley at Crystal Palace', with contributions from the local community, fans, concert goers and Bob's peers in the music industry.

A modest target of £2,675 was set, due to reductions in the usual costs and fees by the organisers, in order to guarantee the commemoration goes ahead.

Thus far the target has been reached. Marley's old record company, Island Records, made a significant contribution, which will lead to another memoralisation of the world's biggest-selling reggae act, and the first this deep south of the city.

“Bob Marley is a truly defining artist for Island Records. His music and his message are constant reminders of the power and the importance of music in people’s lives,” says Island Records President Louis Bloom.

“The Crystal Palace Bowl concert is legendary and was also the last time Bob played in London. To have this giant of music and culture, honoured in this way, will help to inspire future generations and keep his message of love, hope, activism and spirituality alive.”

As BBM/BMC ( Music Congress) is involved in this Nubian Jak plaque project, and is supported by Bromley Council, Crystal Palace Bowl, and Friends Of Crystal Palace. The plaque differs from the usual blue rondel, in that in highlighting Bob's faith, the edge has the green, gold and red pan-African colours of Ethiopia, Rastafari, and to some extent reggae culture.

“On behalf of the trustees of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, we fully support commemorating Bob Marley & The Wailers' last and largest musical appearance in London by installing a 40th anniversary plaque at the Crystal Palace Bowl,” says Trust founder Dr Jak Beula.

“We believe this would be the perfect continuation of our previous plaques celebrating his life and work, as well as many others highlighting the enormous contributions of African and Caribbean communities to UK culture. We look forward to working together to complete this historic commemoration later this year.”

The Crystal Palace Bowl has since the early 1960s hosted concerts spanning a wide range of genres, from classical, rock, pop, easy listening, jazz, blues, reggae and world music, including 1984's Free Nelson Mandela Concert (July 28) and GLC Festival Rock Against Racism (22nd Sept).

"BBM/BMC supports this plaque project, which marks the last Bob Marley & The Wailers concert in London, and the first live performance of 'Redemption Song' in London,” says BBM/BMC founder Kwaku, who worked with Nubian Jak in delivering a plaque to the Wailers trio – Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh – which was unveiled last October at Island Records' former HQ and recording studios in Ladbroke Grove.

There is a documentary being planned on the Bob Marley & The Wailers concert at Crystal Palace Bowl. So the producers are appealing to any fans that attended the 1980 concert who have any photos, film or audio footage of the concert, to make contact:

The Marley family, Universal Music and Island Records have begun to roll out their year-long Marley75 commemorative plans in celebration of Bob Marley's 75th birthday and 40th anniversary of the timeless classic 'Redemption Song'. The Marley75 celebrations will encompass all things music, fashion, art, photography, technology, sport and film, providing fans unprecedented access to archives from the legendary artist's estate in new, thoughtful and innovative ways. Together with YouTube, new and exciting content is set to be released over the course of the year. For more info:

Thanks to Metro newspaper for including IRD UK in its June 29 edition of its Live Wire reviews column.

The results of IRD UK partner Reggae Fraternity UK's People's Choice UK Reggae Music Poll are out. Reggae radio presenters and DJs, do support by playing tracks from the IRD People's Choice UK Reggae Music Poll 2019 Top 20 Album, topped by Maxi Priest's 'It All Comes Back To Love' (S-Curve), and 2019 Top 20. BTW, look out for CeeBee Multimedia's interview with Maxi Priest to be broadcast on his Friday Aug. 7, from 5pm show here.

The Singles poll was topped by Ras Charmer's 'Hitz Magic'. The album of the same name was released earlier this month.

Watch this space and the reggaefraternityuk and websites for details.

We asked for your nominations, and Reggae Fraternity UK and BBM//BMC also added to the nominations of promoters - so during the talk sessions, we made virtual presentations to IRD UK Reggae Promoter Awardees in the house, for their contribution to the promotion of reggae in the UK, be it concerts, festivals or club wise.

(Photo by Des Chisholm of Kwaku presenting a 2017 IRD Award to Sir Lloydie Coxsone)

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March has morphed into a Rebellion, which will take place in Windrush Square, Brixton on Saturday Aug. 1, from 9am. Besides the stalls, bikers, and speeches or groundings, Mad Professor's Ariwa Sounds will overseeing a conscious live set by various artists. Click here for updates and here to watch event trailer.

BTW, Mad Professor has been very kind in giving us a choice of Robotiks dub tracks to use with the IRD  UK 2020 videos, which are currently only available for private viewing, and a very short video entitled 'Marcus Garvey Quoted' by Kwaku, featuring Mandingo reading quotes by Marcus Garvey. It will be screened during The Marcus Garvey Annual Pan-Africanism Presentation 2020 Anniversary Forum event on Aug. 17 - click here for more info or to book

Groundings in Dub! Emancipation Day/Reparation Groundings kick off in Windrush Square on Saturday Aug. 1 from 12:00 noon. Many artists will be performing on the Arts and Culture stage. These include Doctor Abu Amaziah, Aisha, Vivian Jones, Mad Professor, Amanda Judah, Grantie Asher, Zeenah, Andrew Sloley, New Flowah, Gee Vibes, Redhed Qi, and many more! Conditions of artists performing at the Reparation Groundings: 1. Only songs of African awareness 2. Artists must make a short statement on Reparations, Repatriation, Racism in music. Explain how their art form has contributed to the Conscious movement. This statement will be used as a media campaign to get more black music programming on BBC Radio 3. Artists must be prepared to do interviews on the day. 4. Artists are encouraged to take part in the Groundings Reasoning. To be involved, send your name, artist name, type of performance - MC, singer or acoustic, contact number or email address to: Use the same email address for updates regarding a proposed Aug. 3 protest march to the BBC to campaign for more reggae content across its networks.

BAAR is a collective of artists and others from the creative communities, who are unequivocal in speaking on racism, Afriphobia, ethnicity deficit and anti-racism advocacy.  For more info:

Black Lives Matter activist Imarn Ayton's newly formed Black Reformist Movement aims to join the Windrush Square gathering for speeches, debates and music under what it calls Brixton Blackout Reparations Day. It aims to support, champion, and advocate on behalf of all those who are committed to African equality and tackling institutionalised racism in the UK. Click here for more info about the organisation and its crowd-funding campaign.

On the day of the 4th Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, I published an historical overview of British African activism on the streets of London and beyond in an article entitled 'Going Beyond Street Activism: An Historical Background From Race Riots, Reparations Marches To Black Lives Matter Taking Over Streets'

Everyone, especially those intending joining this year's Brixton event, need to read this three year old article for some history and context. Click here to read. It includes a 2016 Black Lives Matter protest, which I'm planning to turn into a documentary entitled: 'Today Brixton Is Locked Off: The Day Black Lives Matter Shut Down Brixton'. Watch this space for update!

On this 26th (yes more than a quarter of a century) iteration of the African Remembrance Day on Aug. 1, which commemorates the African victims of chattel enslavement and reflects on its poisonous legacies, the event is migrating unto Zoom, 2.00-330pm

ARD centres around remembrance of the suffering and experiences of millions of African men, women and children who perished in the Middle Passage and plantations economies in the New World. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the journey of their descendants in the fight for justice and equality. It is thus a day for reflection, healing and renewal of the global African family. The height of the ceremony is the 3 minutes silence from 3.00pm - a minute each for the victims in the Americas, the African continent and the Middle and Far East.

The themes of this year's ARD, 'UCL's Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Archive' and 'Returning African Artefacts, Icons and Human Remains' builds on the momentum created by Black Lives Matter in the struggle against the structural racism that is a continuing legacy of slavery and colonialism. How was Britain enriched by slavery? Why does this matter today? What options exist for repair and restitution?

These issues will be addressed by keynote speakers Prof. Matthew J. Smith, the newly appointed Director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership at UCL, and Prof. Patricia Daley, Professor of Human Geography of Africa at Oxford University. Click here to book.

Our BTWSC/African Histories Revisited related Mosiah (August) month African history and community events follow. Please book early, as they all have early bird deals. Our 2020 theme is Marcus Garvey/UNIA-ACL 80:100 and there will be sale at each event of Bespoke Cups' African image mugs post free. Book our Zoom events at

Pan-Africanism milestones in 2020:
June 10 - 80th anniversary of the death of Marcus Garvey in London
August - 100 years ago, the UNIA celebrated for the whole of the month in New York, including its first international Convention on Aug. 13 when it adopted the Declaration of Rights of the Negro People of the World, which pre-dated the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights
July 23 to 25 - 120th anniversary of the first pan-African Conference in London

The African Coalition Day 2020: The 'Have Your Say' Forum
Saturday Aug. 15, 6-9pm (UK)
Migrating this event online has necessitated a time change: 6-9pm, and format change: now an open forum for British African communities. Click here for more info or to book. 

The Marcus Garvey Annual Pan-Africanism Presentation 2020 Anniversary Forum
Monday Aug. 17, 6-9pm (UK)
In marking the pan-Africanism, Marcus Garvey and UNIA-ACL milestones and migrating online, this year's format is now an open anniversary forum.
Click here for more info or to book.

African History Reflection Day 2020: Interrogating Language Of Identity
Monday Aug. 31, 6-9pm (UK)
A forum for discussing African identity terminologies in the centenary year in which the African History Reflection Day concept was sown.
Click here for more info or to book.

Race, Reggae And Culture Pt 2 takes place Wednesday July 29, 8-10pm (UK). It is a Mad Professor sponsored Reggae On Media Facebook Live discussion platform. This edition's panellists are Vivian Jones (Imperial House Music), Sylvia Tella (Trinity Connections UK), Colin Brown (Reggae Fraternity UK) and Carolene Thompson (singer/songwriter), and hosted by Solo Banton (Old Raggamuffin) and Kaya Mahdavieh (Arise Music & Kane FM Official). Going by the previous one, you can issues such as race, ethnicity, systemic racism white privilege, quality of modern reggae, indie v major routes, to crop up. "The interaction and dialogue is very important, as we learn so much about the world we live in and how the system was built and operates. It is only right we look at our industry and see what needs to be fixed and look for ways to fix them." 

Change will take all of us to do our part, if you have any topics you think should be discussed or questions asked in the next debate please let us know by posting them on the FB event page. If you prefer to submit your topics or questions privately please email: Click here for URL of  the livestream and to watch Pt.1. 

Birmingham's Simmer Down Festival was one of the few festivals that went ahead, albeit in a modified form. Reggae fans in the Midlands and beyond were able to watch live online performances on July 18 and 19. You can catch the whole Simmer Lock Down Festival output by clicking here.

One of the local artists who performed was Leesha Mac. IRD UK Reggae Promoter Awardee Trevor Gatecrash sent me a promo of an upcoming single by Leesha entitled 'Searching', which you should look out for. 

Canadian-Jamaican singer-songwriter/producer  Jonathan Emile and our own British-Jamaican star Maxi Priest on the remix to 'Babylon Is Falling', a track on Emile’s new album, 'Spaces In Between', which is currently distributed by MindPeaceLove/Tuff Gong International. The song's a slo-mo paced, soulful roots & culture take of the politricks and state on the world today. Click here to watch the video.

Although Portsmouth-based reggae singer Gleem is a new name to me, he has already released a debut album, 'Royal Bloodline' and a demo album entitled 'Feed The Hippy', and is well known on his local radio and club scenes. His single entitled 'Adjust Your Brightness' (JAHDAX & 1NESS), out July 31 has a sound system bass bin-thumping b-line and with some sweet brass interjections, over which Gleem, ably collaborating with former Wailers Band vocalist Gary 'Nesta' Pine, sings about the issues of present day's broken socio-economic disorder of nefarious big pharma, rescued banks, Covid pandemic, food bank society, etc. Produced by The Wailers producer Christian Cowlin, click here for more details and to sample trailer.

Expect to hear singer-songwriter Phillip Leo's newly released single 'The Sun Will Shine' (Big Lion Productions). Because the socio-conscious single comes in an original soulfully sung reggae version, a soul version - fans with long memories will remember Phillip migrated to the R&B/soul scene in the 1990s - and there's also a thumping dance remix! Click here to sample and buy the single that comes from the forthcoming 'Rolling River' album. DJs can also download the equally multi-genre remixed versions of 'Never Lose That Feeling'. Just holler at Phillip @ Big Lion, to sort you out.

Maxi Priest has a new single out called 'Cheater' (Kirkledove Records/VPAL). His sweet, soulful tones belie the fact that he's admonishing the love of his life for cheating, and why he's walking away! Click here to sample and buy. Please note that this track is not on his recent IRD UK People's Choice UK Reggae Music Poll chart-topping 'It All Comes Back To Love' (S-Curve) album.

Although not reggae, this video is included here, as it speaks refreshingly and directly to the post-George Floyd, #BlackLivesMatter/AfricanLivesMatter period we're going through and need healing. So here we have several acts from the UK gospel sector come together as One Voice Collective to produce a soulfully, spiritually uplifting track entitled 'Someone Please Hear Our Voice'. Ideally, they'd like every church, and I guess other faith establishments, to play and share their clever video, which is available here. Give it a listen. Nice to see the Church engage with world issues! 

Still in the vein of the above, Shezzie, formerly a member of lovers rock trio Brown Sugar, who is now rooted in the Church, has created a simple post-George Floyd, #BlackLivesMatter/AfricanLivesMatter-inspired short video - click here to watch her deliver one of the most evocative a cappella versions of Bob Marley's 'War'! Blinding and too short!

Arema has just released another sweet reggae single - 'Stun Me' (City Boy). Listen on Deezer.

For new UK reggae releases, check out the Reggae Fraternity UK website releases page here.

Check out Carvalho's latest album 'Watermelon Smiles' here It's more R&B/soul and funk, with some Afrobeat and reggae-ish vibes, but we love his stuff. Listen/buy at Apple Music.

The New Cross Fire was a tragedy within the African British community. 30 years on, The Blackstones remember remember the 13 who initially perished on that fateful day in January 1981. Unlike others, the group do not speculate on the cause of the fire, which they put down to "a  mystery". Check out The Blackstones' beautifully sung with a sung b-line ode, 'New Cross 13', to our London tragedy nearly 40 yeas ago. Click here to listen on Youtube.

Another rewind - click here to watch trailer publicising UK reggae veterans Winston Francis & A.J. Franklin's 2003 'Stand Firm' (Definite Records) album.

Should independent Unity In Action London Mayor candidate Winston McKenzie win the mayoral elections, it certainly would be a surprise. In these #lackLivesMatter/#AfricanLivesMatter times, who knows?! But in the meantime, you can surprise yourself to discover he's quite a good singer, by clicking here to listen to his piano-tinkling, clarinet-caressing, cool jazz rendition of 'I Don't Want To Talk About It'. The arrangement's so good, I can imagine Rod Stewart adding that version to his standards repertoire! Click here to read about some of McKenzie's mayoral plans.

Click here to watch the video and hear the 'I Can't Breathe' song, which ought to be the UK's #BlackLivesMatter/ #AfricanLivesMatter anthem!. London reggae Black Slate has produced an accessible, reflective song that speaks to the social challenges faced by many inner-city Africans. Its sweet, lovers rock-echoing style belies the fact that the song is speaking to the dark side of life, though it's also empowering and beautiful!  By the way, group member Anthony Brightly produces a weekly Sir George Sound music and history podcast posted here.

Following on from Colin Brown's presentation on streaming at this year's International Reggae Day UK, you can now listen to Reggae Fraternity UK's UK Reggae Singles Playlist 2019 by clicking here. The playlist contains #UK #Reggae singles released in 2019 as listed on the Reggae Fraternity UK website.

Check out Reggae Fraternity UK's 2010s Lovers Rock Playlist by clicking here. It's a showcase of mellow UK Lovers Rock records released between 2010 to 2019. 

Back2DaFuture Music Ltd owner Kennedy 'Prezedent' Mensah, who presented and DJed at this year's International Reggae Day UK event, puts out a weekly newsletter of reggae and modern Ghanaian music runnings. Click here to check out the Back 2 Da Future Newsletter for this week. Items covered include:

Aidonia To Be Featured In Sumfest Virtual Spotlight – Dancehall Mag
New Music Alert: Babyboom Looking for A ‘Freak' – ChoppaRiddim/@Younglion21
Flashback: Da’ville & Shaggy’s ‘Always On My Mind Revisited – Pree Dis Show Danny English Shares His Story – Teach Dem
Lloyd Brown VLOGS: “Thank You Michelle” – Riddim Works
Good Luck Nacee On Your 3 Ghana Music USA Awards Nominations - Ghanaweb
Sarkodie Over The Moon After Okyeame Kwame Mentioned His Name In His Latest Song – GH Gossip
New Video Alert – OK Takes On COVID – One Mic Ents
Rodney P’s Jazz Funk on BBC4 traces the British answer to American soul – Financial Times
Seani B – “I’ll always be thankful for every milestone…” – Music Week
Ghana To Jamaica Twins Link Up Okyeame & Sizzla Kalonji ‘Come Home’ Together - Reggaeville

Look out for Senator B's 'Kings & Queens Of Lovers Rock  Pt 4' compilation to be posted soon in his Mixcloud page. "For those who have listened to the first 3 mixes, I hope you have enjoyed the stroll down memory lane - just to let you know the 4th mix will be up on Mixcloud @Senator B this weekend, concluding the best of the 70s-80s classic lovers rock selection for your collection."😎 Click here.

For Families Of Gold Coast Ex-Servicemen Brutally Murdered By British Colonial Police #JusticeForGoldCoast3WW2Veterans
72 years ago in 1948, the British colonial police killed 3 ex-servicemen peacefully protesting for their war pay and packages in Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana). If You Support #BlackLivesMatter/#AfricanLivesMatter then please sign the petition

Press Release

BritishBlack Music Month continues with the weekly The Friday BBM Set livestreamed shows by Kwaku BBM on 6.00-9.00pm (UK) on Fridays in July. The remainder sessions focus on Gospel & Socio-political (July 24) and World & Eclectica (July 31). We noticed we haven't covered British R&B & Soul, so if you'd like us to open Friday Aug. 7 for that show - click here to email us. If we receive at least 10 emails supporting the idea, then we'll confirm Aug. 7.

After this week's The Friday BBM Set, you can join the Shining Stars Entertainment Zoom Episode 3 event, which starts this Friday, from 9.00pm. Hosted by Allison Mason, who held this month's IRD UK event together as host, you can expect top quality virtual musical showcase featuring artists representing Jamaica, Ghana and UK, including Ras Charmer (award winning dynamic artist), Sativa D Black 1 (blazing a musical fyah from St Catherine Jamaica), Trilla Jenna (veteran queen and one of UK's finest female DJs), Mandee (beautiful powerful vocalist and songwriter), King Dewuro (representing Ghana, fusing reggae, hip-hop , Afrobeats and high life), Mike Antony (UK legendary lovers rock artist), Sista Ruby (fresh dynamic fyah mumma with conscious vibes), and SeSe Foster (Shining Stars artist , remarkable talent and vast experience). Music by Sugar Dread from Vibes FM and Rob Radixx. Zoom details: ID 816 1801 0630 P/W StarsPart3.

Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works Online Masterclass
Saturday July 25, 1-5pm (UK GMT +1) Zoom online
We're taking our long-running masterclass online. It's aimed at the unsigned or do-it-yourself artist, musicpreneur, or those who provide artists, songwriters and producers with specialist support.
With Kwaku (MA Music Business Management, MA Media, LLM Entertainment Law).
Click here for more information or to book. Early bird price ends July 8.

The rise of Afrobeats within British popular music can be evidenced by the fact that the first ever Official UK Afrobeats Chart celebrating the rise of Afrobeats, will be unveiled on Sunday July 26.  It was initiated by global festival promoter Afro Nation and compiled by the Official Charts CompanyJ Hus, Burna Boy, NSG, Darkoo & Ziezie are among the artists powering the rising UK Afrobeats scene. The chart is to be compiled using UK sales and streaming data from over 9,000 outlets, incorporating physical sales, downloads, audio streams and video streams

The very first chart will be unveiled in a special ‘The Official UK Afrobeats Show’ on BBC Radio 1Xtra on Sunday July 26, from 1pm-3pm, featuring a range of hosts and artists from around the world celebrating the launch of the Official UK Afrobeats Chart. The presenters are Eddie Kadi, Shopsy Doo, P Montana and Danai Mavunga.

The Top 20 chart will be published every Sunday thereafter at 2pm via a weekly Spotify ‘Official UK Afrobeats Chart’ playlist featuring the 20 biggest Afrobeats tracks of the week, plus a bonus slot to spotlight a new release for listeners to discover. There will be a weekly video countdown on the Afro Nation and Official Charts social channels, with the full chart published on

In more recent years, talents such as Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Not3sWizkid and more have picked up the mantle from the genre’s pioneers to influence music both within the scene and in the wider pop field. Nigerian singer-songwriter Wizkid found runaway global success in 2015 after being approached by Drake to deliver the Afro-influenced smash 'One Dance', now the UK’s longest-running Number 1 single of the millennium spending 15 weeks at the top of the Official Chart. With his latest album out now, Wizkid is expected to be a contender for early success in the Official UK Afrobeats Chart.

To celebrate the launch, a new Official Charts Company-compiled list of the ‘Official Top 20 Afrobeats Artists Of The Past 12 Months’ based on official UK sales and streaming data, is published below.

London rapper J Hus heads the power list - the 24-year old landed his first Number 1 on the UK’s Official Albums Chart with 'Big Conspiracy' back in January. The album is on its way to gold-certified status with Top 5 single 'Must Be' proving its most popular track, amassing over 38m UK streams to date.

Nigerian singer-songwriter Burna Boy clocks in in second place - while his biggest Afrobeats track of the period is 'Ye' Burna Boy also appeared alongside Stormzy and Ed Sheeran on the Number 1 single 'Own It',  which has racked up over 1.1 million combined UK chart sales to date. Hackney six-piece NSG place third on the ranking, their biggest hit of the year being Top 10 single 'Options' (ft. Tion Wayne).

Collaborations are a theme of the genre’s most popular tracks among the British public - pairing up with stars of the wider music scene is working to bring the Afrobeats sound to a broader audience. 21 year-old Croydon/Congolese rapper Ziezie has reached the Top 40 of the Official Singles Chart three times since 2018, but a hit collaboration with Manchester rapper Aitch on 'Buss Down' propelled him into the Top 10 for the first time back in October. Ziezie takes up sixth place in the list of Afrobeats’ biggest players.

The UK’s overall biggest Afrobeats hit of the past 12 months however comes from Nottingham duo Young T & Bugsey who finish in 7th place in the artists rundown - their track 'Don’t Rush' found viral fame on Tik Tok through the #DontRushChallenge. The female creators of the challenge who span Congolese, Nigerian and Sierra Leonean origins aimed to empower women to embrace their beauty with and without make-up. Passing a blusher brush as a baton, the internet challenge saw women across the globe conquering quarantine boredom by transforming into their going-out looks and celebrating the diversity and pride of the African diaspora.

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