Articles 

The Co-Founder of The Roots Malik B. Has Died Aged 47

After forming in 1987, The Roots have since become known one of the most critically acclaimed hip hop groups in the world. With their jazzy eclectic style and live instrument approach, The Roots became to be called "Hip hops first legitimate band" (ThoughtCo) The Roots ft. Eryka Badu- You Got Me It is therefore extremely sad news to hear that the co-founder of this group, Malik B. has passed away aged 47. After starting out busking on the streets of Philadephlia, the groups rise to fame has been admirable to say the least, and has seen them collaborate with a acclaimed plethora of artists including Eryka Badu and A Tribe Called Quest. “May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam, his lovi

LDC Radio: A Conversation with Leeds' Brand New FM Station

In an age of streaming and downloads, it's perhaps easy to question the relevancy of FM radio as we enter into a new decade. Whilst vast media companies are able to provide nationwide coverage on the likes of BBC, there is a startling lack of local independent FM stations around at the moment, and compared to the prominent position that these smaller stations once held in the landscape of UK music, stations that adequately reflect local communities are few and far between. However, although the music industry has found new ways to reach out to its listener over the years, there's one thing that new Leeds-based station LDC is making sure of; radio isn't dead. Leeds Dance Community radio is ex

Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Lorde and More Demand Consent for Use of Their Music in Political Campaigns

Following on from a series of instances in which Donald Trump has used music at his rallies without permission from the artists, a multitude of prominent musicians have decided to team up with the Artists Rights Alliance in order to ensure that permission is required before music is used in political campaigns. In order to do so, an open letter has been signed by a wide range of artists, including the likes of Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Panic! At The Disco, Aerosmith, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Amanda Shires, Lionel Richie, Green Day and Linkin Park. As it is fairly difficult to regulate the use of music in public spaces, resistance to Trump's us

Fire & Flourish: Leeds' New Yoga Brand

Following on from a long period of lockdown, and consequently a period of being limited in the ways that we could physically and mentally maintain ourselves, Yoga has become the norm for a huge number of people across the world. Fire & Flourish is a brand new yoga brand set up by our resident yoga instructor Kayleigh Flannery. After travelling to Rishikesh in India last summer, Kayleigh was awarded her 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training Certification and is now fully qualified to teach a range of styles. Kayleigh has since poured her implacable enthusiasm into our BabyStep Does Yoga Events, and her own face-to-face and online classes. We wanted to have a chat with her and find about more about

The Visual Evolution Of The Chemical Brothers

Adam Smith, Co-Creative Director of The Chemical Brothers live show, walks through two iconic Glastonbury performances from 2000 and 2019. Having worked with Tom Rowland and Ed Simons for over 25 years, Smith is the man behind their iconic live shows that are famous across the world. The film is a collaboration between the band and their visual designer/director partner Adam Smith and was filmed during The Chemical Brothers’ headline set at Fuji Rock festival in Japan in 2011. The dance duo launched the film at a star-studded premiere at London’s Hackney Picturehouse last month. Speaking about the film, band member Ed Simons said: “We wanted to have a film for us to keep as a record, but Ada

Getting To Know: Euan Hall

'Not Your Technique' was a project shot in the midst of lockdown by soon to be Manchester-based artist Euan Hall. In a lockdown, cynicism is a crutch, in a time where it’s much easier to be a sceptic than it is to imagine a path forward. This project is an example of the latter, 'Not Your Technique' has been released at what feels like the most claustrophobic period in our lives, yet it is a piece where the music and imagery couldn’t be more at odds with the dreary landscape in which it arrives, and yet it’s difficult to imagine it existing at any other moment. Hall is an artist steeped in the spiritual elixir of hip-hop's past, present, and future, creating a track that extrapolates an inte

Faithless Return With First New Single In 10 Years

Faithless have returned with their first new single in 10 years. Featuring Suli Breaks and Nathan Ball, this track is an optimistic and youthful number with an accompanying video that reflects the carefree nature of summertime as a young person. 'This Feeling' is a million miles away from what most Faithless fans will be used to. It doesn't have that club compatibility of their earlier releases, but rather trades in driving rave-ready edge for a far tamer and light hearted atmosphere. The track carries a general message of positivity, with a spoken word section discussing the nostalgia of happier times. One main criticism since its release has been the absense of Maxi Jazz. Many see his smoo

Tributes pour out for Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green

The co-founder of Fleetwood Mac has died at the age of 73. His family have confirmed his death in a statement released by solicitors Swan Turton, who are acting on their behalf. “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep,” the statement read. “A further statement will be provided in the coming days.” The guitarist played in several bands after beginning to play professionally at the age of 15, including Bobby Dennis And The Dominoes, and The Muskrats. In 1965, he met the drummer Mick Fleetwood who he would go on to form Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac alongside guitarist Jeremy Spencer. John McVie later replaced Bob Brunnin

The Avalanches latest release sees them collaborate with Jamie XX & Neneh Cherry

The Avalanches have released two new singles. After announcing the completion of their third studio album had been completed, Australian electronic group The Avalanches have shared the two new tracks, 'Reflecting Light' and 'Wherever You Go', featuring Jamie XX and Neneh Cherry, as well as Sananda Maitreya and Vashti Bunyan. Both released alongside visualisers, the two singles are followed by a track alongside Blood Orange, and 'Running Red Lights'. The track Red Lights' features Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, earlier this year.

Made in China: My Adoption Story

I was born in Fujian Province in China on the 5 December 1997, but when I was just 11 months old I was adopted by my mum and dad and came to North London, where I have lived ever since. I know absolutely nothing about my birth parents or why I was put up for adoption, but it is most likely due to China’s one child policy which was first implemented in 1979 as a stringent way to regulate the overpopulation. I am unsure whether it was because my birth parents already had another child, would have preferred a son, or simply because they wanted a better life for me. I guess I may never know. But what I do know is that for whatever reason it was I feel grateful that they did and for the wonderful

BabyStep's New Music Friday #6

Evening all, we hope you've had a good week and stayed positive with everything going on. You'll have to excuse us for the slight dip in the amount of content we've been releasing, things are starting to look a lot busier since we've moved back into our studio and have been planning for the future with events. We have a load to tell you about, but you'll have to wait just a bit longer. In the meantime you can get stuck into some truly amazing articles that have been written for us this week: read Zahin Ali's review of the new J Cole Release, as well as George Webb's round up on the British Mercury Awards. Without further ado here are our top picks for the releases out this Friday. Gorillaz -

The BabyStep Breakdown of the Mercury Prize Award Nominees

The Mercury Prize has acted as a unique and prestigious award to champion British and Irish music since its inception in 1992 - where Primal Scream picked up the inaugural edition of the prize. A shortlist of twelve albums is whittled down to just one winner by a carefully selected team of judges, including musicians, DJs, and curators. This year’s list, like any that have come before it, picks from all four corners of British music and shines light on the commercially successful as well as the more unsung triumphs of the past 12 months. Here is our breakdown of each record which made the cut this year. Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter Perhaps more than any other artist on the list, Lau

The Ville is back: J. Cole previews new album The Fall Off with two new tracks

Cole’s back with a new single Lewis Street which features 2 new tracks off his upcoming album The Fall Off. The Climb Back, produced by Cole himself, hears Cole rap about his wavering relationship with rap. On Lion King On Ice, produced by Cole, T-Minus and Jetson, Cole raps about the pressure that was on him at the start of his career and his rise to becoming a legend in this era of hip-hop. The release comes just a couple of days after Cole posted a personal essay on his come-up from being a student athlete, to signing his first record deal and 2014 Forest Hills Drive blowing up. Unlike his usual humble self, Cole finally acknowledges how much he’s impacted the rap game, giving himself som

Bandcamp Fridays To Continue For the Rest of the Year

When the impending threat to musicians became fully apparent in March, Bandcamp took the decision to waive their fees on the first Friday of every month to help support artists during lockdown. This plan was initially designed to last 3 months, but, as this pandemic is 'far from over', Bandcamp have announced that Bandcamp Fridays will be continuing for the rest of the year.

The Labyrinth Project- A new age immersive theatre programme that offers you a journey of self disco

In the current global crisis where many have felt more isolated than ever, an independent theatre company have pioneered Daedalus; an immersive theatre show designed to reach out and connect people in a unique and emotive way. After two previous sell out shows, this next iteration of ‘The Labyrinth Project’ offers an ‘ interactive 7 day experience’ where you are contacted through email, text post and over zoom. During this time you navigate through ‘The Labyrinth’ with a reimagined maze of narratives and challenges, tailored to your own needs and wishes. The Labyrinth Project was created by a group of Theatre and Performance students at the University of Leeds who wanted to make a qua

Manchester music venues saved from closure as buyer is found

Two iconic Manchester music venues The Deaf Institute and Gorilla have both been saved from closure after a new buyer was found. It was announced last week that both of the venues would be closing their doors for good amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. But now Tokyo Industries have stepped in to purchase both of them from Mission Mars and have announced their intentions to keep them running. Tokyo Industries are a private company who own a plethora of venues around the UK, with an estate of over 30 venues, including Nightclubs, Hotels, Bars and Restaurants. Many of our Leeds-based readers will be familiar with their work when In 2016 they announced their latest project, converti

Stunts, Vomit & Cocaine: The World’s Most Deranged Rap Crew

MCs, stunts and doing keys; Bad Boy Chiller Crew are the so-called Beatles of Bradford. The West Yorkshire rap group are single handedly bringing back Bassline (a UK Garage offshoot) while vomiting their way to social media fame by posting viral Jackass-style council estate skits that have allegedly gained them 150 million views and legions of loyal fans. Vice have recently shot a documentary detailing the rise of the Bad Boy Chiller Crew, who have taken West Yorkshire and internet by storm. Their songs recite stories of ‘bikes, jewellery and JD Sports’ that have made the West Yorkshire rappers an underground hit. Now they’re aiming for the mainstream VICE’s Tir Dhondy heads up north to han

Massive Attack Confront Global Issues During Lockdown With New Audiovisual EP Eutopia

Created across five cities amidst the worldwide Covid- 19 lockdown, the three track audiovisual release enlists Algiers, Saul Williams and Young Fathers to address the need for worldwide political change. Production and writing for the EP’s visual element comes from filmmakers Mark Donne and Euan Dickinson as well as Massive Attack’s own Robert Del Naja, known to most as 3D, and to a few as Banksy thanks to the sketchy detective work of some conpsiracy theorists. Additional visuals for the three-track fusion come courtesy of AI Art pioneer Mario Klingemann. Their first new release since Ritual Spirit in 2016, the EP is inspired by Thomas More’s Utopia, a 16th century socio-political satire w

Shifting Spheres launch debut release In Support of Roshni and UKBP

The premiere of Pussy Stamina's debut track "We're Watching You" has arrived, the fully blown compilation is raising money & awareness for Roshni Birmingham,UKBP drops today! Shifting Spheres reasoning for changing charities; “We wanted to tackle an issue that has become heightened during COVID-19, domestic abuse. Roshni are an incredible Birmingham based organisation, empowering BAME women to escape gender-related violence. UK Black Pride fight for LGBTQ people of colour, through community outreach and hardship funds. UKBP are a crucial organisation that align with our belief system, hence why we chose to support them." You can pre-order Spheres of Sound: In Support of Roshni and UKBP. You

DJ Black Madonna has changed her named to the Blessed Madonna

DJ & producer Marea Stamper, known to many as the Black Madonna has officially changed her name to The Blessed Madonna. The decision has come in light of a petition that called for the artist to change her alias on the grounds that it is a form of 'cultural appropriation' and 'digital blackface'. The petition was put online by Monty Luke, DJ and head of the Black Catalogue label. Monty stated that he had attempted to make contact with Stamper on more than one occasion to discuss ways in which she could change her alias because the name The Black Madonna "holds significance for catholics around the world, but especially so for black catholics in the US, Caribbean and Latin America. In additi

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BABYSTEP MAGAZINE Est. 2017