Jamaica, by no means, is an economical superpower. By no means, is it a political superpower. But it’s culture – is a superpower; that has taken over Britain.
On the 25th October, the Bass Culture Expo 2018 was launched, at Marylebone based gallery venue, Ambika P3. Celebrating 70 years since Windrush, and 50 years of reggae. It features the largest collection of images linking the Windrush generation to grime – including photographers Adrian Booth and Sharon Douglas.
This was following a three year AHRC-funded study into the influence of Jamaican music upon British culture. This exploration was the first major academic examination of the cultural force. The exhibition displays a post Windrush Britain, more specifically the impact this generation has had on the UK. Modern genres such as drill and grime have been hugely influenced by reggae and ska music.
When I stepped into the venue, I was greeted by the familiar sound of reggae, a shot of rum and an abundance of Jamaica’s history. Following a warm introduction by founder by Mykaell Riley, and a series of talks from curators and sponsors, the night began. North-London based artist Natty took to the stage to perform, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his debut album Man Like I.
There’s a huge lack of acknowledgment of the influence Jamaica has had upon the music we now know and indulge in. Which is why events raising awareness, such as this, are so important for the culture.
Bass Culture Expo will be running up until 22nd November, and will feature 4 nights of live DJ sets on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 22nd (till 10:30pm). They will also be two exclusives; the ‘Rude Boy Catwalk’ and a mini film festival, debuting a documentary exploring the impact of Jamaican music from a youth perspective.
I would definitely recommend everyone to attend and experience the deeply rooted influence of Jamaican on Britain, especially those with Jamaican heritage.