AUTHORS: Roisin O'Connor, Nadine White. Tuesday 03 October 2023 10:17 BST
The Independent celebrates musical pioneers including Millie Small, Tricky, Roots Manuva and Tippa Irie, rappers Kano, Stormzy and Little Simz, and vocal talents such as Shirley Bassey, Emeli Sande and Michael Kiwanuka.
The UK's music scene is thriving, not least thanks to the achievements of Black British artists including Stormzy, Little Simz, Ezra Collective, RAYE, Dave, Jorja Smith, Mabel and so many more.
As recently as last month, we saw Ezra Collective triumph as they were awarded the coveted Mercury Prize, while Stormzy has just been announced to perform at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone next year.
Given Black History Month was created to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of Black heritage and culture in the UK, it seems fitting that as part of The Independent's coverage, we create a playlist to highlight just some of the incredible musical talent we've had the privilege of witnessing over the decades.
Curated by myself (Roisin) and our Race Correspondent Nadine White, this playlist features some of our favourite tracks by Lovers Rock queens Janet Kay and Deborahe Glasgow, Millie Small – the Jamaican star who brought ska to the world – and dancehall legend Tippa Irie, whom Nadine interviewed earlier this year.
Both Nineties babies, we had to throw in some classics from Craig David, Mis-Teeq, Mark Morrison, Jamelia, Estelle, Soul II Soul, Gabrielle, and Ms Dynamite, along with contemporary rock from the likes of English Teacher and Nova Twins.
On the rap and hip-hop side of things we were spoilt for choice thanks to Mercury Prize-winning artists Little Simz and Dave, grime pioneers including Ghetts, Skepta and Kano, and the superb talents of artists such as Stormzy, Avelino, AJ Tracey, Jelani Blackman, Che Lingo, Gaika, Loyle Carner, Kojey Radical, Ms Banks and Hardy Caprio.
Elsewhere on the playlist, you'll find pioneers including trip-hop star Tricky, rapper and producer Roots Manuva, and Skunk Anansie star Skin. Then there are the artists whose voices are simply unmatched, from multi-platinum-selling artist Emeli Sande to soulful crooner Sampha, Sade, Laura Mvula, Olivia Dean, Kwabs, Corinne Bailey-Rae, Michael Kiwanuka, Mahalia, Jorja Smith and Seal.
You can find a link to The Independent's Black History Month 2023 playlist here.
Please make sure you also check out our recent Music Box sessions, starring Avelino, Olivia Dean and Che Lingo, and have a read of The Independent's extensive BHM coverage through October.