The Culture Is Black is a new quarterly three-part podcast series by CORQ, dedicated to helping our clients navigate the post-Black Lives Matter landscape through investigating the nuances of Black culture and how your brand can effectively play a positive role in the community.
To do this, our culture reporter Jennifer Adetoro has interviewed key influencers about how they believe 2020 alone has shaped the decade to come, insights on how their industries have been impacted and what they would like to see from brands in the future. This first series features:
- Episode one – music and broadcasting: Jamz Supernova, BBC Radio 1 Extra DJ and founder of record label Future Bounce, and Jojo Sonubi, founder of No Signal Radio.
- Episode two – style and body image: Natalie Lee, fashion influencer and body confidence advocate.
- Episode three – the arts and digital: Inua Ellams, award-winning playwright and poet.
You can listen to the podcast on Spotify and Apple and if you have any questions or would like to discuss issues from the series, please contact our client services manager Arabella Johnson on Arabella@corq.studio and we can facilitate a Q&A with Jennifer and producer of the show, Lucinda Diamond.
KEY INSIGHTS FROM THE FIRST EPISODE
- The first instalment opens with Jennifer’s discussion with Jamz, whose sees her purpose as helping emerging talent come to the fore. This includes playing their music on her shows and sharing her contacts with them if they are signed to her record label. She believes the role of radio has changed as people have more choice but it still plays a vital role in our daily lives and shaping parts of the cultural narrative.
- She noted that the pandemic has bull-dozed the nightlife industry and she is uncertain how it will recover and what its recovery will look like. Her greatest concern is how the pressure to have a lower capacity at club nights will mean ticket prices have to increase. Raving has become increasingly elite and this will make it more so. In saying that, she believes things could also go the other way and lead to club nights being less about prolific talents and DJs and more about spotlighting newness.
- BBC Radio 1 Xtra has refocused on its roots and purpose since the Black Lives Matter movement surged and it has remembered it is a Black radio station, created to serve Black listeners. Jamz believes this is a crucial asset to the BBC if it is to fulfil its purpose of serving the people.
- Although online DJ-ing and mixing saw a boom during the first lockdown, she believes this is slowing down. Personally, she does not enjoying mixing on Instagram Live but does compile a weekly playlist and has felt invigorated by the pandemic push to embrace technology.
- She hopes a knock-on effect of live performance being curbed is that artists and musicians find better ways to earn money in which the consumer pays them directly, rather than them getting a small percentage via companies like Apple and Spotify. In her opinion, they shouldn’t have to go through a third party to make money from their creativity. She noted Bandcamp as being a particularly effective platform for artists.
- The second part of the podcast is with Jojo Sonubi who founded community station No Signal Radio, which has grown enormously and been praised internationally this year. He believes the reason for its success is how ambitious he has been with programming which is partially down to how many musical genres have been created by Black communities. The spectrum of Black music is so wide that to call one kind of mainstream music Dancehall or Afrobeats is reductive and effectively erases history.
- He advised brands approaching Black cultural influencers to demonstrate an understanding of nuance when it comes to their community and what they do. It is not enough to be a spectator, you have to show that you recognise the value that someone with a lot of cultural capital is bringing to the table.