Big Dada to relaunch as label run by and for Black, POC and Minority Ethnic staff and artists

The Ninja Tune imprint wants to "amplify Black and racialised artists' voices"

Pioneering hip-hop label Big Dada will relaunch as a label run by and for Black, POC and Minority Ethnic staff and artists, it has been announced.

The label was originally founded by hip-hop journalist Will Ashon in 1997. Ashon left the company in 2014.

The Ninja Tune imprint has released records from the likes of Wiley, Roots Manuva, Mercury Prize winners Speech Debelle and Young Fathers, Run The Jewels, Kae Tempest, Hype Williams and more over the last 24 years.

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A press release announcing the relaunch said the label wanted to “continue championing new artists across the musical spectrum whilst continuing to tip its hat to the foundations that built its legacy”.

A new mission statement was also shared, which read: “A team of like-minded individuals working together to form a community that champions, shines a light on, supports & nourishes the music & artists.

Young Fathers
Young Fathers CREDIT: Press

“Working to amplify Black and racialised artists voices, Big Dada looks to shift the narrative around this music, bypassing stereotypes to allow and encourage freedom to express oneself for who they are and want to be.”

It continued: “Big Dada has a long history and heritage which will be built upon whilst deepening its cultural identity by supporting & offering resources to a new generation of artists.”

The press release also noted the term “Black, POC and Minority Ethnic” was being used “for lack of a better term”.

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As well as relaunching the label, the imprint has also redesigned its logo and website, and created new merch. The items were created by sustainable clothing company Rapanui and finished by London-based, Black-owned independent embroiderers.

Big Dada’s new website will boast a brand new resource section with music industry tips, including music legal advice, information on collecting agencies and distribution, and mental health resources for Black and POC artists. It will also feature editorial think pieces and long reads looking at a range of music scenes and movements.

Last week (January 18), a new bursary programme called Rip It Up was launched with the aim of providing a platform and direction for the next generation of Black, Asian and diverse musical talent.

The programme was created by the teams behind Sound City, Youth Music, sm-mgmt, CAPLL LTD and more, and is designed to push for racial equality and to welcome a new generation of creatives and talent in the music industry.

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