In the past, if the average person wanted to know what was going on around the world, what the latest trends were or take in the thoughts of their generations most prolific thinkers they would have to open up a broadsheet and ingest the information given to them on the page.
Now with the avid use of social media that is no longer the case. Pew Research Center found that 62% of Americans get their new from social media. Since you can interact 24/7 on social media, gone are the days when newspaper pundits were seen as unchallengeable intellectuals. We no longer merely consume our information; we respond, offer our own analysis and become cultural critics in our own right.
This is most obviously the case for the black community who use social media in new and fantastic ways; from hilariously funny vine culture (RIP) to university debate worthy Facebook threads. Although black people are prolific across all social media platforms, the most well-known enclave of black thought has to be Black Twitter.
Whenever I walk into a newsagent’s in search for a music magazine that appeals to my wide ranging tastes, the wall of white male rock faces always leaves an overwhelming taste of disappointment in my mouth. Is it a long running joke or a seething hatred of all that is different that has resulted in the music industry’s refusal to represent the true diversity of talent in the music scene? That taste of disappointment quickly changes to proactive, forceful questioning of why isn’t there more on offer.
The usual defence thrown back at us is that music magazines that showcase more people of colour, women and trans people do not sell. Of course this is not true, as we have seen through the success of independent magazines that reflect the truly diverse nature of the artists creating our culture.
One such magazine is the free arts and culture magazine, BEAT, founded by DJ, writer and editor extraordinaire, Hanna Hanra. Since its inception in late 2010,BEAT has gone on to feature artists such as Grimes, The xx, Sky Ferreira and Dev Hynes, with Hanra behind the wheel. In an era where it is hard to decipher what music magazines truly stand for, an independent, exciting magazine driven by new artists is most welcome, so I was pleased to take the opportunity to have a chat with Hanna about BEAT‘s longevity and also touch on topics such as her experiences as a DJ and her thoughts on the 1990s grrrl revival…