Back in August, we spoke to Gaika about SYSTEM, the immersive experience he’d curated at Somerset House with Boiler Room. An audiovisual paean to the migrant experience, it placed the sound system itself at the heart of things.
In addition to the live events hosted at Somerset House, and overseen by Gaika himself, Boiler Room has produced a four-part set of short films to accompany SYSTEM. Directed by Jeremy Cole — who also oversaw Channel 4’s highly-regarded Four to the Floor series — Migrant Sound is, Boiler Room say, “a youthful celebration of migration and its impact on UK music and culture,” that combines broad societal stories with personal family anecdotal histories to explore the ins and outs of migrant culture. Coming 70 years on from the first Windrush journeys, it is a timely examination.
It’s also a great accompaniment to Clair Wills’ indispensable Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain but we can chat about that when we finally get round to launching the It’s Nice That book club.
The first three episodes focused, respectively, on arrival, racism, and identity. The final instalment, which has been released this morning, looks at legacy, uncovering how three young musicians are channeling their own cultural heritage and identity to interpret their British experience through music. Grime MC Yung Sabre, vocalist Fredwave, and Birmingham rapper Lady Sanity each share their own stories – as with the rest of the series, there’s a fascinating sense of intimacy to Migrant Sounds, with important cultural stories being told by the people for whom those stories are life itself.
You can watch the Legacy episode below, and the rest over on the SYSTEM site right now.
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