Thurs 29th October
Windrush: Music of the People
Date: Thursday 29th October
Writing on the Wall are delighted to present a new anthology of essays and photographs in From SS Orbita to Orbital, which documents the enduring legacy the Windrush Generation has to this day in British music. Over the course of sixteen weeks, participants on our creative heritage course have dived deep into the history of the Windrush Generation and the ripple effect it has on the cultural landscape of Britain, and have responded to their findings with this collection of insightful and detailed essays.
The Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury on 22 June 1948 and four months later the SS Orbita arrived in Liverpool. These iconic vessels brought the first wave of those came to be known as the Windrush Generation. Responding to the needs of the post-war economy, they were vital to Britain’s public services and industries, not least our music industry. The British music scene would not be as vibrant as it is today without the influence of the Windrush Generation and their descendants. From the Calypso greats of Lords Kitchener and Woodbine, through to the Reggae Sound Systems of the 70’s, Norman Jay’s Good Times, Windrush has influenced all aspects for the UK music scene including the pop music of the Beatles and the electronica of Orbital.
Mykaell Riley's career started as a founder member of the British roots Reggae band Steel Pulse who would go on to receive a Grammy. As a professional writer/producer, his work encompassed TV, Film, resulting in eleven UK top twenty positions, and three UK number ones. He also formed The Raggae Orchestra, Britain's first black pop string section.
He is a senior lecturer at the University of Westminister where in 2012 he established the Black Music Research Unit. In 2016, having secured the first major AHRC award to research the impact of Jamaican music in Britain, he became a Principal Investigator. In 2017 he championed The Grime Report in partnership with Ticketmaster, which resulted in a change in government legislation. In 2018 he staged the UK's largest photographic exhibit on the impact of Jamaican music in Britain. In 2019 he released 'Bass Culture' the film mapping Soundsystem culture to Grime. Mykaell now sits on the academic board for the Museum of London,Brent 2020 - No Base Like Home, HKW Berlinand is trustee for Tavaziva Dance and Finding, Rhythms.