MPs say Grime music is being muffled

Grime music faces significant challenges because of discrimination against urban acts, MPs have said.

Despite the success of Stormzy, Dave and Skepta, it is often difficult for grime acts to play live, they said.

Licensing authorities and police have been known to cancel gigs at short notice, affecting musicians’ ability to gain a following.

“Prejudices against grime artists risks stifling one of the UK’s most exciting musical exports,” MPs said in a report.

The comments came as part of an extensive report into the UK’s live music scene by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, made up of 11 MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and the SNP.

They called on the government to come up with new guidelines for police and local authorities, which would “ensure that urban music acts are not unfairly targeted”.

As part of its investigation, the committee invited rapper ShaoDow to tell them about his experiences and he explained that he had faced frustrations when attempting to put on shows in London.

“I had a venue cancel on me on the day that I was meant to go there,” he said.

“I was booked for a performance in a club and called them ahead of time to say, ‘I am on my way’, and they said, ‘Oh, by the way, we were just listening to your music. You make hip-hop’.

“I said, ‘Yes’, and he said, ‘Oh, we cannot do that here, we will lose our licence’.”

Another witness told the committee that “institutionalised racism” amongst local councils and licensees “is hindering that scene rather than allowing it to flourish”.

UK Music, which represents the industry, welcomed the DCMS committee’s call to action, saying: “We must root out discrimination wherever we find it”.

TNT Entertainment

Photo Credit: Grime Music Facebook

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