Entertainment

Sounds Against Slavery Interview – Kwoli Black

Sounds Against Slavery is a charity concert organised by the Rights Lab, the first large-scale modern day slavery research team, and the Anti-Slavery Society here at the University of Nottingham. Slavery is still a modern day problem, and the Rights Lab are determined to investigate the issue and why it exists.

Funds will be raised for Survivor Alliance, a charity devoted to helping survivors of human trafficking and slavery around the world. We were lucky enough to talk to one of the musicians playing at Sounds Against Slavery, Kwoli Black, ahead of the concert.

Hi! How are you today?

Hello, I’m doing great thank you very much.

What do you study and what year are you in?

I study American Studies and English and I am in my final year.

“I guess the music encompasses the ideal of freedom, so to describe my music I guess it makes sense to call it ‘free'”

How would you describe the music that you create?

Hmm, good question. I guess the music encompasses the ideal of freedom, so to describe my music I guess it makes sense to call it “free”… but you still have to stream it so it’s not free in every sense! I’m eclectic for sure, I don’t know what a genre is.

Who are your biggest musical influences? 

My biggest musical influences kind of range from different spheres of music, but I suppose the biggest lately have to be Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Earthgang and Kojey Radical.

If you could only pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

One album for the rest of my life? Hmm… To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. I feel like that album is honestly the greatest hip hop album ever created. It teaches so much and its soundscape is so vast I feel like every time I listen to it I learn something new.

“Music has an innate ability to garner attention and deliver a profound message”

Who’s your favourite musician at the moment?

I don’t know if I have a favourite artist at the moment. Listening to a lot of Snoh Alegra; she’s dope and she’s fine.

Why did you decide to play at Sounds Against Slavery?

Sounds Against Slavery and I go way back. I think they gave me one of my first gig opportunities 2/3 years ago. I want to repay the faith with my last gig as a student.

“We have a duty as human beings to care for the rights and safety of one another.”

Do you think musical events like these are important to gain awareness for issues like modern day slavery? 

Music has an innate ability to garner attention and deliver a profound message. I feel like when music is used to spread a message as important as modern day slavery as well as raise awareness it transcends being ‘just music’. Concerts like these are important to me as both artist and fan.

What would you like audience members to take away from Sounds Against Slavery?

To take away? Firstly that slavery still goes on ‘til this day; not only does it affect those involved but it affects us too. We have a duty as human beings to care for the rights and safety of one another. Freedom is a God given right we are all deserving of. Secondly, take away from the gig that Kwoli Black is one of the dopest artists in the game, and if you don’t follow him now you’re going to eventually!

Hannah Pickard

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.

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