Impact Magazine and the Anti-Slavery Society are collaborating on the second iteration of Sounds Against Slavery on Thursday 15th March. Impact caught up with one of the acts, The Long Islands, to hear their thoughts on music and the event.
What are you most looking forward to about performing at Sounds Against Slavery?
I’m really looking forward to performing my new songs, and it will be the first performance with my Nottingham band, so it’s going to feel great to get some of my newer material out there.
Why did you decide to support the cause?
It’s a cause that doesn’t get enough attention in the media and that a lot of people probably aren’t aware of. I recently watched a harrowing film called I Am Slave that highlights the issue of modern day slavery and brings it closer to home. It’s really important that there’s a society actively trying to work against it within the university.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as a mix of R&B, soul and jazz… with hints of reggae.
Who are the artists that you are inspired by?
My main musical inspiration is Amy Winehouse and probably always will be. Her music combines my favourite sounds and genres, and her lyrics are really personal, which is the approach I take with my own lyric writing. I also take inspiration from female artists such as Erykah Badu, Corinne Bailey Rae and classic jazz singers.
Desert Island Disks! Name a song, an album and an artist you couldn’t live without?
A song I couldn’t live without is ‘Nakamarra’ by Hiatus Kaiyote, an album has got to be Frank by Amy Winehouse, and an artist has got to be David Bowie.
How long have you been performing? What are your memories of your very first performance?
I’ve been performing since secondary school and have always loved it, the first big performance I did was a singing contest at school in Year Nine, and I didn’t realise you were meant to wear your own clothes so everyone was dressed up and I was in uniform which was a little embarrassing… but nonetheless it got me eager to do more.
Do you know any of the artists that you are performing alongside at Sounds Against Slavery?
I don’t know them personally, but from what I’ve listened to on YouTube I think it’s going to be a really varied night as they all have different styles. I have friends who recently saw Kwoli Black and said he was great, so I’m really excited to hear him.
You’re surrounded by musical opportunities here in Nottingham, what’s it like to be a singer-songwriter in this city?
I’ve been really lucky to meet awesome musicians to form a band with me here, and what’s particularly great about Nottingham are the affordable rehearsal studios so close to my house in Lenton!
What do you have planned for the future?
My plans for the future are to keep making more songs, collaborate with my friend and producer back in London to eventually release an EP, and have a great time gigging here in Nottingham.
Featured image courtesy of Alexandra Farzad.
Article images courtesy of Alexandra Farzad and the UoN Anti-Slavery Society.