EastCast Show Extra – The Aftermath of The New Cross Fire

I produced this segment using some materials I collected while doing creating a documentary for Reggae TV that was never released.

Background

The New Cross Fire happened on Sunday 31st January 1981 and cost the lives of 14 young people and touched the lives of many more.  The fire happened at a house in on New Cross Road, very close to the station and the news travelled around the country with great speed.  There were public messages from many organisations and people across the nation, sent to comfort the families.  However, the official response by the authorities angered a community that had been under attack.  Black people in the UK had faced: discrimination in the provision of housing and services, racist violence including petrol bomb attacks and systematic harassment from the Police.  When the tragedy occurred there was no sympathetic statement from a prominent government figure.  In fact, victims of the event were treated poorly by the Police.  All of this negativity caused outrage in both the black and wider community and, the organisation of events in the aftermath of the fire, can be considered a significant milestone in the history of race relations in the UK.

For me the New Cross Fire was a significant but distant event. It happened a year before I was born and was as foreign to me as the story of Dr. Martin Luther King or the Tuskegee airmen.  I grew up in Reading with parents that had experienced racism in its most violent forms in the 1960s and 1970s.  They had tried their best to give me a historical and political grounding and I was aware that in January 1981 a fire had happened involving a group of young black people at a party in South London but I did not now much more.  The narrative had been set: there was a racist attack on this group of young people, a mysterious tragedy that was yet to solved or resolved in any satisfactory fashion.  So when Nubian Jak decided to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the event, I knew that I had to be there to record what I could.

Kids In The Rain Part 2 Featured on BBC Introducing

Click here to listen to the BBC Introducing Berkshire Christmas Show.
Big up Bridgitte Tetteh for putting this one out on the airwaves on the BBC Berkshire Christmas show.  Click on the logo above to listen to the show.  The track, produced by J.F., is also available on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal etc. NOW so go add that to your favourites and playlists.

Love/Work/Sex/Funk=Metal/Kids+Gigs

This Summer has been a mad one, since the arrival of my little one.  I’ve been holed up in a 1st floor studio in Hither Green making beats of various flavours.  So Check my Soundcloud out to hear all of that.  I’ve shared a little taster here of some of the tracks, which are forthcoming on a new label.

Gigwise, big up the Hamswell Festival, Readipop Festival, Slam Jam, Cellar Bar in Oxford and Doune The Rabbit Hole in Scotland for letting me loose on their stages.  Wicked gigs on a solo tip and with Mindful Eye, the rap-metal band I’m playing in now.  It’s wicked to bring the shows live again and big up the people at Holding Court for booking me for 24th September BattleGroundz .  Got some big gigs in the works with Mindful Eye.  Also shout outs to my man El Waxo for bringing me in on an international collaboration with some Spanish and Portuguese MCs, shouts to Slippy Skills getting me on a track for his album.  Last, but not least, big up Julius Ceaz for putting in work in the studio with me on some Future RnB styles.

13996038_1154977387874288_5315119322665251252_o

On a personal tip, I also did some time (sadly not enough) volunteering in Calais with the Tutopia Foundation, doing some education and relief work with them and a host of good people doing what they can to help in a f@cked up situation.  It was a privilege and I recommend anyone that ever has a chance to do so, to help, donate, volunteer.

Writing wise, City of Conspiracy is progressing.  For those that never knew (Don’t SLEEP), it’s a deep transmedia piece like this: a choose your own adventure epic in spoken word/rap style, with rap songs embedded from character POV, taking in conspiracy theory, London life and the whole damn planet.  It’s been a labour of love and, after a few false starts, it’s coming together.  There is definetely going to be a native app element for those into it and some interesting live events on the cards again – mock initiations, crime-scene investigations and weird/wonderful conferences too.  What’s more, you can go even deeper and play the characters in the world, communicating with other via sms, phone and email.  The walking tours are starting up again too.  Big up Conducttr for the software that’s helping to make it happen.  If you don’t know, then check it out.

There is also a poetry pamphlet due, coming off the back of the spoken word gigs.  So keep locked into the social networks, follow, like and communicate in order to stay in the loop.  Wicked things I have seen this summer in no order.

Joanna Cooke, Hector Bizerk (sadly I caught their last gig), EarthBoogie, El Waxo, pHuntus, Jonny Falls Over, Area 52, I Dreamed Seve Ballesteros was Playing Golf Again, Barraka and a whole lot more. Big Up.

East London heads, please get in touch if you have interesting stuff happening as I am now presenting on the Eastcast Radio show on Resonance FM too.

Peace and love,

Jonny

Taster of ‘Sick Poet Tree’ poetry pamphlet

My journey as a writer began with poetry and I have never really questioned why.  I aim to make my prose sing with some of the lyrical quality that I bring to my rhymes too.  The Sick Poet Tree is a pamphlet that will be available from Dope Creations on 1st May 2015.  These poems mark just a taste of the flavours to be expected. They detail thoughts on clicktivism, race on Twitter, poverty, Google and inequality.