How Break my Soul energises more than 90s pop with the present. It’s contemporary history.
It’s the 90s again as iconic Beyonce releases ‘Break My Soul’. Whether you’re a fan or not, it feeds into something bigger, much bigger, our end and that happened thirty years ago and has come to the present.
In the 1990s I co-presented and produced a radio show on the BBC for listeners interested in issues around Black people.
Our show, Black London, became a home for major Black celebs, music and and artists in the UK and coming to the UK. Spike Lee, Alice Walker, Eartha Kitt, Anita Baker, a young entrepreneur Kanya King, Omar, Fela Kuti..the list is long.
We tackled social issues around racism, the Black Law Society challenging laws that discriminated against Black and brown people, live reports following police assaulting Rodney King and the riots that followed, Herman Ouseley (now Lord Ouseley) talking to us about becoming the first black chief exec of the CRE, Oxford university opening its doors to the first group of ethnic minorities following a scheme to create greater representation, the Boipatong massacre- first time we had the South Africa embassy head in our studio, etc.
So just what was the 90s like? 90s soul, acid jazz, finding a job? In lockdown, I had a hunch and sure enough in my garage, Jose a friend and I came across boxes of the programmes.
We mentioned the tapes to an international group FIAT/IFTA — a global body behind restoring some of the most memorable archive ever, such as Nelson Mandela and the Rivonia trials. They suggested we put together a presentation against 8 different production companies in countries like Albania, Cuba, and Ivory Coast. Remarkably, our archive won for its historical importance.
We’re now exploring ways to make the archive accessible in say a podcast that shows how the echoes of the past threads the future — just like Beyonce’s Break My Soul.
We’re going to build a new platform, which I’ll preview on the award winning site www.viewmagazine.tv. In the meantime if you want a flavour of the recordings heres Int super star Nigerian Fela Kuti in the studio https://lnkd.in/gJ4zbK6