Pirate mentality: How London radio has shaped creative practice in grime music

de Lacey, Alex. 2021. Pirate mentality: How London radio has shaped creative practice in grime music. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, 19(1), pp. 197-215. ISSN 1476-4504 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Grime music is an Afrodiasporic performance form originating in London. While artists such as Stormzy and Skepta are now international stars, its gestation took place within a grounded network of record shops, radio stations and raves. This article argues for grime pirate radio’s role as both an oppositional channel and site of creative practice. Based on empirical work undertaken from 2017 to 2019 in London’s grime scene, it demonstrates how artists harness radio’s communicative power to engender a Black counterpublic, before outlining a framework for creative agency: afforded by a network of stations and practitioners; made meaningful through its community of listeners; and realized through improvisatory practice. Existing studies focusing on pirate radio often present these fora as domains for dissemination. In grime, however, its creative function highlights the potentiality of radio as a performance medium: a space for quotidian belonging and co-presence, but also for musical development and grassroots practice.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1386/rjao_00041_1

Additional Information:

© Alex de Lacey, 2021. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, volume 19, issue 1, pages 197-215, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1386/rjao_00041_1.

Keywords:

co-presence; collective intimacy; counterpublics; creativity; grime; hype; improvisation; pirate radio

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music

Dates:

DateEvent
31 October 2020Submitted
14 December 2021Accepted
19 March 2021Published Online
1 April 2021Published

Item ID:

30491

Date Deposited:

08 Sep 2021 15:28

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2021 15:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30491

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