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The Americana Music Association UK official website


  • 14 Sep 2020 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you so much to The Brooklyn Americana Festival for having us open the festival 

    Thank you to the festival artistic director Jan Bell for selecting the lineup  Sons Of Owen, Hannah White, Izzie Walsh, The Blue Highways and Hollie Rogers.

    If you missed it, don't worry because luckily you can watch it again here ...

  • 27 Aug 2020 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "We want to join in with the celebration of our national treasure Bob Harris OBE.  Bob has been on our radios and screens for a very long time, and this year he is celebrating 50 years in Broadcasting! Bob was instrumental is setting up the AMA-UK back in 2012 and he has presented the UK Americana awards for the past 5 years  - Bob Harris has always supported grassroots artists and this is why we have named the annual emerging artist award the 'Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award' - here are the five winners to date with a little message on what it means to them to have support from such a legend.  Congratulations Bob on your 50th anniversary  - here’s to many more to come."  Stevie Smith CEO AMA-UK

    "We want to join in with the celebration of our national treasure Bob Harris OBE.  Bob has been on our radios and screens for a very long time, and this year he is celebrating 50 years in Broadcasting! Bob was instrumental is setting up the AMA-UK back in 2012 and he has presented the UK Americana awards for the past 5 years  - Bob Harris has always supported grassroots artists and this is why we have named the annual emerging artist award the 'Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award' - here are the five winners to date with a little message on what it means to them to have support from such a legend.  Congratulations Bob on your 50th anniversary  - here’s to many more to come. " Stevie Smith CEO AMA-UK

    "Being the inaugural recipient of the AMAUK Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award meant everything to me, it still does. It's given me confidence to continue to push myself as an artist with the backing of such gargantuan name in music". Robert Vincent Emerging Artist winner 2016

    “It was such an honour for us as a band to receive  Bob Harris’ emerging artist award from AMA-UK back in 2017. We felt so much support from Bob during that time and we’re still so thankful for the ongoing encouragement that he has continued to express over the years since. We hope to always do Bob proud in our musical endeavours going forward.” Wildwood Kin  Emerging Artist winner 2017

    'It was the most overwhelming experience to be recognised by Bob with his emerging artist award at the AMA-UK Awards in 2018. Receiving the accolade in the early days of the band meant the world to us (it's Whispering Bob after-all, cmon!) and it helped crystallise in our minds that we were following the right path. Thank you Bob for believing in us! You’re a true legend. " The Wandering Hearts, Emerging Artist winner 2018

    Receiving the AMAUK Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award last year was one of the highlights of our combined musical careers. Nobody makes records in order to pick up an award but, getting the nod from one of the biggest names in British broadcasting history, a man who has unwittingly guided our musical tastes from the very beginning, will take some beating. Bob Harris is a legend, an inspiration and a national treasure and we are deeply humbled to have received his ultimate seal of approval." Curse Of Lono, Emerging Artist winner 2019

    "Being chosen as Bob’s Emerging Artist for the 2020 AMA-UK Americana Awards has been one of the biggest honours of our career. It’s a rare and incredible thing for someone who is held in such a high regard as Bob to support, nurture and champion new artists like ourselves. We were just so thrilled to be recognised by such a legend. Thank you Bob and your wonderful family for believing in us right from the start. And congratulations on half a century of shaping the face of music."  Ferris & Sylvester, Emerging Artist winner 2020

  • 19 Aug 2020 3:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Listen. The album made for lockdown

    After two years of twists, turns and a whole lot of hard graft we were absolutely ecstatic to finally be releasing our americana and mental health-inspired album, Listen, at a sold-out album launch. Little did we know that COVID-19 was lurking just around the corner and that it would throw our release, as well as those of many other musicians we know, into a tailspin. With a house full of merchandise, inclusive of our first-ever vinyl release, the performances and tours we had spent the time organising and curating started to slowly disappear from our much-loved live calendar; not an ideal situation when you have made the album of your career.

    Enter lockdown. You start to notice cracks in the walls that you were always too busy to see and before you know it, weeks have passed and there's been a tremendously unexpected shift deep within; you feel as though you have accomplished nothing and that everything is going wrong as you sit amidst the towering stacks of your greatest creation that is sitting aimlessly in the boxes it came in. It really is a bitter pill to swallow . . . until you shift that limiting paradigm.

    Live streaming! Something we had always been able to do yet never really ventured into. Of course, as musicians, we prefer performing to people who are in the same room as we are, however, everything we had to learn as quickly as we did seriously opened doors we never even realised were there. From bitrates and frame rates to streaming software and guerilla marketing, we were able to develop our knowledge in so many ways. Also, the positives that came from engaging with our audience in this way were just phenomenal! We managed to raise a significant amount of money to put back into our locality to support those who were most vulnerable and were able to provide a fun and entertaining way for people who were feeling isolated to be able to connect; it actually became less about our new album release and far more about positive mental health in our community.

    Giving priority to mental health is why we then decided to stop broadcasting live streams after a short and, fortunately, successful stint; we had been due a break and realised that we didn't always have to live up to the expectations that came from being a musician in a suddenly locked-down world and that we could use the time afforded to us to recoup. After a little discomfort and adjustment, we decided to take some time and spend it on 

    enjoying things we had forgotten we liked doing so much; cooking, painting, gardening, walking . . . creating only for ourselves. It was great and provided us with the mental space we needed to rest after many years of rigorous performing and promoting; it also really helped us refocus our attention towards applying the new skills learned to the next chapter of our musical journey.

    We have already made plans to continue engaging with our audience via our website, Facebook Live and Zoom; all of these platforms are so malleable and lend themselves very well to interactive video and conferencing projects and we look forward to creating more exclusive and exciting content going forward. We are also getting more of an opportunity to collaborate with others through webinars, panels, live streams and online performances . . . we have lots in store! Hopefully, you will be able to join us and experience the intention behind our music along the way; we are happy to know that it has already in some way helped so many people through this difficult and uncertain situation we are all living in. So, why not give it a 'Listen'?

    Thanks for reading everybody; we wish you a safe, happy and healthy journey!

    Lynzy & Vivienne
    The Coaltown Daisies

    Social Links


  • 10 Aug 2020 4:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We are thrilled to be invited to work with the awesome Brooklyn Americana Music Festival this year for the first time. The festival takes place on September 10th-13th, due to Covid-19 the festival will be going digital from Brooklyn. All members are invited to submit their application and the festival organisers will select 4 acts to play a pre-recorded set to be broadcast as part of the digital festival. To apply you need to submit a song with a transatlantic theme that you will play as part of your set - this can be an existing original song or one you have written especially.


  • 2 Aug 2020 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “I Get by with A Little Help From My Friends!” Lockdown Edition

    It goes without saying, we’re living in strange times, faced with many uncertainties. As we all are experiencing lockdown differently, I decided to create a project where I’d reach out to my friends and people I know from both university and the music industry and ask how they’re doing during these times. The project title is “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends” As you’ll see and read in this article, as much as we’re in this together, we’re experiencing this period differently. To begin, however, I’d like to start by sharing my story, my experience as a student Raghad Jalal in lockdown.

    Raghad Jalal- ​Student

    “This lockdown has been in a way a blessing in disguise yet a challenge.

    As a Film and Photography student with a deep passion and interest in working in the music industry things still look uncertain. However, what has kept me sane during all, is being at home with my family and spending time outside in the garden

    enjoying the sunshine, while getting back in the kitchen again and practising new recipes while

    mastering old ones. Though it isn’t all dandy. There were days where it was hard to get out of bed and find motivation in what I was doing. Whether it was writing about music, editing or just doing anything. However, I continued to brush off the negativity and bit by bit I slowly got back in the groove while allowing myself time and taking things slow. Other than that, I organized live streams on Country in The UK [Live From The Couch] online video sessions [Live in The Studio-ish] while continuing writing articles. In the meantime, at the end of April, I began volunteering with NGO Libya in The UK remotely. As a Libyan, volunteering alongside the organization enabled me to get more in touch with my culture and learn more about my own country and its traditions. Now, I create cooking tutorials with the organization by cooking some of our traditional meals to share on the organization website. Other things I’m currently doing is catching up on some readings. Currently, I’m re-reading Holly Gleason’s ​Woman Walk The Line. Which consists of amazing essays written by talented female musicians, writers and journalists talking about important female voices in the world of Country and Americana music. Other than that, I’ve been using my time to capture moments of my day to day life with a B/W camera I borrowed from my university right before lockdown. Aside from all this, my friends have been a huge part in keeping my sanity too. So, if you managed to get this far! I hope you’ll enjoy the following stories from my friends.”

    My work: ​                  instagram @rtmumen1 

    Julian Baet- ​Employed

    “​I feel upset with the world, but not in a way where I constantly complain and actively get angry. Being upset has become a consistent state of mind, continually getting worse with news stories, stresses at work, and personal obstacles. Except when I'm playing Animal Crossing. The centre of my

    quarantine tales, I've been playing this game during my free time every day since March. When I get to play city planner, catch bugs with friends, and meet others during trades, I forget any ounce of anger or disdain. The world inside my handheld switch is my quarantine sanctuary.” Julian’s work: ​

    Kaan Cakanisik- ​Recent Graduate

    “​Although it may take time for things to revert to a sense of “normality”, I hope and believe that this situation will lead to positive change in terms of resilience and adapting to more varied work patterns. Hopefully,

    employers will make further efforts to prioritise employee wellbeing, and in turn, productivity to a greater extent than before. As a recent university graduate striving to form a prosperous career in film, any job, internship and travel prospects I had were made dormant for the last four months, and no one really knows what the future holds. It has been a time where I have been left to my own devices more than before. However, it has also compelled me, and hopefully, many more to realise the importance of acknowledging and appreciating the effort that they put in on the things day by day.”

    Kaan’s work:​

    Fahima (Fibi) Begum- ​Recent Graudate

    “​Quarantine has caused me as a student to move back home with my family. Even with furlough pay, I wasn't able to cover the payment of my rent. For a young queer woman more than my social freedom had been taken away. Forcing me back in the closet which is not somewhere I thought I'd

    ever be again. Therefore, I spend a lot of my time in my room, with nowhere to go and no one to socialise with, it's best I keep to myself. Through quarantine, I stopped having a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. So my sleep schedule is off. There's no job to go to, no jobs to apply for. Instead, I binge watch TV series, maybe work out a little, eat food and learn how to play an instrument. Lockdown just feels like a waiting game for when things will get better. In the meantime just do what you can to keep yourself sane in the world of 2020.”

    Fibi’s work:

    Jim Lauderdale- ​Musician

    “Usually, I’m on the road a lot and working on a new record and so without doing that, this downtime has made me realise how exhausted I have been for many years. Since off the road I’m able to be more diligent with my daily physical exercise. The main part of this is my Tai Chi, and Chi Kung

    practise while doing some walking and yoga, it has allowed me to get in a better place and helped me get through this period.

    Like everybody else, I don’t know what the future will be like for playing live. I have gone into a semi-musical hibernation period and I’m enjoying and rediscovering music from my past and hearing new music from other artists which have been inspiring. Over the last few weeks, songs melodies are coming to me again and I am writing in a different way without the self-imposed pressure that I usually put on myself. As introspective as things can be it is also making me realise the importance of getting outside of yourself. I just hope that we as an international human race we’ll get through this and that through this difficult period we will somehow work together to make this world better. That is a small ray of hope that I hold on to.”

    Jim Lauderdale’s work: ​

    Baylen Leonard- ​Radio Presenter

    “Like everyone I’ve found this whole period to be a bit of a rollercoaster but I’ve kinda settled into it now. I love being able to do my radio shows from home and I think in some ways it’s helped me form a better connection with listeners since most everyone was working from home initially. Regardless of whether I’ve had a good day or bad day, it’s always made better when my cat Charlene has a nap on my chest. It’s my ultimate mood booster.”

    Baylen Leonard’s Radio show: ​

    Sara Douga- ​Musician

    “This pandemic was shocking at first. I dove head first into a state of "blahh" which actually was a really nice break. I hung inside with my family and essentially did... nothing. However, once we began to realize this was going to be sticking around for more than a couple of weeks, my husband and I quickly rearranged our life, our home, and our schedules to be able to function from home. Since then, I have been uber-productive. Of course, I miss playing music, seeing fans, and being out in crowds, but there has been a huge gift that came with this pandemic; namely, FOCUS. I am grateful. Also, as a mother of two young children, I have loved being able to turn on and off so quickly. I can be totally a mom for a while and then in an instant be back in my little zen space and hard at work on my career. It's actually quite fabulous. I am ready for this to be over, however, I am grateful for what it has brought. Sending you all BIG LOVE. I

    hope to see you soon.”
    Sara Douga’s work: ​            instagram @saradouga

    Emily Hackett- ​Musician

    “I have been reading more than ever. I love waking up and grabbing my book before I do anything. The natural light in my house is great for reading in the morning. Finally, at last I had the time to start a vegetable garden. I had always admired people who had them and brought us veggies. It’s been so rewarding to watch these living things give back to us. Yes, the bed has been a place where we have spent more hours than we used to! Getting a solid 8 or more hours sleep is life-changing. Plus, we have a California King size bed, so why wouldn’t we want to have a lie in?!”

    Emily Hackett’s work: QLcl2N5cTJV1945Rg

    Frank Keith- ​Musician & PR

    “​So, quarantine has been an...interesting time for all of us. As a self-employed music publicist, I was already working from home full-time, so there wasn't a massive shock to my day-to-day routine. There was - and continues to be, of course - a significant downturn in the amount of work that came my way. Artists can't tour,

    so their budgets suddenly became razor-thin, or they decided to hold off on new releases with the world in such a state of uncertainty. No new releases no work for me. I haven't seen things drop to zero, and have managed to stay afloat with what business we have brought in, so I am 100% counting my blessings being able to continue to make a living through all of this. I realize there are many that aren't so lucky, and I often find myself struggling with a sort of "survivor's guilt" with that in mind.

    I live with my girlfriend and our cat (Winnie!) and we have, so far, managed to stay sane and keep each other company through quarantine. We love our apartment, which is renovated in an old school building. We're on the top floor with east-facing windows that let enough natural light in on a sunny day to the point that we needn't turn on any light fixtures until the sun goes down. I swear, we must have evolved to photosynthesize those UV rays on a daily basis - waking up to the sunrise is a beautiful thing, and if we're ever feeling glum we'll spend some time staring out over the eastern Atlanta treeline for a little mental reboot. It's magic.

    Another thing that has kept us sane is cooking every meal of the day. It's a form of therapy, especially after a long day of work. We were already ace home cooks, but we've used the spare time lost from eating out to sharpen our skills even further. Having said that, I can't wait to feed a

    large group of friends again when this is all over, let alone simply go out to our favorite bars and restaurants.

    Oh, and this goes without saying, but I can't wait to play a show again with my best friends / bandmates in GREAT PEACOCK.”

    Frank Keith’s work:
    Great Peakcock: ​
    Sweetheart PR -EVCxxUMaBossT14

    If you made it this far, thanks for your time reading this article. Who knows what the future holds so far in time. But, one thing for certain is to continue being kind, optimistic even when everything around is pessimistic. We’ll get through this, we’ll survive and we’ll all sing and dance again.

    Until Next time....

  • 23 Jul 2020 7:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to The English Folk Expo for hosting the Folk Talk conference today, with lots of brilliant panels and discussions about the folk music industry in the UK. 

    We are pleased to share this one with you as it features these wonderful Americana Artists both from the UK and USA, Kyshona Armstrong was nominated this year with Danni Nicholls for Song of the Year, Yola won both Album and Artist of the year awards and both Lady Nade and Bird of Chicago were showcase artists. 

    Its an incredibly important conversation that spans not just the folk, roots and Americana music scene but the whole industry - please watch and lets continue this discussion, you can comment below or in the members forum - We must and we can do more to make our music scene diverse and work on creating equality across the board.

  • 21 Jul 2020 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Being self employed I found myself pretty skint within the first few weeks of the lockdown. With not a lot to do I set about playing some songs before the enthusiasm wained. I was playing “complicated” by Avril Lavigne - I always thought this was a nice country song - so I decided to record it on to my 4 track and before I knew it a new record of covers started emerging. 2 days of recording, one day of mixing and mastering, fastest I ever worked. “M. BUTTERFLY III” is a selection of 8 covers rearranged in a country style. The intention was never to choose only female artists, but once that had become the trend I decided to embrace it, I maintain that the best lessons I’ve ever learned in life have been from women. 

    With everyone at home and spending more time on social media it’s no wonder people started listening a bit more. The abhorrent things happening in America kickstarted a lot of people (some whom I had previously argued with about the existence of white privilege in a dimly lit pub) to listen and change their ways, to unlearn harmful behaviours. I think without the lockdown this may never have happened, people would have shown their disgust at the events, and then they would have moved on without challenging any of their own beliefs, or challenging the very infrastructure of our society. 

    Eventually the lockdown will be relaxed, maybe even lifted completely by the end of the year. I think we need to be careful about what parts of society we want to see return to “normal”, when I go back to playing my sad songs to a quiet audience (Of about 3), when we go back to our call centres and cafes. It’s been one thing to show your support on social media, I only hope this continues into the fabric of everything we do, and 2021 becomes the year of black voices, women being believed, and trans people living without fear. Some of the oldest and deepest roots of country music are songs of protest, I hope we see more of that too.

  • 3 Jul 2020 8:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lockdown has been intense.  Intense highs and intense lows.  

    We are preparing to release our first record but of course the gigs we had lined up to support the release are cancelled, so the focus has had to shift.  We just released a track to Spotify which has done amazingly well for us with some brilliant reviews and industry support. Yet the Black Lives Matter protests have loomed large and forced me to reflect upon my own experiences in the music industry.

    With a black Trinidadian mother and an Irish father I have been witness to racism many times, if not always intentionally directed towards me.  But then there are the times it was, like the time I was detained for many hours in isolation (without explanation) at the American border as the only person of colour performing with a famous international artist, or when Finland border control told me I just didn’t look like a violinist.  There’s countless times I’ve played a gig as a fiddle player only to be told what a wonderful singer I was (very kind but irrelevant as I hadn’t sung a note all night). I still recall with some dread, the promoter abroad who complained to the musical director of a show because I had worn my hair curly, and that made me look more black.  

    With my fellow musicians and the surrounding community I have always felt comfortable and welcome.  Having lived in Ireland I was always accepted as an Irish musician regardless of the colour of my skin (thanks for the help Phil Lynott!) so this brings me to what I really wanted to say; the importance of representation over words and intent.  

    Having just seen the nominations for Americanafest I’m happy to see it’s the most diverse line up yet with nominees including Yola, Black Pumas, Our Native Daughters and Brittany Howard. The current push for gender balance in the music industry can help provide a model for improving diversity for people of colour too, ensuring that the Americana genre reflects its own roots. I was delighted to have the opportunity play an AMAuk stage that promoted gender balance and thought it a very positive step in the right direction.  We should expect promoters to provide more diverse programming overall. Equality does not have to mean compromising on quality, its just harder work in the beginning.  

    BLM reminds us of the necessity of challenging predominant narratives. That needs to include the idea promulgated that Americana and Country music originated solely from white hillbilly musicians in the Appalachians.  And whilst it's important to read about the music’s origins, the music itself tells this story as clear as day; It’s there in the Bluegrass tunes based on Scots and Irish melodies, and in the unmistakable black spirituals performed by early white adopters of the music such as the Carter family. If a platform for people of colour in the Americana community is demanded that will result in a more diverse audience and that would be a really great thing that can only go towards strengthening the music and the community.  

    My Irish musician dad introduced me to Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band but its my Trini mum who plays the Dixie Chicks non stop in the car, in our family thats the norm. I’d like it to be the norm for the music family around me too.  I want to see equality for all under represented groups in the music industry. 

    Carmen Phelan, Misty River







  • 2 Jul 2020 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today is the launch of a national campaign by everyone in the UK live music business from promoters to labels to artists and venue owners - we need everyone to realise the magnitude and the  value what we've got to loose.  All of you can take to social media and post the last live gig you did or attended with the hashtag #letthemusicplay

  • 17 Jun 2020 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Americana Music Association - UK were honoured to be invited back by Hackney Council’s Culture team to host another songwriting workshop, after the successful songwriting workshop with Hackney Empire Elders held in January 2020.

    This time, First-generation Windrush residents created songs about their lives together with the AMA-UK songwriters, as part of the Council’s Hackney virtual Windrush Generations Festival.   

    Through informal conversations, six original songs were created, as well as new friendships amongst the elders and songwriters. 

    From childhood memories and taking the call to rebuild Britain, to migrating and making it their home for the last 50 years, stories brought back inspirational, educational and emotional experiences, which at times were relevant to current issues for society. 

    This project would have been held in person but due to the COVID19 restrictions, we found a way to connect via phone calls, emails and video chats  - even with the digital barrier everyone involved had a positive experience and got to know their songwriting partners well. 

    The AMA-UK member songwriters who are from all over the UK and Ireland learnt so much from these amazing seniors and all feel a deep sense of honour to have been trusted with these beautiful stories that they, in turn, have weaved into a set of wonderful songs that we hope will be tangible keepsakes for the families involved. We know for the musicians it was moving, educational and an unforgettable experience.

    Please read more about this wonderful project and all the other amazing things that have been happening in Hackney for the Windrush Festival during this unprecedented time of COVID 19 HERE 

    Here are the six songs, plus a little bit about each AMA-UK member and their collaborative writing partner:

    Thank you to Fiona Bevan our songwriting coach through out the project 

    Fiona Bevan : It has been very special to be involved in the Windrush song writing collaboration project in a mentoring role. I feel very lucky to have been able to hear the wisdom of the Windrush generation immigrants and their first-hand stories of love, displacement, struggle and the epic transformation of building a new life in the UK. I also feel honoured to be helping nurture the songwriters as they navigate the challenges and complexities of telling someone else’s story through their lyrics and melodies. At this exact moment of history and the tragic events unfolding, this project feels incredibly important, and has been joyful and extremely moving for everyone involved. 

    Birds Of A Feather – Kris Wilkinson Hughes with Tony and Sherlene Barker

    Kris Wilkinson Hughes (My Girl The River): Originally from the USA, I immigrated to the UK 20 years ago. I am so privileged to be a part of this incredible project, hearing stories that speak to a time when so many cultures immigrated to the UK. I got to know Tony and Sharlene as we spoke about favourite ‘Bajan’ memories, starting over, homesickness, making new friends and raising a family. I was inspired by their devotion to each other, their faith, community, loving family, and very wise words. 

    Sherlene Barker: I was a bit apprehensive about sharing my story to someone I had never met about coming to this country, but knowing it was part of celebrating the Windrush generation, that inspired me to partake in the project.Kris put us at ease and was very good at collating our stories. I really enjoyed it. For me, I found it fulfilling to let her into my journey here.

    Tony Barker: It was a successful partnership putting the song together. I was comfortable talking about my life here in England and it took me back to those special moments like working on the number 106 bus as a conductor, where I first met my wife 


    The Motherland – Dewi Bowen with Louise Parr

    Dewi Bowen (Sons of Owen) : I had the great pleasure of speaking with Louise to create this song ‘The Motherland’. This song is a story of woman making a journey in search of a better life for herself and family in a new world and the ups and downs along the way. With an uplifting chorus the song highlights the great passion Louise spoke with about the life she has created for herself in The Motherland full of friends and happiness. I’ve enjoyed every step of the process working with the Americana Music Association UK and look forward to hearing everyones songs. 

    Louise Parr:  I felt very relax and felt that I knew the person who I was speaking to. I answered the questions to the best of my ability and if it any time I was uncertain, I felt that I could ask for clarification and would ask him to explain it again.  This experience bought back memories from my younger years.  I had a happy childhood, even though my family was poor.  I was happy to come to England, as I did not know what to expect. Sometimes I would explain to him what I meant because I felt he did not understand what I had said and this works both ways. 

    Somewhere New – Lady Nade with a Hackney Resident

    Lady Nade: I wrote this song, with a positive, established Hackney resident about their insightful journey from Jamaica to England and all the changes that happened there after. It’s a song bouquet of memories in tribute to her sister's wedding that took place upon her arrival. The Hackney elder and I spoke about change and the topical concepts of social distancing. 

    I found myself drawn to the outdoors when composing and capturing the song's essence; appreciating the seeds of life and the gentle sprouts of change. Weaving in as we approach the precipice of revitalised engagement for the enduring black lives matter movement from the wider community.  

    Lady Nade's writing partner chose to stay anonymous  


    Elvis Was Good, Yeah He Was Alright – Callum Lury with Milton Smith

    Callum Lury (The Blue Highways): Empathy and understanding. That for me is what this experience is about, and in many ways is what I consider song writing more broadly to be about; attempting to improve ourselves, to better understand those who are different to us, socially, politically, culturally. To see who they are, what defines them, what moves them. Milton is a man of great character, with an astounding resilience and stoicism. But I haven’t, and wouldn’t try to simply write his story, but instead have been inspired by his words and actions, hopefully creating something that speaks not only to his experience but as part of a wider story.

    Milton Smith: Milton felt that the whole experience enjoyable, interesting and what he said was based on his own experience on coming to United Kingdom.  He was able to learn more about the Windrush and never knew that it covered the period between 1948 – 1971.  He was surprised that the young man who he spoke to was able to use his words to make a song and found this interesting.  He is very excited about this and is waiting to hear the song. Overall experience was very interesting, for the little that he knows and learnt during this session.

    Streets Paved With Cold – Dave Giles with Ngoma Bishop

    Dave Giles: From my very first phone call with Ngoma, I knew that this was going to be fruitful. I have enough material from him to be able to create an album worth of songs, and every single story would be worth hearing. His humour, openness, intelligence and eloquence have been a joy to experience and to be able to learn so much from him has been a real blessing. I knew it was going well when we were texting each other ideas of rhyming couplets at 1am. I look forward to collaborating with him again in the future.

    Ngoma Bishop: My experiences of or with those that forever seem to want me to share my story; usually with no psychological, spiritual, emotional,  financial or other discernible benefit to me, and generally via someone with whom I had little or no connection, had made me not only weary of, but positively hostile to such approaches. Therefore when approached about this project, I was adamant I wanted no part of it. Fortunately Sherrie persisted and eventually that together with positive feedback I had received from a participant of a similar and previous project, I decided to give it a go, with the proviso that if at any time I felt unhappy I was out. Good job I was persuaded. I was paired with singer songwriter Dave Giles. Dave contacted me and two hours into a five minute audio phone conversation, we were both convinced that this was going to work. A couple of days later we spoke again, this time audio visual. Over another couple of hours we shared memories and experiences, that at times were very similar and at other times vastly different. Long story short, less than forty-eight hours on and we had somehow co-written a song that told my life story in less than half a dozen verses. I had always written alone, so a collaboration of this kind was new to me. We have discussed and agreed how we want to approach the instrumentation and ownership of our song. I am looking forward eagerly to the final product.

    Promises – Kairen Caine with Trevor Stewart

    Kairen Caine: Trevor and I had a lovely long online video chat at the start of the song’s development followed by regular emails. He sent me a draft of a book he is writing for his family, which was also a wonderful resource. Telling a person’s story from a different culture and life experience is a challenging one but Trevor has been so positive about the process and is a great storyteller. ‘Promises’ is a glimpse into Trevor’s own individual journey and outlook on life and it has been an absolute joy to collaborate with him. He has taught me very much.

    Trevor Stewart: Yes, a song can describe the feelings of a Jamaican country boy growing up in London.  The songwriter and myself managed to discover and convey my experiences and their meanings. It elated me and as the song was finished it brought tears to my eyes. Memories came alive sweet and dear, heart-warming, and sad.  The songwriter Kairen was able to find the real me. I listen to my song repeatedly.  I love it.  Thank you, Hackney Culture Team. I am grateful to have this song as part of my legacy.

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