Grime music is being ‘stifled’

Grime music is being ‘stifled’


Skepta, big Zuu, Yizzy & Stormzy


Grime music is being ‘stifled’ as Grime music faces significant challenges because of discrimination against urban acts, MPs have said.

Despite the success of Stormzy, Dave and Skepta, it is often difficult for grime acts to play live, they said.

Licensing authorities and police have been known to cancel gigs at short notice, affecting musicians’ ability to gain a following.

“Prejudices against grime artists risks stifling one of the UK’s most exciting musical exports,” MPs said in a report.



According to BBC Music reporter Mark Savage;

‘Urban acts have it tougher than bands starting out’

They called on the government to come up with new guidelines for police and local authorities, which would “ensure that urban music acts are not unfairly targeted”.

As part of its investigation, the committee invited rapper ShaoDow to tell them about his experiences and he explained that he had faced frustrations when attempting to put on shows in London.

“I had a venue cancel on me on the day that I was meant to go there,” he said.

“I was booked for a performance in a club and called them ahead of time to say, ‘I am on my way’, and they said, ‘Oh, by the way, we were just listening to your music. You make hip-hop’.

“I said, ‘Yes’, and he said, ‘Oh, we cannot do that here, we will lose our licence’.”


It seem’s that even though form 696 was publicly diminished and wavered by the legal system, everyone in the urban music industry is still feeling it’s effects.

They called on the government to come up with new guidelines for police and local authorities, which would “ensure that urban music acts are not unfairly targeted”.


regardless of a form 696 or not, the police and local authorities are still trying to govern music with rules, regulations and guidelines. Fortunately though, if Theresa May ever settles a Brexit deal, the music industry will continue to be supported.


Brexit impact

Elsewhere in the live music report, ministers suggested establishing a task force to nurture new talent; and supported calls for the introduction of a EU-wide touring visa, enabling British artists to play in Europe without hindrance after Brexit.

“Urgent action is needed if the live music industry is to continue to make a significant contribution to both the economy and cultural life of the country,” said committee chairman Damian Collins.

“We also look to the music industry to make sure that enough of the big money generated at the top finds its way down to grassroots level to support emerging talent.

“It happens with sport, why not music?”

UK Music welcomed what it called a “landmark report”, saying MPs had “really listened to the live music industry”.

“Their report is a real wake-up call for everyone who wants to safeguard live music,” said chief executive Michael Dugher.


The report found a lack of support from councils for urban music, with evidence of venues cancelling gigs by rap, and hip-hop acts because of “unfounded” concerns over licensing and safety.

BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Target commented that a power imbalance between licensing authorities and small venues contributed to the issue. “It could be a venue that has been pressured to cancel the event by the police … The small venue that is already struggling cannot afford to risk it so then they end up saying, ‘OK. We do not do those types of nights any more.’”

A representative for Shoreditch venue Village Underground told the Guardian that programming urban music events had “not always been the easiest”, adding: “We have had to spend on extra security so as not to contravene licensing or police advice, sometimes sharing the cost with promoters.”

The committee has called for for cross-departmental action by the government to develop guidance for licensing authorities, police forces and music venues on risk management, ensuring that urban music acts are not unfairly targeted.

The report also found that employment opportunities within the UK live sector may be under threat after Britain leaves the European Union. More than half of the musicians who responded to surveys by the Incorporated Society of Musicians stated that they receive at least half of their income from working in the EU.

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