Slavery is still an issue in today’s society. Although the face of slavery has changed, more covert cases of slavery are being discovered each day. The University of Nottingham Rights Lab, the first large-scale modern day slavery research team, are committed to investigating slavery, asking questions such as ‘what works to end slavery?’
Sounds Against Slavery is a charity concert organised by the Rights Lab and the Anti-Slavery Society to raise funds for the Survivor Alliance, who work to unite and empower survivors of human trafficking and slavery around the world. This year’s concert will be held on 1st April at Rough Trade Nottingham. We were lucky enough to talk to one of the acts, Josh Beale, ahead of the event.
Hi! How are you today?
Hiya, I’m doing all right!
What do you study and what year are you in?
I’m a second-year Natural Sciences student.
“I like to take aspects of everything I listen to and mash it up.”
How would you describe the music that you create?
Pretty varied to be fair – standard easy-to-listen to pop music probably. Some of it [is] pretty dancey, others you can sing along to, others are proper sad.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I was into Coldplay, James Morrison, Jack Johnson, all that sort of thing. Big fan of Passenger, Rex Orange Country and Sam Fender lyrically – they say it like it is but it’s not too twee. From a production point-of-view: Tom Misch; SG Lewis; Colouring; LANY; Shallou; Ry X; Bon Iver; George Daniel from the 1975. Those wide, kind of electronic soundscapes, but you could make it on a laptop in your room. I like to take aspects of everything I listen to and mash it up.
If you could only pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Sheesh kebab, I’m not sure! I get bored and over-listen to things quickly. Probably Ben Howard’s first album – it never gets old.
“There’ll be a lot of people there who will hopefully learn a lot”
Who’s your favourite musician at the moment?
George Daniel, definitely. He produced the new Japanese House album, all of No Rome’s recent stuff, and the new 1975 one of course. That’s genius that – him and Mattey Healy are wizards together. Well-deserved BRIT Award Album of the Year.
Do you think musical events like these are important to gain awareness for issues like modern day slavery?
Definitely. I know very little about it, and I’m inviting all my pals along who will also know very little I presume. There’ll be a lot of people there who will hopefully learn a lot, and it’s class that all the proceeds go to Survivor Alliance – good on Rough Trade for letting us use the venue for free.
“[S]lavery is still going on and we need to do something about it ASAP”
What would you like audience members to take away from Sounds Against Slavery?
Probably a) that slavery is still going on and we need to do something about it ASAP and b) they think “oh that Josh guy was pretty good, I’ll keep an eye on him for the future!”
This year’s Sounds Against Slavery event is being held at Rough Trade Nottingham on 1st April, 6.30pm. Tickets can be found here. All proceeds go towards Survivor Alliance.
Featured image courtesy of Amelia Watkins.
Image use license here.