Along roads blocked by construction work and shaking lorries carrying concrete blocks, buildings partly obscured by scaffolding hint at this part of east London’s constant “regeneration.”
I’m in Hackney Wick, what was once an industrial area of manufacturing warehouses, and now seems to usher in new-build flats at every turn.
But look, this is a music site and not one about the history of London, so I’m here to try and explore the ripple effects of this new construction on the musicians and producers who once used to consider this area the epicentre of their creative work.
Published by Black Dog & Leventhal publishers, the book is a celebration of 106 musical artists covering a wide range of genres, showcasing the importance of women in music. Each essay includes a full colour illustration of the musical artist or group.
I wrote about Amy Winehouse, Aaliyah, Dusty Springfield, Erykah Badu, ESG, Poly Styrene, Ronnie Spector and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Featuring essays, poetry and prose, the anthology focuses on the relationships people have with their bodies. My essay focuses on the feeling of disconnection and desexualisation, and its connection with race.
On Bodies is currently crowdfunding to ensure they can put out this issue. If you have anything money to spare or want to pre-order the paperback or e-book version donate to the Kickstarter campaign.
Taking a new spin on the usual two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, discerning drinkers are searching for non-alcoholic versions of their usual beverages, making for exciting times in the market. Stephanie Phillips finds out more about the rise in demand for realistic non-alcoholic drinks.
Kah-Lo knows her brand identity. The Nigerian dance artist was up into the wee hours of the night before speaking to me, dying a wig her trademark shade of luminous green. It’s a brand that works well, as paired with her rainbow coloured outfits and shimmering round sunglasses, Kah-Lo stands out. As she says herself, “I ain’t no basic bitch”.
Beyond the Kodak full colour image, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t torn it up to her breakthrough hit ‘Rinse & Repeat’, a thundering collaboration with UK house producer Riton, for which she received a Grammy nomination.
The goal to ban avoidable plastic waste by 2042 has struck a chord, with retailers and manufacturers looking to innovations in food packaging to drive the industry towards a better future.
As the focus on environmental issues intensifies, there have been renewed calls for solutions to tackle an impending crisis. Statistics compiled by the Co-op from the Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey show that only one third of plastic packaging in consumer products is recycled every year in the UK. Campaigners at Greenpeace have called for action because an estimated 12.7m tonnes of plastic enter the oceans a year, disrupting our fragile ecosystem.
In January 2018, prime minister Theresa May announced a plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. Measures laid out in her speech included new funding for plastic innovation and the endorsement of plastic-free supermarket aisles with loose products on offer.
Read my latest interview with Durham’s Martha in the March issue of Maximum Rocknroll magazine. I spoke to the group about Marxist pop songs, life up north and what to expect from the pop punk band’s third album.
I don’t always get paid for my work, so if you’ve liked my pieces and want me to write more you can donate a couple pennies to keep me going in between paid work.
The patriarchy weaves a plethora of tall tales to keep its ego in check and the biggest of those is that women can’t stand each other. Even when we were pitted against each other by repugnant, morose men, we didn’t really want to tear each other’s eyes out.
In reality, you couldn’t find a better example of a deep bond than the one that exists in female friendships. Women are there for each other with a shoulder to cry on or a knowing piece of advice when you need it most. Nowhere is this seen more strikingly than in the music industry. We speak to some of the leading figures in the DIY U.K. punk scene to find out how their revolutionary girl gangs are tackling inequality in the scene and putting female friendships to the forefront of their work.
Under My Thumb is a collection of essays by female journalists writing about their favourite songs or artists who have problematic gender politics. The essays look at the contradictions and complex ways women love music.
The book features an my essay about Phil Spector and how his mistreatment of women around him played into his work.
The book is now available to pre-order. Under My Thumb will be published on 17th October in the US and 19th October in UK.
Did anyone really want to be popular as a teenager? I mean it would have been nice to experience life with perfect hair, teeth and skin, a natural disposition to do everything right, be loved by humans and animals alike and generally seem to have no worries. That might have been nice but, to be honest, it looked so boring when I was a teenager. As a chubby, awkward black girl growing up in the deepest, whitest area of Britain, I knew I was never going to be seen as normal enough to be popular so I never tried.