On Record is a new album that celebrates the music of Birmingham. The album was conceptualized by Jez Collins, founder of the Birmingham Music Archive, as a way to reflect the city and its music. It features 11 tracks by different artists, each with their own take on what it means to be from Birmingham.
The album cuts across a large range of genres, reflecting the diversity of a city currently going through a renaissance. And while the artists may all offer alternative views on the city, the Birmingham 2022 Festival is an opportunity to show the world a shared identity as Brummies.
What have the artists said about On Record?
Sanity, one of the featured artists, says that the album is a love letter to Birmingham. “I think Birmingham, for the longest time, has kind of been seen as, like, the underdog. Like, we don‘t really champion ourselves enough.
“And I think, now, especially with the Commonwealth Games coming, I think everybody is being a bit more proud of ourselves - our accent and all the weird and quirky things that make Brum Brim.
“People are really starting to shout about the city and really talking about, you know, I‘m a Brummie and I‘m proud! I think Brummies have always been proud but kept it more on the hush - but now we‘re just shouting about it, which is a great thing.
And this is what this album is about, you know, to champion it but for it also to stand the test of time, and to be seamless for people to listen to.”
Why is On Record expected to be the soundtrack of summer 2022 in Birmingham?
The album is being released ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and Jez Collins is hopeful that it will be the soundtrack to the summer.
“I‘m so excited for people who come into the city. I‘m excited for the people of the city - for Brummies to hear the music that comes out of the city,” he said.
“But I‘m more sort of excited for the people that are going to come in, we‘re gonna have a great summer. I might fall flat on my face, I think On Record will be the soundtrack to Birmingham summer, the songs are that good.
“And I‘m really excited for people to hear it, discover it, go and see the artists, go to the shows, buy their records, buy their tickets to shows, buy their merchandise - support artists because it‘s been difficult for them! But most of all come and enjoy Birmingham and enjoy our sounds.”
Jez says that the hardest part of putting the album together was choosing which artists to include. “For me Birmingham was really built by, obviously, indigenous people - the Brummies who lived here - but it really accelerated postwar and accelerated through the communities who came from the Commonwealth.
“From South Asia, the Afro-Caribbean, Africa, who came and fused and lived and worked in this city and brought with them their cultures, particularly music. And for me, Birmingham is unique in the way that our communities have lived, worked and played together and created - reggae music, not created, but you know, developed reggae or Bhangra music, or rock or pop. And you see that and hear it in our music.”
Who are the artists featured On Record?
The 11-track LP features new and original recordings from internationally acclaimed artists, Mercury Prize and BBC Young Musician of the Year winners, YouTube music sensations, celebrated composers and producers, and emerging and unsigned talent drawn from across the city.
Here are the artists:
Dapz on the Map,
Friendly Fire Band,
Kate Luxmoore and Lekan Babalola,
SANITY ft Black Voices,
UB40 ft Gilly G,
We Are Muffy, and
Xhosa Cole Quarter ft Soweto Kinch, representing the UK along with over twenty different countries
How can can I get to hear On Record?
On Record’s release sees 1000 limited vinyl copies distributed on a first come first serve basis, but is available for everyone else to listen to for free at the website: Birmingham Music Archive
You can also stream On Record here: Birmingham 2022 Festival On Record
And for more information follow On Record on social media on Twitter and the hashtags #OnRecord # B2022Festival
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