Mykaell Riley, Principal Investigator at the Black Music Research Unit, has taken part in a webinar titled ‘No Bass Like Home: Documenting Black British History’.
The webinar, which took place on International Reggae Day, reflected on the No Bass Like Home programme, which celebrates Brent’s contribution to reggae and Black British music in the UK. It explored how Brent 2020 has worked with the community to create its digital reggae archive, as well as sharing tools on how to build a heritage project within the community.
The webinar itself covered the importance of documenting Black British cultural heritage, methods and tools to start a heritage project, the lessons learnt from building the No Bass Like Home oral history archive, and the role of funding in enabling a cultural heritage project.
Riley was invited to speak at the webinar due to his experience and expertise in the area as a professional writer and producer, where his work has encompassed both TV and film, resulting in eleven UK top twenty positions, and three UK number ones with sales recognised by silver, gold and platinum discs.
Also speaking at the event were Zerritha Brown, Senior Producer at Brent 2020, who has led the production of the No Bass Like Home digital archive, and Selina Papa, Head of Engagement at National Heritage Lottery Fund, where she is responsible for delivering the Fund’s regional priorities, including investments in boroughs such as Brent, Enfield and Newham.
As the Director of the Black Music Research Unit, Riley leads the research ‘Bass Culture’, a three-year academic project exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture. The project, which covers the period from the 1960s to the present day, explores the profound ways in which the island’s music remade popular music in Britain.
Riley said about the event: “There was a good community response. From just over 100 signatures to the event, we averaged between 60 and 70 attendees for the duration of the talk. In response to the communities’ concern about postponements and cancelled events, both Brent Council and Heritage Lottery representatives reconfirmed their commitment to supporting the community. In the case of Heritage Lottery, this was a further commitment to support initiatives presented through the No Bass Like Home project.”